"God created the world on Monday, from a place of nothing into something.
God separated order and chaos on Tuesday, defining freedom and oppression.
God sorted each and every number on Wednesday, giving rise to wonderful and varied things.
God allowed time to flow on Thursday.
God looked at every corner of the world on Friday.
God rested on Saturday.
And God abandoned the world on Sunday."
Since that day fifteen years ago, no more men can bear children nor able to die.
This passage gives you an immediate idea behind the philosophy and ideals of a new wonderful little cult series brought to us by the always brilliant distributor Madman. Well lets meet Ai; She lived a quiet life with her kind adoptive parents and the other villagers, but one day, a young boy calling himself “Hampnie Hambert”, a man-eating toy, appeared in the village with a gun in his hands, forcing Ai to witness how cruel reality can be…Ai is the protagonist and has a very fragile and petite look to her body and face, with a flat chest, long goldish-brown hair, and big bright green eyes. She looks more like a younger version of Alfa, with messier hair as the bangs that fall beside her cheeks have a few strands being longer then the others, unlike her mothers whose hair is well kept and neat with Cleopatra style cropped bangs beside her cheeks.
In medias res, Ai Astin confronts a mysterious stranger in her town who seemingly kills all the villagers. A flashback shows a 7-years old Ai, being made the village Grave Keeper upon her mother, Lady Alfa's death and that she had been carrying out her duty ever since, explaining that Grave Keepers are the only ones that can help the dead rest in peace. although Ai believes that her father, Hampnie Hambert will visit one day. Introducing himself as Hampnie Hambart, Ai claims that he is her father much to his objection. Afterwards Hampnie asks Ai for her Grave Keeping services. While passing through the village, Ai terrifyingly notices all of the dead villagers before being approached by the wounded farmer, Yūto. Still walking despite a fatal gunshot to the head, Yūto defends Ai while drawing a gun on Hampnie. Ai then charges at Hampnie in a fit of rage. Afterwards, Ai follows Hampnie out of town where he shatters her reality by revealing that she isn't a true Grave Keeper since she possesses both parents and emotions, before introducing her to a true Grave Keeper. Gravekeepers are born in the Story Circle, a place where gravekeepers are born. The mythology it creates is really quite epic, placing its own religious universe and laws.
Hampnie introduces Ai to Scar, a true Grave Keeper and questions her on the whereabouts of Hana, but upon yielding no results, tasks her with burying the villagers. Scar reveals that Ai is indeed a Grave Keeper since she already took care of the burials much to Hampnie's surprise. Afterwards Hampnie mercilessly questions Ai on what she intends to do now that she has nowhere to go. Unwilling to listen, Julie threatens Ai and demands a duel from Hampnie, who seems to accept. Ai resolves to remain being a Grave Keeper and leaves the village with Hampnie who disregards the duel with Julie. That night, Hampnie realizes that 12 year old Ai is an anomalous human/Grave Keeper hybrid, since humans were denied procreation after God's abandonment 15 years earlier. Finally Ai asks Hampnie why he killed the townsfolk and he reveals that she would eventually find out, along with the secret hidden within her village. This is when we become very intrigued as a mystery begins to develop, making us want to continue on this journey.
A flashback shows Lady Alfa and her daughter Ai overlooking their village, with the former expressing a desire of changing their village into a place equivalent to Heaven where the dead can be happy. As their travels continue, Ai learns that Hana had seemingly abandoned Hampnie ten years previously and in addition that Hampnie is searching for a way to end his life, since the thought of being the last living human terrifies him. Just as Ai deduces that he merely acts cruel to hide his pain, they are discovered and Hampnie kicks Ai off the bridge into the river below. Ai awakens to find herself on the bank with Julie who reveals Hampnie had saved her from an ambush but was hence kidnapped. Julie also notes of knowing Hampnie isn't a bad person and shows Ai a picture of Hampnie's lover, Hana, who Ai shockingly acknowledges as her mother. Julie later decides to help Ai rescue Hampnie when they are approached by Scar. Just then, Scar and Ai come to Hampnie's rescue much to his objection. Ai walks into the room and reveals a shocking revelation to Hampnie that she is in fact the daughter of Hana and also of realizing that everyone in her village had died long ago but they had pretended to be alive for her sake. These key elements are revealed throughout to get a better understanding of the characters; it takes its time pacing wise but never drags.After accepting this revelation, Ai and Hampnie have a tearful reunion, with the former revealing his true name: Kizuna Astin and as his wish is finally fulfilled, Kizuna dies the death he always wanted. It does get quite dark at times as the bright animation is hiding a secret meaning behind it all. There a dreamlike surrealism as all these characters are well in an afterlife.
In the epilogue, Kizuna reawakens as an undead person much to Ai's joy, and along with Julie and Scar, make their way back to Ai's village in the valley while spending as much time with each other as they can. Finally, at the village's graveyard, Ai buries her father, Kizuna next to her mother, Hana and mourns their passing. With the burial over, Ai states to Julie and Scar that if God abandoned their world, she will become a true grave-keeper and save it. The series progresses with more twists and turn but that is a general overview for what is ultimately instore. It's certainly unique and is recommend.