BUT GARE THIS IS NOT A VISUAL NOVEL 😡
I know, love. But it’s been two bloody months since I’ve written anything here, KKK is progressing slowly, I haven’t touched Dual Destinies in ages and I still don’t have all of Makai-hen. Shh, it’s going to be okay. I’m here. I’ll hold you. Everything’s going to be just fine.
So anyway, for the longest time now I’ve been toying with the idea of writing about an
lolanimu chinese cartoon anime, but my problem is that most of the time I simply don’t have anything to write about. I mean, despite my notably decreased interest in anime, I do still watch a few shows from time to time, this much I’ve already told you guys. But even *when* I watch a show I’m like “huh, okay, well that was fun but there’s nothing in here that would warrant a blog entry” and then promptly move on with my life. I don’t know why. When it comes to visual novels I can write five Ulysses’ worth of WORDS, but oh shit when it’s anime, I’m suddenly drawing a blank. Is this a medical condition? It might be a medical condition. Hopefully we’ll change that today, because oh boy do I intend to write lots of words here. Oh, and this post is going to be *very* loosely based on the first six episodes of the show. Hence “impressions”. I might do another post once the series is finished, or I might not — we’ll see.
So, Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis. Or if you’d prefer the easier to pronounce version, Rage of Bahamut: Genesis. It is an anime. An anime that you can watch, with your two lovely eyes. It’s directed by one Satou Keiichi of Karas and Tiger & Bunny fame (neither of which I’ve seen… yet) and has things and stuff in it, some of which I’ll talk about right here — by the way, this is not really a review (the tags are liars) and I’m not exactly a ~real aniblogger~ either, so what you’re about to read is probably just going to be a bunch of disjointed thoughts and such with little to no chronology or organization. Basically just a collection of stuff I liked, so I won’t go into too many specifics. I also don’t want to spoil everything for you, naturally.
Part of the reason I’m writing about Shingeki no Bahamut (simply Bahamut henceforth) is because a lot of times it doesn’t quite feel like an anime at all. In fact, after the first two episodes I was convinced I was watching a swashbuckling Hollywood action-adventure fun-ride, not entirely unlike the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, except with more high fantasy. There were cool action sequences, an interesting fantasy world, pretty ladies in pretty plate armor, old bearded dudes in pretty plate armor, charming humor and an unusually roguish non-Mary Sue main character who is neither a high-schooler nor a teenager with severe relationship problems (h-how can I tell senpai I love her?!?!) and/or shounen angst (senpai will never understand this pain…). Plus the focus wasn’t on moe girls doing moe things, either. Like I said, I was convinced I wasn’t even watching a Japanese anime at this point, but rather a western fantasy film of sorts, or a Dungeons and Dragons/classic sword and sorcery flick. It was uncanny, in a good way.
This is also a show that starts off with the two main leads duking it out on horseback on a series of rooftops (yes, really), then proceeding to banter and sword-fight atop a massive, moving wheel (yes, just like in one of the Pirates movies). The entire scene flows perfectly and is accompanied by a soundtrack with a Spanish flavor that matches the grandiose-yet-occasionally-wacky tone of the entire affair (as a side note, go check out the ED song, it’s pretty great). At this point I think to myself, “yep, this is how you start a show”, and realize Bahamut pretty much hooked me after mere minutes — me, who tends to have a serious attention span problem when it comes to anime these days.
We have two male protagonists: cheeky afroman Favaro Leone and his rival/best bud/comic relief knight Kaisar “FAVAROOOOO” Lidfard — the former is worldly bounty hunter who prefers bosoms and booze over the whole “saving the world” business, while the latter is a sometimes comically naive, empoverished knight whose life mission is (apparently) killing Favaro while shouting his name as many times and as loudly as possible. Actually, seeing their continuous and often comedic rivalry, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Zidane and Steiner’s dynamic from Final Fantasy IX. Which is… weird. But once again, in a good way! It’s also fairly interesting to see an MC that goes “fuck this shit” when the possibility of him being the “chosen one” is brought up. Sure, some may find him annoying, but I was happy to see someone who’s not just another goody two-shoes Generic McGenerington.
Things get complicated when our pink-haired leading lady, Amira, finally joins the fray as dictated by the well-known anime trope of Mystery Girl Appearance, and begs Favaro to take her to a place called Helheim because… well, just because. Favaro agrees (well, being Favaro, he lies about it), and the two set off, with Kaisar hot on their heels. Their journey is pretty much what the anime is about — there’s a cursed village in one episode, a ship journey involving an actual, honest-to-goodness Giant Enemy Crab in another, and so on.
There’s also that pesky problem of the world-destroying dragon, Bahamut, who was sealed away eons ago but is showing signs if reawakening during the show (Favaro even has weird dreams of the thing, which screams foreshadowing), so I’m assuming he’s going to be a final boss of sorts, but the show hasn’t quite covered this in detail just yet. Although, he’s also on the cover in all his grumpy glory, so I think it’s safe to say he’s going to be important. And the title is sort of about him, too. Him and his rage. (educational corner: shingeki doesn’t actually mean rage).
Okay, so I’ll be blunt now: Amira is great. I mean, she’s just a total goofball. What’s more, her interactions with Favaro end up being some of the highlights of the show — you know how it is, rogue meets princess (well, probably not an actual princess but you get my point) who knows very little about the outside world, hilarity ensues. Said hilarity includes drunken tavern dancing, making “I’m going to eat your livestock” faces, making bored faces, dancing in the water in a drunken stupor, acting like a puppy dog (see below) and attempting to eat various sea-faring animals, among other things.
Look, she even resembles Poshul from Chrono Cross just a little bit!
If you squint.
Fanservice is also kept to an absolute minimum, if this is something that matters to you: while Amira’s battle outfit could rival clothing seen in Kill la Kill, her, let’s just say, “feminine charms” aren’t shoved into your face 24/7. Now, I personally enjoy lewd stuff from time to time (I’d be a liar and a bit of a hypocrite if I claimed otherwise, lol) so this usually isn’t exactly a problem for me, but if you’re tired of jiggling here and bouncing there and blushy-blush-blush over yonder, you’ll be glad to hear this show won’t really force that down your throat. In fact, Amira’s design is a very good example of how a female character can be made genuinely attractive via clothing that actually covers most of her body. And you know what, that’s great, because while fanservice works in certain shows, in Bahamut, the atmosphere would suffer greatly from out-of-place breast-grabs and silly panty shots.
I do have concerns, though. For one, the world seems massive with a variety of characters, including the Holy Maiden, Jeanne d’Arc (pictured below, and above in armor), some other knight dude, as well as a host of scheming demons and angels, but they all sort of blur together, primarily because their screen time and involvement has so far been kept to a relative minimum. And we’re already at the halfway point. I mean, this Jeanne woman is really cool, she’s kicking ass and taking names like no other and I’d love to hear more about her story other than “I used to be a farm girl like you, then I took an overused meme to the ding ding dong”, so I’m really hoping future episodes will deliver on that front. Oh and did I say there are massive knight-robots a la Escaflowne fighting monsters? Because that’s also a thing that happens in this series, but so far we’ve seen them for a total of three and a half seconds. So we’ll need to have more of that in the later half, too. (pretty please)
Then there’s the potential episode count. Word on the street is that this is gonna be a 13-episode, one-cour series, which is… disappointing, to say the least. In other words, the show has the risk of becoming too rushed and lacking ample development in certain areas.
I wouldn’t call Bahamut an absolute must-see/AOTY just yet, and as such, I also wouldn’t board the hype train right now. But it’s still most definitely worth checking out — I mean we’re at the halfway point, so the series could still go either way from here. Episode 6 in particular gave me the impression that Big Serious Things are soon going to be happening, which is good for the plot, but I hope the series won’t lose its comedic charm in the process. In any case, I had a blast with the first two episodes, and while the following couple weren’t *as* great as those, Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis is still a fun ride that I’m definitely going to be following all the way to its conclusion. AND YOU SHOULD TOO. MAYBE POSSIBLY I SUPPOSE.