June 26, 2012

Anime Review (v.P): Brave10

I was very excited when I first saw the preview for this anime. A samurai story full of bishies definitely catches my eye. Further, a lot of the famous male seiyuus participated in this production. However, after reading many negative reviews regarding this anime, I got pretty downhearted. After spending less than 6 hours watching it, I believe that this anime isn't as bad as how other people portray it.

If you ignore the lack of storyline, character development, background music and rushed ending, and focus on the wonderful quality of the artwork, character designs (costumes and weapons) and, of course, the bijins, then it's not too arduous to watch pretty men (and women) battle after battle after battle (yes, for the full 12 episodes, it's all battles).

Synopsis(from myanimelist.net)

A young ninja named Saizo Kirigakure is trying to find meaning and direction in his life when he encounters Isanami, who is fleeing from assassins. He manages to save her life, and she then asks him to act as her bodyguard until she reaches her destination. When they arrive in the protected territory of Sanada, Saizo falls into a meeting with Sasuke Sarutobi, leader of the famed ninja group. Sanada has gathered these bold and talented ninjas together in order to bring an end to Japan's era of war. Meanwhile, Isanami's mysterious hidden power comes to light.



The story is absurdly simple.  The main female lead (Isanami) has something which everyone desires. The main male protagonist (Saizou) fights to protect her and along the way gathers comrades to achieve this goal.

This anime starts with a battle and ends with a battle. For every episode, it's just ongoing fighting right up to the very end. Albeit the lack of storyline, they included quite a few decent comedy relief sketches. I started getting into the flow of this series around episode 6 (halfway through). The climax occurs in episode 9, where they attempt to explain the mysteries in the story. I must say that the explanations are rather stupid, but this is fantasy so I'm not going to get too picky with it. The ending was so terrible that I had to give myself 3 facepalms. In the end, none of my questions were answered, and only more flaws issues were raised.

One thing that puzzles me is what exactly is Saizou fighting for? He's not fighting for pride, like in most shounen themes. The story never explained why Saizou agreed to protect Isanami, nor did it reveal when and why Saizou and Isanami became friends.
So, what's the point in all this fighting? Who cares. As long as I get my dose of good looking characters showing off their skills then I'm satisfied. Right? It somehow gives me the feel of the later Bleach (Aizen/Arrancar Arc). There's so much fighting that you forget the reason of fighting. The problem with this anime was that they never explained in the beginning why they had to fight. I guess because this is a story about a bunch of warriors, ninjas, samurais and assassins set in the Sengoku period (fighting period) of Japan, it's understood that fighting is necessary, and that it is the inherent and central theme of the anime.
Rating: 3


You could tell that the producers dished out a lot of money to the art department. The character designs (costumes and weapons) were very creative. Furthermore, the backgrounds were extremely detailed (for a 12 episode anime). The special effects looked really cool.
Rating: 9


Wait-! What background music? Did I go deaf? The producers must've cut all the funding to the sound department after giving their all to the arts. Nevertheless, I loved the opening and ending songs.
Rating: 4


As far as character designs goes I really enjoyed the costumes, weapons and fighting abilities. Sadly, there were no character developments whatsoever. It just keeps introducing character after character in each episode, without giving details about their backgrounds. It's even worse than Bleach or Code Geass (Season 1). They don't explain how these characters tie in with our main protagonists. They don't show the growth of everyone's relationships. It feels like everyone can become buddies after battling against each other. Ridiculous!

What I can't hold back from is, of course, the fact that all of the characters are bijins! I can't decide a favourite. I love them all, both heroes and villains. Even the female characters. My favour may lean towards Rokuro because he reminds me of Saito Hajime from Hakuouki with his right eye covered by his lovely dark purple/blue hair which is tied back in a pony tail.
Rating: 5


If you ignore the fact that there's no interesting (or even meaningful) storyline nor character development, and you purely enjoy watching bijins in action, then this anime series is endurable.
Rating: 6.5


Otaku haven. Plenty of hot/sexy men (and women) wielding awesome weapons, showing off their power by fighting each other. Your visual senses will be doused in their flashy costumes covered in blood and sweat, while your aural senses will be drowned in the resonating voices of your well-known and loved seiyuus.
Rating: 7