If someone asked me to define this series in one word I would have to say “entertaining”. As this is exactly what this show was trying to do, it didn’t follow most adventure anime series with it’s incessant scenes of sexuality, deus-ex machina like how BLEACH or even Naruto suffers from at times, but MAPPA succeeded in bringing a japanese-based card game series to life!
Shingeki almost feels at times not like anime in the way it pushes tons of Pirates of the Caribbean ideas around the supernatural aspect that the card game is known for– demons and angels at war with each other where the humans of this story are used as pieces of entertainment for them.
For the most part this series was well-paced and coming from Gegege no Kitaro season 5’s script writer Keiichi Hasegawa this was like an entirely different realm for him that worked out well for his repertoire. Without a doubt though episode 3 was one of the best episodes that used necromancers in introducing Miyuki Sawashiro’s Rita as a main cast member by building up the town around her in such a darkly and grisly-defining way.
Also, if any of you recall me mentioning how the music to this is more film-quality like than you’ll understand how many similarities it has to Karas’ score and Tiger & Bunny’s collection of orchestral pieces. It’s strong and hard-hitting that allow the emotional scenes of this series to really carry over and IKE is great at pulling this off! While the staff of this consisted mainly of the same creators that worked on Karas and Tiger & Bunny this worked out in their favor for a lot of the episodes but what has surprised me the most was the voice acting– Go Inoue’s performance as Kaisar provided a style of insecurity in upholding his family name while having his lackluster scenes against Space Dandy Meow’s Hiroyuki Yoshino as Favaro.
However, the best seiyu of this is a tie between Rita’s Miyuki Sawashiro and how much she was able to downplay the role with subtle remarks about her zombie nature. The other being Martinet’s Kenjiro Tsuda– an accomplished seiyu that reminds me somewhat of what Johnny Depp does in his roles as a film actor. Versatile in giving voices to a wide-range of characters that give off an oddball yet mysterious sound to enhance each anime personality, and Shingeki was no different: given that Martinet was a maniacal human tampering in the affairs between demons, angels and of his own kind.
Not everything in this series shined as there were episodes in the middle part that seemed to take a backseat to the adventurous ride that focus on Favaro and Amira’s journey to Helheim. The actual card capturing had only been shown at least three times in this series and as much as I enjoy the trick that Favaro and Kaisar pull on Martinet in the finale with it I can say it should have been more prevalent in this series considering how it uses source material from this very idea.
More of the world could have been expanded here and the traveling side of things should have been explored to great length in not just establishing the relationships between Favaro and Amira constantly escaping Kaisar’s clutches but in how the other side-lined demons could handle situations as they arise. Colorful animation in the scenes of the underworld and in the skies with the demons and angels but when it comes to plot development not much remains to be enhanced.
However putting the gripes I had with this if you are looking for a series that is short but fun and fluid in its animation then look no further than Shingeki no Bahamut: GENESIS! Animation by Zankyou no Terror and Sakamichi no Apollon’s studio MAPPA brings a style all its own here that gives off this idea that sometimes anime stories can be something leaps and bounds separate than the action/adventure anime series of the norm.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: [75/100]
The swashbuckling adventure series by MAPPA finally comes to a close and this could have been one of the most satisfying 1-cour endings we could have had. It tied everything together wonderfully here especially by hardening the fact that Lavalley and Martinet are the same person.
While it might not have been the most creative way to utilize Lavalley as the final villain here but it did work out in terms of pushing this story at a quicker pace in such a limited amount of time. Even Bahamut who was the main crux of Shingeki was able to handle Beelzebub to such effect that Azazel could redeem himself– giving his character closure. Speaking of wrapping up the people in this series Kaisar turns out to be one of the strongest characters in this– he shoots his friend Favaro and ends up freeing him from his manipulative and somewhat comedic lying which reflects with the expression on his face towards Amira at the end.
The duel between them ends up being what Shingeki is trying to convey as a genre– a stage play. Two bandits on a journey both of self-discovery to fill their own desires and yet they come across tons of fantastical obstacles that ensures this series as highly entertaining. Would like to see the same staff including the director here write an anime for the Brothers Grimm because that is definitely what I got from this finale. When Kaisar gets his hand cut off by Favaro it really displayed the strong bond they share as friends and more notably how this friendship matures as the story moves along.
One of the few parts of this I could not seem to grasp was how little Bacchus and the duck Hamsa were shown throughout this and finally they receive the screen time to actually do something useful– this is where this show could have improved and where the finale lacked substance as we had a small amount of detail known about these two characters.
Amira stuck within Bahamut accepts the amazing journey she had with Favaro and their own bond they share– an adventurous love. The kiss signifies this point to a large extent even where she appears from Bahamut’s eye and disappears into it depicting this idea of the “eye of the beholder” both literally and figuratively towards Favaro.
Nonetheless this was a conclusion to me that was delightful, beautiful to the viewer’s eye and a whimsical action anime series that aims at delivery themes that hits all the right notes on friendship, love, good versus evil and the supernatural.
Also if the ending card sequence of “I’ll be back” rings true than we might see another season of this sometime in the future!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10
This series has surprised me yet again! Scriptwriter Masanao Akahoshi probably pulled off one of his strongest plot threads with this episode by allowing Jeanne useful as a demon, Kaisar’s courageous attempt at saving Amira only to fall about 4 times and Azazel is the one who saves him.
We’re finally getting to the climax of this show and at the brink of Bahamut getting revived– I am impressed that the episode director here utilized Jeanne’s fighting skills to their full potential by killing angels Raphael, Uriel and Michael. The very angels that pressed on the belief that Jeanne was going to become the savior throughout all the land and here is where it gets entirely reversed! Paving the way for Bacchus to fight against her– proving his usefulness as well.
I hope that this show receives another season because while a few episodes towards the middle had been lackluster for the most part it’s been a fun series to watch! Also want to point out how Karas composer Yoshihiro IKE is channeling his orchestral pieces into film quality here– especially with the scene between Michael dying in the human returned Jeanne and the fantastic fight between demon Favaro and Kaisar resulting in him getting shot right into the chest by his very own arrow.
One thing I cannot seem to understand and a character change that felt abrupt is why Lavalley pushes Kaisar off the cliff [what is this the fifth time he’s fallen in this single episode?] only to celebrate in the revival of Bahamut. Hope this ends well after seeing THAT reveal and this plot development doesn’t blow up in their faces for the finale.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10
I had a feeling this was going to happen with Jeanne and I am glad the writers chose to turn her into a demon this way: her execution by the king rallies up the people to revolt against him puts Jeanne into a rather awkward position that tests her bravery as a knight or even a human. She’s now at the forefront of the entire series here from an honest knight to a lowly demon being burned on at the stake for a crime she didn’t commit. We also get to see who is behind the cloak: Martinet.
A demon under the orders of Beelzebub. The fire scene where the visions of angels that Jeanne sees depicts how far Martinet was able to go in manipulating her and creating another demon under their command. I knew I recognized his voice– Ferdinand of Space Dandy Episode 21 and one of my favorite voices from earlier this year in Ping Pong The Animation of pong player to beach enthusiast Egami! Great casting job here, and it’s this character that sure had some strange quirks for being a teacher to Amira!
Amidst the chaos that was going on within the city: Favaro, Kaisar and Amira end up getting captured by Beelzebub that finally reunites one of the most emotional scenes we’ve had between Amira and her mother! The only part of this I didn’t like was how setup Amira was as a pawn in the hands of Martinet controlling and creating memories within her. Beelzebub pulling out the demon side of her mother turning out to be Amira herself was quite the turnaround and what surprised even more was the fact that Favaro in order to protect his own hide requests to join them! He never changes a bandit and thief always stays a bandit and thief just goes to show how good the story is at characterization!
Also I really like how well the episode director Atsushi Wakabayashi tied in a lot of themes and personality traits these characters have from the very beginning into this. It’s no big surprise either that we had a really good episode here from the director of Guin Saga one of the best fantasy series in recent years.
Jeanne maintaining her duty completely deconstructed her character by what she thought were angels in the fire, Favaro’s consistent lying and betrayal transitions wonderfully into what happens to him after the credits and Rita’s incessant need to protect the young ones as she calls them depicts the wide-range of beings away from humans that there are in this series. Azazel getting hit by Bacchus’ cart results in him being up tied up and making a deal with the zombie Rita illustrates the manipulation theme throughout this series. All of these instances in the episode portrays a larger idea of how well these characters have been written in. I’m impressed now.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10
So the travels that Favaro and Amira had at the start of the series finally run full circle here and they continue on their journey to Helhiem. At first when Jeanne was introduced so late I was worried because we’ve got a series loosely based on a card-series not contrived by any form of novel or manga using a historical character in a minor role only would result in disaster.
However, I was shocked here as this might have been one of the better episodes of Shingeki no Bahamut yet! The fears that the King has of Jeanne and her attempts at murdering him illustrated tons here on how manipulative demons can be! The result is Jeanne being imprisoned and left alone unable to fulfill her duty as a knight– a nice calm before the storm and established one of the best scenes for this series to date– a gradual build-up to evolve a pivotal person from history [Jeanne] into a demon.
Manipulating her just as he did with the King tries to get Jeanne to drink from a cup to absolve her of any hope she has about the angels provided a rather very intense cliffhanger cut into the next scene– information dumping about destiny and fate which leads Favaro into an incredibly tough decision by the end. I thought the episode would have ended long before this right around the cloaked demon tries to sway Jeanne. I was really surprised that there was quite a lot put into this that flowed incredibly smoothly!
The shadows from the demon as he was moving his hands against the cell walls resonates exceedingly well the terrifying view this series has on its demons! It’s too bad this is only going to be 1-cour.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10
The king is put into the spotlight quite a bit here, and to my surprise it worked. He grants territory to Jeanne D’Arc but her resigning shows she doesn’t falter in her own duties as a knight and possible savior of the world against Bahamut. What made this episode shine was the political aspect of it all: the king is led by the Angels as by request to have him and his knights to protect the God’s Key [Amira] and her companions. It might have been a bit too convenient for the story but here is a series that takes itself to the next level and appoints Amira’s protectors Favaro and Kaisar as knights.
Favaro and Kaisar. They are still becoming more and more like each other and Favaro’s reaction to earning the title was hilarious to see! This was also a good time for the show to slow-down a bit by establishing a new villain– Beelzebub. Azazel being burned by him was frightening and was a slight foreshadow into the demons subtle invasion into the castle and what they want to achieve here. A sinister vision to the King about Jeanne adds more drama into the political side of how things are run at the castle but I hope that the writers can make this work with only 4 episodes left!
Liked how Amira’s father turns out to be just a bodyguard for an angel from years ago and explains why she acts like a child. Great development from the side cast of characters here and it episodes like these that refrain from overusing the lead characters that make stronger connections between them by using minor characters like Jeanne and the King to enhance to story’s progression further!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10
Episode 6.5 was a complete recap so it is time to move forward onto episode 7! I really liked the episode because it showed off the teaming up of Favaro and Kaisar astonishingly well against the demon Azazel in his attempts at capturing Amira!
The invasion of the city by the demons played off wonderfully against the comedy side of this– all hell is breaking loose and Amira is hidden away in the castle stuffing herself and drinking. Rita’s reactions while staying calm and practical are hilarious and probably one of Miyuki Sawashiro’s best seiyu roles this year!
Favaro wants to protect Amira because he just wants to get rid of his tail and out of his lying about Helhiem. Kaisar chooses to protect her out of duty: a simple reason but definitely a reason that makes the fight alongside bandit Favaro all the more entertaining! Love the part where Favaro mentions its a battle between demons.
From the beginning we’ve had two really opposite male characters that are gradually being pushed into being more alike in ideals and personalities than ever before and it was the final fight on the top of the castle that illustrated this to such great lengths!
Have to hand it to Hiroshi Kobayashi for putting together a really strong storyboard on an awesome episode here: we’ve got the swashbuckling adventure that we had in the beginning and it really shines now that the two leads work together! This guy does really good stuff in terms of developing a story for anime as one of the best episodes  of Kill la Kill was done by him: the introduction of Tsumugu Kingase!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10
Another slow-paced episode that explains just a bit more about Azazel, the God’s Key, and Amira. So the king including Jeanne D’Arc are under the bidding of the three-angel Gods and it is revealed that Amira is both angel and demon. Well this felt all too forced and way too convenient in that the trio Favaro, Kaisar and Rita are saved from execution by the king in accordance with the wishes of the Gods.
That whole first part was poorly developed and too easy for the main cast to get out of– however, I thought Amira’s tantrum towards Favaro was pretty genuine. I just don’t like how one scene they were chained up and about to die and then the next they are free to roam the city protected by the King’s guards. Hopefully the next episode will clear all the problems this episode has with its pacing. However, on a good note Jeanne D’Arc once again finally gets more screen time, and I don’t even care that her attack was so silly (flash of lighting)that it took out all of those demons. Its about time she shows up and not in the background!
The big question remains whether her change into the prophesied holy knight to destroy Bahamut will actually happen or will it be reversed by using Kaisar as that knight to redeem his family’s honor– one thing is certain now: she will be an integral part of the story that Shingeki no Bahamut has given us so far.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 5/10
Aside from having a few issues, this episode used its main characters very well. The rivalry between Kaisar and Favaro has been slowly built up since the very beginning and it’s in this episode that we receive the interaction between them over spilt blood between families and friends. The result? All throughout this show we’ve had slow pacing, which works in some spots and others it just drags on, but at last the fight here was packed with so much intensity that it came off just right! Favoro is very much the comedy aspect of this show and a huge contrast to Kaisar as this representation of a straight-laced knight, but in reality isn’t a knight but a bandit just like Favaro. You can definitely see the director of Tiger & Bunny put this show together– both have extremely expressive characters that deliver their emotions quite realistically.
To end the feud between them and come to their senses that they need to save Amira could only have been done by Rita. Since her introduction in the third episode she has been my favorite character in this series as she can be extremely funny and practical when it comes to solving situations. There was an immediate solid chemistry between her and Favaro that was probably more humorous than when he traveled with Amira in the earlier parts of this series.
As great as this show has been there are a few things that bug me– Azazel is a demon trying to claim the power of the God’s Key within Amira but why was he even seen in Favaro’s flashback regarding his own family? If he killed his father and probably not likely but if it happens that Favaro IS secretly a demon even prior to Amira’s pact with him than it makes these plot threads way too coincidental.
Jeanne D’Arc and those knights were more prevalent in this than they had ever been before. If she is an important part to the story, than why did the writers bring her in so late into this story? She is probably one of the most prominent figures in European history and has been used in a ton of anime– Inzazuma Eleven Go, Hidan no Aria, Hetalia Axis Powers, Makai Ouji and the most recent Nobunaga the Fool. In Nobunaga, she may have had a lead part but was portrayed as a damsel in distress for the most of the anime. I really hope that can turn around Jeanne D’Arc’s character in Bahamut by breaking the mold and push her away from the minor role as all these anime series have done in the past.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10
As amazing as last week had been for Bahamut, I had no doubt in my mind we would have an intense and action-packed episode laid out for this episode. Finally, a show that actually uses a necromancer and puts them to good use– I love how Rita is slowly being swept into Kaisar’s grand attempts at capturing Favaro all for the sake of satisfying her own loneliness. The by and large difference between being alone and keeping yourself company with the undead– that fight between lizard men and zombies adds so much to the whimsical portion of this show that at the start of this show I had expected it to be a straightforward swashbuckling adventure. This sure was a big surprise!
This might not have been as powerful as the previous episode, but here is where we get a wider view of Favaro and Kaisar’s connection to each other. Their fathers’ on both sides of the spectrum here– a knight and a bandit. Cliche but for the world this series has set its peculiar cast of characters into it somehow worked decently well here. I will say this just to get this out of the way but the one aspect I did not like was how Favaro and Kaisar were best friends when they were younger. How many anime series do this and fail miserably? I can think of a ton– hopefully Bahamut will transcend this generic anime trope to move on and develop their bond differently.
Amon, a man that betrayed Favaro’s father in the past is betrayed by one of his minions here, oh the irony. On the lighter side of things, Captain Amon did provide a couple of amusing scenes to this show that we’ve caught in bits and pieces of with Amira being drunk and Favaro constantly lying that some of the scenes between the three of them played out really funny– Amira thought Amon was Favaro’s mother.
It’s strange though how we went from a a couple of slow-paced episodes to a very fast episode– Kaisar in order to catch up with Favaro got on a boat really quickly, the camera switch to that scene felt disjointed. The story just kept on running– Amon’s a demon to a giant crab and lizard men. Hell, even a giant tentacle coming out of the sky entangling Amira and Kaisar!? What? The pairing of Rita and Favaro towards the end there was completely unexpected– I gather that there will be a lot of humorous scenes between the two of them in the coming episodes.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10