Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rokka no Yuusha review

At first glance, I was convinced that this would be another adventure themed anime featuring heroes defeating the bad guys and ultimately saving the world. But to my surprise, it's not. It does shows a lot of promises when the theme suddenly changed halfway. However, this anime is too ambitious for its own good and fail to execute the story properly. Ultimately, this anime serve nothing more than a way to promote the source material.

When the Demon God awakens from the depths of darkness, the Goddess of Fate selects six heroes and bequeaths them with the power to save the world. Adlet, a boy who proclaims himself the strongest man in the world, has been selected among "The Heroes of the Six Flowers." However, as the heroes gather, they soon begin to suspect that someone among them is an impostor, as this time, there are seven of them. (Source: ANN, edited)

Throughout the first episode, the anime tell us about the world setting, and how the protagonist are later chosen to be one of the six heroes. He then venture to find the other remaining heroes, which in a sense should be a very straightforward plot. Surprisingly, this show suddenly turned into a detective-mystery anime halfway through, which in paper seems like a wonderful idea. As more and more heroes shows up, tension build up and the investigation part commence. Heroes start blaming each other, and try to find a way to escape from the situation. The thing about mystery anime is that you can feel the sense of realism in a way you could imagine someone replicating it in real life. In a fantasy anime however, the challenges is to keep realism from mixing up too much with magic. This anime somehow manages to keep it simple in the beginning, but as more and more stuff comes out, the magical elements get out of hand and fails to keep the balance intact. This inevitably takes away the element that makes up detective anime great; the sense of trying to figure out yourself what happened and who is the culprit behind the said incident. There is no room for characters development to make way for the story, which dragged way too long with useless banter and forced emotional train wreck.Towards the end, the story fails to satisfy with predictable cliche, leading towards an incomplete, half-baked finale. Heck, the story would be even better if most part in the end is being cut down.

The anime feature seven main casts; six heroes and one fake. For an adventure anime that features a moderate amount of characters , you would expect that the character development go on with not much problem. However, this anime focuses too much on the mystery part, and fails to tell the backstory of almost all of the characters. Aside from two or three cast, the rest serve mostly as a plot device, which is a real shame considering they have interesting personalities. The main character, Adlet, is your average happy go lucky guy with an interesting way to fight, calling himself the strongest man in the world. He is cunning at time, yet aside for that he is average at most. His relationship with other characters play a huge role in the story progression, yet this sort of development couldn’t be spared for all six other members of the group and actually go some distance towards making the mystery more engaging. The other characters are also interesting in their design and personalities, but to avoid it from becoming a spoiler I'll avoid discussing about them. It's enough to say that each of them have different personalities that bring dynamic to the story, but given the lack of development there is little connection between each of them.

The art and animation are decent, but average to say the least. The anime features a promising setting with potentially beautiful fantasy background, but got butchered halfway by making all the characters stuck in one place. Viewers are forced to see the same place over and over again as the variety in environment get lost. The characters design are nice and diverse in their own way as mentioned previously, and the animation are mostly limited to the character facial expression and gestures as they try to interact with each other. The music are nice, with decent OP and spectacular ED; showing several different ED songs to fit in with the mood of the story. The OST are alright for the most part.

Rokka no Yuusha threads this bizarre line between being an action and a mystery show and fails at succeeding in either genre. Tension in fights does not exist because the show does not give the viewer to understand the development for majority of the cast. It makes the show very difficult to recommend. If you’re after a satisfying mystery, forget it. If you’re after little action, perhaps. Otherwise, there are better alternative for both mystery and fantasy anime elsewhere.

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