Turnabout is fair play, and I’m sure Japanese audiences must feel similar consternation whenever Western stories toss Shinto names around willy-nilly. Still, when this show makes puzzling contemporaries out of the likes of Bacchus, Bahamut, Azazel and Joan of Arc, I can’t help but think of that one SIMPSONS episode that lampooned Hollywood historical epics’ anachronisms. It featured a faux movie where Zorro rescues King Arthur from the Three Musketeers.
Let’s cite this as another piece of evidence, supporting my theory that BAHAMUT’s crew has to reluctantly include all this world-building at the beset of the playing card company...
At least they’re treating it all like the big McGuffin it is. The show’s true strength lies in the encyclopedic genre knowledge the crew clearly possesses. It’s not just about subverting convention in the broad strokes. There are many little moments where they know exactly what you’re expecting, before you even consciously realize it; and they know how to turn those expectations right on their head. I’m thinking, specifically, of scenes like the portal cutting the enemy ship off before it’s even halfway through, or when Rita slaps up the grudge match between Favaro and Kaisar before it really even has a chance to get rolling.
Hell, even the part where Favaro throws Azazel’s shocking revelation back at him - - asserting that he doesn’t care about avenging his father - - is an inversion of pretty much the entirety of revenge fiction.
And the real craft is that it’s totally in line with the character’s personality, instead of being a forced twist. The guy’s continually demonstrated his lack of commitment, and his willingness to say anything to get ahead. Does that sound like the kind of guy who’ll hold a life-long grudge, let alone dwell on anything for more than a night?