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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:05 PM)
    @Bam: Actually let me rephrase
    I meant that you will like: http://letterboxd.com/film/the-company-of-wolves/
    Because it is fairyrale inspired
    Because you liked brotherhood of the wolf and tale of tales.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:02 PM)
    @Bam: I meant tale of tales =)
    @Mario: My usual ratings are ***/***1/2 rating and ****
    Generally that indicates a film is kind good/good or great.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:17 PM)
    The one liner Dialogue is getting on my nerves, the lack of a great villain characterisation(Zemo is a step in the right direction but still not enough) and most of all that each movie is setup to a another movie.
    Deadpool was a step in the right direction(Yep I knew it was fox and not disney) and was as good as it was because it shook things up. At the moment marvel movies are just too…safe.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Bam, I am very much in agreement. I like what the marvel cinematic universe has done but things are getting out of hand. They have prefected the superhero formula too well and it’s causing the flims to be popcorn fodder. I am walking out of their movies admiting that I enjoyed them but I don’t really think I will remember them highly. Plus the thrends of the movies are really starting to bug me.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:27 PM)
    Deadpool belongs to Fox, not Disney, but there are rumors circling of the two studios opening up to negotiation. The success of Spiderman Homecoming will greatly precipitate another such lucrative cooperation.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:23 PM)
    I have yet to see Civil War, but by every new entry their colorful feel-good flicks are starting to become too derivative and cliche. It feels like as if they’re doing the same story arc over and over again. It’s almost lazy at this point, if you ask me, and they really need to Shae things up.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:18 PM)
    @Aidan: such high praise. So Marvel did in a cameo what Sony failed to do in 5 movies. I hate the massive bandwagon that Marvel is steering, but I’m not the kind of hipster contrarian that hates on things just for their mainstream appeal, so I give them credit for doing things right; despite the fact that they really go out their way to please the masses. Their love and respect for the material far outshines their prerogative of their by the book fan-pleasing.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:21 PM)
    Also like how they differed him from the other fast talkers of the universe. Deadpool is pure insane comedy, Ant man has this sarcastic awkward thing going on and Spiderman is like the nerdy fanboy. I would love to see a movie with all three together as it would be pure comic gold.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:18 PM)
    @bam, I was taken back by him at first. I wasn’t used to seeing Spiderman and especially aunt May look so young. I thought he was too bumbling in the beginning but as I watched on he just clicked. He has the nerdy nature of Tobies Peter Parker and the spitfire commentary of Garfield’s Spiderman. He’s spot on perfect.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 10:05 AM)
    I was staying clean for a drug test, and during this hiatus I completely fell out of anime. Surely enough, as soon as I resumed burning again I also started getting into some of this season’s shows. I wonder if there’s a direct correlation, or just a byproduct of having some free time again. I’m interested in comparing my experience to others, but (un)fortunately nobody here seems to share my vices.

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