Posted by psgels on 8 September 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Wild Arms: one of Bee-Train’s lesser known series. Of course, anyone who even remotely knows this site probably knows that I’m a huge fan of said production-company, even though it’s after Gonzo the most hated producer out there. The same goes for Wild Arms: it seems that most of the reactions to this series were rather negative (shown by very low overall ratings on sites as AniDB, MyAnimeList and ANN), and yet I absolutely loved it.

Wild Arms is typical Bee-Train: it’s a travelling series, where the first half is spent on random unrelated stories, with a plot and character-development in the second half. It’s a solid set-up, and Bee-Trian has proven over and over that it works, despite the obvious disadvantages. If you hate fillers with the burning intensity of 1000 suns, then don’t even think about watching series, because there’s no overall plot whatsoever in that first half.

Still, both halves have their own advantages. The first half may not get anywhere in terms of plot progression, but the creators make the individual stories so much fun to watch, that this doesn’t really matter. You often see series struggle when they need a standalone story to fill one episode (with often a rather cheesy result), but the creators know exactly how to make such a thing work. The stories often centre on characters, whose actions are completely against any logical reasoning, and the fun is to see what drove them to these actions. Especially as the series goes on, the creators become bolder, and start to experiment with a number of hilarious plot-twists, with as my favourite an episode that can only vaguely be described as “Baccano: The Abridged Episode”.

The different main characters are all fun and original, from the strange creatures called “Popepi Pipepo” (who for once don’t try to be overly cute) to the big tough scientist to the 25-year-old main character who got stuck in the body of a 10 year old kid. All the characters have many sides and traits to them, making them a delight to watch and they set themselves apart from any stereotypes immediately.

As the series hits its second half, the fun adventures unfortunately mostly disappear, and instead a serious storyline appears. I feared that this would be the point where this series would fall flat on its face, but it actually gets away with its storyline pretty decently as the storyline evolves into an interesting post-apocalyptic mystery setting. Again, the characters can be blamed for making it turn out so well, because they’re all neatly fleshed out and stay far away from stereotypes.

Of course, this series does have some major flaws. It takes a lot of artistic liberties, resulting into a lot of plot-holes. Especially the plot-hole that plagues 95% of all other anime (characters who coincidentally just “run” into each other) gets rather taken into the extremes here when the main characters just keep meeting each other over and over. It’s like the creators were saying: “don’t mind this, we just want to tell our story”. The ending of the series also fails to answer a few burning questions. So yeah, this isn’t really the most solid series.

If you’re wondering whether you’ll enjoy Wild Arms or not, I think you need to ask yourself this question: did you enjoy El Cazador? If you did, then you’ll probably like Wild Arms. There are no lesbians or stalking psychopaths, but the basic set-up is the same, although Wild Arms is more geared to its storyline. Overall, Wild Arms was for me a very enjoyable series to watch with an excellent cast of characters. Oh, and let’s not forget the awesome soundtrack. ;)

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 9/10

One Response

  1. zaeris says:

    well I won’t judge someone else review solely on points alone but I remember watching it long ago since I was a big Wild arms fan at the time..

    Its similar to the slayer series where the it spents 2/3 on filler 1/3 on plot. I enojy the filler’s funny as hell and some had interesting plot twist. The fake wedding episode was my favourite its like a fanfic come true.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 01:20 AM)
    You can use all kinds of acrobats to argue invalidly that weapons don’t matter in a war, at the end of the day that is simply not true. There is no single factor for their defeat but a multitude of different aspects, and advance weapons were one of them.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 01:18 AM)
    @Vincent: “in a battle” and that’s your mistake right there. One battle does not determine the grand scale of the ethnic cleansing that took place in the region.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 01:00 AM)
    In a battle that was depicted in Spanish records as a Spanish cavalry charge defeating a massive invasion force of Incas, Archeologists uncovered the battlegrounds and forensic scientists found that most of the Inca soldiers were killed not with sharp weapons that the Spanish used, but rather with the blunt weapons of the Indians.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 12:57 AM)
    It’s been proven that the official Spanish records about their conquistadors are biased and don’t even mention the Indians that fought for them. For example, they depict the Spaniards as defeating a force of 1000 single handedly, which is factually false.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 12:57 AM)
    @Bam No, just because cities were destroyed by cannon fire doesn’t mean the weapons themselves mattered. The Spanish were only able to move their units and cannons around Incan cities because their Indian allies did most of the fighting.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 12:10 AM)
    Now on the topic of war in general, how often do you believe killing the leader of the enemy army complete destroys their organization/army moreso than it wouldn’t?
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 12:08 AM)
    @Realist: I heard about a tactic where spiked wood was placed in the grass and coated with excrement to tear through the boot and cause infection.
  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 12:02 AM)
    @Emma Which example are you thinking of?
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 12:01 AM)
    Hahaha! Ye old pole tactic! I heard about that before in a different way.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 11:57 PM)
    In regards to Vietnam I must say, there was a fair bit of pathos and good characterization in both platoon and the deer hunter, even if both had some pacing issues.

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