Blade and Soul First Impression ( The anime of the game in-name only)

Blade and Soul.

Or one of the two anime, I’m checking out because I want to play the game it was based on. But, don’t knock it off, the short description sounds exciting. Here, copied straight from anichart.

A thousand-year peace is coming to an end. The fledgling Wind Empire strives to overthrow the fading Stratus Empire and unite the four continents in a new era of equality–albeit an equality enforced by military might. Amid this mortal trouble and strife come the ancient Darksiders, with the nefarious Jin Seoyeon as the harbinger of their return… and with the people fighting among themselves, there may be no one to oppose their evil plans and save the world. “

Sounds amazing right?

Its just a damn shame that I can’t find a trace of this premise in the first episode. Its so different that I actually wondered if I got the wrong summary. So I did more googling and found another one. This time from MAL.

Aruka is an assassin for the Clan of the Sword. She’s on a journey to find the woman Jin Valel, who killed her master Hon. Jin is a demon-like woman who controls the Energy of Chaos and kills without feeling – not unlike how Aruka has learned to kill in her work as an assassin. On her journey, Aruka encounters three strange women, each great warriors in their own right, and grapples with her slain master’s wish that she leave the life of an assassin behind.

Meh. This one actually fits with the episode. If I read this first though, I won’t be seeing the anime.  But, since I already watched it, might as well put my impression.

Badass Assassin!

The beginning action is actually good. Alka managed to kill her pursuers with badass assassin skills.

I bet Alka is the Blademaster Class ^^

They even managed to put a cameo of a looting character, who is promptly ganked by the investigation team. (Serves that guy right, I hate looters in MMO on principle)

Anyway, the investigation team found evidence pointing to the “Clan of the Sword”. This clan apparently have a distinctive kill style – a blow to the neck. If I remember right there is actually a skill that does that ingame. ^^

And of course, they issue a search warrant. Putting 7,000 gold on her head. The crime is odd though. Alka is apparently wanted for murdering her master.

(Which if the premise is any indication, she didn’t do)

She’s probably getting framed or something.

And oh. I think this is inn is an ingame location. Can’t remember the name though.

Anyway,  while this is happening our protagonist is bathing. Probably to wash away the gore of the people she assassinated on the first scene.

There is a flashback here. About a woman firing an energy ball. But, the narrator which I assume is the protagonist voice saying “take revenge” voice falls flat. So I don’t feel anything.

I do give our protagonist props for hiding a blade underwater.

She then proceeded to hold peeping tom hostage.

Anyway, after the misunderstanding was settled, Alka was hired to escort the two to the village for some body guarding mission.

Take note, the guy hired Alka even when she noticed there was blood on her clothes.

In this village, we meet the current chieftain who apparently took over her father. The Pallam Empire (the one who put a bounty on Alka’s head) wants to buy the land that their village is standing on. Alka was supposed to be an insurance to the negotiation if it ever turns sour.

Now that we have that out of the way.

Please take a look at this outfit. See anything wrong.

Its a fanservice outfit that probably does zero chance of protecting Alka’s vital area. But, more than that. See the freaking butterfly tattoo prominently displayed.

WHAT KIND OF ASSASSIN ARE YOU?! 

*Head meets Desk*

You just killed some men and on the run from the obviously evil empire. You are meeting some of their representative and you don’t think it would be nice to cover that little tattoo?

UGH.

Of course negotiation, if I can call that negotiation goes sour. Evil Empire force the issue with violence.

Of course our hero to the rescue.

Still.

IDIOCY NUMBER 2!

Why oh why did you guys allow someone to report back to the evil empire. Seriously. It might have brought some time.

I know our protagonist stopped because the chief shouted her to stop. But… sigh.

KILL EVERYONE IS THE BEST SOLUTION THERE. ><

Anyway after that, you then proceed to argue that Alka might be a spy and want her to leave the village because she might bring trouble. UGH.

Alka’s the only protection from the evil empire you currently have and you’re sending her away. (Not that she would be much protection if “evil empire” is actually an “empire” with an army and all that rot. Still, you guys should be dead if she wasn’t in the negotiation)

And for god sakes, its too late to argue about that, now that evil empire knows. If you’re worried about shady individuals, you  should have worried about it when you found her. She did point a blade on your little brother’s neck. And you found blood on her clothes.

Even with the short screen-time, I feel the character is all over the place.

Anyway, evil empire attacks as expected. Burns the village.

Would you guys say that I’m a bad person if I don’t feel anything here? Its pretty fast. I haven’t been given time to like this village to care that its burning right now.

Anyway, Alka beats the leader but was unable to save the village.

Also, Alka arbitrary cuts her hair.

Sigh.

Don’t ask me why. Probably because it looks cool.

Frankly, she would have gotten more points from me if she covered the freaking tattoo.

Notes: 

There you have it. The first episode of Blades and Soul.

Though really, this anime is verging as an in-name only adaptation. Just look at the difference of the two synopsis I provided at the beginning. The first one is the synopsis of the game. The second is the synopsis of the anime.

Not much similarities are there?

And I know this is the first episode and I shouldn’t judge much, but I’m already smelling some pitfalls. I don’t know if its intentional or not but Alka, our protagonist, is very wooden. It could be that the director is simulating the blank personality of a typical MMORPG avatar. But, I do not believe its a good call specially if the synopsis is true.  If that summary is right, this would be a personal growth or revenge story.  And these type of story is always carried by the PERSONALITY of the protagonist.

And  for someone that wants revenge Alka doesn’t look like she even cares.

Sigh…

And I’ve already discussed the very forced sequence that started the burning of the village.

Verdict. 

I inserted some pictures, so you guys know that the visual is okay. The BGM is also nice. A few of them is from the game itself, the one from the inn and the village came to mind. The short action sequences is also fluid.

But, if you’ve read my impression you know that I cannot recommend this anime. It might become better in the following episodes but episode 1 isn’t cutting it for me.

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7 Responses to Blade and Soul First Impression ( The anime of the game in-name only)

  1. Kiukun-Nadralexe says:

    I admit I feel the same than you about this first episode. Just too many inconsistencies in there to truly appreciate the story …. though at the moment I'm not sure there is one. I feel this episode, which is supposed to make us want to watch the following episodes, lack in information about the plot.
    I mean, okay she is apparently framed, though if you do not read the synopsis you do not know that either, but after that you remove everything about the village and you continue on episode 2 and I'm sure you do not the difference. You could even explain the hair cut by thinking she cut them to be less recognizable and that's if she hide that DAMNED TATOO !!!

    Otherwise, I agree that the BGM and animation is good, at least there is that. I mean imagine this anime with bad bgm and animation …….

    Still will watch the next episode in hope it gets better but if it doesn't convince me I will happily say good bye to this anime.

    • *Imagines*

      Bad animation +BGM with this plot?
      UGH!

      Simply put, that would be a disaster. I might not be able to make it to the end of the first episode. lol

      And yeah, despite the seemingly fast pace of this episode. I really don't think there will be anything of importance to be missed. Considering that this has a burning village and lots of people dying. That is really really bad.

      I suppose it established that obviously evil empire is evil. But, if they keep doing what they are doing, I think that the viewer will get it if even if we don't see them gunning helpless villagers.

      Perhaps, I was a bit too critical though. When I read the first synopsis (the game one), I conceived a band of misfits stuck between two sides of a war between two empire neither one is bad or good, just two countries making war. While deeper still, this Jin person is using the chaos of the war to hide her nefarious deeds and bring back the Reapers — oh wait wrong franchise… I meant the darksiders. ^^

      And then I got this.

      Sigh.

      Still, as you've said it isn't that bad. I'll also do the same and watch a few more episodes. I hope that our protagonist gets a clue and hide her freaking tattoo though. If she walks into town wearing that outfit next episode… Sigh. One facepalm would not be enough. ^^

      • Kiukun-Nadralexe says:

        Yeah I think that's the problem. We expected too much from the synopsis and were deeply disappointed at the result. We may be biased because of that …. just a little.
        And for the outfit, well if she still wears it in the following episodes ….. I don't think there are enough facepalms in the world .^^

  2. ria says:

    I for one actually enjoyed the anime.

  3. kng says:

    This was the worst thing (the anime) I've ever seen in my life. Thank you for agreeing with me as a lot of reviews out there were praising (somewhat) this POS. I fully admit I watched this for the fan service and even there I was thoroughly disappointed. That being said I watched till episode 11ish in false hopes I'd get to see some a**.

    As for an actual review, TLDR: DON'T waste your life watching this. The characters are shoddily designed and ridiculous in their "body proportion". There is absolutely no depth or background to any of these characters. A very key element to a successful story is the character and the ability of the audience to be able to relate to said characters. As all the characters are 2 dimension, with limited back story, in personality there's not much to relate to. The intro and outro also suck super hard (then again this is no cowboy bebop, but even K-On was better).

    There is no semblance of plot. LITERALLY NO PLOT. Most episodes don't even link together to form something coherent. IT WAS SO ALL OVER THE PLACE!?!?!? It was like every other episode was a filler arc/episode of Bleach. Imagine this anime as a Korean drama with large amounts of titillation, very titillating, and no delivery.

    The animation style actually super sucks. It's like pre-Full Metal Alchemist quality, FMA styled animation. This style actually worked for FMA as it was a very comical and at many time very exaggerated, which it feels clumsy at best in this "serious" setting.

    Lastly, all the characters are retarded….. So many stupid mistakes that no normal human being would make. eg. allowing an enemy soldier to escape, then in episode 9ish getting angry at and blaming the assassin WHO YOU ORDERED TO STOP. GAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • max says:

      I completely agree. One of the stupidest anime I have ever watched. I was hoping at least the showdown between main protagonist and main evil gal would be somewhat interresting. But I was mistaken. None of the characters make any sence, and I really mean NONE of them.

      This whole anime feels just hollow and empty. The only emotion it transports is anger that I wasted my time on it for 11 episodes in hope of some improvement. Every filler episode of Bleach has more plot and more relevance than this bullshit.

  4. illidanomg2 says:

    It seems like nobody of you actually played the game. The lore is there, but it picks up right after the mmo. The “girl with tattoo” called Aruka (I don’t understand why even the anime subtitles misspel her name to Alka, when clearly the voices say Aruka) is the survivor of the attack upon Hongmen School, in which the master was killed, and if you played the prologue (which I’m sure you didn’t) you would see your master giving a sacred weapon, the Twilight Blade to the main antagonist to save you, and get himself killed in the proccess.
    Then Aruka took the vow to avenge her master based on the sacred code and she constantly reminds herself of it(that is the part in which she bathes and says “Take revenge”).
    Thats not the only reason she's after the Palam. The main antagonist, Jin, is their leader and she posseses a destructive power, the Impurity, which is based on the decay of life itself and has the power to completely eliminate someone from existence. In the first chapters of the game you learn that you're the only one that can stop Jin, and should you dail, she will destroy the world.
    Hope I shed some insight into the lore.

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