Tengoku Daimakyo 2023 / A mind-bending post-apocalyptic adventure anime that’s also a science fiction mystery


Mind-bending, intense, and mysterious, it’s hard to put Tengoku Daimakyo into words. The anime might be a post-apocalyptic adventure series where two teenagers fight against man-eating monsters, but it also happens to be a sci-fi-based contemplation of genetic experimentation, AI, and interventionism. The structure of the series is strange too, with its two seemingly unconnected parallel storylines. At the start, it’s unclear why the show alternates between a futuristic utopian boarding school and the monster-filled ruins of Japan. However, there’s something very compelling about the way this show unveils itself. When a question about the premise is answered, even more questions pop up. When the kids’ wishes and predictions get fulfilled, it’s never in the way they expect it would be. When the show drops an unexpected revelation, sometimes a rewatch of previous episodes is required to understand the weight of that scene. But once things click, the brilliance of the show is undeniable. Tengoku Daimakyo is strange but downright fascinating.

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