Denyuuden… was definitely an interesting series. It’s the kind of anime that you normally wouldn’t expect anything great of at first sight (or at least I didn’t), and yet delivers some episodes that completely exceed expectations. The first thing I want to say to people who are planning to give this one a chance: wait until episode three.
This series is a typical example of a series with its ups and downs. About half of it is a bit of a boring fantasy, the other half is an excellent character study. The boring half resides unfortunately around the middle of the series, starting at episode five and lasting for around twelve episodes. They’re basically a long string of building up, filled with uninteresting side-characters and scenarios that have potential, but never really get interesting to warrant the amount of time this show devotes on it.
The final third is where the things get interesting, though: those with patience will be rewarded with some excellent character development: just about every character, even the most annoying ones, gets better, the plot finally spices up and develops as well, abandoning most of its generic fantasy tropes in favour of a much more character-based progression. It ends with a strong conclusion, albeit a very open ended one (and unfortunately the chances for a second season are looking slim).
In terms of graphics, this is a Zexcs production, meaning that a lot of the series looks rather generic. They did surpass themselves in this series at several areas, though. For once, some of the background art is just gorgeous, but there are also these select few episodes that finally ditch the generic looking characters that have been plaguing Zexcs for ages now and deliver some really good animation here.
Denyuuden is definitely unbalanced. For a 26 episode series, it spends too much of its time on building up that’s rather boring. It both makes it very hard for people to get through it, and takes time away from the parts in which this series gets really good. It definitely annoyed me for a couple of months when I was blogging it. And yet, I just can’t say that it left a bad taste. While not quite of Kobato-levels, the final third did make up for the boring parts. It’s a recommendation for people with patience who are looking for an interesting fantasy title.
|Storytelling:||8/10 – Pacing could be better, but can really pack a punch when it wants to.|
|Characters:||9/10 – All characters have their moments of annoyance, especially side-characters like Milk will get on your nerves. Yet, the character development here is really good, especially for the three main characters.|
|Production-Values:||8/10 – Mostly nothing special, with some very notable exceptions.|
|Setting:||8/10 – Is at its best when it takes a back-seat and lets the plot and characters guide it. Standalone it’s pretty much your average fantasy setting.|