The world has changed. Hundreds of millions have died, semi-conductors no longer function, and the sky is no longer blue, but a shimmering mirror, vaguely reflecting the world below when not veiled in clouds.

The protagonists are Tatsuya and Kiyoko Madoka, the children of the man who triggered the terrible event, Terumich Madoka, the most brilliant of the massive team of scientists tasked with investigating paranormal phenomena uncovered at the tomb of the historical Gilgamesh. By some odd chance, his name in kanji, when read as Chinese is Enkidu, the beast-man who brought Gilgamesh strife, true friendship, and enduring grief in mankind's oldest story.

Tatsuya and Kiyoko are soon swept up into a deadly tripartite war between two groups of youths with paranoral powers, one faction, named by themselves, or others, the Gilgamesh, apparently not human, serving their father (or at least his vision); another fighting under the direction of the beautiful and engimatic Countess Werdenberg; and throngs of armored minions of the government-backed Mitleid Corporation, under the command of its chairman's adopted son and director of security, Hayato Kazmatsuri.

Poigniant memories of brief happy times in the siblings effectively half-orphaned, half-abandoned childhood intersperse with battles, some realistic, most the tiresome psychic blast style; the equally poigninant attempts of the Countess Werdenberg to organize a semblance of normal life; and the gradual unfolding of how the characters' lives are entwined with the cataclysm.

Dark in story and palette. The animation is beautiful, though the impression that every character uses very stiff hairspray detracts a bit. The music, alas, other than the end-title theme doesn't carry the series--the opening title doesn't fit, and except for the used within the plot of the old protestant stand-by "Shall we gather at the river", the incidental music is sterotypic. The subtitles have translations bad enough that even the unschooled anime otaku will notice jarring misrenderings like substituting the proper name "Kiyoko for "onee-san".

Parental warnings on this one: lots of violence, some realistic, some magical; implied sexuality.

Ratings (out of 5, 1 being worst, 5 being best)

Plot 3.9
Voice-Acting (original)4.0

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