By Dustin Cabeal
This wasn’t a terrible episode. It wasn’t good either. It was average, but not painfully so. The formula outline that is used is overdone in anime and manga, but it can on occasion still work if what’s put into the story is entertaining or offers a fresh voice. Spiritpact doesn’t offer much that’s new and seems like the creators were just checking boxes and moving on.
The outline/formula is two characters are bonded together in an effort to eliminate evil spirits. One is powerful; the other is more powerful because of their bond. What did I just describe? Was it Spiritpact or Isuca? Maybe even Shiki? The answer is all three of course because they all use that outline to varying degrees of success. Which is funny because none of them are that good at it either. That’s my point, the formula itself isn’t very good, but people continue to try over and over to make it work.
This time around, we have a young exorcist that’s been reduced to a fortune teller because his parents died. He’s poor, he sucks at telling fortunes, and then he dies. He becomes a spirit, and an actual top ranking exorcist wants him to be his shadow spirit and enter a pact with him. Guess what happens? They do, but only after they face evil together.
There’s a lot of comedy or attempts at comedy. One joke actually made me laugh, but only when they went to it a third time. The rest of the jokes were standard for the genre. Which is weird right? I mean, when did banishing evil spirits become a half goofball comedy and half “no we need to save the world now?” I don’t know, but when you fuck up the straight man character it just makes your goofy character look like an annoying asshole.
The animation is meh. It has moments when it looks really good and then other moments when it’s pretty simple and rushed looking. I get that for part of the humor the animation is toned down, but it’s toned down too much here. That and if the comedy were better, you would have to visually tell the audience “this is a joke, please laugh.”
I won’t be back to watch anymore. Again, it wasn’t terrible, but I’ve seen too much like this and I know that it’s not looking to break the mold. It’s not even trying to do something new and is still using dated gay jokes. Sorry, but we’re living in a post-Yuri on Ice world, you’re going to have to do better than that.