Touka Gettan is set in the land of Kamitsumihara, where traces of magic and legend can still be seen. The land has been under the protection of the Kamiazuma clan since it was founded. The story revolves around Touka Kamiazuma, the main protagonist, and his encounter with a young girl named Momoka Kawakabe who comes to stay with the clan. Their meeting sets off a chain of events that will bring an ancient legend to life.
First of all, don't watch this series backwards. Just don't do it. People will tell you to do it, but don't listen to them. Just like the movie Memento, this anime is meant to be watched in reverse chronological order.
The biggest reason you shouldn't watch it backwards is because episode 25 does not follow the reverse chronology time order so it will ruin the rest of the series for you. The later episodes, 19-26, are generally better than the earlier ones so if you watch it backwards, the series loses steam as it goes on.
People are tempted to watch
it backwards because the plot is really hard to grasp in the first few episodes. Truth be told, the plot is not the main reason to watch this show. It's a decent plot full of mystery and supernatural suspense, but it has its share of plot holes and slightly jumbled plotlines. Without the unique format of the show, Touka Gettan would just be another mildly entertaining and undistinguished fantasy drama.
Watching Touka Gettan the way it's meant to be watched gives the viewer an appreciation of the way the story has been molded to fit the format. You can easily see where this format succeeds in bringing something unique to the story, and also where it fails. It challenges the viewer to reevaluate his own expectations when watching an anime. When you see a character as they are introduced into the storyline, you realize that that constitutes the end of their role in the story. Most everything they will contribute has already been covered. Instead of waiting for the last episode to see if a certain plotline gets resolved eventually, you're made to be aware of the entire lifecycle of plots being introduced and resolved as the series goes on.
Aside from the format, the anime has several things going for it. The animation is very lush and it sets a great mysterious mood. There are several episodes near the end presented in very different and unexpected ways which just adds to the quirkiness of the series. Some of the issues touched on in the show are surprisingly deep and adds a small level of discomfort which is not a bad thing. Some will be turned off by instances of really risque fanservice, but my own opinion is it just adds to the charming strangeness of it all.
Many anime viewers don't really want a challenge when they watch something. A lot of people will not bother with this show because it takes so much effort and concentration to watch it. I think if you can get over that, it's a really unique anime and a great watch for people who appreciate the more innovative side of anime.
This anime has gone through some rough criticism for it's strange content and backwards airing. But it's those things that make this an under-appreciated, under-rated masterpiece.
The art and general quality of this series is generally pretty nice. The opening is nice and mysterious with a nice song by Momoka's seiyuu that is very traditional sounding. The end animation isn't anything impressive but the song is nice and soothing, very lullaby-ish.
The characters are interesting and are put into unique situations (including staying at a haunted inn, yaoi Dojinshi, social abuse/exclusion and a yuri love triangle). Character's importance and attitude is confusing at first if you watch
it in the airing order backwards but watching it in the original order is best as it allows you to guess and make theories about what is going on throughout the series until the very end. If you get over that and deal with some of the stranger-scenes (that some might not be comfortable with) you could end up enjoying this series greatly.
Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone who likes romance, mystery and fantasy. I'd also recommend watching it backwards in the airing order with the first episode last and the last episode first. This way, the big twist will have more effect on you.
What initially drew me to Touka Gettan was Carnelian's beautiful character designs, and I was definitely not disappointed on that front. If nothing else, Touka Gettan is very pleasant to look at.
The bottom line is that this anime is not everyone's cuppa. Touka Gettan is undeniably unique, but it's up to the individual whether that's a good or bad thing. I believe this series will most appeal to someone tired of cookie cutter anime, someone who's looking for something different.
In case you are not yet aware, Touka Gettan aired (mostly) in reverse chronological order. Now, while this is not a new concept, it is a
rarely used device. As a disclaimer, I watched Touka Gettan in chronological order (episodes 26, 24-1, 25) because of the way my mind works, but despite this I can absolutely see the genius of the proper order.
Touka Gettan was not made and then randomly aired backwards. The order of the episodes plays on the world of Touka Gettan's concepts of time, complementing its lack of linearity. As I was watching, I considered how each scene would have been different and how the impact would have changed if I had been watching the series in reverse order, and I could see how clever it was. The beginning of the series is the end, and the end is the beginning.
So, I can't say that watching it one way is better than the other. Both ways have their positives and negatives.
Among Touka Gettan's unique characteristics is its atmosphere. I would describe it as the strangest combination of gag humor and and morbid seriousness. I'm still not sure how they got that formula to work so well.
It's hilarious in many place, adorable in others, and downright disturbing from time to time. A lot of the elements aren't things I'm normally a fan of, but somehow it all just worked.
A handful of episodes are presented in especially unique ways, and I found this an interesting way to break of the monotony of a traditional linear presentation.
Touka Gettan is not something you can casually watch; there's so much happening, so much depth. I felt like I should have been taking notes in order to keep up. The cast is moderately large, and just keeping track of who everyone was could be difficult at times.
While I was watching, I felt a number of the characters served no purpose, but after I had finished the series I discovered that most of those characters were crossover characters from Carnelian's other series, such as Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito. I think the inclusion of these characters is a questionable choice as it only benefits a viewer if they're familiar with the other series, and they truly stick out in a negative way in this character-driven anime.
The relationships between all the characters are very complex, and are more or less left shrouded in mystery (I'm not sure how much of this is because they're explained in the corresponding visual novels).
So, in conclusion, many things about Touka Gettan are frustrating, but it's arguable whether those things are good or bad. You also don't get the answers to all your questions by the end, which is one of my personal pet peeves. What I enjoyed most about Touka Gettan is its uniqueness.
Overall, I think it's an anime worth watching, but you have to go in being prepared to pay attention.
Be warned that this anime contains: ecchi, homosexuality, gag humor
To be fair, the art and sound are reasonable. However. those are the only redeeming qualities to this anime.
Before you write this off as a flame because I'm the type who doesn't like complicated stories, I'd like to dispel that idea. I like interesting plots. This anime just didn't have one. I saw someone else compare this anime to the likes of Memento, one of my favorite movies of all time, and that just made me cringe. I feel sorry for Memento.
First of all, even despite the fact that this is a fantasy world (which means I pretty
much tried to suspend disbelief whenever I saw something) I couldn't believe any of the things that were happening. Watching this, I kept finding myself thinking "really? WHY would this happen?!"
Secondly, the characters weren't all that likable, so I never found myself rooting for anyone.
Third, while watching you can feel how hard they tried to make this anime original, and it just feels really contrived and forced.
If you're looking for something to waste your time on, there are way more anime that are much more enjoyable than this one. If you're looking for a plot to sink your teeth into, there are tons of anime that really execute plot a lot better. I would not recommend this anime other than as a life-waster.