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Anime / Kagewani

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Professor Banba seems to be confident to stand in front of those UMAs.
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Kagewani (影鰐, which means Shadow Crocodile in English) is anime series that aired as part of the Fall 2015 Anime lineup on October 2, 2015 and in the Spring 2016 Anime lineup on April 1, 2016, which consists of anime shorts. It aired as part of the Ultra Super Anime Time block on Tokyo MX and BS11. Crunchyroll is exclusively airing it for English-speaking countries. The show is directed by Tomoyo Takashima with the scripts written by Hiromu Kumamoto.

The show takes place in the present day where cryptids, also known as Unidentified Mysterious Animals, have begun to attack - and sometimes kill - civilians for no discernible reason. Scientist and university professor Sousuke Banba investigates these mysterious attacks. This is usually a problem for him since it means ditching his university job to hunt down the cryptids and investigate what happened.

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Kagewani contains the following examples:

  • Action Survivor: Mika Kuroda throughout "Hyouga" after her mountaineering crew was massacred. She was able to deduce that the UMA hunting her uses heat vision.
  • Bittersweet Ending: At the end of "Hyouga", Mika is saved by a SAR team from the mountain summit and is in a hospital, recovering from hypothermia. But her father was confirmed to be dead and his corpse is still in the mountains.
  • Bland-Name Product: TomTube standing in for Youtube.
  • Chain-Link Fence: The first episode ("Doba") centers on a camera crew that got pass through a restricted zone that led to a lake due to a hole in the fence.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The accidental use of the submersible's sonar device in "Shin'en" allowed Banba to create a plan in which the man piloting it uses the device to drive the UMA away from it.
    • The UMA's weakness to sound vibration made on the ground in "Setsuki" enabled the teacher to help the students get to high ground.
  • Cryptid Episode: The episode format for the show. Specifically in the Monster of the Week form.
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  • Expy: All the UMAs are based on well-known cryptids.
  • Fake Video Camera View: "Doba" has Takeru doing this while doing a video for his faux documentary show on TomTube by holding the video camera in front of him.
  • Faux Documentary: What Takeru tried to do in "Doba" to make a documentary that claims an encounter with a cryptid. Too bad he didn't expect a real cryptid to kill him and his crew.
  • Forbidden Zone: The chain link fence at the end of "Doba" shows yellow caution tapes torn up, which suggest that explorers have ignored the warnings to not go inside the forest.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Most of the cryptid attacks on civilians are not fully depicted on screen.
  • Hope Spot: Takeru thinks that he got away from the cryptid in "Doba". But when he sees a reflection of himself on the lake, he catches sight of the cryptid sneaking up on him with its mouth open.
    • Near the end of "Hyouga", Mika finds the music box she gave to her father. She later finds out that it was a bit damaged and her father had died from the UMA attack.
    • Near the end of "Camouflage", Banba was able to get Saori out of the tunnel. He realized that the UMA had masqueraded as his wife and survived the air strike.
  • Idiot Ball: Takeru still tries to capture cryptid footage with his life on the line.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Takeru realizes that something was wrong after he noted that he didn't hear from his two crew members after they got killed by a cryptid.
    • Mika finds that her camp is a bit quiet in the morning after the UMA kills everyone in its heat vision thanks to their kerosene lamps.
  • Mega-Corp: Sarugaku is apparently an influential company that it can afford to raise mercenary teams and a fighter plane sent in to destroy a UMA-infested tunnel in "Camouflage".
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The show plays this trope by showing that nothing was probably there at first until the cryptid chooses to reveal itself.
  • Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: The main theme of the show. The episodes will show off a very different cryptid for Banba to investigate.
  • Real After All: Each episode ends with the revelation that a cryptid attack did happen and they are real.
  • Scaling the Summit: "Hyouga" centers on a group of mountaineers climbing up a summit led by Mika Kuroda. She was leading the team to locate her missing father when the team got attacked by a cryptid. She was the only survivor rescued by SAR parties.
  • Too Dumb to Live: A camera crew gets massacred by a cryptid in the middle of "Doba" when they were making a faux documentary on a monster that supposedly lives in a lake. The crew gets hunted down. Takeru, the documentary host, still wants to film the cryptid despite putting himself at risk.
  • Urban Legends: Centers on investigating whether attacks on civilians were made by cryptids or not.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In "Return", Banba is invited to analyze the X-ray of the UMA in custody. Banba is in shock when he finds out that a human skeleton is fused with its remains, suggesting that the UMA was once human.
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