During the Winter 2016 season I will be checking out some anime that were named the favorites between 2014-2015 by some of my aniblogger pals. The first one will be one by Kai. This is Rage of Bahamut: Genesis.
Alternate Title: Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis.
Genres: Action, Fantasy
Themes: bounty hunters, demons, post-apocalyptic, war
Number of episodes: 12
Objectionable Content: Significant
Plot Summary: Mistarcia is a magical world where humans, gods, and demons mingle together. In the past, the black-and-silver winged Bahamut has threatened to destroy the land, but humans, gods, angels and demons overcame their differences to fight together and seal its power. The key to that seal was split in two, one half given to the gods and the other to demons, so that they would never be united and Bahamut never released. Now, two thousand years later, the world is in an era of peace – until the day a human woman steals the gods’ half of the key.
Best word I can use to describe my overall thoughts on RoB/SnB as a whole is “metal”. Not metal in the sense that the entire soundtrack is metal, although its OP is metal and amazing, I mean metal in the sense that this show kicks serious tooshie. RoB is like a serious JRPG with many action sequences, intense scenes, dramatic moments and some lighthearted fluff but rarely is there a dull moment, even when the plot slows down. Basically it is a quintessential JRPG. This is even more impressive given the fact the source material is a mobile phone card game in which the anime uses the concepts given and takes many liberties with its story. In short a mostly original story separate from the source material. While the story is not original compared to other medieval fantasy tales it excels in how it tells it. This means that even though some of the plot elements will feel familiar to viewers who have played a lot of JRPGs or seen a lot of medieval fantasy media the show can still can pull off some surprises.
The story in a nutshell without going into specifics is a war between two great powers, heaven and hell, over the reawakening of the “end bringer” known as the omnipotent dragon Bahamut, the human society in the middle and the “unlikeliest” of heroes dragged into this mess against their will but may very well make the strongest impact in the war. So yeah, nothing new for fantasy and JRPG fans but again RoB’s implementation of given elements and execution of the story is what makes it stand out.
I already gave a small taste of the action sequences with the above image of Favaro taking on a giant beast and that is only a small portion of how sweet some of the fights are. The intense scenes and dramatic moments are also intriguing as most relevant characters are given plenty of time to shine both as heroic badasses or despicable fiends depending on which sides they are.
The lighthearted fluff is also well done and sometimes enjoyably weird. Examples include Favaro’s face…just his face, drunk Amira pictured here, a talking duck god with a crown and DA Cerberus…ohhhh yes, DA Cerberus.
The animation quality has a serious tone to it that reminds me of Attack on Titan’s style somewhat though not as moody. The soundtrack, apart from the killer OP, has the standard epic fantasy flare that does a great job setting the mood and the ED’s nice.
Not much to say about the cast as they all do a great job filling their roles as heroes and villains. What I will say is that Favaro and Amira’s character dynamics/relationship reminds me of Ryudo and Elena’s from Grandia 2. I do not mean they are exactly the same but in the sense of how Favaro’s self-serving somewhat noble rapscallion contrasts Amira’s serious but “mentally younger than she looks” personality. As for Favaro and Kaisar, they have a friendly rivalry type relationship with Kaisar having a “I’m furious at you but deep down not really” view of Favaro at the start of the show. Good stuff before and after character developments. Oh and my favorite character on the show debuted in episode 3 and surprisingly it is not DA Cerberus.
Overall Rage of Bahamut: Genesis is a metal anime. The serious atmosphere with a touch of fluff once in a while blends itself into another very enjoyable medieval fantasy tale filled with hard hitting action, suspense, drama and a talking duck. Recommended to anyone who likes the genre or is simply in the mood for a tooshie kicking anime. I am obviously pumped for season 2.