OP: 「変幻自在」 (Hengen Jizai) by PENGUIN RESEARCH
「はじまりの約束」 (Hajimari no Yakusoku)
“The Promise That Started It All”
Although not the first anime original to premiere this season, Ars no Kyojuu certainly is the most original of the bunch. With a blatant fantasy theme wedded with some guaranteed action you know you’re in for a ride, and if this opener is any indication, such predictions are almost definitely going to be proven right.
Much as teased in the RC Preview, Ars no Kyojuu can be thought of as a weird Monster Hunter – Attack on Titan mix with just a dash of Final Fantasy-esque JRPG for spice. You’ve got a humanity making a living off the land, defending against big monsters capable of crushing all in an instant, and plenty of power and wealth to come for those willing to fight against the impossible. The first episode here does more than enough to reinforce this, as we get big monsters doing their thing, a few exceptional individuals with power who can defend against the impossible, and plenty of human scheming to leverage such things into even greater power. Oh yes, it’s your quintessential fantasy – after all, we’ve got sci-fi airships and apparent magic both!
Drilling down to brass tacks Ars no Kyojuu will seemingly centre around one Kuumi (Youmiya Hina), a veritable scientific experiment who guaranteed has more to do with those giants roaming the land than her fellow humans – if she’s actually human. Don’t deny, a taste for the gourmet can only cover up superhuman feats for so long. It’s anyone’s guess right now just what her shtick is, but as fellow MC (and total misfit) Jiiro (Morikawa Toshiyuki) shows it most certainly has something to do with the mentioned Clerics who provide the power so-called Paladins needs to stand tall and wipe out the threats posed to human civilization. Tack on foreshadowing of prophecy and finding the ones meant to bring peace to society (scenes like this are all the evidence needed) and you start getting a good idea of where things are heading. Might take an episode or two to get the full picture – and there’s definitely some subterfuge yet to come – but rest assured things here won’t be laid back for long.
Overall while nothing entirely unexpected, Ars no Kyojuu so far has shown all the pieces (and animation work) needed to turn into a decent bit of fantasy adventure. Might need a few more episodes to get a good grip on what it’s all about, but without a doubt this is one show any fantasy fan should keep an eye out for.
ED: 「名もない花」 (Na mo Nai Hana) by Harumi