|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Rokka no Yusha
Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers focuses on a group of six chosen warriors called the Six Braves tasked to slay the leader of the demon race known as the Demon King. However in an unusual series of events, there are seven Braves gathered together and one among the group is an impostor suspected of working on behalf of the demon race. This mystery serves as the major storyline for much of the show's run as the Braves try to determine who among them is the fake. Many of the characters within the series fulfill certain archetypes typical of this storytelling style with our major leads of focus, Adlet and Fremy, getting major focus as the series focuses on their developing bond and how their current situation tests their trust in one another. While I didn't mind Adlet as our hero of focus as he struggles to clear any suspicion of being the fake chosen warrior, I wasn't too convinced of his budding relationship with Fremy since there's limited development in the relationship due to the greater focus on the mystery of the fake Brave. The rest of the group don't get as much fleshing out since Adlet and Fremy are the main focus of the series.|
As for the mystery surrounding the fake Brave, much of its focus revolves around Adlet being immediately accused of being the suspect as he tries to clear his name and try assessing events that led to the gathering of the seven Braves, along with any actions from the other Braves that could prove they are really the fake. The series takes its time with Adlet getting in confrontations with each of the Braves to assess their characters and determine if they would have any ulterior motives to being the fake Brave. However, these moments often cause progression in the plot to drag since it felt like there were points where the show's creators were trying to pad out time to fill the anime's twelve episode length. Who is ultimately revealed to be the fake Brave felt too convenient since there were hardly any hints dropped of the mentioned character having their motives. Outside of the series being incomplete after its 12-episode run due to its light novel source material still ongoing as of this review, the series tosses in a plot twist in its final episode that may anger fans due to the issues that came up from the mystery played out with uncovering who the fake Brave was.
Visually, Rokka is rather pleasing on the eyes offering nicely drawn scenic shots and detailed character designs, with muscle tone being depicted with a number of the Braves' character designs. While not seen too often due to the show being more focused on its mystery plot, the designs of demons are varied and have a good amount of detail to them in spite of the CG animation used for their rendering sticking out like a sore thumb. Animation is fluid for the most part in the series, with characters moving about at a fluid pace and showing off some intense looking action scenes coming off the varying magical and combative abilities of the characters. Much like the demons, some of these magical abilities are rendered in CG animation such as Nashetania's blades and the swamp animals spewed out of Chamo's stomach.
Overall, I'm mostly indifferent to Rokka. While the series attempts to go for something different for its fantasy-adventure genre with its mystery plot, the pacing for it felt dragged out, the majority of the characters don't get much in the way of fleshing out and the revelation of who the fake Brave is was rather lackluster due to the lack of foreshadowing to it. It's a decent time killer for what it offers up, but I'd be hard pressed to recommend rewatching it.
Last updated Saturday, September 19 2015. Created Saturday, September 19 2015.
Rokka no Yusha
(Watch+ or Rent-)|
(All episodes watched):
This was one of the last first-episodes of new Summer anime that I watched, because sword & sorcery anime don't have a very good record with me and I wasn't expecting it to be very good. I had even started watching it once but quit before long because the introductory bit about demons and anti-demon heroes put me off. But when I finally bit the bullet I got a modest pleasant surprise: Rokka was an OK show. The one thing I most prize in anime is interesting characters, and Rokka seemed to deliver fairly good ones. The bit about Mayer's time in a prison cell, as days pass, was surprisingly clever--it seemed like something you would see in a first-rate live-action motion picture, not some generic anime (but this was the only scene throughout the entire series that struck me that way). I just wish Mayer hadn't carelessly injured (or killed?) a number of people in the big fight scene . The animation of action scenes is fluid and cool. The costumes and backgrounds have a distinct Aztec motif. It wasn't difficult to guess who the girl who visited Mayer in jail was. But while this show could have been better, it also could have been much, much worse. It had passed the first test and I would watch some more of it.
This show isn't very good at whipping up excitement. I don't know whether it's mainly music or dialogue or what, but in most shows, even mediocre ones, you sense when tension is rising and falling, and it makes sense. Here, you are sometimes left wondering what the level of tension is supposed to be, because it certainly isn't obvious. It's almost like the characters are playacting rather than really fighting in some action scenes--like the one in episode four where yet another 'Brave' comes along but it's unclear whether she's really a friend or an enemy. It was hard to believe that the slightest danger was present, even though the show clearly wanted us to. When a show is like this it's easy to become confused and bored. I began to wonder if Rokka was really worth watching after all. Fortunately, just like the really good scene in episode one was an exception, so was this really bad one.
At the start of episode five I wondered if I had missed a scene somewhere, because 'Flamie' is tied up and I didn't recall that happening. The basic premise of Rokka is that these six superheroes must fulfil a prophecy and prevent the revival of the Demon Lord, which, needless to say, would be very bad. But this quest to save the world from a rising tide of evil is largely set aside in favor of a more immediate problem, namely that seven persons claiming to be one of the Six Saints have turned up, and one must be an imposter. This felt strange, especially as it became clear that solving this mystery was taking so long that there would be little or no airtime left to deal with the bigger problem. This problem was kind of fun, though it was hard to follow the logic behind the arguments some characters put forward. Like, how a 'barrier' around a temple worked and why the rules seem to make Adlet look suspicious. With this playing as big a part as it does, I wish it had been explained better and the fact that it was going to be very important had been made clear when it was first introduced. Also, the 'Fiends' are confusing; they don't seem to be just pure evil beings; but maybe that's good news and they'll be sophisticated characters with interesting personalities. I couldn't help feeling that several of the Saints were still virtual strangers who had been suddenly injected into the story alongside the characters we had gotten to know. But for all the confusion of the Seventh Saint business, I wasn't feeling like quitting the series quite as much as I had been before it began.
Well, I must admit that the identity of the Seventh, which is finally revealed in the last episode, was about the last person I would have expected. But that also left me somewhat confused about what this person had been trying to accomplish (in spite of an attempt to explain it), and just how good or evil this person had really been. I also couldn't be all that thrilled by the manner in which the identity was figured out, since a major piece of evidence seems to come out of nowhere near the end, virtually sweeping all conclusions that had been reached up to that point aside and making me wonder a little why we had bothered with them at all. The tension and suspicion between the Saints, as they didn't know who they could trust, could have been handled better and made more entertaining. And, in a way, we learn at the end that the problem hasn't been solved after all--I'm not sure if that is good news or bad. But I did come to like the characters a little over the course of the series. Now the quest to defeat the Demon Lord can finally get underway--if another season is produced. I suppose I would watch it, though with about as much enthusiasm as I watched this anime--as a OK but far from brilliant show, which was lucky that there weren't all that many good competitors for my time during the Summer 2015 season.
Last updated Wednesday, September 30 2015. Created Saturday, July 18 2015.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://rokka-anime.us/|