*if names are incorrect, I am using the spelling used in the subtitles. I am not familiar with Chinese name spelling/pronunciations*
Hitori no Shita is based off of a Chinese Manhwa, I think, based off of the names of the characters. The language spoken is Japanese, so I don’t know if this is a common occurrence or not, when Chinese source material becomes a Japanese anime.
Either way. Hitori no Shita is about Zombies, and those who hunt them. Zhang Chulan sets out to visit his grandfathers grave, only to be told that the whole cemetery has been vandalized and his grandfathers body stolen. A woman named Baobao claims to be the grandfathers granddaughter by a… sidechick of Zhang Yude, Chulans father. Well she’s a big fat liar. She had a fake ID and backstory created. She is a zombie hunter, or.. Jiangshi hunter. She has an accomplice who appeared late.
We meet the body snatchers at the end of the episode. It seems to be a 2 factions type of deal, with grandfather Zhang being some kind of treasure. Being the grandson of Zhang Xilin seemed to mean that Chulan had some kind of power or ability. When Baobao left him to be eaten by zombies she said “It’ll be fine” and when they went to check on him, the zombies were charred by what looked like electricity.
Later we see Chulan back at his university, all in one piece and not freaking out about being an Pikachu or some other electricity conducting creature.
Baobao created another ID, allowing her to enter the same college as Chulan, probably to recruit him to her side of whatever battle is going on.
As for the animation, there was a pronounced presence of crows, both alive, dead, extremely close and far away. One scene showed two crows eating one dead comrade. I don’t know if the crows are part of the 2 factions or if they just represent death in general. The anime was not very colorful, the greys and blacks and brown bringing a dreary feel to the village. Baobao resembled the girl from the Ring, all dressed in grey with long black hair. Her eyes were barely revealed, but when they were her eyes were beautiful.
The graveyard dirt looked off as well. When Chulan was being buried alive by Baobao and dirt was tossed on top of him, it looked as if it was a very different style and did not match Chulans art style, as if the dirt was photoshopped into the scene.
Chulans face was inconsistent as well, when he would look down his eyes would move up into his forehead. It was unnerving. His face was not the only one to change based on what angle they were looking. The police officer who found the graveyard was like this as well. When he was sitting down his face had a different structure than when he was standing.
When there was more than one character on the screen the details lessened considerably, and depending on how far the camera was, some characters lost their faces entirely. The characters who kept their faces didn’t change them often. Chulan was probably the most expressive character. The others, Baobao, her accomplice, and even the 2 body snatchers at the end held stony faces. One character even laughed but her mouth did not move or curl in any way. Without sound there would have been no evidence of a laugh.
The lips remaining the same was probably because of the reuse of frames. Her entire scene probably consisted of 2 frames, mouth open and mouth closed. Frames and cuts were reused frequently in this episode. In the night the grandfathers body was stolen there was a cut of a shovel being pushed into the earth twice. This is supposedly the body snatcher. The next night when Baobao is seen digging, the exact same cut of shovel was used, leading the viewer to think she was the original body snatcher.
As for the music, it did well to fit the overall feel of the anime. The music generally lasted in short bursts, cutting off when the character finished his monologue or that particular scene had ended. The sound effects were exaggerated a bit, mostly with the kicks and hits against the zombies. The zombies also made the standard zombie groans.
The plot doesn’t feel too original, zombies, opposing factions, recruit the kin of a magical person. Chulan is spazzy enough that he would be the comic relief in a group of doll-like people.