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Lord of Vermilion: Guren no Ou – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「天使よ故郷を聞け」 (Tenshi yo Kokyou wo Kike) by May’n

「我が命は敵に払う借金か」 (Waga inochi wa teki ni harau shakkin ka)
“Our Lives are the Debt We Pay to Our Enemies”

When it comes to game adaptations you typically get one of two things: either you know exactly how the story is going to play out, customary game mechanics inserts included, or the show will (sometimes quite literally) keep its cards close to its chest. Lord of Vermilion, if previews weren’t enough of an indication, is going to be following the latter route, taking an otherwise pure fantasy card game story premise and turning it into some gritty urban fantasy showdown. Theoretically it’s actually not that bad an idea, but in practice? Yeah I think we all know where this one is headed.

In true “stick around for more” fashion LoV wastes little time in showing what it’s going to be all about. Characters with a wide range of personalities and appearances do battle against one another with magical powers for…well, some reason or another. Obviously the purpose behind this seeming free for all (beyond giving an initial dose of action) will emerge sooner or later, but right now it’s just a bunch of forgettable faces engaging in the usual light novel battle sequences with entirely predictable outcomes. Don’t deny, you know full well this story is going to revolve around the world, its fate, and the future of all people involved—gothic dream girl guarantees it.

Improvements, however slight, come though when LoV starts delving into its premise and introducing its protagonist(s). Tokyo it seems was affected by a strange sound, resulting in widespread unconsciousness and the emergence of an eerie red mist. Jump ahead a week and most people affected have awoken, but the mist remains, no one can apparently move through it (see the lack of bodies), and some massive plant now inhabits several of the city’s larger buildings. Not all affected people though had similar experiences as our main man Chihiro (Kaji Yuki) stayed unconscious for five months and, at least among his peers, was the only one with his form of dream. Of course we all know (including totally not suspicious nurse and doctor) it’s because the kid, beyond a love for Shakespeare, has a special power, but Chihiro doesn’t, his adopted little sister brother doesn’t, and dojo dad definitely doesn’t. Well, at least until Chihiro starts clobbering the now demonic guy with whatever power is residing in his blood. Why the guy is suddenly a demon? No bloody idea either, but you can bet the answers on that will be coming quickly. One particularly important girl after all is just itching for a chance to confront our dojo master.

There’s a lot of unknowns for LoV to start exploring before getting to the well teased action, and with other details like one journalist’s ominous remarks on Chihiro’s past floating about, you can bet the explanation won’t be too predictable. LoV might have got off to a rocky start with its fair share of genre and adaptation concerns, but with a good bit of handling there’s plenty of time yet to see this story unfold right. We’ll just have to see if the show is capable of living up to its potential.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「紅く、絶望の花。」 (Akaku, Zetsubou no Hana) by JUNNA

July 13, 2018 at 10:37 pm
3 comments »
  • July 14, 2018 at 4:34 amUrizithar

    It certainly can improve but the problem is it needs to keep viewers right now and it didn’t do anything for me. I could watch it but I also could watch something better so I will just drop it for now and wait till someone gives me a tip that I skipped something that turned out to be amazing. Here is the problem though. It never happens.

    • July 15, 2018 at 1:58 amAngelus

      I struggled to get past the first few minutes of this one, so yes I’m pretty much going to do the same – skip it unless it becomes clear that it’s worth watching.

      As to whether it never happens, I know there are people out there who skipped Beatless after watching the first few episodes but then came to realise from reading what others were saying that it actually was trying to be a serious exploration of AIs and their relationship to humans, which gave some context for the more off-putting bits in the early episodes. I still skipped it, though.

  • July 15, 2018 at 9:01 amGinobi47

    The title made me assume that this was a good anime….
    The call back to the good old days of Ragnarok Online was strong….
    Unfortunately, I had to force myself to finish the first episode of Lord of Vermilion….

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