Join us as we view new pilots this season. See where they fit on the highly-scientific Rock-or-Suck Scale…
- FAIRY TAIL SEASON 2 -- BLACK BULLET -- THE COMIC ARTIST & HIS ASSISTANTS
- ONE WEEK FRIENDS -- MUSHI-SHI: THE NEXT CHAPTER -- BRYNHILDR IN THE DARKNESS
- CHAIKA THE COFFIN PRINCESS -- CAPTAIN EARTH -- NO GAME, NO LIFE
- THE IRREGULAR AT MAGIC HIGH SCHOOL -- MEKAKU CITY ACTORS -- MAJIN BONE
- DAI SHOGUN : GREAT REVOLUTION -- HAIKYU!! -- BABY STEPS
I avoided watching this for pretty much the entire time I was sampling Spring’s new offerings… so, of course, BLADE & SOUL ends up having the best pilot of the bunch.
Once again, it goes to show that any genre or trope can be good with the right execution. By all appearances, this looked like it was going to be another pseudo-fantasy crowbarring 'fan service' into a semi-historical setting that the creators haven’t bothered to research. Hell, the main character is even a borderline Amnesiac Child Assassin - - and that’s the character archetype I detest the most.
However, despite myself, I was rather thoroughly engaged. Compelled, even.
As was the case with GARGANTIA and CLAYMORE (at the beginning, at least), what this really comes down to is the creators knowing the precise effects of the exploitative ingredients they’re playing with; and skillfully working around them. Does it seem ridiculous for this killer model to be running about this fantasy kingdom? Well, the other characters actually comment on that before you can point it out. The crew is fully aware that this stuff is ‘bad for you,’ and that its patent ridiculousness is what makes it interesting. By addressing that, the show can get away with it.
Likewise, the Amnesiac Child Assassin works here because she isn’t actually the main character. The main character is actually the less-heroic village girl (her sidekick), who is a full-developed character with flaws and weaknesses. She’s marveling at this force of nature tearing things up in the same way we, the viewers, are. The A.C.A. works because she’s a foil to get reactions out of another character - - and is thus a plot device with a far more substantial purpose than executing supermoves.
I was just really impressed. The show was able to get away with all the cool shit because it populated the supporting cast with human personalities with human relationships. It got away with all the ultra-violence, because it had those characters dealing with the effects of the ultra-violence. That’s the key.
And I think I found the new show I’m going to catch up with and follow this season. Real Hail Mary pass, Anime Spring Season?
Watch this first episode and decide for yourself.
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|