Posted by KTravlos on 3 March 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews

All the heroes in one shot. Sword, Luke, Gina, Sophie and talking motorcycle (? really can I call it that?) Zaruza

What it claims to be about: A secret order of knights and alchemists, the Makai Knights and Alchemists, fight horrifying creatures called Hollows who prey on human weakness .Part of the media franchise spanning anime and live action shows, this iteration is set in modern metropolis and concerns the attempts of Sword, the strongest Makai Golden Knight, Luke and Gina, two Makai alchemists, and an intrepid young girl, Sophie, to unravel the mystery behind the mythic city of El Dorado, and the King who rules it.

What is it really about: A touching story about bonding between an adult and child amid a setting characterized by body horror and schlock violence. No this is not Dororo or Berserk. The very nature of Horrors guarantees that most of this show is about our heroes killing truly disgusting creatures that devour humans in disgusting ways. There are some attempts to provide some gravitas about who and why becomes consumed by Horrors in the first episodes, but this is quickly dropped for sheer B movie horror action. Most of the secondary characters and all of the major antagonists are just boring. Battles are mostly CG and ok rather cool, but not something mind-blowing. Actually the non-CG action was much better. Horror battles have got it all! Ranging from fistfights to even Mad Max inspired car wars. While all of our heroes do get some development, generally I found Gina and Luke rather boring. Instead the real soul of the show is Sword and Sophie and their relationship.

Booby-man in action!

Why you should watch it: And it is that which makes this show worth watching. Sword is in many ways a walking anime stereotype. All muscle, a voracious eater, and a worshiper of female bosoms, which is why I called him booby-man to my wife and called the show booby-man. And yet, there is depth and maturity to Sword that belies his act. He hits the sweet spot between silliness and maturity that makes the show work. It also means that he can be both a friend and father figure to Sophie. Their relationship and its development is what keep this show together.

It also helps that the animation and drawing style is pretty pleasing to me (it also produces quite a bit fanservice keep in mind). The penultimate episode has some really interesting visual art. I have to say that at times the show is willing to try something new.

Why is it mediocre: Because ultimately this is a schlock B movie violence action show and it gets in the way of character development. Indeed the last episode spends too much time on boring URRGGHH!! battle between booby-man and the most boring of the big bads, rather than driving forward the Sophie and Booby-man relationship. The music is ok. It is rock and roll and hard electronic guitars, and sometimes it works great and others not at all. The plot is boring, and the sub-plots mostly boring, with a few exceptions.

In a final analysis, this is a good mindless action series if that is what you want (which is what I wanted from it). Sword (aka Booby-man) is different enough than the usual stereotype protagonists of these types of shows to give it that extra thing that makes it stand out, but the general character of the show sacrifices the promise. If you want just some pure, silly fun, go for it. But don’t expect more. Interesting, I would say it felt like a very USA animation show (the more adult DC kind). So keep that in mind.

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