What puts BtB in a different league, though, is that their production team seems to have a budget. There are zooming camera shots, characters you can differentiate from one another, and imaginative monsters beautifully animated (like an invisible skull draped in flowing strips of cloth!). If the opener and the couple of fights in this episode are any indication, this will have some awesome magical battles down the line between conceptual monsters and various "Spirit World Warriors" that seem to be running around all over the place.
...But you still have to deal with the moe factor.
Heroine Miyai Kuriyama is all alone in the world, and has so little self-confidence that she's never killed a single demon. Despite being strong and swift with the sword she forges from her own blood, she's perpetually pigeon-toed and predisposed to pratfalls. Protagonist Akihito Kanbara intervened in her apparent suicide attempt because she "looked too good in glasses," and seems to only put up with her because of this. He in fact feels so bad for her lack of confidence he doesn't really begrudge her stabbing him several times; he's half demon and immortal, after all, and while it does hurt (a lot) he does understand she needs the practice.
There's some subtext here to pick up on, like secret crushes and a larger plot involving rival Spirit World Warrior clans, that shows there's a world beyond the principle pair that could be worth exploring. Hopefully it will be more than just a Capulet vs. Montague star-crossed lovers bit, but if the animation quality keeps up it might not matter how well-trodden the story's path is.
Watch this episode, “Carmine” here and decide for yourself, then read our comments on other anime pilots from the Fall 2013 season below...
Matt Murphy is a freelance nerd who has contributed to many nerd websites. You can reach him by going to where the light meets the shadow, by sending out zeta-brainwaves or by following him on Twitter @Murphix.