Good luck deciding, you bastard.

I wasn’t planning on watching this series. I had planned to introduce it and be done, as much because I was sure we’d once again get half of the story and never see the rest. Yet I kept watching it, because there’s something comforting in the familiar story, and for whatever its failings, Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle is one step above. One step above average, granted, but that’s something.

Make no mistake, this is still a magical-fantasy-action-harem anime through and through. It does not elevate the form; that I watched it at all is a signifier that I’m fond of these kinds of stories, and that I’ve seen so many of them that I can comfortably watch one without paying much attention, making it a relaxing, low-effort pastime. Which is probably why I bothered to finish it at all, if I’m being honest; it took little effort and it let me relax, while better shows demand more from their viewers (to the viewer’s benefit, but that’s not always what we want).

If I had to give another reason why I kept watching, it’s because Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle was always one step above average when my interest started to falter. Krulcifer was like the return of Kampfer’s Shizuku—Krulcifer isn’t that sexual, but she is aggressive, and a cool beauty to the core. You can’t help but root for her. Ditto to Celes-sempai, who is at first painted as a manhater, but surprise, that was a lie! Maybe not a great one, but I appreciated that the tiresome trope was averted, and Celes-sempai was much more likable for it.

Lisha was fine—a standard tsundere who turns dere pretty quick, nothing special. Philuffy is every boy’s dream osana najimi, but not all that compelling of a character otherwise. She’s more obviously wish-fulfillment. Ditto to Airi as the kuudere imouto, though she only occasionally goes overtly brocon, which is nice. As for Yoruka, she’s got the sexual aggression going, so that’s fun, but it’s really too soon to tell for her. I actually liked the three Triad members a lot, especially Noct (“Yes.”), for no other reason than they’re fun, lively, and they don’t fall for Lux (a few comments aside). It’s nice to have some girls who just want to be friends with the male lead.

As for Lux himself, he’s a mixed bag. He’s a likable enough guy, but he suffers from standard magical-fantasy-action-harem main character syndrome, where he’s too powerful and too “chivalrous” for his own damn good. I put chivalrous in air quotes because would it really kill him to let his friends help him for once, instead of treating them like fragile children who must be protected? The answer is no, it wouldn’t kill him, and it might keep him alive; though to his credit, he does properly fight alongside Lisha in the finale. Either way, that’s a mainstay of the genre that I really do not enjoy.

As for the plot, not much to say. Some arcs were better than others. The whole Drag-Ride/Abyss thing was serviceable enough, but it never compelled me. I still don’t know or care what the Ruins were all about. It’s all a vehicle for the harem action to me. I don’t know if that’s due to adaptation decay or not, but the action never pulled me in, so I’ve already begun forgetting what happened.

“One step above average” isn’t the most effusive of praise, but it’s the best I can give. It’s around about the level of Blade Dance, which I liked better; I don’t know whether that’s due to preference, bad taste, or a year and a half less of experience with the genre. It’s not a bad little magical-fantasy-action-harem anime, though I probably would have enjoyed it more had it indulged in more harem antics rather than blazing through the plot. But I suppose what’s done is done. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. I’ve definitely watched and/or dropped much worse magical-fantasy-action-harem (Mahou Sensou & Seiken World Break come to mind). Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle hit the right notes (likable main, decent art and cute harem). These types are series, when they hit the right notes, are comparable to comfort food: enjoyable, but definitely not five-star cuisine. I felt the biggest detractions were overused cliches (e.g. forbidden technique? Of course you use the forbidden technique) and rushed/incoherent story line. I’ve never read the light novel, but I’m venturing a guess that the story had an amazing amount of details slashed for the anime.

    Blade dance is a good comparison. The series was decent as an anime. Having actually read the Blade Dance light novel juicy details were definitely left out. Even then, I agree with your ranking, Blade Dance as an anime did slightly better than Bahamut Chronicle, especially in story execution.

      1. I can’t for the life of me figure out replies with this blog. Not possible to reply after X replies?

        Anyhow. Yeah, generally there’s always going to be one of the competitors that is more likely than the others to win the Bowl. Honestly I’m making a larger issue out of this than it actually is. Of the top of my head I can only mention DAL, Blade Dance & Shomin Sample as clear examples of this and considering the large amount that I consume it’s really not that much of a problem.

        If DAL is an example of this done wrong I find that Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? is an example of how to do it as close to perfect as possible. Maybe this is just Takehaya being Takehaya and gracing us plebs with some better writing. In Rokujouma every heroine gets a volume every now and then dedicated to them but not completely ruining the chances of the others. There is a bias for a certain girl but it’s not really strong enough to classify as gamebreaking.

        Now, to see if my energy has regenerated enough to actually do something in BDO.

      2. We only allow comments to nest three deep, otherwise they’d quickly become unreadable. Just reply to the most recent one you can to slot it in under the relevant conversation. In this case, you would have replied to your own comment below, like I’m technically replying to my own comment right now. I’ll also frequently lead with an @erohakase (or whoever) to indicate who I’m talking to.

    1. I’m pretty much of the opposite opinion regarding Blade Dance and this. I feel Blade Dance was depressing to watch due to not getting to the interesting parts and all the focus on Claire. The novels do the same but once they get going the plot & the other characters manage to make up for her shortcomings.

      This series however was rushed as fuck and had some very likeable characters even from the start. Lise isn’t an insanely abusive tsundere and the triad is entertaining from the moment they are introduced. All the characters are likeable enough but Krulcifer & Yoruka stand firmly placed at the top.

      There’s a thing that infuriates me when I read harems that are done “wrong”. I think most people would call it author bias. It’s very noticeable in DAL, Blade Dance & Shomin Sample. Having certain heroines be absolutely shafted in favour of what I presume to be the authors favorite. It makes the “fight” seem very uneven and ends up killing most of the excitement. I mean, what’s the point of a harem if everyone isn’t playing on relatively equal playing fields? Go ahead and write a simple romance if that’s what you want, don’t bait and switch us!

      1. I’ve thought about this before, and you’ve got a point. What’s the point in writing a harem if you’re going to make the winner clear from the get-go? And I think the reason is that all writers are cognizant of writing themselves into a corner. That can be frustrating when it’s a single plot point in an unpublished book (trust me there), but you can fix that before anybody sees it. But what about when you write yourself into a corner on purpose?

        That’s what a truly equal harem is. It’s giving members of all the different factions reason to honestly believe that their favorite haremette (or, uh, harem member in the case of female led harems) could actually win, in the full knowledge that you’re going to upset most of the factions by the end. That happens anyway, but when it’s tempered by the logical awareness of who was probably going to win anyway, it helps soften the blow.

        The trick, I think, is to make people doubt what they logically know to be the end girl (or boy). Take Love Hina. We all knew it was going to be Keitarou and Naru from the beginning, but there are enough twists in the narrative to make us doubt that, even if just for a minute. That kept it lively and interesting, even if no one was surprised that Naru won the Keitarou Bowl. And it helps that Keitarou was much more worth winning by the end, that hunky archaeologist.

      2. Actually I think DAL has that problem much more than Blade Dance. With Blade Dance, the later volumes (about after volume 6 iirc) are heavily focused on all the other heroines and give them lots of development and time to get at the MC. Claire still gets some development but I would say that now she has lower priority compared to Restia (true waifu :D). DAL on the other hand is where the other heroines shows up frequently but they don’t get much focus other than that.

      3. I think the reason I find it particularly annoying in DAL, Blade Dance and Shomin Sample is because I can’t find all that much to like about the behaviors of the “main” heroines. Tohka and Aika are both about as “intelligent” as your average cockroach and Claire is the abusive tsundere. I probably find the abusive tsundere the most difficult to appreciate. That said I can definitely see how this problem might not even be a problem at all to some people because it’s a matter of taste but I’m sure many people will have some time where they feel the author is kind of not being “fair”.

        Thinking more on this I even remember good old series Infinite Stratos where the bias was absolutely hilarious. That power level spike is just retarded and the amount of scenes she who shall not be named has in comparison is astonishing.

        In case it wasn’t obvious, I like my heroines “intelligent” and non abusive. Krulcifer fits the bill here. There are times when a character can go beyond the expectations one has of their archetype but I haven’t really seen that from Tohka, Houki and Aika.

        I’m hoping Tohsaka type tsunderes becomes more a trend rather than the Louise/Taiga/Claire types.

    2. Yeah Blade dance really is a good comparison. From my recent memory, the decent above average adaptations of these genre in light novels includes Blade Dance, Rokujouma, and this. The horrible ones include World Break (my friend who actually read the light novel after the anime out of curiosity due to how bad the anime was to him was actually surprised because the light novel is actually really good), Mahou Sensou, and arguably Absolute Duo (the novel is OK but not great either). There is also Madan no Ou to Vanadis which I have mixed feelings about. The anime wasn’t so good while the novel was excellent since it deals with all the strategies, the political intrigue, and more. However the anime as a complement to the novel is not too bad. DAL is really fun but the anime adaptation seems to lose a bit of that “fun” factor for some reason.

    3. @erohakase @Stilts @Silver: Re. The “Harem Race” as I think of it (i.e. who will ultimately win): That is the staple problem of the genre in that it’s unusual where ML could actually end up with a harem beyond theoretical. This is where HS DxD has an advantage in the genre because in devil world, harem is OK! Theoretically, there are other situations where you could have a similar true harem resolution (ToLoveRu maybe?), but generally speaking it’s hard to come up with a “multiple wives (or husbands) is OK” situation. RL doesn’t like that. Instead, the harem is usually maintained by relationship status quo which bugs some people.

      At any rate, I agree that if you’re going to go down this road, there is value in keeping the harem illusion alive so that a viewer’s (or reader’s) favorite waifu may “win” (with some of these MLs, not sure how much it’s really winning). Frankly, I think there’s a good reason beyond simply “I want my waifu to ‘win'”. Personally, I’m not a tsundere fan (e.g Claire from BD, Aira from Hidan no Aria, and yes, even Louise from Zero no Tsukaima got on my nerves after a while.) So what’s nice about a harem is that if there’s a character (or character type) you don’t like, there are others which you very well may like, and as haremettes get (or should get) considerable screen time.

      I agree with Silver regarding Blade Dance and Date a Live (DAL). I liked the Yamai twins in DAL a lot, and for me they got pushed to the side too much too fast even in LN (read like 8-10 volumes of it). Anime was worse in that regard. :< Conversely for Blade Dance, when the actual blade dance was taking place (that would make for good second season if it's not rushed to hell), the other characters do get some pretty good "screen time" (more than just their own volume and then back to the side you go). "OT", but while Touka isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, I think she easily falls under "baka adorable”. She does carry the idiot ball more than I like (she’s kind of the joke butt-monkey :< *pats Touka on head*), but I don't think she needs to be a founding MENSA member either. She does have positive qualities (and I don't mean bust size :P). Oh, while I'm at it, I also like Origami quite a bit.

      Aaaaanyway, while DAL has its own issues, it's one more harem show where I think the haremettes are simply better than in Bahamut. I agree with what Ginobi47 wrote below. While definitely NOT the only thing, you need good haremettes for this genre.


      @Silver: Agree regarding Blade Dance getting a pretty good (or at least decent) adaptation. Also agree on Madan no Ou to Vanadis. Bad adaptation IMO. Anime did not do the LN any favors. >_> As for DAL, I think a big part of the anime’s problems was pacing/adaptation speed which was pretty darn fast, more so 2nd season IIRC.

  2. Krulcifer and Celestia are best girls, with Yoruka quickly working her way up if she had more appearances and interaction.

    Lisha suffered from, despite being the first and (I assume) “default” girl, she really got the least amount of and weakest development of the girls thus far sans Yoruka (who at least has the excuse of appearing so late) whom all had one and a half to two episodes dedicated to them that explained some things and made them better for it, even Philuffy.

  3. Philuffy was by far my favorite. Not the most interesting character (Krulcifer was much more interesting), but I think she was the most genuinely honest and adorable one. I think she might also be the only one that would accept the “harem ending”, if there was ever one – she seems very easy going and one that wouldn’t mind sharing Lux with her friends, as long as she was part of the group.

  4. I’m actually with Stilts on the Triad girls being my favorite. Yes. Noct was especially great. Though I think it is more due to my preference for short haired women. If I had to pick one of the main girls, I’d probably go with Krulcifer, who is my favorite personality wise. I do often go for the osana najimi characters but Phi doesn’t have much personality and frankly a bit bustier than I prefer. That one scene from Yoruka’s intro episode was great though.

    1. Short hair on women is like long hair on guys—many can’t pull it off (as a function of culture, mainly, but also due to different body types), but those who can look rockin’. Short hair on women generally works better than long hair on guys, with the latter only working (usually, in my opinion) on fairly muscular guys; short skinny guys end up looking like women (which is cool if that’s your goal, but often it’s not…that’s culture again), while tall guys end up looking even taller (trust me, I tried it once). Short hair on women is especially awesome if they’re tall, in my opinion, though that’s flagrant bias; I’m 6’7″, so I just like tall women period, nyahaha!

      I got off topic there a little.

  5. Managed to stick with the series til the end, despite initially wary of its very premise. Perhaps cause none of the haremettes come across as annoying (no one beats the crap out of MC, yay!) and they actually offer meaningful help for Lux throughout the series – Lisha with her tech expertise, Krulcifer with her knowledge of the ruins, and Philuffy for providing Lux with warm comfort, etc. Though, the only thing i hate from the series is the villains. Seriously, can’t we get LN adaptations where the bad guys don’t grin so wide it’s stretching their face and act like maniac in battle? They’re so devoid of subtlety that they often provide some unintentional laughs.

  6. And so another third rate highschool magic anime comes to an end. Mind you, I love watching these types of shows simply because Im a perv and harem is every man’s dream.

    Anyways, on to my relatively short review of Bahamut.

    All in all, its an Infinite Stratos clone with a much tolerable Protagonist. Lux still makes me cringe a fair bit with his “kindness” and “chivalry”, but it compares nothing to Ichika. That alone allowed me to watch the show to the very end.

    The action was…. meh. Nothing specially really. It wasnt bad but nothing ground breaking.

    The plot was…. meh as well. We’ve all seen these storylines before.

    Mind you, I know that every story is just a piracy of another piracy so I wont fault Bahamut’s overall plot as is. The main thing that really made me cringe a bit was the execution of the tried and tested japanese shonen harem anime plot progression.

    Meet girl> Fight Girl> Say Kind things to Girl> Girl practically spreads her legs open> MC is too much of a pussy to dive in.

    Kinda sad how the Japs cant seem to make a harem anime without following this particular sequence.

    And now we’ve come to the most important criteria of any harem anime… The Haremittes! Or the hot girls if you want to do laymans terms.

    The girls are…. meh…

    All of them tickled my fetishes in one way or another but only 1 or 2 of them were interesting in my eyes.

    Krulucifer in particular was my personal favorite coz I love aggressive Kuuderes. Yoruka follows close behind because of the same reasons as Krulucifer.

    Everyone else were pretty much your standard copy pastes.

    While I do love all the women in bahamut, I doubt I’ll save any of them into my long term memory. All of them are forgettable.

    The biggest gripe I have with Bahamut are the villains. God One dimensional bad guys are the most boring types there is. The anime spares no expense of making them look and sound like ugly villains.

    All in all I give Bahamut a 5/10. Just another harem anime that I’ll soon forget.

    1. Totally disagree on you about Lisha being copy-pasta. There aren’t many series with a really cute princess that’s a tsundere, also a mech geek, and also a drill lover. The only one that’s close is Sigyn from Break Blade but she’s not a tsundere and more emotionless (as in her facial expressions and not herself actually).

      Go Lisha!!!

    2. @Ginobi47 & Silver: I think you both have a valid point. The mechanic hobby is a little different (though she’s not the first female mechanic character by any means), but how much of a factor is that when she squarely falls under princess + tsundere trope? For me it was more that Lisha wasn’t as tsundere (incl. corresponding violent retribution) as a lot of them are. Also wasn’t a red head (seemingly a requirement for tsundere in some series >_>).

  7. Honestly, I found Bahamut to be average of mediocre of both mean and medium for the genre. LOTS of boxes checked and nothing really stood out at all except maybe, maybe, the setup (world/situation going in) though I found Taimadou Gakuen 35’s setup much more interesting. Even then, I think this show could have done a better job with world-building (e.g. deal with the ruins). Agree with Stilts that Krulcifer was probably my favorite of the harem – a “cool, more mature(ish)” type. Celes was OK. Philuffy was… Philuffy. Clingy, “have to take care of older-brother” younger sister was just that. Lisha was the usual tsundere, though I guess maybe not as tsun as some others in the genre (points for that). ML was typical young, super nice HS age ML (surprised he’s 17. Acts younger than that IMO) who’s a “special snowflake” (some degree of hax/op). OK, I guess, but just because he’s better than say Ichika from IS isn’t much of a standard. I wouldn’t say Asterisk has great characters, but I did find a couple of the girls there more personable/likeable than with this show. IS had a better harem as well IMO. Here, they all fell into some degree of OK+ to meh for me. :/

    So I have to disagree with Stilts on this one. Wasn’t the worst harem + HS + magic LN thingy, but not “a cut above” or distinguishable in any way either IMO. Frankly, I ended up binge watching the last 3 episodes because I lost interest along the way. Just no “hook” for me here, and I’m not sure if I’d watch a second season or not.

    1. To be fair, I don’t think giving it a 5.1 out of 10 is exactly high praise. There just kept being one thing that kept me watching (aside from the underlying comfort food aspect) for being better than my admittedly low expectations.

  8. I finished it, found it enjoyable enough. However, I’m not compelled to read the source. On the other hand, I devoured the translated source of Blade Dance after I finished that show. I need to return to it when I have time to catch up. Overall I’d rate it much the same – good enough to not drop, but average enough to likely not remember a year or two from now.

  9. I enjoyed undefeated bahamut, too. The show was mediocre in most aspects, but the girls and the resolutions of the fight were nice to watch. While the action itself was subpar, I liked how MC acted in the fights, being much more confident than his usual self, not relying on his superior equipment, but on his ability to make best (and sometime creative) use of his assets.

    Speaking of the girls somehow I liked Lisha best. A quite smart but social clumsy girl.


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