This episode was rather different from the first – it dialled down the humour and has a more character focused story. I guess that is to be expected as the first episode needs to introduce everyone however, from watching this episode I think I’m starting to see where Area no Kishi is heading. Kakeru seems to have some good character development going on and perhaps Suguru isn’t as generic as I first thought – though all the fangirls being absent from this episode did help. In any case, Area no Kishi seems to be trying to be a proper shonen show, and I’m not so sure that being so serious over an issue such as football, is going to work. As I said before, I can appreciate the passion and esteem which some people afford football and footballers however, what I don’t understand is dramatisation of said things. Like this:
Killing intent?… You’re just playing football – even if you take it very seriously, I don’t think anyone has a killing intent. Lines like these might work in Naruto or Bleach because they have huge action scenes and a lot of people do actually die however, I do not think playing high school football is really equivalent to fighting tailed demon beasts or fighting with swords. Despite this though, I still find myself getting drawn more and more into Area no Kishi. I quite like the way Nana is getting used more and more as a mediator to reveal what Suguru is really thinking to us viewers, seeing as he is not a central character who does monologues or the chatty type for that matter. Though, I’m still not sure about the possibility of a love triangle, I am more inclined to say that its becoming more and more apparent that Nana likes Kakeru. Whilst the alien part was just cheesy in the first episode, I think it was actually a pretty good idea in this episode Kakeru shares things with us we may not have found out otherwise and we get this whole pathetic fallacy going on resulting in the tension between the brothers. This isn’t gcse english but, that is what it was. So the scripting in this episode was good. Though again, I found that at times, the dialogue didn’t seem to flow for example – If the alien person knows that he has a weak left, then why is he going into a monologue about it?! Surely you don’t tell someone that they know something then repeat it? Whilst it isn’t a huge issue, I just felt the writer was struggling to expose a lot of the back story that is missing and we are wondering about so used plot devices like this.
All that said, I did like the episode. Great character development going on, I’m beginning to connect with the characters and slowly, semblance of a detailed and dramatic plot line is forming. The end was particularly of surprise. I didn’t expect that and I’m quite curious what the outcome is. I think it will become such that Suguru will reveal his dream to Kakeru who will be motivated to become the Area no Kishi that Suguru wanted and he is going to get good as Suguru recovers so they can live out that dream. Cliché and predictable however, I think it will be entertaining nonetheless. So overall, I’m looking forward to the next episode. Kakeru looks set to get serious and the show looks set to pick up in momentum.
The episode made me randomly think of this:
BRAVE 10 is an anime based on the Historical account of the Sanada Ten Braves. I know you’re not here for a history lesson, but I find this fascinating and quite relevant to the anime. So, the anime is based on the folklore historic events detailed in a novel called the Sanada Ten Braves, The folklore takes place towards in the aftermath of the end of the Sengoku period and towards the very early stages of the great Edo period. Recordedly, Sanada Yukimura assembles 10 of the finest heroes from across the land. In all likelihood, a lot of the heroes of the BRAVE 10 cast are modelled after the Sanada Ten Braves. Even their names are remarkably similar:
Sarutobi Sasuke (猿飛 佐助?) (possibly modelled after Kouzuki Sasuke (上月佐助?))
Kirigakure Saizō (霧隠 才蔵?) (possibly modelled after Kirigakure Shikauemon (霧隠鹿右衛門?))
Miyoshi Seikai (三好 清海?) (possibly modelled after Miyoshi Masayasu (三好政康?))
Miyoshi Isa (三好 伊三?) (possibly modelled after Miyoshi Masakatsu (三好政勝?))
Anayama Kosuke (穴山 小助?)
Unno Rokurō (海野 六郎?) (possibly modelled after Unno Rokuroubee (海野六郎兵衛?))
Kakei Jūzō (筧 十蔵?) (possibly modelled after Kakei Juubee (筧十兵衛?))
Nezu Jinpachi (根津 甚八?) (possibly modelled after Nezu Koroku (禰津小六?) and/or Azai Iyori (浅井井頼?))
Mochizuki Rokurō (望月 六郎?)
Yuri Kamanosuke (由利 鎌之助?) (possibly modelled after Mochizuki Uemon (望月宇右衛門?)/Mochizuki Jinzaemon (望月甚左衛門?)/Mochizuki Uhee (望月卯兵衛?)/Mochizuki Usabuemon Yukitada (望月卯左衛門幸忠?))
The anime names are on the left and in the brackets are the original Sanada Ten Braves names. So the similarity and the derivation is now clear. Lets get into the show. The main points I want to discuss are:
Yukimura is the lord of the Kuma clan lands and is the one organising the 10 Braves. Saizou and Sasuke appear to be the most famous of the Braves, gartering reference quite often, so I’m expecting some great things from them. Of course, in the anime the fights are not going to be realistic, they seen to have powers and a lot of unimaginable athletic ability however, I think this is still going to be a pretty fascinating anime. From the get go, this show is going to be testosterone filled fights with lots of grinning and awesome action scenes – I anticipate a lot of “Omae!”, “Kuso!”, “Kisama!” and my favourite, “Ikoze!”. Its action all the way with a style that makes you grin like the Millenium Earl. The anime starts off with a fiery, bloody scene. Priests are slaughtered by a shinobi wielding flying daggers. The high priest quickly gets the maiden away via trap door but gets slashed in the process. The main man we are following (Saizou Kirigakure) is a rounin at the beginning of the show, depicted having a nap in forest in the photo above. Upon encounter with a ragged looking young maiden (Isa Miyoshi) but are then promptly attacked. He then proceeds to quickly flex his muscles and I have to admit, this show has style. Its not your usual hack and slash, its got that epic Dynasty Warriors feel but also that excited One Piece atmosphere. Suffice to say, I’m loving it so far. Its fast paced, the action sequences are detailed very well and overall, its just pretty breathless. I have a feeling we’re in for a wild ride with BRAVE 10, one filled with a lot of history, but at the same time, a lot of class. Their action sequence isn’t just flashy repetitiveness, its creative and despite the odd powers they have, its doesn’t seem exaggerated. Like when Sasori and Sasuke are fighting, there is the use of herbs, then weapons look and seem realistic (unlike a certain someone’s sword we know) and they don’t fall into the trap of being infinitely powerful and decimate 10,000 people in one go. So all in all, I’m really liking the action in this anime. Its not done so frequently that he seems to be unable to take 5 steps without meeting 10 ninja, but at the same time, its frequent enough so its feels its fast paced.
This anime has style. Classic style. I love the character models, they look like they suit the period and none of them are too lavish. No one had knee long hair or items which seem to be hidden away in compartments far too small. The characters are designed to reflect the time and whilst their prowess may not be quite that realistic, I got to give credit to the design avoiding the various faux pas we see in other anime that are supposed to be periodical. The girls look good but they aren’t designed in a nauseating fashion, for example, with ma-hoo-sive endowments or wearing netting as their inner and outter clothing. I’m glad BRAVE 10 avoided the horrible ecchi stereotypes of some of the periodic animes – it just reinforces that this anime really does have class. It is produced so that is slightly dark to give it that edgy feel but at the same time, it isn’t afraid to boast a nice selection of colours and some pretty scenery. Whilst it doesn’t have the biggest production budget, in my opinion, they’ve done a splendid job of crafting it. The way the lighting works, the butterfly landing on Saizou’s lip, the shades of the environment – BRAVE 10 is clearly out to set a style. PS – Is it me, or does Saizou remind anyone else of Noctis?
This show has a great soundtrack, it literally fits perfectly with the pace, style of setting and character personalities. It isn’t atmospheric like a score you might find in Naruto, for example, however, it does have a pretty clean and appropriate taste when its calm. And when it is in the fights, the music just adds more adrenaline to a show that is bound to pump loads out anyway. This is just a short analysis on it as there isn’t a huge amount to comment on but I just wanted to highlight that I noticed the score was particularly potent, as opposed to other anime where I have hardly noticed the score. So another thumbs up for BRAVE 10 here.
So to summarise, BRAVE 10 is pretty good. I’m loving the music, I’m loving the setting, I’m loving the characters – they all seem to have very strong and very distinc personalities but each is instantly likeable – and even though we’ve just gotten a small taste of it, I’m sure the action is only going to get more and more lean. We’ve only seen 3 of the Braves (I’m assuming Isa is one or we wouldn’t have enough), there are still 7 more to go and it looks set to get hectic. I cannot wait. This anime is right up my street – robust but not snobbish enough to put me off. Just for being itself, BRAVE 10 gets a natural 8/10 from me.
|Likelihood I’ll be watching: Definite!||Likelihood I’ll be blogging: Probable|