If there’s one thing that Japan isn’t short on, it’s fantasy adventure animes. Every single season there’s a plethora to choose from, but how do you set yourself apart from the rest of the pack to make yourself interesting and stand out? Easy… you take the fantasy aspect out of it and turn it into a game of Clue. Welcome to Rokka no Yuusha!
The Demon God can be defeated, but he never truly dies. Every 300 years he resurrects and threatens all of humanity with extinction. The world chooses six warriors known as the Braves of the Six Flowers to combat the Demon God and subdue him. The Demon God has awoken and the Braves have been chosen, but there seems to be a little problem this time around. Seven braves were chosen meaning one of them is a fake!
Enter Adlet Mayer… the self-proclaimed Strongest Man in the World. After meeting up with the other braves, they all suspect that he is the Seventh. Now the game of proving his innocence and unveiling the true seventh brave begins!
It has begun!
I was really delighted with the direction Rokka no Yuusha took. It wasn’t the status quo, even though it began as such. You had braves with powers fighting demons… it couldn’t get more fantasy adventure at that, but when the anime dissolves away from that into something akin to a murder mystery.. without the murder… trying to figure out who the fake brave was proved to be an interesting story that doesn’t seem exciting on the outside, but it made you want to watch each episode.
The mystery itself wasn’t all that deep, though. We didn’t get a lot of information on the main characters to really take an educated guess at who the seventh brave was, however, I think in this scenario less is more. The fact that we know so little about each character allows our minds to be deceived in the process and the viewer can become absorbed in the mystery. That is, until they made it rather obvious (at least to me) towards the end of the series, thus ruining a lot of the shock value.
BUT.. that is if you were clever enough to pick up on all the clues they left. Some people probably won’t pick up them, but those who typically have a keen eye for spotting things in anime will probably unravel the mystery by themselves.
Overall it was a refreshing take on the fantasy adventure genre and I like how it was pulled off. The ending of the show never resolved the overall conflict, but the anime did adapt the first volume of the light novel, leaving the second volume untouched. This leaves the series wide open for a second season which, at the time of this writing, has not been announced just yet. I’m glad that there is a prospect of hope for a second season, however, because if there isn’t.. then this will be one of the worst endings I’ve seen in a long time!
As aforementioned, the characters don’t have a LOT of back story, but they give you just enough to learn about them, but not reveal too much as to accidentally spoil the big mystery. It’s a very fine line to walk and I think this show walked it pretty well. So let’s take a look at the main cast of characters that are the seven braves of the six flowers!
He is the Strongest Man in the World according to himself. He’s a rather chipper fellow who doesn’t take life too seriously. He interrupts a holy tournament which is believed to help determine who one of the six braves will be. After making a mockery of it, he is imprisoned until the day he is rescued by Princess Nashetania. The day he is rescued is also the day he was chosen to become one of the six braves.
Adlet is a breath of fresh air to the main protagonist role. He’s cool and confident throughout the whole series and he takes things both seriously and lightly at the same time. He genuinely cares about his comrades and will do anything to protect him, but he’s not above to using cheap tricks to get the job done. He’s a wonderful mixed bag and a great example of a unique main character that can fill so many roles.
I feel that a lot of main characters lack diversity these days. They fall into one archetype and they ride that wave throughout a series, but Adlet has so many different facets to his personality that he’s just a joy to watch!
Princess Nashetania Loei Piena Augustra
Why oh why do they give members of royalty such long names!? Sheesh!
Nashetania is one of the six chosen braves and rescues Adlet from prison after meeting him in his holding cell before he was transferred to his main cell. She is also the Saint of Swords and can create blades from out of thin air and manipulate them to her command. Although she has an amazing ability, she’s also very new to this whole brave thing and stumbles along the way.
Her personality is a bit flat, but she has some cuteness to her. Her little innocent nuances make her a lovable character and the fact that she’s willing to learn how to fight better in order to protect everyone gives her a steadfast will worthy of being a brave. The only downside is that you don’t really get to see her grow as she does disappear rather early in the show and by the time she returns, the mystery begins and there really isn’t much fighting until towards the end of the series.
This is a prime example of the less is more that I talked about earlier. You’re given just enough to get a feel for a character. It’s character building like this that makes the mystery all more mysterious.
Now you know it’s a fantasy series when you have a character who wields a gun and has last name of Speeddraw.
Fremy is the Saint of Gunpowder (how in the hell is gunpowder sacred enough to warrant needing a Saint!? I digress…) and is also known as the Brave Killer. She acts cold-hearted, but she only does that to push others away from her. They really do a nice job making use of the usual tropes to sell her shrouded past and, aside from Adlet, she gets the most development out of the seven main characters. They go into her past and explain why she has targeted current and former braves with the intent of killing them. Learning about her past makes you feel a bit sorrowful for Fremy , but her development here is more or less a slow burn despite the information dump we get on her.
The reason I say that is because of her personality. She simply can’t trust anyone no matter how close they get to her. She would still rather keep her emotions locked away, but towards the end of the series those emotions and feelings ever-so-slowly being to leak out. I have a feeling that if there is a season two, she may open up more, but when you learn about her past, can you really blame her for being so overprotective of herself?
Hans Humpty (Nyah!)
What fantasy wouldn’t be complete without someone who mimics a cat? Typically you see this in a female lead character, but in this case, you get it on a male character instead. It does break the mold a bit, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, though. I think we’re just accustomed to seeing the “cat person” be a female each and every time that it just strikes us as odd when we see a male character take the role.
Hans is an assassin through and through and he claims he was taught by cats so he pays homage to them by saying Nyah every chance he gets. Hans is a very unique character that seems out of control and psychotic, but at the same time, he’s very reserved. As the series progresses, you come to learn that Hans is just very cautious of who is around him… especially when one of the braves is a fake. It is the smart approach afterall and with his background of being an assassin, you can’t blame him for his actions.
Hans ends up being a really cool character, but with his nuances he ends up being a prime suspect of being the seventh brave. Is he though? I wonder…
Mora is the Saint of Mountains and is supposed to be the “voice of reason” type of character, however, she’s very quick to judge and relies on facts of the present rather than the overall evidence to make those judgments. She’s also the kind that when she sets her mind on something, she won’t get off of it until it gets done, whether she’s right or wrong…
Of course, I’m talking about Mora pegging Adlet as the seventh brave, thus the whole reason why Adlet needs to prove his innocence. No matter how much Adlet says or does to prove he’s not the seventh, Mora remains steadfast in her beliefs that he is truly the seventh to the point where only his death will prove his innocence.
I really hate characters like that. They never listen to reason and always reject everything anyone says just because they believe they are right. I didn’t like the Mora character at all and I felt myself wanting to see less and less of her each episode. I know she meant well and that she was just trying to protect the other braves, but Jeebus.. she is a bitch and a half!
Chamot is the Saint of Swamps and is said to be the most powerful being in history aside from the Saint of the Six Flowers who created the braves. She has the appearance and mindset of a little child, but the personality of a psychopath! She cares not about anyone… if they oppose her in any way shape or form.. they must die.. simple as that.
Her ability is rather disgusting. She vomits a swamp from the pit of her stomach. From this swamp come fiends that obey her orders. The fiends.. well.. they, too, live in her stomach.. Apparently her body is one big happy fiend factory. The fiends themselves cannot be killed.. they simply just regenerate over and over again making her a very tough opponent to beat.
If you’ve seen a psychotic child in an any anime then you’re not missing much here with Chamot. She’s the kind of character that cries, whines, and pouts whenever she doesn’t get to kill anyone. I didn’t care for her that much because she didn’t really bring anything unique to the table in this show. She seemed like she was used at times when they needed her and that was about it. She didn’t even really help with the investigation either.. she simply just agreed with what anyone was saying in hopes that she had someone to kill and that’s about it.
What can I say about Goldof? He’s the personal bodyguard of Nashetania and a life-long friend. Outside of that.. your guess is as good as mine. I know he’s devout to Nashetania, but you get almost zero background on him which makes him very suspicious. He’s a strong silent type character that will do anything to protect the one he serves, but aside from that nobility, Goldof just spends most of the show being an afterthought, but at least I liked him more than Mora and Chamot!
Art, Animation, and Sound
Rokka no Yuusha was developed by Studio Passione.. the studio behind the very forgettable series Rail Wars. While this isn’t the studio’s first major production, their artwork was VERY well done and there was a lot of detail in not just the backgrounds, but in the foregrounds as well. I just wish I could give it that praise throughout the entire series because at about midway, it appears they began to run out of budget and the art began to take a decline in quality. It’s not a huge drop that leaves it looking like something Narsus from Arslan Senki would paint, but you can definitely tell the difference.
Still.. there are some scenes that look amazing
The character designs are very well done, however, and I like the little touches they did to each one.. such as the red to orange gradient in Adlet’s ponytail, or the very high level of detail in Fremy’s outfit. Even plainer designs like Mora, Goldof, and Nashetania all stood out and made the most of what little they were given to work with.
The CG was a bit spotty. Some of it looked like it fit.. and other times it just looked out of place. It seems as if they couldn’t find a happy medium here, but hey.. it’s a relatively new studio so they do need a chance to grow. It’s not like some other new studio where their first show was a complete and total disaster.
I didn’t know Skyrim was an anime..
The best way to describe the OST would be that it created a passive atmosphere. Everything fit and served its purpose, but nothing really jumped out to make me want to go out and buy the OST. I also find it rather odd that the series switched the opening theme song just 4 episodes in. Typically with a 12 episode series, it will get one theme song and stick with it. Also, it was rather annoying how it had three ending themes and they rotated irregularly throughout the show, but oh well… the songs weren’t all that amazing anyway so I typically skipped them.
My biggest concern with Rokka no Yuusha is if there will be a season two. If not, it will change the score I want to give this show drastically because I really.. REALLY hated that ending. It rubbed me the wrong way and it made it feel like that first eleven episodes built up to the huge reveal and finale and then the final two minutes spat on all of that buildup and made it seem like it was all for nothing.
The less is more approach worked for this show, but, for me, the mystery was solved rather easily which makes me wonder how easy it was for others to get it. I felt that they could have done a better job masking it until the very end to get more shock value out of the reveal, but oh well.. it is what it is… still enjoyable nevertheless.
The characters were fun all around and it was a great detraction from the normal fantasy anime that you typically run into. I am going to be hopeful that a second season is coming and give this an 8/10.. otherwise, that ending drops this show to a 6/10. It’s your move Studio Passione.. Give us some more Rokka no Yuusha!
No second season will have me like…
Rokka no Yuusha
And I Thought It Was Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Rope
A nice detraction from typical fantasy while keeping all of the elements of the genre alive. I don’t think many will be disappointed with this
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