Remember the First Impression post I made about this show, saying how similar this show is with other media such as The Last Of Us, Made in Abyss, Girls’ Last Tour, etc. It’s true but only on the surface. Heavenly Delusion cements itself as a unique story with its own twists & turns and possibly has invented a new storytelling format. And warning, if this is your first time hearing about this show, I suggest you go watch it first and then come thank me. Very rarely do I say that about a show, especially something obscure.
The Two Timelines
Heavenly Delusion or Tengoku Daimakyou follows 2 separate sets of main characters entirely away from each other. Anything other than some visual and verbal hints that are put subtly throughout, there is no real connection seen yet between the two. We don’t even know if both scenarios are in the same timeline. On one hand, there’s Kiruko & Maru set out into a post-apocalyptic world looking for a place called Heaven while doing jobs for people they meet. On another hand, Tokio & a bunch of kids living in a sort of orphanage/school facility where they have an abundance of resources to live comfortably in contrast to the world outside. The principal of that school states that the outside is hell as if implying that this closed-off area is heaven. But curiosity drives the kids into uncovering many things (including being horny) and something ghostly seems to guide them, a mystery that’s yet unsolved. What’s interesting is how the 2 timelines are put one after another. This isn’t random or awkwardly cut from one to another. There is something that binds the two. For example, Kiruko & Maru talked about heaven having lots of tomatoes and the next scene at the orphanage starts with tomatoes. If there’s a love story taking place then we will see that shortly in the counterpart. And it’s not just on the surface level. Many mysteries and foreshadowing are inserted all throughout just like this. When you pay attention and try to anticipate, it feels rewarding as if you’ve uncovered a mystery.
The Mystery of Heavenly Delusion
Unexpectedness is to be expected the entire time. Just when you think you’ve figured out the formula, you are rained down with shock & awe. That’s probably the best thing this show does. You can take a guess with multiple possibilities, but the outcome is always surprising. That’s just the entertainment factor. How it conveys the story is far more beautiful. Every place the duo passes through tells a distinct story. I’ve given an example here already in my First Impressions. While there are cruel heartbreaking moments, there are also moments of relief, care, and tear-jerking. Every side characters have a story to tell that takes over an entire episode and leaves the duo to contemplate. Even tertiary characters have some level of significance that contribute to the story and help out the main casts. “Plot twist” is yesterday’s word compared to how Heavenly Delusion shifts the mood, atmosphere, and entire scenarios. You can even notice the subtle changes via visual and audio cues. For example, the duo was exploring an abandoned building only to be trapped and frozen. At that time, the animation started to look like stop-motion or water pain animation and the point-of-view was like from someone outside the window. But just before that, they were hyped and unhinged due to the duo’s enthusiasm. The animation tells a lot about the story that’s entertaining and meaningful. Character design is another aspect that’s used effectively. How one looks, similarities with one another and their getup tells a lot about themselves. Another example is how much similar Tokio and Maru look even though the two seem to have never met. Character designs like Mimihime and Kuku’s even hint at the overall mystery.
About the Opening & Ending themes, I’ve touched on them as well, so check it out if you want to know about them. One thing I can say about them here is that they are unskippably fun to sit through and they even foreshadow a lot that hasn’t even been adapted into anime yet. The biggest mystery is the anime/manga itself. It came out of nowhere like a surprise just like the events taking place inside the story and blew all our minds.
I may already have said this but this is a must-watch. Might as well be anime of the year alongside Hell’s Paradise, on which we will definitely touch very soonTM. Heavenly Delusion/Tengoku Daimakyou might as well be a masterpiece. Sure it doesn’t have any deeper meaning, theme, or messages, but it does deliver a pretty great story. The animation, sound, visual/artistic approach, cinematics, and overall story & world-building, everything is to the point. Maybe I’m gasing this up and failing to notice any flaws but I guess you can tell me on that. There are also a lot of things that I didn’t take note of. We have a Telegram channel to chat on and a Discord server to crash on, so be there and let loose. I am totally on for the next season to come.
Thank you for reading. ~♡~