There are several hotly anticipated and well-discussed anime in the current airing season, but some of the new shows are definitely going under the radar. One of these is Night Head 2041, an anime now streaming on Crunchyroll, which has tons of things going both for and against it. A high-tech remake of an old Japanese drama, the show's exemplary use of CGI sadly may keep some viewers at bay.
In a time when most seasonal anime are manga or light novel adaptations, slightly more original shows like Night Head 2041 stand out, especially given the animation. Here's what the show is about, how it ties into older versions in the franchise and why people should check it out, even if they're not fans of its stylistic choices.
What Is Night Head 2041?
The story of Night Head 2041 involves the Kirihara brothers, who had long since been imprisoned due to their supernatural psychic powers. The world they live in is one that's long since been ravaged by a third world war, leaving most of humanity dead and with the belief in God or the paranormal being expressly forbidden.
Now free in a world they were never meant to live in, the psychic brothers are forced to work out how to survive while being hunted down by Takuya and Yuya Kuroki, part of the Special Weapons Enforcement division, which has been sent to recapture them.
What Sets Night Head 2041 Apart From Other Anime
One major reason why Night Head 2041 may be getting glossed over is its CGI animation. CG has become the bane of many an anime fan's existence, as it's often poorly done and off-putting in many anime. However, the CGI in Night Head 2041 is of fairly high quality, resembling the graphics and art styles of games such as Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Astral Chain in a good way.
Viewers have lauded its animation so far, with many stating that it's about as far away from the likes of EX-Arm as can be. Along with its surprisingly great animation is a storyline that's slick, well told and exciting, with some viewers even comparing the show favorably to futuristic cyberpunk hits such as Psycho-Pass. Still, the mere mention of CGI in anime frequently elicits groans and eye rolls from viewers.
The series is also part of a somewhat obscure Japanese franchise, with Night Head beginning in 1992 as a live-action TV drama. It was later remade in 2006 as Night Head Genesis, which was the first anime version of the material. It's worth noting that the original series was set in the futuristic time period of what's now modern-day, while the new anime reboot pushes the story further to two decades from now in 2041. This allows it to easily take the old material and remix it in a way that's familiar but still unique for people who've seen the older versions. The fact that it's part of such an unknown franchise hasn't helped it in its battle to become mainstream, however, and the lack of superficial resemblances to the original may also work against it.
The show is produced by Shirogumi, a studio that has its own proprietary computer graphics and visual effects technology. This has allowed them to create such beautiful-looking shows as Dragon Quest: Your Story. Night Head 2041 seems to follow in its footsteps, yet is certainly one of the most overlooked and underrated gems of the current anime crop.