Blade and Soul Anime, Guest Review by Grisznak (English)

June 25th, 2014

Blade and soulIt’s Guest Review Wednesday (yaaay!) and we once again have returning Guest Reviewer Grisznak with a heads-up on a series that may be of interest to you. Welcome back and take it away Grisznak!

If I said “fantasy series with female cast” you might think of  Queen’s Blade or Claymore. Well, when I saw trailers for Blade and Soul, (streaming on Crunchyroll) I had a feeling that it was gonna be another Queen’s Blade. When I saw first episode, I get a feeling that it actually might be quite good, maybe not as good as Claymore, but still… I’ve watched eight episodes now and my feelings are very, very mixed. I’d like to share them with you in this mini review.

The protagonist of the series is Alka. She has long, white hair and she is a very skilled assassin. There’s actually a prize for her head, because she’s accused of some serious crimes. Surprisingly, she is innocent, but who cares? There’s a generic very evil empire and a group of very, very evil (more evil than the empire itself) group of local SS, called “Flower Monks”, lead by the very, very, very evil (oh yeah, the evilness grows!) Jin Varrel. She is a one-man (or rather, one-woman) army and can use the very, very, very, very evil power known as Impurity. As you may probably guess, our Alka and Jin aren’t best friends at all… There’s also gang of good ruffians (in fantasy worlds all ruffians are good, aren’t they?) known as the “Pleasure Gang” – name that better suits a hentai anime. Their leader is a busty chick, too, and she has bad blood with Jin, like everyone else.

Alka travels over the world, helping people (although this sometimes ends totally wrong) and saying almost nothing. Like all female warriors in the generic fantasy worlds, her outfit is rather scanty – remember, girls, if you’ll ever have to go at war, a bikini or thong are your best friends. During her travels she meets some other girls who have some business with her. Hazuki is a head hunter with bouncing boobs and cool guns – her fights with Alka reminds me a bit those cool “knife versus gun” duels from “Noir” or “Madlax” a bit. Karen, owner of a well known inn, is a surprisingly conservatively dressed woman. She knows everything and appears wherever she should be. She’s probably most intriguing character in whole series.

“But hey, this a Yuri site!” someone may shout. Yeah, when I started watching Blade and Soul I had a feeling there should be some Yuri. Some episodes passed, nothing Yuri-like happened and I thought that I was wrong. Luckily, we have our lovely evildoers. As I mentioned, Jin Varrel uses some kind of dark something or other. She has her female sidekick and there’s definitely some kind of closeness between those two that moves further than simple friendship. We can see them naked, caressing each other in one of the episodes. Nothing more so far…

I have always said that it’s impossible or very hard at least to make good anime based upon video game. Blade and Soul is based upon MMORPG. And it’s not THAT bad. Graphics are surprisingly good, especially faces and animations. Also important, you don’t need to know that game itself to understand what’s going on. Plot… yeah, it’s somewhere there, but it has problems with some totally useless filler episodes in the middle of the series. Yes, 12 episodes series and it has fillers.  So, we have series that is not bad, but it’s not good either. What does that mean? Yes, just another, mediocre anime. We have lot of them every season.

If’ you’re looking for fantasy series with female cast, you’re better off with Claymore. If you’re looking for service based series, Queen’s Blade is your choice. If you want good Yuri anime, Akuma no Riddle might be good. What about Blade and Soul then? It’s just mediocre, with no highlights anywhere. I’m disappointed, because I really hoped it would be good fantasy anime. Well, maybe next time.

Ratings:
Art – 7 (nice design and animations, nothing stunning, but not disappointing)
Story –4 (generic + some fillers)
Characters – 5 (nothing new, nothing great, nothing terrible)
Yuri/Lesbian – 3 (Jin and her pal, no more)
Service – 6 (Hazuki’s bouncing boobs + some scanty clad warrior girls)
Overall – 4 (mediocre, just mediocre)

Christopher “Grisznak” Wojdyło is a Polish journalist and Sailor Mercury fanboy, he writes for “Otaku” magazine and Polish biggest and oldest manga and anime review site Tanuki.pl

Erica here: Thanks Grisznak. The art looks vaguely familiar. Mediocre anime with evil Yuri, I think I might even give this a try! ^_^

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5 Responses

  1. Eric P. says:

    I’m not calling it high art, but the series still turned out more solid than I would’ve expected (and is just better than ‘Queen’s Blade’, period). Whatever people say about it, there’s no denying the ending theme song is beautifully catchy to listen to, enough so I felt the impulse to collect the single CD.

  2. SuperpanopticonVita says:

    Welp, Blade & Soul was adapted from a Korean MMO game so I can’t say it makes for a good animation.

  3. Serge says:

    This could have been good, despite the way service-y art, the elements are there, but the writing wasn’t up for the challenge, and ends up as so much mediocre titillation, emphasis on tits. That was evident in the first episode, when Alka wore a much more practical outfit and changed out of it for no real good reason.
    I’d compare this to Grenadier but less fun.

    • There wasn’t that much room to be less fun than Grenadier, either. Shame, really. I don’t mind the tits, if there’s something else going on that’s entertaining.

  4. BruceMcF says:

    They show these characters looking like they are all freshly oiled for an ancient Greek wrestling match (albeit wearing slightly too many clothes for same) … but never show them applying the oil.

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