I actually started doing reviews for this anime, but kinda got to busy.... Recently I heard the show was getting good, so I'll pick it up again to episode 3! For now here's my first review:
When I first saw this series on YouTube and other places on the internet, I pushed it off as another generic series. Personally, I am not a fan of series where the females' appearance seem to be a source of fan service with the exaggerated body parts with little personality. Another reason I didn't get too into it was because the animation budget seemed to be low from what I saw (and I was TOTALLY WRONG about THAT), and the main plot of legendary heroes forming together to beat some evil demon seemed a bit over used. It even started out like how I thought it was, with an introduction spelling out the "ancient legend" or tale that was to be the story.
However, as it moved on, it was the stunning art that struck me first. The beautiful 2d style that contrasts the animes of this generation (that tend to use excessive 3d animation) really gives this series a plus. Along with the gorgeous details of people in the bustling market and those in the tournament arena. I'm really liking the culture by the way; the structures seem to be like Aztec temples, adding another plus to the uniqueness.
Next, the characters also turned out differently from what I thought they'd be like.
The main, Adlet Mayer, is a cocky, fiery-headed, kick-butt fighter, though we still have yet to see his true strength as the "strongest guy in the world". He uses little tricks such as smoke bombs and tiny daggers to defeat the bigger champions of the tournament, yet he still claims himself the strongest... I'm predicting that either he hides his true strength, which would be a crazy powerful strength, OR he is actually a fraud or a trickster who uses small tricks to get away with everything. Anyhow, he has major confidence, and seems passive about going to prison and is the type to simply survive and go with the flow of whatever happens to him; like when he takes up the dagger in his cell to start counting days, and ate whatever he found and drank whatever fell through the bars. He kind of reminds me of Ryner Lute from Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu, another series I really like and recommend, despite being incomplete.
The other character, Princess Nashetania (I ain't writing the whole name) of Piena, seems to have a nice personality. Very curious, intelligent, and apparently crazy strong, to be able to "smash" that gigantic champion. Though I was okay with the character design she had before, when she was posing as a maid, the fact that now her chest is revealing and how she had freaking BUNNY EARS is what irritates me the most. At least they didn't have weird camera shots and angles of her chest, so I can live with it.
The Story is VERY engaging, especially with how fantastic this intro for a first episode was. Though a tad bit generic, it still really felt like I was watching a legendary story unfold before me, from beginning with a mysterious red-haired cocky guy bombing a tournament, and then explaining the background story later. The fact he went to prison for messing up a tournament was a nice realistic touch, unlike some shounen anime where the character waltz in and out of places with no consequences. I just hope this tempo doesn't slow down.
The Animation is EPIC, especially after a totally awesome opening. I truly loved the 2d scenes and the red clouds that entered Adlet's prison, which I thought was ominously symbolic. I'm glad the hair strands and actions movements are animated well so I wouldn't keep noticing odd things when trying to concentrate on the story. The 3d animation is limited, and when used, doesn't bother me at all, because the rest of the episode and 2d unique drawing made up for it. I also love the art style, that also helped me enjoy the episode, with the character's detailed facial features (Adlet's mentors' face really had an impact) that really reminded me of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The Music is nice, even now, the opening is stuck in my head, playing over and over and over...
All of the elements of the first episode made me recognize this anime as a great start for a season of adventure! I am looking forward to possible twists, crazy revelations, and some good story telling in the future episodes! I don't like having high expectations, but this series may be qualified to be among the animes such as Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu (Legend of the Legendary Heroes) and even Full Metal Alchemist if it gets more seasons!
Some other action/adventure animes I really love and recommend include: Fullmetal Alchemist (Brotherhood), Legend of the Legendary Heroes, Tears to Tiara, Yona of the Dawn, Darker than Black, and Yu-Gi-Oh! And some mangas: Legend of Basara, Shin Ongyo Onshi, Immortal Rain, and Black Cat!
(there might be more, but that's all that's at the top of my head right now)
Alright see ya next time, on my next review of episode 2 of Rokka no Yuusha!