Studio: White Fox
Director: Kobayashi, Tomoki | Air Date: 07/07/2014 | End Date: 05/12/2014 | Overall: Above Average
Well good grief! many lauded this as the “game of thrones” in the anime world. And I wondered why. So upon viewing the series I found out exactly why it was lauded as the “game of thrones”.
The series follows our main male lead protagonist Tatsumi. Who is from a poor village. He wasn’t the only one to leave the poor village. He left with two other of his friends. Sayo and Ieyasu. All three got sepereated when bandits attacked them. The idea was; if they got seperated, they all would head towards the capital. The captial is massive. It has several districts that span a good amount of distance. Tatsumi had this granduer idea that he’d be joining the empires army and be making lots of money. However when he got there, things didn’t go as according to plan. He was ejected out of the recruitment office. From there a dejected Tatsumi was approached by a heavily busty woman who offers him a quicker way to join the army. But the way to do that is by giving up some gold. The busty woman takes off with the sack of gold. It soon turns out that Tatsumi was taken for a mug. So with no money and nowhere else to stay. Tatsumi was approached by a young lady who just happens to a be a noble’ daughter. Tatsumi felt that he was in luck and thought the family were really nice.
However, that all changed one night. The assassin group called Night raid appeared. And proceeded to slaughter the family. Leaving only Tatsumi as the sole survivor. However the families dirty secret was explosed to Tatsumi. With the secret exposed, this changed Tatsumi perspective about the empire as a whole, forever.
The anime certainly takes bold meassures in the subject content. And that would be; what constitutes as a grey moral area. The animes protagonists, the group called night raid. Kill people who they deem as corrupt and unethical. Now the people they kill certainly are corrupt, unethical and quite frankly unhumane. But does it warrant a vigiliante group to take matters in to their own hands?. The question asked; is righteous justice on the same level as common murder?. With a corrupt system I can understand why, as the perps will undoubtly be favoured and will be getting away with their crimes. Whilst the victims are even further punished – by the law and the criminals. But what does seperate righteous justice and common murder, from each other?. A thought provoking, deep question no doubt. Which will lead many people to think and debate on it. That is what I felt the series was trying to get across. But got lost somewhere.
Points of interest:
- The series didn’t know whether to be serious or comical. Despite it having dark under tones.
- Certain characters were killed off before any character development was made.
- The series differed from the manga.
- Certain arcs were omitted from the anime.
- Esdeath is an ice queen.
The main problem the series really had was in fact that they killed characters off in a very quick succession. You never got to know the characters well enough. Nor where they given time to develop either. That was the main complaint. I’ll dare say it even killed characters off for the sake of it. This was pretty evident in later episodes. Some of the characters deaths weren’t as emotional or dramatic – these were found in the manga. If anything it was watered down in the anime. This maybe due to the studios; time, budget or even legal reasons. But they really did take away the most important aspects of the characters deaths. And trivialised it in a generic way. Whilst in the manga, the death scenes were eventful and impactful. In the anime, they just became a number to the kill list.
The anime also veered away from the manga. I can understand that since the material was still on going and that it wasn’t finished. However, there were some arcs that anime couldn’t do because of the content. As it would have been too dark and the studio could have faced legal proceedings. But it is strange, since there are hentai shows that delvel in to much darker themes and the studios that made them are not hit by any legal proceddings. Maybe because they aren’t mainstream, is why they could get away with it.
The other issue was, the series didn’t know whether it was trying to be serious or comical. For every serious scene, there was a comical scene. But the comical scene kind of took away the impact of the serious scene. Rather than add to it.
The way the anime ended was a huge let down. It destroyed any chance of the anime being better than what it is. Which is a shame. The manga ironically enough is still on going. Which explains why the studio had ran out of material and self-inserted a non-cannon ending.
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