Note: Review copy supplied by MVM Entertainment
Title: Sagrada Reset
Anime Studio: David Production
Publisher: MVM Entertainment
Genre: Science Fantasy / Mystery
Released: July 29th, 2019
Extras: Clean OP and ED, Disc Credits, Also Available Trailers
The ability to reset time might seem like the ultimate superpower, but if you forget what was going to happen when you reset it, how would you know what you needed to change? Or if you’d make things better or worse? That’s the paradox that faces Misora Haruki until she’s paired with Kei Asai, who remembers everything, even if they happened in timelines that have been reset. But there’s still a catch: each reset point can be used only once and anything that happens in the 24 hours before a new one can be set will be locked in time forever. In a town where a mysterious agency seems to be controlling everything from the shadows and everyone has unexpected powers, the lives of Kei and Misora’s friends and classmates will depend on how carefully they can use the Sagrada Reset.
As a series, Sagrada Reset has been fairly divisive. The thing is, while many of the criticisms levied at the series are not wholly inaccurate, your own view on the series will entirely come down to your personal taste in storytelling.
The series is centered on a wonderful premise, that being that the town has a population that mostly have supernatural abilities. Rather than just use this as an excuse to throw in the usual tropes, the ideas presented came across as really well thought out. Our main pairing has complimentary powers for example. Misora Haruki can reset time but there are restrictions to what she can do, while Kei Asai can remember everything, even if a reset occurs. Others are capable of memory manipulation, or being able to erase things from existence. The powers are interesting, they have rules that prevent them from being too obstructive, and they tie into the story nicely.
Sagrada Reset also goes out of its way to throw out some interesting questions, such as could really ask someone to erase three days worth of time, just to save your pet cat? The cast of characters deals with some nice little philosophical concepts throughout and it’s that that’s used to drive what is essentially a set of mysteries forward. It’s in the execution of this that people often find issue though.
The characters talk about the issues presented to them at length. In that regard, the show is very dialogue-heavy, and at times feels like a series of monologues. There was clearly a goal in mind with each new thing they discuss, but the slow pacing will put some off. If you’re expecting an action-heavy tale of superpowers, this will absolutely not be for you. In the same way, if you’re expecting characters that are immediately interesting for more than their powers, you may also feel short-changed. The characters are presented in a way that makes them border on bland in the early going, and their growth matches the overall pacing of the show
That being said, I did find the key players – Misora Haruki, Kei Asai, and Sumire Soma – to be intriguing enough to keep me watching. It would be fair to say however that the teenage characters will not consistently come across as teens; their behaviours and the way they talk about different topics feels more mature than that. It’s not entirely a bad thing given the concepts being broached but it does make the leads being high schoolers seem somewhat off.
The story itself sees multiple mysteries presented, and once you reach the end, the final episode does a good job of tying things up and creating a sense of closure for the overall story. You can see the way it may end with regards to the main three coming, but it still feels satisfying. I also really enjoyed the show from an aesthetic standpoint. While not as flashy as David production’s more recent release, Fire Force, the gentleness of the lighter tones and simple shading worked well with the story. Even in the more extreme moments – such as Kei cutting himself to manipulate an adult – it felt fitting. The soundtrack sat nicely alongside it too.
The question is, how do I rate this overall. From a personal standpoint, I enjoyed the slow pace and philosophical nods. The focus on a great set of concepts and series of mysteries worked for me, and while not as immediately standout as they could be, the characters had their moments that made me want to keep watching. For me, this is a 3.75 out of 5 series, at least if I’m not in the mood for high paced action. It is one that’s not necessarily a binge-watch show though, and if you’re not into lengthy dialogue sections, you’ll rate it lower.