Part 2 of my review of the various and random anime shows I have watched this past week.
This is a… different anime. It kind of reminds me Record of Lodoss War, (note, I have since learned it is in fact linked with Lodoss, both geographically and in direction) which was basically the Japanese’s take on Dungeons and Dragons. Basically it is a fairly standard high fantasy, concerning a band of female adventurers. (A thief, a warrior, and a cleric) The find they have problems in dungeon delving because of magical locks and wards, so they decide to look for a magician to round out the party. Unfortunately they cannot find any female magicians willing to be an adventurer. In fact, the only magician they can find willing to go with them barely deserves the name. Louie is a barely competent mage much more likely to solve problems with his fists than magic, so much so that he breaks his wand in his very first adventure trying to use it like a club. The anime is much more focused on juvenile and sexual humor than adventuring and hero work, and as such it tends to get rather old. Thankfully it sticks to veiled nudity and innuendo, but still isn’t in very good taste, at least for me. The bumbling Louie is amusing, especially after the cleric is told in a vision (the interpretation of which is open to debate, especially by the cleric herself) that he is the champion she should dedicate her service to. Still, unless you are a huge fan of fantasy anime or humor knockoffs of D&D, I wouldn’t recommend this one.
This Ugly Yet Beautiful World:
I don’t know why my luck has been so bad recently in picking anime, but this is yet another overly sexual, juvenile anime. It may be that the library simply wasn’t buying them before, and someone has since changed their stance, since some of these have been released in the US for years yet are new to the library. Or maybe I should just start checking them out before I watch them. Sigh.
Anyway, I don’t rightly know what this one is ultimately about, since it is another of those that spends most of its run keeping the viewers in the dark as to what is really going on. All I know is it the series opens with a seemingly random monologue about how 99.9% of species end in extinction, before we meet a loser high school boy and his good natured friend. There are other school friends, and the loser’s parents, but really they are not important. On their way back from a delivery the two boys see a shooting star which turns out to be some weird form of light, buzzing them several times. They follow half of it to the forest where the find (what else) a naked girl in a tree. A monster worm attacks and for absolutely no apparent reason loser boy transforms into some bizarre flying creature, killing it. The sweet and innocent naked star girl’s voice changes, and she spouts some creepy things about the smell of death before finishing off the worm monster, none of which come into the next few episodes as they get the star girl settled into loser boy’s home. Meanwhile loser boy’s friend finds the other half of the ‘star’ an inexplicably younger girl with what appears to be a miniature black wizard from Final fantasy. (Except he’s brown and flies) None of this is explained, and everyone just accepts the space girls into their homes, barely batting an eyelash. (All their rage/jealously/envy is spent on loser boy for having ‘landed’ such a ‘hottie’) Again, I gave it a full disc and found myself just not caring in the slightest about any of the characters nor the mystery of where the girls came from and why there are there.
Darker Than Black:
This particular anime has some very intriguing elements, but feels a bit too cerebral for its own good, to the point that lengthy voiceover explanations are required from various characters. I’ve not yet decided if I like it or not, though I am leaning towards it favorably. What little I learned from the fist five episodes is that there was some sort of event ten years before the series opens, opening a rift of an entirely unexplained nature near Tokyo. This blocks out the sky, or at least the heavenly bodies, replaced by false stars. Each star represents a human with super-human abilities, called Contractors. They are so called because each time they use their powers (from pyrokinesis, manipulation of electricity, to freezing water and negating gravity) they must pay a price. This price they are compelled to pay, and is as varied as their abilities. The protagonist must eat massive amounts of food, another must break his own fingers, and one guy even has to eat dandelions. The downside to all these powers is a complete lack of emotions and morality. They are all sociopaths, killing without hesitation or remorse. The protagonist, the Black Reaper, whose powers involve electricity, is shown to be somewhat more merciful, but still willing to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. (Though it is entirely unclear who he works for or what their goals are) I have no idea where the series is going, nor any idea who the protagonist is or what his goals are, but it is certainly worth a further look.
Tomorrow, part 3: Princess Resurrection, the most wonderfully bizarre anime I have seen in years.
[tags]Rune Soldier, This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Darker Than Black, Anime[/tags]