Anime Meta-Review


Senkaiden Houshin Engi


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-4
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • genre: magic_war
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Sun Sep 24 14:06:39 EST 2000
  • mod: none

This anime is based on a famous Chinese legend, which is probably plenty strange to start with, heavily adapted for manga and anime style, which leaves you with a pretty weird product. The literal translation for the title being something along the lines of, `The story of sealing the gods'. It seems that long ago in almost china magic was a fairly common occurrence and many monks acheived impressive levels of magical power, called sennin in the series. Most of these sennin live in the skies, but a number of non human sennin (originally animals, now in human form) seem to have come to dominate the human world for their own amusement and pleasure. The monks of the holy mount konron decide to act, giving one of their own the mission of defeating a list of 356 monster sennin and sealing them in a floating mountain. Having gone to all this effort, like building a flying mountain, it is strange that they couldn't find someone better than the somewhat undisciplined, lazy, excitable lesser sennin they give the mission to. He's not thrilled about it either, and after getting beaten by the first name on the list he's decided that finding some powerful help is the first step. Meanwhile the politics of the now corrupt human empire continues to degrade under the domination of the beast sennin.

What this really means is that the magical power level is very high and there's a lot of impressive anime fights for us to watch. While there is the political angle, which is pretty serious and gloomy, our hero really only sees it as background. Very minor background indeed considering that most of the major characters spend most of their time flying. Our hero has sufficient power that he's not involved in `mundane' life and doesn't take the mission too seriously. Indeed even when he's fighting the tone is fairly light and there is quite a lot of humor, which admittedly is occasionally quite entertaining. The fighting is enhanced through the existence of Paopei, which are potent magical weapons. Thus there can be an endless succession of powerful beast-sennin opponents with novel and dangerous paopei to keep the combats interesting. In addition most characters have `flying beasts' as well, although these don't seem to have a combat role. Indeed the heroes flying mount, which is a strangely simple design, is largely the comedy relief. So if you like a good serve of high powered action with quite a lot of humor, against the background of a serious story, then you'll quite probably like this. It will be very interesting to see how the `political' and magical warrior elements, currently largely independant story threads, come together.

Certainly the production supports this dichotomy. While the setting is occasionally quite `historical' looking the production style is very modern. This is shown in the attitude and dialog of the lead, who feels very `modern teenager' and in the character design. This is supported by a lot of the technical design feeling very modern. This extends to the mechanics of the animation which is very bright and clean, showing a lot of evidence of computer assistance, although integration flaws are still visible. If this show remains true to genre I would expect a small group of about 5 potent fighters to gather, and provide much of the drama and interaction, as the fights become more serious. While there is some `swords and blood' action the main part of the action is combat via paopei with impressive energy and ranged attacks. Thus while the physical animation is not that impressive (indeed one character basically just levitates and fires off `missile' salvoes) the effects animation is pretty good. Voices and music are similarly fairly light but also quite competent.

This is pretty new, I think, so none of my regular sources have a review of this title yet.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:24 WST 2009