Watching an episode without X elements is about getting a different perspective from what a show wants to project and along with it new results. Take it a level higher, cut it in half then less than that then less than that until the only thing that remains is the OP part. No karaoke either. Warning may contain both studios.
Clues. Clues and Clues.
First Clue – A Girl and a black sheet
And she’s dragging it she’s dragging it somewhere. Because she needs to get it somewhere because it needs to be moved. Why isn’t the sheet white though or some other color? It’s because it is some dark secret. She’s also not even carrying on her arms she’s dragging with her hands as if it were something heavy or a body. It’s advisable to watch the full episode after reading any of the Experiment Series entries after all. It’s not advisable to wear dark clothes on hot days. This may be an unsolicited advice.
2rd Clue – She’s biting on a leaf
That’s right, on a leaf. Who bites on leaves? I don’t. But my totally dominant carnivore ways are totally missing the point of The Experiment Series. Sankarea, the girl I presume, is slightly biting on a leaf but she also has a flower on her hair. One and one is two and also 12, when you put the two of these together it emphasizes life. So Sankarea is biting on green leaf which means life it means she’s biting on something which represents life. Sankarea may be dominantly more of a herbivore. Deen’s got its teeth deep into this show to prove they aren’t so bad after all. This is really an extensive analyzation for something that happened in less than 5 seconds.
The next clue is a cat guy whose haircut looks my hair when I sleep sideways.
3rd Clue – CAT GUY
CAT Guy looks like a feline because of a messy haircut and ridiculous cat eyes. Is he part of the cat family? Is it being a male feline an important part of the story? We are bound to find out whether we like it or not. With that out of the way I ought to start wondering about this MC and how he differs from many others. What of his personality? Is he wishy-washy as his haircut? We know for a fact he is indecisive about going left or right and tends to distort himself when in front of white backgrounds. Typical male lead.
His identity remains unknown and though it may be presumptuous but usually the first guy that appears in the OP theme is the MC. It can be said that it is a rule, it can be said that there is almost absolutely no doubt about it. Lets back up this claim according to the laws of OP themes for I’m sure that out there is a comprehensive unofficial list of them somewhere. Do MCs appear at the end of OPs? Do harems lead have spines? Nope. Nope, they don’t. MC show up at the beginning of the show. Cat Guy is undoubtedly the male lead of the show only shadowed by the female lead who’s the real star of Sankarea. You can’t possibly be the bigger lead when your name isn’t in it. I say this not because of mere whims but because history will tell us. Isn’t Madoka about Madoka? Isn’t Haruhi about Haruhi? Isn’t Kaiji about Kaiji? Isn’t Akagi about Akagi? Isn’t Saki about Saki? What is up with Mahjong anime having only the name of MCs as titles? These are names. These are points.
4th Clue – Actual cat
A Cat (an actual one) takes form and it flies out of CAT Guy’s backpack then one, two, three it jumps from one supporting character’s head to the next one as if it was a rushed anime ending sequence. This is a clever message to the viewers. It symbolizes DEEN jumping through hoops to get stuff done all these years. Notice the bandage around the stomach area? That’s DEEN recuperating from several blows as a result of their constant quality material they’ve been dishing out. The cat making its final stop on the old lady’s head indicate DEEN jokes getting old and they’ve decided to make a stop to it with Sankarea and the new Shafty style. Subtleness has a name.
5th Clue – May contain Shaft
The subtleness stops there. Little detail here, little detail there. Here comes choreography. Here comes the Shaft. Walking or moving around in rooms with out of dimension backgrounds? Playing with chairs? Replacing guitars with maids? Nothing that was just described actually happened in Sankarea OP? But did walking on tables happened? That IS Shaft territory, its bread and butter. DEEN’s playing the Shaft card. This OP may too Shaft-ish to be studio DEEN. This OP may also be too bright. The lady character walking on the table is likely to be the mother character who developed a drinking problem after watching too many bad adaptations. This experiment works under the premise the writer hasn’t actually watched the show other than the OP theme. This experiment assumes Sankarea OP theme really digs cats and bright backgrounds.
The man is one to watch out for. Orange alert. Observe the tension. Observe where the hand is. Red Alert. Moving hand while touching daughter on the shoulder while the camera stays there for more than a few seconds. Much like the diet coke and mentos experiment this can never lead to anything good. This story just slipped into the serious zone and there’s serious problem when it turns into an episode of Law and Order SVU a few seconds into the show. Old dude character, you suck. Sincerely, everyone who’s watching the show. Sankarea tip: Bad men tend to have three equally distributed moles on their foreheads. Anime tip: In anime rich people tend to be evil. That’s how things go, I don’t make the rules only these posts.
6th Clue – Supporting character sequence
Introducing the supporting characters troupe. Top image starting from the left is a guy with an androgynous haircut and too much eyelashes. To the right is a whiny kid who looks like Kanokon’s MC doing.. something. Next are elementary kids wearing black uniforms (who picks the colors in that school?) doing what glasses guy couldn’t. Finally, hyper Girl welcomes you to the show. They’re the non-main characters and right from the start anyone can tell they’re supporting characters showing you the way because no main character gets less than 3 seconds of fame in an OP. This is how it works, this is the contract their agents signed. More than two seconds indicates main character status, less than two seconds signifies supporting character status, less than that it means background character. The lower their status in the hierarchy of character status the less animation they have. This is not a warning. This is not a fact. Much like a great deal in The Experiment Series this is all speculation.
7th Clue – Hitting balls
Decisive look or mildly upset expression on tennis girl. Who really knows for sure. It’s sometimes quite a task guessing this, same as sometimes distinguishing between genders based on faces in anime, not always easy to tell the difference, isn’t it? Sometimes you can know everything about a characters from the OP and sometimes you don’t. This is one of those times. This is one of those times I don’t. What do I know about this girl? Based on the few seconds transpired of [pure whiteness] and ~ flying gray cats~ tennis girl shows up twice (maybe more) in the OP meaning she’s also a main character in addition to flower ghoul girl and the unforgettable cat guy. In addition to that fact she beats the 2-3 second rule by appearing more than once on screen while hitting a tennis ball across the screen. So she’s a main character and she hits balls, tennis girl is a ball breaker meaning she’s likely a childhood friend of the MC or the like coming in the mornings to occasionally wake up the lead in a relation that won’t ever happen. Last but not least, something round and shiny breaks into two parts. What is that? I do not know. Is this anime about tennis too? I do not know, but I highly doubt it. Can we move on? Yes, please. I bet there will be more cats after this. Because that’s what Sankarea is about – cats.
8th Clue – The Cat Returns
Things that run.. things with bandages.. more white things.. clouds in OP themes. A cat guy riding a huge cat. That’s a bit too inception material for me right there. I am simply getting too curious about this cat angle. Let’s analyze it because that’s what we do. Cat Guy is riding a big cat because he’s running somewhere towards the horizon. As of where it is direction unknown. We are neither psychics nor espers nor time travelers nor would we want to be. We need evidence, materials to help us figure things out to remind us where we are so here it is. Introducing exhibit A: Things in motion. Exhibit B: Grassy fields. Vast fields indicate it’s a scene in an anime OP any day of the week and holiday. We’re watching classic anime OP elements at work here. We’re watching a show that really likes its cats and it shows it. You have to respect them for it.
9th Clue – Unequivocal Thriller night
Ghoul girl raises from the classic grassy field. These scenes have the power of reaching everyone because I caught it like a bad cold in the middle of winter. It’s super easy to guess what DEEN was shooting for with this scene. A girl rising from the depths of a grassy field extending her hand to the MC. Harmless any day of the week and at the same time it she also looks like a zombie from a few seconds. That’s the breakdown of it. So far Sankarea’s got some strong angles down. There’s the undead theme. There’s the bright white backgrounds. There’s the cat angle that we’ve been seen enough. No really. We get it. Cats are key. Off they go. It is completely off with those felines. Off.
10th Clue – This was an OP
The cat is back (just like that), the cat with has the weirdest whiskers ever is back for the final scenes. This is just me talking, however, Sankarea is about this cat who appears as many times if not more than any of the main characters. That’s right. Sankarea is about this bandaged cat jumping from head to head, galloping through green grassy fields, and jumping into the sea. Flying flying away. This OP theme is an adventure. An adventure of Shaft elements in a DEEN show. An adventure of a cat guy and a zombie girl. An adventure, an adventure I have only watched its Opening Theme.
What the experiment Opening Theme Only obtained was a list of scenes with enough content. A show that is clearly crazy about cats, undead people, and super really bright backgrounds. What Sankarea actually shows are the classic elements in anime Opening themes. The Shaft elements work their way into the OP theme making it a mixture of two opposite studios. May contain Shaft, may it may contain DEEN. It’s one and the other but also neither. The results are the detailed described sequence, telling a story in a minute and a couple of seconds while as closely as possible describing what the story is about with imagery in that minute. It contains Shaft, it still contains DEEN. Worth a try, worth a look.