OP: 「Cry for the Truth」 by Mich
“The Strongest Man in the World”
Leading up to the Anime:
There are several things that have attracted me to Rokka no Yuusha, despite the fact it seems like the type of anime I usually don’t bother watching. Fantasy LN anime adaptation aren’t usually my cup of tea, since they’ve been done to death and I don’t usually get much from them. Thankfully, there’s enough about Rokka no Yuusha that had me curious to look into it. And the more I read about it, the more I wanted to watch it. I’ve been keeping up to date with the promo material, I read the beginning of the first light novel, and I wrote the summer preview for it. I’ve gotten myself pretty hyped for this anime, and I was just hoping that it wouldn’t disappoint. After all, it’s done by a fairly new studio that brought us the masterful RAIL WARS, so that wasn’t exactly a big selling point.
The Mythos and the World:
As it turns out, I had nothing to be worried about. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode for all the reasons I thought I would. Without even diving into the main premise or the characters, the setting of the series was enough to initially catch my interest. I’ve heard that the anime may have taken liberties with changing this from a European fantasy series to an Aztec fantasy, and it that is the case, it was a fantastic choice. Why? Because there’s not many series with a world like this one. It feels different, from the architecture to the clothing of the side characters. If this was just another European-inspired fantasy, I don’t think I would have given this a second glance.
With this interesting world comes an equally interesting mythos. There’s a lot of lore to this world that’s already been explored in this premiere – midway into the episode we pretty much got a solid info-dump. It wasn’t the most creative use of getting the exposition across to the audience, but because what was being told was interesting, it made up for it. The idea of powerful heroes coming together to defeat a deadly foe isn’t exactly revolutionary, but learning about the Saints of certain powers, and the history of those six heroes chosen 700 and 300 years ago helps build up to the current story. Could this have been shown and not told? Of course, but we’ve only got 12 episodes with this one (sadly), so I’m not complaining about getting into the real story as soon as possible. Also, this is a light novel, so I was already expecting less showing and more telling, which is, unfortunately, all too common with that form of storytelling.
Two of Seven Heroes:
The Goddess of Fate is at the centre of the entire premise, and as expected, her tale is vital to the storyline. I’ve already discussed the extra juicy part to the plot, so I’ll mention it again briefly despite this first episode not acknowledging it quite yet. There may be six destined heroes, but there’s going to be seven in this generation – meaning there is an impostor. Whether they’re the true villain in disguise, or just there to cause mischief, I suspect they’ll have something to do with the demon side of things.
This week, however, we only meet two of the seven heroes. First is our spunky and confident lead, Adlet Mayer (Saito Soma). Like all the heroes to come, his design is very bold and identifiable, and from what we’ve seen this episode, his personality is just as memorable. Sometimes it’s good to just have an asshole of a main character – or at least for them to seem that way. He’s not cruel or mean spirited, just cocky in his own ability and utterly sold on his own desires. Luckily for him, they do come into fruition with him gaining the mark of the chosen one. I really liked what we saw of Adlet this episode; he’s very sure of himself and doesn’t seem to have any flaws just yet, but seeing his ten year old self looking starved and weak under his old master’s teachings promises that there’s more to him than meets the eye.
Princess Nashatania Loei Piena Augustra (Hikasa Yoko) is the second hero to be introduced this episode. She’s got a long-ass royal name, so I’ll just call her Nashatania. We didn’t see as much of her personality, apart from her curiosity and outgoing attitude. She knows all about the history of the Six Heroes, and she made for the least convincing maid ever. What maid gets to walk into a well-guarded prison without being caught? What we do know, however, is that this princess is powerful. Adlet already suspected that she’d be one of the chosen six, so I’m sure her name is famous around the continent. She did say that other potential candidates for the Six Heroes were being killed by the recent rise in demon spawns, so those who did get chosen in the end were indeed the best of the best, and even though we’ve still to see the rest, I’d count her among the best (it’s just a hunch – I have a lot of hunches about her). Even if Aslet thinks he’s the strongest in the world, I feel like Nashatania (and the other five) could give him a run for his money.
Suspect of the Week – Nashatania:
Since I’m going to be blogging this anime, I’ve decided to include a week segment called: Suspect of the Week. Basically, once we meet all seven of the heroes, I’m sure we’re going to get some hints as to who the fake hero is. For now, I can’t go on too much, but out of the two characters we’ve seen so far, I’d say Nashatania is the more suspicious. She knows a quite lot about the heroes (which probably isn’t a good enough reason by itself), and she seemed prepared to keep Adlet in her kingdom, even if she wasn’t chosen in the end. Maybe she was just very confident that she would be, or maybe she’d pretend regardless, because she wants to be one of the heroes. Who knows at this point. There was also that shot of her staring at the burnt orange sky, making her look rather dubious. And in the opening the light dims as it focuses on her face.
At this point I’m just listing the things that have me curious, which may amount to nothing in the end. But that’s why I wanted to blog Rokka no Yuusha in the first place; I don’t want to trust any of these seven who claim to be the chosen heroes. One of them is lying, and all of them will be suspicious at one point or another. I want to have fun trying to pick apart each of these characters, deciding who I feel is the real impostor along the way.
Overview – What’s Next?:
I should also mention how well choreographed the action sequences were. There may have been moments where the background animation or CG was poor, but when it mattered most, Rokka no Yuusha looked damn good. If we see more battles with that much impact and detail put into how each of the seven fights, then I, like Nashatania, will be a happy bunny. This first episode totally met my rather high expectations. Now I’m excited to meet the other characters and explore this Aztec demon-infested world week on week.
Note: No spoilers. Please. I know the LNs are ongoing, but I don’t know if the fake hero has been revealed at this point. If not, then feel free to clarify that and add to the discussion (without spoiling content that hasn’t been adapted!). If it has been revealed, just keep it to yourself. Let’s have fun with this one~
ED: 「Secret」 by Mich