Anime Meta-Review




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Title Info

  • seen: 1-12
  • type: TV
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: magic_war
  • Series state: Will watch more at some time.
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

This series quickly informs you that this isn't the glorious romantic type of fantasy, or the humorously comical, but rather the dark, grim and blood-drenched type of fantasy. After the opening scene I was expecting a shallow, evil, hackfest but things rapidly improved. We follow an impressively strong, but still young and in-experienced, trainee bad-ass making a living as a mercenary. Thankfully he meets and is defeated by the enigmatic commander of a mercenary group (nominally on the other side) by which act he is forced to join the group, who contain an interesting assortment of characters. This allows for dialog, character development and a strong unifying story which greatly enhances the experience above what would have been possible with the `lone unbeatable bad-ass' approach.

Indeed we actually see him developing respect for the commander, see them meet and fight foes they cannot win against and watch as envy and politics begin to conspire against their success. The combat is ever-present, but since it plays a part in a continuing story and often includes tactical and covert planning is suprisingly fun. The action itself is generally simple, with tumbling bodies gouting blood, although some longer sequences do occur. There are various other mysteries, and judicious use of backstory allows us to slowly explore the character of the hero. Indeed the strong story and sense of character and atmosphere, as well as excellent pacing and firm direction, makes this perhaps one of the best and most believable fantasy series in anime.

The animation is competent and solid, but not very flashy, although the weapon, armor and location design is good. The writing is good, although many of the characters are fairly reserved in how much they speak and much is done through atmosphere or even body language. This anime was a very pleasant suprise, that said, if you don't like gruff warrior types and lots of battle scenes this won't do anything for you.

Incidentally R. Jameson e-mailed me to warn that the series comes to an extremely abrubt halt, rather than any sort of a conclusion. This can be fairly frustrating, since there's no sign of more on they way, so definitely worth a mention if you're considering a purchase.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:15 WST 2009