So this morning I happened to finish this anime that I’d been meaning to watch for about a year or so now. The reason it took me this long to get back to it was because the first episode (or at least the little that I watched) didn’t exactly leave a good first impression…
But now that I’ve come back to it and watched it I’m filled with conflicting views on the show! Haha (I can’t decide if I like it or not)
Barsburg Empire’s Military Academy is known for training elites who bring victory to the empire. Students of the academy freely utilize an ability called “Zaiphon” to fight, while the types of Zaiphon usable depends on the nature of the soldier.
Teito Klein, a student at the academy, is one of the most promising soldiers produced. Although ridiculed by everyone for being a sklave (German for slave) with no memories of his past, he is befriended by a fellow student called Mikage. While preparing for the final exam, Teito uncovers a dark secret related to his past. When an attempt to assassinate Ayanami, a high-ranking official who killed his father, fails, Teito is locked away awaiting punishment.
Only wanting the best for Teito, Mikage helps him escape. Teito ends up at the 7th District Church where he is taken in by the bishops. It is here that Teito attempts to evade the grasp of Ayanami and the Military, so he can rediscover his memories and learn why he is the person that can change the fate of the world.
I decided to post the summary from MAL this time (instead of making one myself) because there’s a lot of things that happen and my thoughts are all jumbled up. If I had to summarize it I’d probably be omitting a lot of information…
The art is actually pretty considering it’s an older anime (2009) but because it’s old it can look pretty bad compared to shows like Beyond the Boundary, GATE, and Your Lie in April (wow art improved). The animation also left me wanting for more, especially during fights where the characters were throwing and punching each other. I do have to say that the stills throughout the series were really nice (especially the ones of the Ghosts, anything Frau was also amazing).
And now I’m going to contradict myself but…in terms of pacing: (1) The first episode went too fast for my liking. I think it would have worked better if it had been split up into 2 episodes or something and (2) the next 9 episodes dragged. In fact, there were a lot of places where I felt it just took forever to progress but it was mostly in the first 10 episodes (there’s 25 total) where I was like, what am I watching.
There is also a lot of music playing throughout the anime (which honestly annoyed me after episode 4 because it was used as a way to signal to the viewer how to feel), the opening and ending didn’t leave much of an impression, and the only song I really liked was the Raggs Requiem (it’s really pretty) that’s introduced nearing the final episode.
It also have a lot of moments where it was funny and I couldn’t help but laugh. The one thing I didn’t like about these funny scenes was that sometimes they’d be placed during a serious scene and then I’d lose that fuzzy feeling I was getting (I guess it took away from the seriousness of a scene).
In terms of characters, the only one I honestly enjoyed seeing was Frau (one of the Bishops who is very un-Bishopy) because he had a sickle as a weapon (COOL), he had an interesting face, and because he’s the complete opposite of what you’d consider a Bishop, haha. There was also the enemy that was really adorable and deadly (I suppose) that I liked seeing, though not as much as Frau. Like Hyuuga who for the whole of the anime reminded me of Imayoshi (KnB), and Kuroyuri (short pink haired kid who’s always being carried around). I guess it’s because those two were the most active of the bunch (be it with words or screen time).
And even Ayanami, the main antagonist, wasn’t so evil so I liked him too.
I guess the one thing that I didn’t particularly like about Teito was that he was pretty indecisive and almost seemed to seek other people’s approval before he could really believe in anything. Though I’m not saying he wasn’t a good character because he did have his moments of glory. It was only until the end where we actually see his character development and I’m almost wishing there would be a second season just to see how he’s changed.
In the end I’d rate this anime a 7/10 probably. I mean, it was pretty average, nothing special and for the most part I always wondered when I’d be done. At the same time however, I really liked the relationships between the characters (Teito with Mikage, Hakuren, and Frau; Frau with his teacher, and even the interaction between the bad guys), the concept of the series, and how everything wrapped up in the end. Also, being a reader of the manga, I was disappointed to see that the story never went into detail about Verloren. Still, there were a lot of handsome men I was able to oogle.
If I really had to recommend this to someone I’d say it’s for someone who has patience (or doesn’t mind watching at least 10 episodes for there to be real progress) and/or to a BL lover (not that this is yaoi but there’re lots of guys and the possibilities are endless!). I would recommend the manga for sure though.
**Now I’m going to SPOIL the first episode**
This anime has a pretty bad first episode (at least as an introductory one, too much happening) so if you’re going to watch this I’d say to give it at least up to episode 2 where we get a change of setting. And if you want a change of pace then that’ll be until around episode 10/11.
Things that happen in episode 1: Teito and Mikage are introduced, we learn that Teito is bullied by the students at the Academy because he’s was a sklave (specifically trained to kill) and they’re all from good families, Mikage is the only one who he’s on good terms with (best friend), he’s got special privileges where he’s exempt from certain classes (called Miroku’s pet), and that he’s a top student.
He also has amnesia and the only clues he has about his origins come from strange dreams he has, he’s about to graduate from the Academy and was one of the very few who passed his exams, made an oath with Mikage where they promise to always be there for each other/die together, he finds out that Chief Ayanami murdered his Father (through a vision he gets), tries to kill Ayanami and fails, he’s imprisoned and will be questioned about the Raggs Kingdom, Teito escapes his cell and leaves in an aircraft only to be shot down, and we are introduced to three guys wearing black outfits on their own aircrafts.
**I just randomly thought of something. When Teito escapes it’s night and then when he crash lands it’s morning but I doubt it takes hours for people to land…?
Anyways, while I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with the timeline, I felt that the amount of time spent from school to the outside was too fast. Some things I wrote down on my phone after I watched the first episode.
- Gives off a rushed feel, like the creator wants to introduce the ‘plot/action’ but also some background in 20ish minutes
- The music is over the top, almost like they’re using that to tell the viewer how to feel (like, notice that this is supposed to be dramatic! inserts overly dramatic music)
- Fight scenes end even before you can get excited about them
- Scenes cut from one place to the next so quickly and sometimes without explanation
**The fights do get better later on however there seems to be only so much characters can do when they’re fighting with Zaiphon. Kors and Wars are defeated pretty easily. Flowers aren’t all that interesting as weapons, soul threads are pretty neat when you mix in some dolls (but we don’t get a lot of this), and Frau’s sickle is great (it’s got a mind of its own, woooo~).
And for yaoi lovers, there are lots of hugs, squeezing, a straddle, implied kiss (with blood sucking intentions), and blushing/whispering into Teito’s ear. Oh, and that one part where Teito hugs Frau from behind on the last episode. Not to mention the overuse of the words ‘I love you!’ Mmm, I’m surprised this show doesn’t have some kind of BL tag. And no this is not a yaoi. But it feels like it could be, ah~
Oh, and there are pretty ladies too (though they’re side characters), like the trio of nuns that are always pampering Teito (pamper me!), the mermaid girl that the church has swimming around in a fountain, the dolls that Castor (another Bishop) makes, and these spirit ladies who protect the church from intruders/purify/fix broken things. There was also that one girl who appeared for like a quarter of an episode and then disappeared (I don’t even know who she was).
Haha, and yeah, anyone have any thoughts on this anime? Or better yet, the manga? A combination? It looks like there’s only 17 volumes for the manga so there’s only one more volume before I’ll be done (boo)
Update: I recently raised the rating for this to accomodate my rating for another series.