After several people recommended that I check out The Day I Became a God last year, I caved and watched the first couple episodes and immediately got drawn in by its wholesome and cute premise. However, I could have never imagined how emotional the series would be and how invested I would be in it. I would say this was a surprise if not for the creators’ previous anime.
The newest anime from Jun Maeda and Na-Ga (Angel Beats!, Charlotte), The Day I Became a God follows Yota Narukami who unexpectedly runs into a young girl, Hina Sato, who claims to be a god. Through their interactions, Yota begins to believe she may actually be a god as she possesses the uncanny ability to predict future events perfectly. However, among these predictions is the exact date for “the end of the world,” with Hina believing it to be exactly 30 days away. With this knowledge, Yota uses Hina’s clairvoyance to rope his family and friends into various schemes that end in varying degrees of success. His initial discomfort towards Hina eventually grows into a real bond, with him inevitably wishing for the world not to end so that their time together will last longer.
It is a nice change of pace to see a show focused on a platonic relationship. Throughout its 12-episode run, The Day I Became a God slowly builds up its premise, making you care about the characters and what happens to them, especially Hina and Yota. Through their connection, Yota learns to appreciate the smaller things in life more, such as the new friends he makes throughout the first few episodes. I originally thought that Hina’s off way of speaking and obnoxious attitude would prove to be annoying, but as the show went on, she became incredibly endearing. At its core, The Day I Became a God is about friendship and the bonds people build together over time. Because of this, and like Maeda and Na-Ga’s previous series, The Day I Became a God will leave you in tears by the end.
The secondary cast is mostly quite standard for a slice-of-life series, but there are quite a few characters that stand out. Possibly the second-most fulfilling arc of the show belongs to Yota’s love interest, Kyoko Izanami. Kyoko lost her mother when she was young, and her family never quite recovered. This is displayed by how energetic and lively Kyoko was when she and Yota were younger compared to how silent and unemotional she acts in the present. Seeing her slowly come out of her shell due to her friendship with Yota and Hina is so satisfying.
P.A. Works’ animation for the Day I Became a God is rather simple for the most part. However, they excel at portraying character through motion and Hina is absolutely the best example of this. She is incredibly flamboyant and always moving, often causing a commotion wherever she goes. Hina has a distinct presence whenever she is on screen, and without her the show feels empty, much like how the characters feel without her as well. However, P.A. Works is easily at their best when dealing with the most emotional scenes of the show. Coupled with the voice acting, the heart-wrenching visuals made sure to drag those tears out of my eyes.
Speaking of voice acting, The Day I Became a God‘s English dub is fantastic, as should be expected since both Clifford Chapin (Dr. Stone, My Hero Academia) and Caitlin Glass (Fruits Basket, Appare-Ranman!) served as the ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) directors for it. The two stars of the show were easily Dani Chambers (Hina) and Mark Allen Jr. (Yota) who brought so much emotion to their roles over the course of the series, especially in the last three episodes. Most of the secondary cast was exceptional as well, including Tabitha Ray as Kyoko, Justin Cook as Yota’s best friend Ashura Kokuho and Sarah Roach as Kako Tengan, a famous lawyer who somehow becomes friends with Yota through a love of mahjong. However, probably the most underrated performance from the show comes from Dallas Reid as Hiroto Suzuki, who has some of the best line delivery in the dub.
The Day I Became a God started slow at first with episodic adventures, but it slowly crafted one of the best new anime to come out of 2020. I don’t remember the last time a show’s finale made me cry so much. If you find the first couple episodes to be challenging to get through, just stick with it. I promise it will be worth it in the end. You can watch all 12 episodes subbed and dubbed on Funimation.