Anime Meta-Review


Peacock King : Spirit Warriors


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-2 of 2
  • type: OAV
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: magic_war
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Fri Dec 22 20:46:54 EST 2000
  • mod: none

Well, I thought a `peacock' king would be something decorative and a touch frivolous. Instead I received a dark fantasy piece, full of violence, horror and examples of why you don't mess with Asian religions. It's fairly good though.

The story is pretty familiar mind you. Beginning with an impressive shoot out that makes it clear various forces are playing hunt the relic around the globe. It looks like there's at least two religions involved plus the machine-gun wielding neo-nazi's. And while it's set in the modern world it's made fairly clear that, should someone collect all the needed pieces, things are going to get brutal and primitive in short order. We then get to meet two individuals, one a novice ghost hunter and the other the fiery young niece of the priest who is training him. They get a couple of moments conversation before the story attacks them.

Eventually it becomes clear that the boy, who remembers nothing of his own past, has a major part to play in whether the world enters a new age of darkness. Not only does he possess the capacity for immense power, but he must also learn the truth of his childhood. He must also face the true nature of other important figures from his childhood. Thus there are both human, supernatural and devine forces gathering for a rather flashy magical shoot-out to determine the fate of the world.

Like I said, it's definitely not that novel. It's also obvious that the flashy action and `cool' characters (lots of posing) are the true draw card of the series. However this story does win on a couple of important elements, which put it above other such mystic combat series. The first thing is that there are a suprising number of twists in such a short, action dominated, story...and some of them are rather nice. It also has a very strong sense of depth, there's lots of factions, characters, powers and miscelleaous detail which is actually supremely well done. A lot of the action seems to draw from details of Eastern faiths, and whether invented or derived, it's both interesting and cool. The final element that puts this up a definite notch is that there is a strong character element in the story and how the conclusion plays out. Even the actual legend of the Peacock King itself turns out to be a bit more complex and personality based than might have been expected. This leads up to a conclusions which is flashy and, while perhaps not satisfying, sort of fitting.

Even the fact that this is such a short series, which does compress the story quite a bit, is handled pretty well. You might get the feeling, given the amount of detail, that there's a lot of manga left uncovered, but this can't be seen as a negative of the anime itself. There's also a reasonable amount of fan service nudity and quite a lot of fairly graphic violence. In addition, if you're not into the concept of super-powered mystic combat, the staples of the genre could conceivably irritate. But, within the genre, this is fine stuff.

Certainly the production doesn't hurt it. It's got some very detailed artwork which looks very good indeed. This does mean that the physical action isn't as smooth as might be liked, and the complex coloring sometimes looks a bit muddy, but all in all it still looks very good. In addition the detailed appearance, combined with the strong sense of design, allows for some lovely `cool' shots and nice `magical' attacks. Mind you, a lot of the paraphenalia will mean nothing, but it still looks cool. Indeed some of the minor characters seems so interesting it's a shame they don't get more time. The voices are fine, and the background music is varied, fitting and interesting. This is solid production still worth a viewing.

Akemi's Anime-World has a review which doesn't actually say much but interestingly identifies the title as Peacock King : Spirit Warriors and suggests there is more to come.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:23 WST 2009