It has been quite some time since I’ve found a fantasy based world that I could get interested in. I’ve gotten back into anime a lot in the past few years and there’s only one other fantasy world that I’ve enjoyed and it bounced between the “real” world and the fantasy world. Blade & Soul is grounded in fantasy through and through. The first episode is actually pretty useless. The opening is awkward and actually little for the overall series at least for now. We meet the character of Alka as she flees from pursuers. It’s not really clear why she’s running especially after she handles them with ease. Eventually she ends up in a village as a protector in the upcoming negotiations with a kingdom that Alka used to kill for. Alka is revealed to be the last of the Clan of the Sword.
The second episode is basically used to introduce the world and get Alka out and in the open. The problem is that she has a butterfly looking birthmark on her arm which has made her a target for bounty hunters. She reaches a town looking for work and the hostess of the best bar notices the mark and tells her to leave the town so that they don’t have any troubles. Alka leaves and of course runs into trouble.
Alka as a character is only interesting when she’s kicking ass because otherwise she’s just the silent type and I mean silent. When she speaks it’s really just to say her name or to acknowledge that she’s from the Clan of the Sword.
What really hooked me was the animation style. It’s gorgeous to look at and even though the character designs are on the cheesecake side of things, the characters are all really cool looking. The coloring is vibrant and rich which is probably why I’m drawn to it so much.
While this looks like a basic “last of my clan” revenge story set in a fantasy world, I’m still curious even if it’s just for the great action animation and rich coloring. It’s definitely not for everyone, but as I said it’s the first fantasy world to hook me in a long, long time.
Directors: Hiroshi Hamasaki, Hiroshi Takeuchi Studio: Gonzo (with lots of help)