My main objection to shows based on RPG’s - - and those about MMO’s gettin’ real - - is that the chain of inspiration feels inauthentic. The best works of fantasy, by my reckoning, start with real history and real experiences, and then build all the derring-do from that base. Because a tabletop game is already an abstraction of reality, spinning a plot from that is basically just piling an abstraction upon another abstraction. And when that game was already made by… genre enthusiasts who are only basing their ideas off other fantasy shows they’ve watched (over, say, real mythology) then we all have to suffer on a the tail end of a rather insipid game of telephone.
So, having said that… I was quite shocked when you lunatics explained to me that this show is based on a MMO. It seemed like Stereotypical Anime done right. I said that last time. Guess I was half right. It really is one of my least favorite genres... done right.
Again, I think it comes down to infusing all the cool shit with authenticity. Nobody’s rattling off any rules of play. Exposition is delivered by understated body language - - people having fearful reaction to Alka’s mysterious tattoo - -as opposed to some overwhelming, longwinded infodump.
Most importantly, an episode about our heroine wandering into a city full of con artists was clearly written by somebody who’s walked out into the city and learned how to navigate all the scams on every corner. Alka is always presented as this badass killing machine, but the show still takes every opportunity to goof on her. She’s not otherworldly so much as naïve, and my favorite line had to be when the camelback merchant pointed out that she was just asking for a sunburn in her highly-impractical skimpy armor.
All the cool shit and supermoves with curving bullets are great, but it’s these moments of character which make BLADE & SOUL so appealing to me.
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|