"This world is already full. That world is reaching its limits. Ah, I failed." Those were the only words left behind fifteen years ago.
Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi (Sunday Without God) is a series of light novels written by Irie Kimihito and illustrated by Shino. The series tells about a young girl called Ai, who lives in a world which God abandoned 15 years ago. Because of this, new humans are no longer born and the dead can no longer die. Only the mysterious people known as "gravekeepers" are able to give peace to the dead. Ai, who is half-gravekeeper and half-human, works as the gravekeeper of her own village, despite her young age of twelve.However, Ai's life changes drastically when a man who introduces himself as Hampnie Hambart, the "Man-eating Toy," arrives in her village and slaughters everyone in the village - although he's unable to do so properly, as he is not a gravekeeper. After helping them to find peace, Ai decides to follow the man in his travels, believing him to be her long-lost father and wanting to discover the truth behind his actions. And so their journey begins...The first book was published January 20th, 2010, and the series is completed at nine volumes. A manga adaption began November 9th, 2010, and the first three volumes adapt the first novel while the fourth and final volume consists of extra stories expanding on the characters' backstories and personalities. The series has also been greenlit as an anime, which aired in the summer of 2013, and it adapts the first five novels.Check out the characters page here.
The series contains examples of:
A Glitch in the Matrix: Ai pulls this off in Class 3-4, which allows her to find a hidden note left by a previous iteration of Alice.
Absurdly Youthful Father: Julie is about 32-33 according to Hampnie, which means he was only 17-18 when his daughter was born.
Ambiguous Time Period: While the world does appear similar to the real world, it's hard to say when this series takes place. Most of the fashions are fairly contemporary, but with a fantastical flair, so that makes it harder to pin down the exact era. For technology, characters use varying styles of guns and rifles, cars are still around even if they don't look to be very common, and an electronic scoreboard is shown in a flashback. However, no computers, televisions, or cellphones are shown (in fact, Julie has to use a payphone in one episode).
AntiHeroic Albino: Hampnie Hambart. He does suffer from other physical conditions that come with albinism, such as sensitivity to sun and kidney problems (which would indicate that he has a rarer form of albinism), but since he has Resurrective Immortality, those things aren't that much of an issue to him anymore.
Artificial Human: Kiriko Zubreska is this, having been made from different parts that belonged to five different people.
Back from the Dead: Played with. The "Alice" who died before Class 3-4's "Groundhog Day" Loop started is still dead, but once Ostia's seal begins to break, Ai wishes for Alice to live, so the "Alice" that lived through all those loops is able to exist in the outside world thanks to Ai's wish.
Due to his poor health, Hampnie wished for Resurrective Immortality. Later he realized that meant he could be left as the last living human being in the world.
Kiriko relates a story about five people who wanted to have a child. They met a witch who told them that they didn't really want to have a child with all their hearts, but she fulfilled their wish anyway by taking their body parts and making a new person with them. That person was Kiriko.
Blessed with Suck: Hampnie and Alice feel this way about having had their wishes granted. On the other hand, the students of Goran Academy's Class Q seem fine with their special abilities.
Bloodier and Gorier: The manga compared to the anime. The artist seems to take great pleasure in depicting Hampnie's many deaths, and Hiko's torture of him is considerably more graphic.
Boarding School of Horrors: Goran Academy. Children with special abilities are kidnapped by the staff and aren't allowed to leave, and the teachers don't care too much about their students' well-being.
Bonus Episode: The final BD/DVD has a bonus 13th episode called "Memories," and it's divided into three parts. Part 1 shows the characters at a hot spring, Part 2 focuses on Alice's encounter with Hampnie prior to the beginning of the series, and Part 3 reveals how Hampnie first met Hana.
Break the Cutie: The first arc focuses on this. Take our young orphan protagonist, make her lose her foster parents and everyone else she knew, and finally, make her lose the father she had just met and force her to bury them all. No wonder poor Ai, who was used to digging graves for people, finally breaks down crying after burying her father.
Brick Joke: Early on, Hampnie calls schools "facilities where society quarantines the troublesome children by age." Come episode 7, Ai is completely unfazed after being kidnapped and forced into Goran Academy. She even has a flashback about that particular scene.
Came Back Wrong: Essentially everyone in the entire world once they die. Even though they are able to continue to live on after dying, their bodies will still decay. This will eventually cause their reasoning to deteriorate, which in turn causes them to become self-centered to dangerous levels.
Clock Tower: Goran Academy has one, and it's where Ai meets Alice after being unknowingly compelled by Dee.
Compelling Voice: Dee has a low level version of this. Basically she can give you an idea and make you think it was your own.
Cool Guns / Revolvers Are Just Better: The anime takes great care in depicting the characters' guns, and revolvers particularly so, as Hampnie, Julie, and Goran headmistress Mageta each use varying styles. For the specifics:
Crapsack World: God has abandoned humanity, and the world is beset by a sneaky Zombie Apocalypse in which many of the zombies look and act just like living humans. If you're mortally wounded, you're merely immobilized until a gravekeeper gets around to burying you. And immortal psychos can appear out of nowhere and go Wild West on your defenseless village.
Cute Ghost Girl / Our Ghosts Are Different: Dee Ensy Stratmitos. Quite different, as it's revealed that she's not even dead. The reason she appears as a ghost outside Ostia is because she's alive and thus can't actually leave the sealed city.
Alice. Initially it was believed that Dee had died, but later it's revealed that Alice saved her from falling out a window and died in the process. The fact he's actually dead is why he can have a physical body while outside Ostia, as unlike Dee, he isn't bound by the seal over the city.
Deadly Gaze: Ulla's eyes (and voice) can kill the living.
Death Seeker: Hampnie dreaded becoming the last true human left in the world, and thus wanted to be Killed Off for Real lest he end up becoming nothing more but a walking corpse. That said, he later explained that he doesn't just want to die, he wants to have a good death in the company of his loved ones - and that is exactly what happens when he finally dies for real. (Well, he becomes an undead first, and spends a day with Ai. Then he dies for real.)
Decoy Protagonist: Or Deuteragonist, in this case. It seems like the story will be about Ai and Hampnie traveling through the world - but then Hampnie dies at the end of Episode 3, at the end of the Valley of Death arc.
Disability Superpower: Tanya from Goran Academy has this ability, which manifests as an odd sort of synesthesia.
Disappeared Dad: Ai's father left before she was born. She believes that a man who introduces himself as "Hampnie Hambart" is her father, which he constantly denies. She's right.
Easily Forgiven: About one day after Hampnie murders everyone Ai knows, and before he gives her much justification for this (other than her seeing him refusing to duel Julie), she's willingly traveling around with him and denying his self-allegations of being a monster. Of course, it's not like she has much choice if she wants to learn the truth about her village. Oddly enough, this trope is played with in episode 9 when she sees hallucinations of her mother and father, she starts screaming to her mother that Hampnie destroyed her dream of creating Heaven, implying that Ai is still somewhat resentful toward him.
Emotionless Girl: Most gravekeepers (of both genders), particularly Scar, though averted with Ai, due to her half-human nature and having an actual personality.
Stepford Smiler: Scar at least is always smiling, but it's out of politeness. Essentially, gravekeepers are living automatons - they're nice and helpful, but they don't actually feel anything.
As it turns out, gravekeepers can learn to develop emotions. This happened to Ai's mother and later happens to Scar herself.
Everybody's Dead, Dave: In the first episode, foreshadowed by Ai prematurely digging graves for every single townsperson.
Eye Scream: In the manga, Hiko rips out Hampnie's eye while torturing him.
Failed a Spot Check: Ai and Julie fix up a van and drive off in it, but fail to notice a person sleeping in the backseat until Scar mentions him well into the drive.
Fantastic Racism: Hampnie shamelessly murders the undead, who may or may not be otherwise perfectly normal and innocent, because they give him the heebie-jeebies and he believes they should die and stay dead. At least he follows his rule to the end after he dies for good.
First Episode Spoiler: Hampnie attacks Ai's status as a gravekeeper, revealing that she is human (or part-human, as is later clarified).
Foreshadowing: In the first episode, Ai complains that her adoptive mother Anna smells bad (which Anna blames on her perfume), and some of the villagers have strange mannerisms and appearances. Turns out they were Dead All Along.
Forgotten First Meeting: In the second part of the bonus episode, Alice encounters Hampnie, and he's surprised when Hampnie says this isn't their first meeting. Their conversation about immortality and death implies the reason Alice doesn't remember it is because Hampnie had killed him, and he lost that memory when his death was "reset."
Gender-Blender Name: Julie and Alice are both obviously male, but their names easily confuse new viewers since both are female names in English, and this confusion leads to the Spell My Name with an "S" situation listed below.
Gone Horribly Right: The stated reason for "God" leaving the world to a Zombie Apocalypse—after the not-quite-biblical Sabbath (actually in the 21st century), he realized that he made his world a little too full of life. Apparently unable to do anything more about it, he leaves humanity, taking death with him. This is presumably metaphorical, but the traditionally Japanese and rather literal treatment of the divine is evident. Most characters in story seem to be somewhat monotheistic of the Christian variety, though. Regardless, the story introduces the series and sets the tone.
Half-Human Hybrid: Ai is half-human, half-gravekeeper. This explains both her differing personality compared to other gravekeepers, and the fact that she is twelve years old in a world where there hasn't been a human born for fifteen years.
Have You Seen My God?: It has been fifteen years since God seemingly abandoned the world. The reason for this is as of yet unknown, although the possibility is raised that the idea of God abandoning the world is just a story.
Improbable Aiming Skills: Alice's special ability, "Buzzer Beater." It allows him to hit any target with perfect accuracy.
Insistent Terminology: Hampnie insists that he didn't kill all the people in Ai's village. Instead, he claims he immobilized them. As it turns out, he's right - they were Dead All Along.
Just Before the End: Ai and her companions pretty much inhabit a dying world - with no new humans being born, the world's population has shrunk considerably, and even the most well-preserved of the deceased will eventually rot away to almost nothing, leaving them no choice but to be buried by gravekeepers, and once all human beings are dead and buried there'll no longer be a need for gravekeepers.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Ai's last name Astin isn't given until several episodes in, but character bios (even the one on the official site!) don't bother hiding it. Granted, it's only a spoiler if you know that Hampnie's real name is Kizuna Astin.
Love Makes You Evil: Dee truly loves Alice... which is why she doesn't want him to break the curse of Class 3-4. In fact, she wants to ruin the outside world so he'll have no choice but to stay. It's later revealed that she doesn't want Alice to disappear because he's really the one who died, not her.
Luke, You Are My Father: Played with. Ai was told by her mother that her father was a man named "Hampnie Hambart". When a man who goes by that name enters her village, Ai immediately claims him as her father. The man later explains to Ai that "Hampnie Hambart" is just a name he took from a fairy tale, and he raises the possibility that Ai's mother was lying to her about her father's identity. It's eventually revealed that the man really is her father.
The Magic Comes Back: Hampnie claims that when God abandoned the world everyone gained the power to make their wishes come true. It later appears that most of the supernatural happenings are the result of people's wishes.
Meaningful Name: In-universe, "Hampnie Hambart" was the brand name of a doll that kept working once it broke. The Hampnie we meet took his name from it and when he discusses this with Ai he points out that her mother could have just taken the name from the same fairytale.
Mood Whiplash: Ai's first meeting with Hampnie is full of silly dialog; it's practically a Meet Cute, complete with accidental collision. Immediately after this, Hampnie reveals that he killed (almost) everyone, and a dramatic fight scene ensues.
Moral Event Horizon: invoked In-universe, Alice thinks he's crossed it when he killed his fellow classmates. It doesn't matter to him that it was a "Groundhog Day" Loop, he still killed them. Similarly, Dee feels this way about killing Alice in one iteration of the loop.
The Necrocracy: Ortus is a city of the dead. They accept immigrants, but the living ones have to die first. Immigrant children remain alive until they turn fifteen, at which point they're given the choice to either leave the city or stay and become undead.
Noble Demon: Hampnie unapologetically massacres Ai's village and is very cruel, but he also answers all her questions and requests her services as a gravekeeper for his victims, and assists her with her duties while she is unconscious.
Nonchalant Dodge: Hampnie easily avoids Ai's not-quite-clumsy strikes with her shovel when they first meet.
Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation: In episode 2, Julie looks at a photograph of himself with his wife and daughter, a blonde woman (Ai's mother Alfa), and a fifth figure just out of focus. Later, the whole photograph is shown, revealing Hampnie, and Ai realizes that his lover Hana is Alfa, and that he really is her father.
Real Place Background: During the first arc the anime prominently displays the Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct located in France, although it looks that by the time the series begins, the Gardon River has dried up. (Note that this is only true of the anime, as neither the light novel nor manga reference or show this.)
Reality Warper: In the second episode, Hampnie suggests that everyone became one when God abandoned the world. He believes that humans became immortal because they didn't want to die, and that the gravekeepers were created when humans started wanting to die. This is confirmed in later episodes.
Red Herring: The series initially leads you to believe that Dee is dead, and she even tells Ai that she doesn't want Alice to know she died. Turns out she was lying, as Alice was really the one who died, and she believed that he could only continue to live inside the loop.
Resurrective Immortality: Hampnie Hambart is a subject of this type of immortality, as opposed to turning into an undead like everybody else. Despite calling himself a monster because of it, he also finds it very convenient, as he heals every time he comes back.
Trauma-Induced Amnesia: However, if he suffers extreme trauma before dying, he'll lose his memories of his death.
The Reveal: Episode 3: When Ai is shown a picture of Hana, the woman Hampnie is looking for, she realizes that Hana is actually her mother Alfa and that Hampnie really is her father. Later on, Ai realizes that the people in her village were Dead All Along.
Episodes 5 and 6: Ulla is the Idol of Murder, and that she is the only person alive in the city of Ortus.
Episode 12: Alice was the one who died, not Dee, and his death was the catalyst for Class 3-4 locking themselves in a "Groundhog Day" Loop.
Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Played with. Thanks to having left the sealed city, Alice and Dee are more aware of the "Groundhog Day" Loop Class 3-4 is trapped in than the other students are, but within the seal their memories are still not entirely reliable, and the seal only breaks when Alice is able to remember the entire truth.
Saving the World: Ai's goal. Part of her journey involves figuring what exactly it means to save the world.
Scenery Porn: The anime has some amazingly beautiful background art. Then again, it's animated by Mad House, so it's to be expected.
Ship Tease: Between Ai and Alice, and Julie and Scar.
Sibling Yin-Yang: Ulla received her power from her mother's dying wish to kill all humans. Her twin sister Celica rejected the wish and became a baby frozen in time until Scar came for her.
Society of Immortals: No one in the entire world can truly die. Killing them only makes them an undead which will slowly decay, unless they are buried by a gravekeeper.
Spell My Name with an "S": Is it Julie or Yuri, Alis or Alice? The official subtitles use Julie and Alis, although for the latter his name is shown as "Alice Color" in episodes 11 and 12. Because Alice is usually a girl's name, that's likely why his name was initially spelled as "Alis" before the official spelling was shown on-screen. Julie's name is even more confusing; it's often romanized as "Yuri," but the way it's spelled in katakana doesn't match up to how the Russian male name is traditionally rendered in Japanese - see the character page for more details. (That, and for many viewers yuri often refers to something completelydifferent.)
The Stinger: After the credits of the final episode, we see Ai standing in front of Alice's grave, and then Alice walks up next to her, revealing that Ai had wished for him to continue living.
Story Arc: The anime adapts the first five novels, which can be divided into five arcs: the Valley of Death arc (first novel, episodes 1-3), the Ortus arc (second novel, episodes 4-6), the Goran Academy arc (third novel, episodes 7-8), the Story Circle arc (fourth novel, episode 9), and the Class 3-4 arc (fifth novel, episodes 10-12).
Suicide by Cop: When he's attacked by Julie, Hampnie claims that Julie is trying to do this.
Surprisingly Happy Ending: See The Stinger. At first the series seems like it'll end with Alice dying for good, but then it's revealed that Ai managed to wish for his continued existence in the outside world.
Tender Tears: What happens to poor little Ai at the end of the Valley of Death arc after she had to bury Hampnie, the father she met a short while ago but never fully recognized until his dying breath.
Token Mini-Moe: Ai, by virtue of being the youngest person alive at 12 years old — an anomaly in a world where no live births have been recorded for the last fifteen years.
Town with a Dark Secret: The residents of Ai's village are actually deceased, and they've kept it a secret from Ai for her entire life.
We Used to Be Friends: Hampnie and Julie. The two of them were childhood friends, but then Hampnie "killed" Julie's wife. Eventually, Julie tracked down Hampnie to get revenge... or to die trying, as Hampnie suggests. Interestingly, Hampnie still thinks Julie is his friend. Julie later decides to help rescue Hampnie when he's captured. Ironically, his presence contributes to Hampnie getting the death he wanted, which ends his immortality.
Episode 8: Julie telling Ai that Scar abandoned Celica.
Episode 10: Alice telling the others that Dee is his enemy.
What Is This Feeling?: After adopting Celica, Scar experiences new emotions, which leads to an identity crisis, she and runs away to where gravekeepers are "born." After Julie promises to care for her and Celica (which Ai and Alice think sounds like a proposal), Scar rejoins the group, having become human.
The anime uses French and shows the Pont du Gard, but the light novels and manga don't.
The light novels do provide coordinates for Ortus, but using a made-up system.
Ostia is the name of a region in Italy (the anime uses the French spelling of "Ostie"), and the church the characters briefly visit at the beginning of the Class 3-4 arc (which is the same one shown in the opening) seems to be based on Saint Peter's Basilica.
Hampnie's nickname for Julie, "Tiger of Koto," is spelled in kanji in the original (江東の虎), suggesting a connection to the Japanese city of Koto, but it's never elaborated on.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Dee, although she hasn't actually destroyed the world. She certainly wants to though, so that Alice won't try to leave and she can be with him forever, as she believes he can only exist as long as the seal over Ostia does because he's actually dead. Like Alice, she also feels that she crossed her own Moral Event Horizon when she killed Alice once during one of the loops.
Zombie Apocalypse: Around the time people refer to as "God abandoning Earth" and humans stopped dying, the "half-dead fever" sprouted up, rendering people straight into zombies. Hampnie says that there was a horde of about 200,000,000 of them at one time, though it's not clear how far the situation escalated.