God abandoned the world on a Sunday, closing the gates to Heaven as there was no more room left. Now, humanity has been granted its wish for immortality, but at a price. No one could give birth anymore, and if they were to die, they would simply come back to life as they were. Soon afterwards, God sent special individuals known as Gravekeepers to the world, the only ones who had the power to properly lay the living dead to rest. This is the premise of the anime Sunday Without God, which began as a light novel series written by Kimihito Irie. There’s also a manga adaptation in the Monthly Dragon Age magazine, and a drama CD by Marine Entertainment. As for the anime itself, it’s produced by Madhouse and directed by Yuji Kumazawa.
The story follows a 12-year-old girl named Ai who became a Gravekeeper shortly after her mother’s death. One day, however, a man who went by the name Hampnie Hambart arrived in the village she was in, killing every single one of the villagers except for her. After a series of events, Ai buries the dead, fulfilling her duty as a Gravekeeper before embarking on her travels with the mysterious man.
The story in itself begins fairly slowly as the events preceding the current story’s time period are often discussed, but there are short bursts of action to help move the story along. Character development is fairly constant and well-done; Ai is your typical 12-year-old girl while Hampnie Hambart plays the role of a tormented killer on a quest to find a woman named Hana. Nevertheless, the characters can grow on you over time, though it may seem to slow and drawn out at times.
With that said, the story in itself is intriguing, and not something that you would normally find. God abandoned the world because Heaven became overcrowded, so those that were still remaining on Earth would be granted immortality, but their bodies would not regenerate from a fatal blow. Those longing to die would not be able to find rest, and this in itself brings some sort of emotional component towards the dead. If anyone has watched The Walking Dead, the portrayal of the dead is rather similar: the dead are individuals too guided by a certain goal. For The Walking Dead, the dead’s goals were (obviously) to dine on brains and flesh, while the dead in Sunday Without God are simply living to live.
If anyone’s been looking for a smooth, relaxing anime with a compelling story, then Sunday Without God has you covered. Surprisingly, there aren’t too many religious tones in the story yet, with the only reference being the premise that God had abandoned the world on a Sunday. It’ll be interesting to see Ai go on her journey, determined to fulfill her duty as a Gravekeeper until the very end. It’s light, humorous, and an emotional tale worth watching after it takes off from its slow beginning.