Fall 2014: Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis
The name – Shingeki no Bahamut – really made me think this would be great. I was almost sure of it. At least it couldn’t be bad, I thought. Now, I’ve finally seen the first episode of the anime and would like to tell what I think.
ED: A very solid melody, befitting the atmosphere of the anime. I liked it. As for the animation – it was just a quick recap of what happened during the episode. I guess that’s also pretty good use of the ending. After that came a preview, so there will probably be one in the rest of the episodes too – allowing the viewer to know, what’s to come in a week.
Voice acting + sound: One of the things I liked about Shingeki no Bahamut. The voice actors did a good job in portraying the personalities of their characters, and everything seemed to fit nicely. Amira’s voice sounds especially good. The sound effects and the OSTs were very good too. I’d even say they were on par with the first episode of Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works.
Visuals: Now this is where my feelings got really mixed about this anime. Honestly – I had no idea what I was going into when I started watching Shingeki no Bahamut. I didn’t see any previews or images except for the cover picture. Which made me expect something ordinary. What did I see? A huge amount of CGI. Sure, that’s not a problem – even if I generally dislike CGI, it makes the anime a bit unique. But that animation… The difference in animation was so big between the scenes, that I wasn’t sure if the anime was good or bad. First half of the episode made me want to drop it right away (and puke). I barely held out through the feeling of playing Assassins Creed on my integrated Intel 965 ECF back in the day. That’s around 10 fps! And not even during a conversation – those were scenes filled with action. 8 minutes of suffering later, and I thought I was watching another anime. Everything was suddenly so smooth! I immediately reconsidered dropping it and watched till the end. The fight at the end was especially well animated.
Characters and story: There seem to be three main characters: Favaro Leone, Kaisar Lidfort and Amira. The first two are most likely friends, and are both bounty hunters. Favaro is lively and energetic, perhaps even childish, while Kaisar is more disciplined and mature. At one point in the episode, Kaisar accused Favaro of being the reason for him becoming a “wretched bounty hunter”. Evidently, the first half of the episode is spent on showing Kaisar violently chasing Favar. I found this part pretty boring, and was wishing for something to happen. Then, were are shown the appearance of a naked woman – Amira. With a lightning, she lands on top of a cart of three bandits. They get their hopes up, but the change in Amira’s eyes suggests they meet their end right there. Meanwhile, Favaro defeats a man from a wanted poster and turns him into a card. That card can be exchanged for a bounty – from a dark-skinned drunkard who is apparently also a god. To get the rest of the reward, Favaro must defeat the first man’s brother, who summons a huge demon. Favaro has no way of defeating such a monster, so he must rely on a mysterious woman who he just met. That woman, Amira, turns into a demon and easily kills the giant. She then kisses Favaro, as per his request, to be shown the shortcut to a place named Helheim. He loses consciousness, and when he wakes up – he has a tail. And so their adventure begins.
Conclusion: As I mentioned earlier, I have very mixed feelings about Shingeki no Bahamut. On one hand, the story is intriguing, and the battles look great. On the other hand, at times the animation really bothers me, and I’m not a fan of CGI. I might have to leave this anime for later, when and if I get the sudden urge to watch it. For now I’m putting it on-hold.