BLADE & SOUL #1 -- Shockingly, the Best Pilot of Anime Spring 2014?

Topic started by No_name_here on May 9, 2014. Last post by takashichea 3 months, 4 weeks ago.
Post by No_name_here (856 posts) See mini bio Level 11
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Join us as we view new pilots this season. See where they fit on the highly-scientific Rock-or-Suck Scale…

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
Post by Destinyheroknight (10,271 posts) See mini bio Level 21

Hmm, hey Tom did you know this is base off a MMO :)

Post by Kino88 (208 posts) See mini bio Level 6
What??, say it isn't so Tom, you found a good one?!, Well hell yes!, it dose look pretty cool, I hope it stays that way....,
Post by AgentFakku (198 posts) See mini bio Level 10

Alka and Jin Varrel are the main chicks. You ain't going to see that village chick no more. She gone, man.

Post by YotaruVegeta (576 posts) See mini bio Level 12

Best of the season? It's just the "Garfield without Garfield" of titty shows, or "Queens Blade without Oppai"

I've seen better this season, and I'm not even a big fan of this season.

Post by Marshal Victory (2,205 posts) See mini bio Level 13

While the pilot was pretty good it by no means was the best of the season for me. An um fan service comes along episode 2 on. Here is just the ending to give ya a idea..

Show ends up with more jiggle than a Hooters at happy hour! It earns its nick name "Boob & Soul" as the series progresses.But I digress as that does not bother me.

Now GONZO does good work but this is loosely based on a MMORPG. From a company NcSoft which I hate. Despite that or rather in support of GONZO I have watched this series. But as time goes on the plot seemed familiar. Like very very familiar.

Ever hear of the Dollars trilogy? The Man with No Name? If not do your self a favor an get http://www.amazon.com/Name-Trilogy-Fistful-Dollars-More/dp/0792842502 . But um this could be a ahem adaption in some ways. Or very heavy influenced by the westerns of Movies an TV from days gone by. Which is fine just notable.

Is the show worth watching ? Ya but for me the animation and action makes up for alot. Tho I would point out there is no Amnesiac Child Assassin trope in the series. The assassin with no name so to speak does remember her past. She just lacks emotion an thats explained later on.

Post by sickVisionz (4,288 posts) See mini bio Level 24
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I've got this in my queue. I wasn't super excited to add it but I thought it could be one of those shows that seems a little meh on paper but could very well end up being really good. Looks like it might like it once I get around to watching it.

Once again, it goes to show that any genre or trope can be good with the right execution.

I'm always baffled that you regularly bring up the fact that execution matters. Is this really something people don't get?

Post by takashichea (12,242 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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I thought Tom hates shows based on video games. I guess this show did a good job of hiding it because it never mentions the game mechanics from the MMORPG. Some folks love it while some folks don't. I still enjoy the show. It's better than Dai Shogun, Daimidaler, and other fan service full blown show. Sure, there's T & A, but it doesn't emphasize it. It balances out it with some action and a interesting mix of characters. I love the fights in the show. Gonzo's animation is pretty impressive. I haven't seen good animation like that since Production IG's shows.

The main story does and does not revolve around Alka. Some episodes revolve around the ordinary citizens like that village chief's daughter. However, they don't make much spotlight after the episode they debut in.

Blade and Soul, Black Bullet, and Chaika are my top action shows for this season.

@YotaruVegeta said:

I've seen better this season, and I'm not even a big fan of this season.

Really? I always get that impression from folks when my teammates and I post the final version of the seasonal guides with trailers. I know Lurkero does that often. There is always at least one show that you kept watching this season.

@sickVisionz:

It's true. You run into folks who have a narrow view especially those who love to bash a certain genre calling a plague on the anime industry.

Post by hitsusatsu11 (10,747 posts) See mini bio Level 20

I like the show, but its near the bottom of tier list for me this season.

But I find this season particularly strong.

Post by YotaruVegeta (576 posts) See mini bio Level 12

@hitsusatsu11: What makes it strong?

Post by YotaruVegeta (576 posts) See mini bio Level 12

@takashichea: It's so weak. Think of all the anticipation there was for some shows in previous seasons. Nothing moves my meter into the red this season. It's a ton of mediocre shows, and it's very light on bad. At least that's what you can say in favor of the Spring.

Post by takashichea (12,242 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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I know a lot of BlazBlue fans hate the anime because how it was rushed or how certain characters were portrayed. It's pretty comment for video game based anime adaptations. I wasn't happy with Valkyria Chronicles anime adaptation. Loved the video game.

@Marshal Victory:

I know you lurk in other anime forums. Have you seen responses from fans who played the game?

Found this weird vid:

That counters your Gainax ED song

Post by takashichea (12,242 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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@YotaruVegeta:

True, the Fall Season of 2013 and Spring Season of 2013 had a lot of hype due to strong titles: Gargantia, Attack on Titan, Flowers of Evil (Spring 2013) and then Kill la Kill and Space Dandy (Fall 2013). This season had no notable hyped up series. If you have time, sample a few pilot episodes. For me, I work on the seasonal guide each season with my teammates. I see a lot of recycled tropes. Based on trailers and synopsis, checking a pilot episode of a few shows might surprise you. There is at least one show you're watching this season. That's what I seen from most folks.

Post by hitsusatsu11 (10,747 posts) See mini bio Level 20

@takashichea: I like this season better than last for sure.

@YotaruVegeta: Not that they were bad, but I really dont care about massive anticipation for shows like KLK , snk or jojo. And in some cases hugely hyped shows end up terrible-like sao. I like shows that I can personally get into. Last season was ok, I like Zvezda and Mikakunin the best. This season there are just more titles that I like. I really like Black Bullet, Irregular (at least before ep 5), brynhilder, chaika, akuma no riddle, DaL 2, and jojo as well as blade and soul are decent to. Theres also a new gatari airing at the end of the month.

Post by takashichea (12,242 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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@hitsusatsu11:

For me, it's roughly the same except this season had more action than last season.

Post by Marshal Victory (2,205 posts) See mini bio Level 13

@sickVisionz said:

I've got this in my queue. I wasn't super excited to add it but I thought it could be one of those shows that seems a little meh on paper but could very well end up being really good. Looks like it might like it once I get around to watching it.

Once again, it goes to show that any genre or trope can be good with the right execution.

I'm always baffled that you regularly bring up the fact that execution matters. Is this really something people don't get?

That last part I can not answer for Tom. But I can answer from friends who live in the entertainment industry. An for them yes people do not understand " how to sale it" How execution matters an not just doing this as fast as one can. One of the reasons as a friend of mine would gripe about how camera work is jobber work an rarely used well in TV.

Good example would be Alphas the pilot episode the camera work was great. Then as the series went on.. shaky cam cheep shots became the norm.

@takashichea: Um from the cough sites I go to the comments from those who play the game seem supportive. Assuming they actually do play the game that is. An no the Gainax bounce err jiggle hmm bounce works better, gets baked into the cake later on. The girl with the pistols who has a bikini top an under boob thats in danger of poping out any minute...

Thus Boob & Soul earns it's nick name.

Post by YotaruVegeta (576 posts) See mini bio Level 12

@takashichea: I now watch the first episode of every anime I can legally put eyes on. This is not an impressive season for me, because with the anime I do like, I struggle to get back to them.

@hitsusatsu11: Anticipation alone is not all I need to satisfy me. I need pay off, and there's not a lot of pay off this season. It feels like we went down the roller coaster. I don't know what's coming in summer, so I don't know when we're riding back up.

My shows also include Black Bullet, Brynhildr, Akuma no Riddle, and a few others.

Post by hitsusatsu11 (10,747 posts) See mini bio Level 20

@YotaruVegeta: Its all a matter of taste. The three you listed are probably my favorite of the season, and probably better than anything that aired last 2nd seasons imo.

Post by takashichea (12,242 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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@YotaruVegeta:

You should join us at the discussion threads:

I watched all three of those shows you listed.

Post by JiCi (31 posts) See mini bio Level 6

Oh boy... if you think the series is gonna be awesome because of the first episode... then you're in for quite the disappointment.

Alka is a blank slate with no emotion whatsoever. You could argue that many assassin-like character don't have emotions anyway, but this girl just comes out as bland. The secondary characters are more fleshed-out than her... and SHE's supposed to be the main character. Perhaps if she had a minimum of a personality, it would have been better.

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