Hey, kids! Ever fought over who ate the last cookie in the cookie jar?
Have you ever blamed others for the things that you did, like maybe that chalk you threw that hit the teacher in the head? Well, then you’re in luck!
‘Cause today we’re gonna review the one anime that is based on that very concept of ‘Whodunit’! Instead of you bratty, noisy little imps from hell, we’ve got another group of people whom all resemble a humanoid zoo.
We have a cat…
Sigh…Why am I even doing this?
Rokka no Yuusha is set in a fantasy world which in the past, was attacked by the Demon Lord. The Saint of the Lone Flower, who was extremely powerful and made the Demon Lord and its minion fiends retreat all the way back to their homeland. However, the Saint of the Lone Flower predicted that the Demon Lord would one day arise and she declared that she would divide her power to the six heroes whom she deemed worthy to battle the Demon Lord and its minions. True enough, 300 years after the Saint of The Lone Flower prophesied, the Demon Lord awakes and six heroes were branded with the sign of the Flower, showing that they were selected to fight and defeat the Demon Lord. Hence, they were called Braves of the Six Flowers and proceeded to defeat the awoken Demon Lord. However, another 300 years later, the Demon Lord arises yet again and another batch of the Braves of the Six Flowers were selected once again. The same thing happened 300 years later and the Demon Lord was defeated once again. Nearly 300 years since the last awakening of the Demon Lord, Adlet Mayer, who claims to be the world’s strongest man now appears.
He interrupts the semifinal of a holy tournament in the capital of Piena in a bid to be chosen as one of the six Braves and to gain recognition of the Saint of the Sword who is a potential Brave, Princess Nachetanya.
Oh, and yeah, Saints were selected women (yes, women only) by their respective gods and deities to possess certain power. No explanation to why they were given these powers though. Oh well, moving on…
After decapitating two participants of the holy tournament and dozens of foot soldiers through trickery and smarts, he was soon overpowered and thrown into solitary confinement for interrupting such a holy tournament. However, one year later, the Demon Lord awakened and the brand of the Flower appeared on Adlet’s hand, indicating that he was one of the Braves of the Six Flowers.
Not long after, he was rescued by the Princess, who was, as predicted by Adlet, one of the six Braves and they proceeded to embark on a journey to meet the four other Braves. However, there was more than meets the eye when there were seven, including Adlet and Nachetanya, all claiming to be Braves who arrived at the meeting place…
The plot is rather simple at first: Six were selected to defeat the Demon Lord but seven appeared. There was no way seven were selected someone had to be an impostor. So, the question is, who is the fake?
The pacing of the show was quite slow and fortunately so, as there were simply too many plot points to rush things or some things are going to be lost in translation. The slow pacing of the show was also perfect to set the stage for the guessing game, which comes no earlier than episode 5.
This ‘Whodunit’ concept is a rather refreshing take on a all-too-stale story line of how a group of heroes surfaced to battle some antagonist/ Demon Lord/ witch. However, that was the only saving grace for the show. And somehow approaching the end of the show, it bombed.
Allow me to explain.
First, despite the fresh take on the defeat-the-Demon-Lord story line, there were a plethora of plot holes and things we’re expected to accept without any explanation at all. If it wasn’t for the ‘Whodunit’ concept, I can’t imagine me accepting so many plot holes. For example, could anyone explain how the Saint of the Lone Flower was so omnipotent and could even select heroes who would defeat the Demon God few hundred years after her death? She was supposedly a mere human who got her powers from a god, and yet she somehow single-handedly defeat and drove the Demon Lord away.
If you choose to scrutinize every detail of the setting, you could identify many other plot holes but I’m not going to be a spoilsport because I could and chose to overlook these plot holes. The real problem I had with the show was with the ‘guessing game’ part.
The show did a wonderful, if not perfect job with setting the stage and building up the atmosphere up to the very climax. The only problem was that as they were reaching the conclusion, they introduced many different plot points and mentioned many different characters that would never appear on-screen, like the Saint of the Salt etc. My guess is that they, or rather the writers introduced way too many elements into the plot until he/she forgot which is which.
Frankly speaking, I was rather captivated by the show up to the very end, but I was simply not satisfy by the explanation given to me. There was too little evidence to support the conclusion and it was as if the writers decided to do a 180 degree turn and abruptly arrive at the conclusion.
While it took 4 full episodes to lay the stage for the guessing game and another 5-6 episodes to establish Adlet as one of the real Braves, it took less than 3 minutes to establish who the fake was. Moreover, it could not explain the motives behind certain actions of the characters involved. The conclusion that was supposed to be the climax ended up becoming the anti-climax of the show and ruined the foundation laid by the first 11 episodes or so.
The character development was average, at best, as not much attention was given to the characters’ development. The back stories of the characters were not particularly fascinating, nor was it intriguing. I was initially rather fascinated by Adlet Mayer, the self-proclaimed strongest man in the world, but I was rather annoyed when they pulled that ‘romance’ nonsense or whatnot. I was definitely not amused.
Technically speaking, the show was quite good, given that it was only Studio Passione’s second series in charge, the same studio behind the disastrous Rail Wars which received a lot of flack among the online community. The orchestral tracks in the show were really good and brought out the adventurous atmosphere really well. The same could not be said about the show’s visuals though, as the quality of the visuals dropped dramatically, giving us one of the most cringe-worthy artwork in years.
All in all, Studio Passione is definitely headed in the right direction, but due to it being so new in the industry, I’m not surprised that it didn’t have the consistency nor the experience to deal with projects like this.
This show had a lot of potential to propel Studio Passione into the limelight, and it did just that. Though the landing wasn’t as smooth as everybody thought it would be, the show was entertaining to say the least. I was dissatisfied with its sudden conclusion but in a nutshell, I would still recommend it to others regardless.
So, after meticulously calculating the points awarded for plot, character development, sound and animation, and my personal enjoyment, after which I erected a fog barrier and had them kill each other in a duel of death, I decided to award Rokka no Yuusha a total of:
7.86 (Above Average)
So, I guess that’s it. I just finished watching this show, reviewing it and even published a list of ’10 Anime You Need to Watch Before You Die’. You can read the article by clicking here.
I guess I had that time, didn’t I?
Anyway, I should be releasing my continuation of the list I made in about 2-4 days. The latest I would take would be 1 week, so I ask of you guys out there to be patient. I’m not the most unoccupied person in the world (nor am I the most hard-working), you know?
So, till the next post, cheerio.