Rokka no Yūsha Episode 1 [Initial Impressions]

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When the Majin awoke from the depths of darkness, the deity of fate chose six heroes and bequeathed them with the power to save the world. Adlet, a boy who proclaims himself the strongest on Earth, has been selected among the Rokka no Yuusha (Heroes of the Six Flowers), and he goes to the rendezvous point — but seven have gathered there. The heroes suspect that someone among the seven is the enemy, and the initial suspicion falls on Adlet. ~taken from ANN

Rokka is from the Tatakau Shisho author Ishio Yamagata whose one of the more reliable fantasy writers because he’s able to write very engrossing characters you learn to love and hate.  The staff on this animated work looks really promising!  The director, Takeo Takahashi of Spice & Wolf fame handles this first episode quite nicely.  I know he’s more than capable of handling adapting from a light novel.  A lot of shows tend to pull an information dump for the sake of clearing the audience of any confusion, this show isn’t any different in that it has content that is very solid.  Rokka touches on the history of the Six Braves and the really intriguing history behind the Saints that are chosen, the power behind them and their failures 300 and 700 years ago.  This first episode succeeds in establishing a backstory by building up a wonderful setting without tossing its characters for the sake of screen-time!  There’s so much creativity in the history behind the Six Braves that I feel like I could see more than 1-cour (12 episodes)!

Adlet Mayer considers himself the strongest man in the world and those fights during the ceremony that visually declare his determination to become one of the Six Braves establishes this extremely well!  Such fluid animation!  I’m impressed because this comes from the animation studio Passione that gave us Rail Wars! last year–not a series for me that was memorable.  Lack of any coherent story that focused heavily on fan service.  Passione was started in 2012 and I feel a fantasy show is right up their alley–given how pretty most of this first episode was.  I feel that we’ve got a strong contender for anime of the season with Rokka.  The story packs a punch and the animation justifies this in a very beautiful way.

I’m in love with the soundtrack.  It’s done by one of the best classical anime composers of the past five years–Michiru Oshima.  She did Zetsuen no Tempest back in 2012 (which was her last full-fledged work on a television series and the more recent feature film Patema Inverted.  I ended up screening that a few months ago at my anime club and had such positive feedback from my friends about it.  This season we’ve got something special–she’s working on Rokka and Akagami no Shirayukihime.  Two series in one season!  It’s strange but makes these two shows extremely captivating to watch!

OP: “Cry for the Truth” by Michi

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Very upbeat JPOP song.  Michi’s vocals aren’t toned down and not as heavy as I would have expected.  The instrumentals though I feel are a bit too rocky–reminds me of Sword Art Online‘s opening sequences.  I’m on the fence with this one because the visuals are beautifully animated and the transitions come off smoothly.

ED: “Secret Sky” by Michi

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Fantastic!  The classical style that sounds very Celtic in the instrumentals captures the fantasy genre really well!  Really like Michi’s vocals–she sounds enchanting in this ending! The visuals give a very painted look to the characters!  Wonderful work on this one.


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