Outerhaven Anime: First Reaction – Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen

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Hello everyone and welcome to The Anime Pulse: First Reaction. I’m a big Mega Man fan and I used to frequent a website dedicated to making anime music videos about the video game and anime franchise. One day a collaboration was done where there were several AMV artists using several animes set to the tune of “Heroes” by Masterplan. While watching the AMV with a friend of mine, we were both enthralled by a scene where this guy in a mask beat the crap out of some other guys using nothing but a fan. We had to find which anime that was and it turned out to be Utawarerumono. That anime ended up being one of my favorites to this day. Now in 2015, we get sequel set 10-20 years after the original story. This is Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen!

General Overview

One day, a nameless man walking through the snow is attacked by a large insect monster. He falls into a pit and is rescued by a girl with cat ears and a tail named Kuon. She takes the man back to her village and nurses him back to health. Since he cannot remember his name, Kuon names him Haku. This is, quite simply, the story of Haku.

First Episode Impressions

Coming into this, I was a bit confused. When I heard the announcement of this anime, many people were wondering whether if this was a re-telling of the original.. if it was an alternate setting.. or if this was a sequel. Turns out, it’s the latter.

The show is a bit more light-hearted than the original. I remember Hakuoro being a bit more firm and not so whiny like Haku is, but it was also my error in thinking this was a re-telling. Now that I know it’s a sequel, I will have to get used to the new main character. Both series started out so similarly it is easy to get a bit confused, but part of my confusion (okay all of it) was purely my fault for never taking the time to clarify if this were a sequel or not before diving head first into the show!

As for the first episode itself… I think I enjoyed it a lot because of the nostalgia factor. When I look at it as a new series, I’m not really finding myself enjoying it AS much as I would have liked to… mainly because the first episode was filled with comedic antics that just felt like they didn’t belong, but I completely understand that they were there to set up the main character’s personality.. which.. I really hope gets better as the series progresses. Given the history with Hakuoro from the first season, I’m pretty sure we will see Haku grow in the same fashion.

Once rescued and given a name, Haku is tasked with earning his keep in the village.  They try to find his strengths, but Haku just isn’t good at anything. He can’t fetch water, he can’t carry sacks of grain, heck.. he could barely even stand walking to the village when he was rescued.  Manual labor was not Haku’s strong suit.  He was charged with milling some grain because the mill itself stopped working.  Not wanting to do any more manual labor, Haku decides to just fix the machine… and ends up doing so!  Now we know that Haku is best suited for tasks that uses his mind more than his brawn.

I never played any of the Utawarerumono games so I’m not quite sure what to expect out of the rest of the series, but then again, I do have quite the track record of not reading/playing any source material so this is nothing new for me. All I know there is high potential for a third season as another game is being made to wrap up the trilogy.  For now, I’ll have to see how this season plays out, but I have faith that they can make it worth your time.

OP & ED Impressions

I can’t comment on it because the first episode had no opening or ending, but Suara is returning to the series to do the opening. She was also the artist who did the opening for the first Utawarerumono anime and it was quite enjoyable. I look forward to episode two so I can hear it!

Worth Watching?

MAYBE – I’m not listing this as a maybe because it was horrible or anything… but mainly because I don’t think you should dive into this until you’ve watched the first season. You may come to understand this anime more if you watch the original 26 episodes and then watch this series. Also, Im not really sold on the main character just yet. I will have to see more to get a better grasp of where this story is headed. Perhaps it is the nostalgia factor and my level of expectations based on that first season.. I don’t know. Only time will tell if I enjoy this one or not, but regardless if it ends up being bad.. I will watch all 25 episodes.

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.