By BakaHakase 4 months, 2 weeks ago
Welcome to Ani.me’s recap of Sunday without God. Last week our little grave keeper Ai had to contend with a violent intruder whose mere presence radically affected the tranquility of her everyday life. The Man Eating Toy, Hampnie Hambert, came to a seemingly normal village and summarily slaughtered all the inhabitants. Ai’s friends and adoptive parents were laid to rest, but there was no peace for the heroine as Hampnie began to attack the core of Ai’s being, questioning whether anything she knew was true. The episode ended with the arrival of a “real” grave keeper on the scene and with many queries (as Hampnie would call them) being raised on who exactly are Ai and Hampnie Hambert, and what is their relation to one another.
For a more in-depth summary of what happened, you can find my episode 1 recap here.
The second episode of Sunday without God begins right where the first ended. The young woman who was seen in the final moments of episode 1 introduces herself as Scar. According to Hampnie, she embodies the perfect attributes of a grave keeper, being at once helpful and devoid of emotion. Scar proves this when, following Ai’s misunderstanding that “Scar” was not her real name, she tells the two with a smile on her face that she has been called, among other things, “Murderer” and “Shinigami” (Death God). Scar calmly states that she had no name before the nickname “Scar” stuck and Hampnie wonders if she has continued to use it because it adequately refers to her being scarred. Hampnie asks Ai if she can really consider herself a grave keeper when she has seen someone like Scar, the supposed real deal. Before Ai can give any answer though, the opening theme begins to play.
After the opening, Hampnie neglects Ai and asks several questions of Scar. He begins with the same spiel he gave Ai previously about the woman, named Hana, that he is searching for. Unfortunately, Scar knows of no person who matches Hampnie’s description and he is forced to accept that he has run into another dead end. Hampnie then requests Scar give the 47 deceased villagers a proper burial so that they can truly rest. However, Scar remarks that she does not sense anyone needing her help and that the 47 Hampnie is referring to are at peace. He is noticeably surprised at what Scar has said, but Ai capitalizes on it, triumphantly asserting that she is a real grave keeper.
As quickly as Scar comes, she leaves. We then return to the dynamic between Ai and Hampnie that was being explored last episode. As soon as they are alone, Hampnie begins to aggressively interrogate Ai on what she now intends to do. Ai’s answers do not satisfy Hampnie as he strikes her and pulls his gun out, intent on killing her. In their exchange, we gain some insight into Hampnie’s philosophy as one of necessity. Hampnie believes that Ai would never survive in the real world and so it would be a kindness to end her suffering before it could even begin. He also holds that Ai is pure and that any semblance of purity could only be corrupted if she remained a grave keeper. Her refusal to forget and live a life that would not have her meeting the ugly reality of the world, forces Hampnie’s hand. Ai begs him to stop, telling Hampnie that she doesn’t want to die, but Hampnie responds that the only way to exist in a world without God is to want to live. Thankfully, before he can carry out the execution, Hampnie is shot by someone off screen.
The would-be assassin is Hampnie’s childhood friend Yuri. I say would-be because although the shot pierces Hampnie’s heart, he survives and his body heals itself. Unlike other immortals in Sunday without God, even if Hampnie dies, he subconsciously repairs the damaged part. A quick example: remember the villager last episode with half his head missing. Well it seems that if Hampnie suffered a similar wound, his head would return to normal and his heart would continue beating. In short, he would remain totally alive rather than become one of the walking dead like the villager.
Yuri moves Ai to safety and faces Hampnie, demanding that he face justice for killing Yuri’s wife six years earlier. Hampnie coolly states that Yuri’s wife was already dead for a year before he put her down. Yuri was hiding her from the grave keepers, something he believed was fine because then his family would continue to be together. However, Hampnie says that he hates the dead and believes that just as ash is to ash, dust to dust, the dead belong with the dead. Hampnie apologizes for taking away Yuri’s happiness, but Yuri does not accept the apology, insistent that the two men duel to the death.
At this moment, Hampnie sees that there is more to the current situation than Yuri wanting revenge. He asks his friend about Yuri’s daughter and finds out that she too is dead-though she was given a proper burial. Hampnie surmises that Yuri is tired of living and wishes to die, but cannot take his own life. Yuri wants his death to mean something and that is why he has chosen to come after Hampnie now. As a result, Hampnie refuses to oblige Yuri with the death he seeks. Yuri attempts to get Hampnie to act by grabbing Ai and threatening her, but this does nothing for Hampnie in the immediate sense. He does agree to a duel the next morning, but Hampnie makes it clear that if Yuri shows up, his death won’t have any of the meaning he hopes it will have.
As the sun rises on a new day, Ai prepares to leave the village forever. Her insecurity is apparent as the words of woman resound in her head, warning her to not live in ignorant bliss. It could be Anna talking, but I’m not sure. Throughout the episode we see glimpses of Ai’s mother, so it could be a lesson from before she died. (Perhaps the most important time we see Lady Alfa is when Yuri is gazing at a photo. It shows Alfa, him, his wife, and his daughter smiling with an obscured fifth figure with silver hair next to Alfa. I see you Hampnie.) Nevertheless, Ai is on the road out of the village when she hears footsteps behind her. She sees Hampnie coming up the path and the two exchange words on Hampnie leaving before the duel. As the two put the village behind them, Ai resolves that she will find people who need her help and thus gains a little confidence back after it being shattered by Hampnie previously.
Ai and Hampnie somehow become travelling companions and try to move as quickly as possible so as to outrun Yuri. Ai, being a natural klutz, trips over herself and sprains her ankle. Hampnie, rather than leave her behind, offers Ai a piggyback ride. She quickly regrets it as Hampnie jumps from a great height and then engages in dangerous maneuvers while Ai is on his back. They set up camp that evening in the ruins of a house and Ai is visibly sore after the day’s events. Hampnie thought she would like it because he loved it when his dad carried him around like that. Following this insight, Ai turns her thoughts to their arrangement. She is understandably confused about how Hampnie has acted toward her recently when compared to their time in the village, but has no answer. In any case, she attempts to bond with Hampnie by offering him cookies. Hampnie has no need for food because he is immortal and makes this clear to Ai. He goes on to say that he is a monster and this angers Ai to a degree. She believes that he shouldn’t call himself that because things are not as black or white for people that they can be so easily classified as human or monster. After her little speech, Hampnie decides to partake. As he eats he comes to a realization concerning Ai’s kindness and powers as a grave keeper. He considers the possibility that she is a hybrid.
As noted in episode 1, when God left He made it so that life could neither end nor be brought into the world. Hampnie believes that because Ai is 12 and God disappeared 15 years ago, she must be a child of a grave keeper and a human. He goes on to say that her mother must have been defective to deny her nature as a grave keeper and chosen to have a child. This statement angers Ai, but Hampnie tells her that it is not necessarily a bad thing to be different. We then get a lot of insight into Hampnie’s past and his thoughts on God.
The conversation begins as Ai asks Hampnie how old he is. He answers that, despite his youthful appearance, he is as old as Yuri at 32 or 33. Ai then questions Hampnie and Yuri’s relationship, to which Hampnie tells her about his past. Everything started the night God abandoned humanity. However, according to Hampnie, the story that Ai knows was simply an attempt to understand how the world changed so rapidly. One day everyone could die and the next they could not. Hampnie gives Ai his theory of what happened.
Calling God an idiot, Hampnie believes that God had lost interest in what had become a stable and enduring existence. Thus, in order to shake things up God gave humans what they wanted and not necessarily what they needed. He began with the biggest wish, eternal life. From the beginning, humanity has yearned to be immortal. However, when it was given to us, we became horrified at the fact that life would never end. As a result, God once again caved in and sent the grave keepers. His miracles are nothing more than wish fulfillment in Hampnie’s eyes and he believes his own special situation is proof of this.
It turns out that Hampnie’s silver hair and red eyes are not just for aesthetics. Before he became immortal, he had to contend with albinism and all it entailed. In school, Hampnie could not enjoy himself the same way his friends did because of the Sun. Thankfully, Hampnie’s body acclimated to his condition by the time he was 17. He wished that his newfound days could continue forever and the rest is history. However, before Hampnie, or any other person, could enjoy their new lease on life they had to struggle with the darker side of no death. Apparently, those who join the ranks of the walking dead have to deal with a disease, called the half-dead fever, which slowly rots away their humanity and leaves nothing but a selfish husk. Ai then realizes that Hampnie put down Yuri’s wife because their family could not accept that all that awaited was sadness and heartbreak.
The episode ends with Ai demanding that Hampnie tell her why he attacked the villagers. He doesn’t answer her and instead tells Ai that she will discover why on her own one day. He cryptically refers to a secret held in the village that forced his hand as the ending plays.
BakaHakase is a new contributor to Ani.me. His interests include Japanese history and culture, as well as, anime and manga. He hopes for the chance to indoctrinate others. If you’re reading this, then it’s already working.
anime, episode 2, recap, sunday without god