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, Nov 28. 2015 05:45 AM)
    It takes a true magnificence to propose such a grand question as: What dot life?!
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:42 AM)
    @Kaiser: the show does vary in quality, but for the first season they generally crank up the insanity with every episode until a very remarkable season finale where Xavier faces his worst enemy.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Bam: Oh in symphogears case, I certainly laughed but I wasn’t supposed to.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:39 AM)
    @Bam: While it didn’t always work, that first episode of renegade angel was amusing, I particularly liked the part where he went on about Aids being invented.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:22 AM)
    and don’t be fooled by the simple graphics, the crudeness is completely intentional.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:21 AM)
    @Kaiser: as far as Xavier goes I implore you to download and watch the first episode to get the gist of it. That show is the pinnacle of absurdist and meta humor. It’s strangely adored within the animation circles, getting very high praise from the industry, but it’s very dense and bizarre so people either love or hate it. If you’re anything like me it might become one of your most beloved shows.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:17 AM)
    @kaiser: If Symphogear gets as bad as Valvrave then we’re talkin. Few companies make entertaining trash like Sunrise does.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:54 AM)
    *At first I thought it would be like nanoha
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:49 AM)
    I read a comment stating that season 3 of symphogear got so bad that it came off as along the lines of “worse than a Mari Okada melodrama”.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 04:36 AM)
    @Bam: That renegade angel thing looks off the wall, haven’t seen an episode but my thoughts from looking up the show is “I’m not quite sure if this is a good/bad thing lol”

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