Written by Bananaowns
Images courtesy of MAPPA and Funimation
Everyone on this planet has told a lie at some point in their lives. Most of the time these lies have absolutely no consequence; they are too small to present a large issue. However, there are times when a lie manages to turn into a significant issue. The anime I am reviewing today takes the concept of the lie that grew too large and turns it into a swashbuckling adventure. Of course, I am talking about Rage of Bahamut: Genesis. A common sentiment regarding Rage of Bahamut is that it is the anime equivalent to Pirates of the Caribbean. That is not a bad comparison at all; I mean the first episode features a duel that compares to any one of the many duels of Captain Jack Sparrow. This comparison perfectly encapsulates the series: it is an action adventure that consists of pure entertainment. That brings up the question, does this series possess any depth to it at all or is it simply just pure entertainment? I’m Bananaowns and this is an Otaku Youth Anime Review.
The story of Bahamut takes place in the magical world of Mistarcia, a world consisting of humans, gods, and demons. Long ago, a mystical creature known as a Bahamut threatened to destroy the world and was only stopped by the cooperation of the three races. They created a key to seal the beast with one half given to the demons and the other given to the gods. Thousands of years later a woman steals the gods’ half of the key and threatens the existence of the seal. That is essentially the background lore of the series.
Now the main plot follows the adventures of the bounty hunter, Favaro Leone. After celebrating a successful bounty, he unwittingly gets dragged into the world altering conflict regarding Bahamut. Due to a lie regarding his ability to lead someone to the far off region of Helheim, Favaro catches the attention of the mysterious Amira. Amira places a spell on Favaro that gives him a demon tail and coerces him into taking her to Helheim. The two are subsequently chased by the Knights of Jeanne D’Arc and Kaiser, an old friend of Favaro who has a score to settle.
What follows is a 13 episode arc that is an absolute joy to watch. However, it does not maintain the swashbuckling atmosphere throughout its entire run. The story manages to escalate quite naturally as the threat of Bahamut becomes more clear. Characters are quickly thrust from the more light hearted nature of the series into extremely dire situations. There is an evolution to this story that makes it stand above the Pirates of the Caribbean comparisons. The series possesses an inner conspiracy which reveals itself late into the 13 episode run. It is actually quite conniving, how the antagonists manage to unleash their plans. At first the series seems relatively straightforward with the plot twists being very predictable. However, toward the later end of the season, the story actually managed to surprise me, which says a lot for what is considered a standard action adventure. Overall, the story is quite good, with a variety of twists and turns that keep it interesting for the viewer.
Rage of Bahamut possesses a startling amount of major characters between the various humans, gods and demons. They are all interesting in their own right; I have one qualm with the major villain. The major villain of the show is not developed at all. His motivations for carrying out his evil plan are so generic that it is uninteresting. This is especially noticeable because his subordinates are infinitely more interesting. A truly great show needs a great villain and Bahamut lacks one.
For the purpose of review, I will focus on two of the characters that comprise the main cast. Favaro is a bounty hunter, but acts like the stereotypical rogue character in terms of skills. He is not the typical hero of an action adventure show. He is goofy; he lies quite frequently and will run away without a moment’s hesitation. Despite these unsavory qualities, he does possess some good traits. He will go out of his way to assist those that he cares about, even if a little hesitant at first. His character arc throughout the series involves him overcoming this fear and hesitation. By the end of the series, he actually manages to change significantly.
In contrast to Favaro, Kaisar acts like the more stereo typical lead. He is overly concerned with honor and tries to embody chivalry. This is a result of the disgrace of his formerly noble family, due to a failed mission led by his father. Because of this incident, Kaisar possesses an intense need and drive to prove his worth in almost every circumstance. Unlike Favaro, he does not possess the initial hesitation to head straight into danger. His character arc largely involves him dealing with the actions of Favaro. He blames Favaro for his family’s downfall. This pursuit of revenge is what drives his actions, to the point where it completely controls him. Like Favaro, he actually undergoes quite a significant amount of change as the series progresses, becoming less concerned with honor and more concerned with himself. This is a highlight of the character development; the traits of Favaro and Kaisar manage to influence one another. Favaro becomes more chivalrous while Kaisar becomes more concerned with himself.
Now I did not cover Amira because her character is heavily tied with the main plot of the series. Any mention of her typical traits and motivations could be a massive spoiler for the overall plot of the show. I would be doing anyone a disservice by spoiling this entertaining romp of a show. Just know that I really her character. Like the rest of the leads, she develops significantly by the end of the series. Even the minor characters are given quite a lot of screen time and development. The characters are the strength of Rage of Bahamut.
Rage of Bahamut is an absolutely beautiful show at least in the 2D elements. The animation is very crisp and contains a level of quality that is not normal for a typical show. The 2D animation does not experience a single drop of quality throughout the 13 episode run. The first episode alone has many outstanding moments of animation, the most notable being a sword duel. Now the animation fails in regards to the 3D animated elements. Certain models like Bahamut look decent enough, but a majority of the CG directly conflicts with the 2D animation. With the high quality of the 2D animation, the CG models stand out too much. The difference in quality between the 3D models and the 2D animation is very jarring. It really brings down the quality of the scenes that heavily use the 3D models. Asides from the 3D animation issue, there really isn’t much more to say about the animation quality. The 2D animation is amazing, while the 3D animation leaves a lot to be desired.
The sound design of Bahamut is great. Between the varieties of sound effects employed to add detail to the action, to the sound design of the variety of mystical creatures, every aspect of the sound design is great. The voice acting overall is very good. The voice actor for Favaro is the ultimate stand out actor in the show. The actor manages to perfectly capture the more goofy aspects of Favaro’s personality, while also expressing the more insecure aspects of the character. My favorite performance is that of Amira. The voice actress manages to capture her more devilish nature, while also highlighting her naivety. Ultimately, the entire voice cast is phenomenal. Every character is voiced very well and each actor delivers a great performance. In terms of music, Bahamut also does a great job. The music is triumphant when needed, lending a credence to the larger action scenes. Much like the plot, the music starts off relatively simple, but evolves as the series progresses and the stakes get higher. The opening song is one of the best I have ever heard. Much like the opening for One Punch Man, it is just pure hype.
Rage of Bahamut: Genesis is a great show. I wholeheartedly recommend this show to those who are looking for a great action adventure. It is relatively short at 13 episodes, but is well worth a watch. The story is very interesting and the characters manage to be interesting. Despite the 3D animation, the 2D animation is phenomenal. The sound design is great with the notable highlights being the music and the voice acting. Overall, Bahamut was a great show, but not something that I would consider to be one of my top tier anime. Rage of Bahamut: Genesis earns a Watch Rating. Join me next week for another Otaku Youth Anime Review.