Synonyms: Kemono no Soujya Erin, Kemono no Sou-ja Erin, The Beast Player Erin
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 10, 2009 to Dec 26, 2009
Duration: 25 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.461 (scored by 4261 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Apr 16, 2011
I was introduced to this anime after watching How to Train Your Dragon. The concept intrigued me, but I was hesitant because it looked more like a children's anime. I was completely wrong. While a child would enjoy this show, it has deeper meanings and ideas.
Story: The story in itself if amazing. As the anime progresses and Erin gets older, the story gets more and more complex. It takes its time to explain details and feelings Erin has for her friends and animals she cares for. At times, it can feel slow, but it can also be very soothing during these times. I also recognized the relationship to Japan's history: the late Heian period. Politics in the capital and war out in the countryside and what would have happened if they tried to sort out their differences.
Art: For the most part, I enjoyed the art and style of the anime. Occasionally, I would get a little annoyed when they would replay the same clips over and over. Also, it would get distracting with the switch to cartoon violence. But other than that, it was simple and well done.
Sound: I really enjoyed the OP and ED songs, especially the first ED. It was a fun, hopeful, and easily gets stuck in your head type of song. Music was a big part of the anime, especially the lyre. The music was well written and it could be very moving at times.
Character: The anime really focused on the relationship between characters, especially with Erin. One of the most heartwarming relationships is between Erin and her mother. It made me feel like if I ever had a daughter, I would want her to be like Erin. For every person Erin encounters, she leaves a deep impact on their lives. Erin is a genius; also, she is incredibly humble and stubborn at the same time. There is a contrast between Erin and Kirik; while had difficult histories and received similar council, Erin chose to move forward, while Kirik sought the path of revenge.
Enjoyment: While I didn't enjoy every episode, it was a fun ride. It always left me feeling that I want to know what will happen next. Also, as a mentioned before, it can be very relaxing to see Erin live from day to day, learning.
Jan 5, 2010
Many people will be confused by that statement, especially as the show is very clearly labelled and marketed as a children's series, and as everyone knows, kids shows are rife in anime. The problem, however, doesn't lie in the fact that this series was initially aimed at children, no, it lies in the fact that this is one of those rare anime where age boundaries are no longer relevant.
The majority of people may not consider that to be a problem, however one should remember that whenever a series is labelled as a kid's show, the majority of older audiences will automatically avoid it, regardless of how good it is (and before you ask, yes, I have done this too).
Kemono no Souja Erin is based on a series of light novels by Uehashi Nahoko, a name that fans of Seirei no Moribito should recognise. Directed by Hamana Takayuki (Toshokan Sensou, Sisters of Wellber, Chocolate Underground), the anime adaptation, like SnM, follows the plot of the light novels as much as possible.
The story is about a 10 year old girl with green eyes called Erin. She lives with her mother Soyon in Ake Village, a place where creatures called Touda (large, lizard-like animals with horns), are bred, reared and cared for. Soyon works as a "beastinarian", and is considered by many in the village as the best, and Erin, who is a quick learner and very clever, wants nothing more than to follow in her mother's footsteps.
Fate, however, is a cruel mistress.
This series is truly remarkable in several aspects, not the least of which are the scope and complexity of the plot and the huge amount of detail in the story. At 50 episodes though, it's not surprising that the series would have a good deal more depth than the norm, however in this case the fact that the show is based on a series of books also plays a major part. The story itself covers a number of disparate, seemingly unconnected, threads and, as the plot progresses, these are deftly woven together to create a tale the likes of which hasn't been seen in anime since the advent of The Twelve Kingdoms.
Now one would think that an adaptation of a novel would feature some decent writing, and Kemono no Souja Erin is no slouch in this department. The pacing and dialogue are all exceptionally well handled, and the plot is allowed to flow rather than to stop and start. That said, there are some recap episodes scattered throughout the series, however rather than simply being a simple cut and paste episode, there has been a conscious effort to include these as part of the narrative.
And speaking of narratives...
One big surprise while watching this series (at least for me), was the narration of the story. Throughout each episode there is a voiceover providing summaries of certain events and occurences, both historical and otherwise, however it's the style of the narration that is surprising as, at times, it can make one feel like they're listening to a fireside fairytale rather than watching an anime.
One of the sticking points for many people is the look of the series. Goto Takayuki's character designs, while being charming and expressive, reinforce the perception that this is simply a kid's show due to their simplicity. The backgrounds and settings are unusual in that the series adopts a simplistic, yet stylised, approach, giving the anime the feel of a picture-book for the most part.
The animation throughout the show is very good, and both characters and creatures move in a very natural manner. There is also a small amount of cel shaded CG in the show (they just couldn't resist - it's a Production I.G. series after all), however this is limited to the Touda and Beast Lords. There are also some extremely good visual effects throughout the series, especially where creatures are concerned, and these add to the quasi-mystical element of the series as a whole.
One unusual aspect of the visuals is the artwork, and by this I don't mean the backgrounds. While Kemono no Souja Erin is marketed as a children's show, some of the artwork, while being stylised, is actually quite graphic at times. Violent scenes are sometimes depicted in a manner similar to animated cave paintings or aboriginal works, however there are also occasions when death and violence are shown in a straightforward, no nonsense manner.
I've heard it said that this series is sanitised in certain respects in order to appeal to children more, however I have to disagree with this argument. The depiction of how the kingdom of Ophalon fell is, by the standards of any kids show, very graphic indeed.
In terms of sound and music, both are very good throughout the series. The show makes great use of aural effects, from the crooning and growls of Beast Lords, to the rumbles and wistling screams of the Touda. The effects provide the anime with a depth that is often missing from other "kid's shows", making the world more alive, more real.
The voice acting throughout the series is exceptional, with the biggest plaudits going to newcomer Hoshii Nanase. Her protrayal of Erin possessed a charm and brevity that is surprising given that this is her only anime role. The rest of the cast, all of whom are experienced seiyuu, are equally as good, which makes Hoshii's achievement all the more impressive. As far as seiyuu go, one can fairly expect good things from her in the future.
Kemono no Souja Erin is one of those shows that not only uses music as an emotive tool, but also as an integral part of the story. Thematically the music ranges from some rock style guitar tracks to melodic piano and harp pieces, with a number of different styles and renditions used throughout. While this may seem like a haphazard approach, the wide variety of tracks available works extremely well throuhgout the series, often enhancing the mood in an extremely subtle manner.
One key thing about the music though, is the OP and ED, as the series has two of each. The OP for the entire series is called "Shizuku", and from the beginning up to episode 30 the track is performed by Sukima Switch. From episode 31 though, the track is then performed Hajime Chitose, and adopts more of a kabuki style than the previous Peruvian flavour. The first ED, "After the Rain" by Cossami, is an upbeat, yet slightly bittersweet, ode that has a distinctly childlike feel to it. However, from episode 30 onwards the ED changes to "Kitto Tsutaete" by Takako Matsu, a track that is both more melodic and more mature. This change is actually significant in terms of the series, and not something that has occurred on a whim, and by the time you reach episode 31 you'll understand why the ED was changed before the OP.
As for the characters, suffice to say that Kemono no Souja Erin has some of the best development I've seen of a main character in anime. While the majority of characters are developed to greater or lesser degrees, the show is focused on Erin in particular, and her growth from a ten year old girl to a mature young woman is handled in a sensitive and realistic manner. Granted the series has periodic time leaps and some episodes focus on other characters, but these are very minor deviations from what is effectively a continuously developed character. I haven't seen this much concerted growth of one character, well, ever to be honest, and that's part of the beauty of the show. The fact that it devotes so much time and care to Erin, but doesn't ignore the other characters in favour of this, makes for a character that you can truly care about.
One thing that did standout for me though, was the amount of symbolism ascribed to each of the major characters. The Queen's symbolic nature is mentioned heavily in the series, as is that of the Beast Lords and Touda. However, there is one major symbolic aspect that many people miss because it's so obvious. Erin's name means "wild apple", and as everyone knows, the apple is the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. When one considers Erin's life throughout the series, her inquisitive nature, curiosity, and non-conformity make far more sense
A point about Nukku and Mokku though. While their inclusion is very much comic relief, they are noteworthy for providing Erin with a sense of continuity, and their continued presence is more to help with her development than to amuse the audience.
So don't hate them too much please.
I will be honest and admit that I was both surprised and enthralled by Kemono no Souja Erin. The series is both charming and original, and while there is a degree of sanitisation to make it appeal to children, this never actually goes to the point where adult would be put off watching the show. The anime is adventurous and playful, yet sombre and deeply political at the same time, one of the many dichotomies and conflicting ideals that occur within the series, and it's great to finally watch a series that harks back to those around when I was a child (e.g. The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Ulysses 31, etc). Nowadays they may not be considered decent viewing because of how they look, however those shows, like Kemono no Souja Erin, all had a deep and complex tale to tell, one that was far more mature than most would initially believe.
That said, it's a given that some people may not enjoy this show. Fans of Seriei no Moribito should definitely try it, as both series are equally enjoyable for very different reasons. The show may also appeal to those who want something charming, yet with a little bite to it, or to those who are looking for worldbuilding in the style of Twelve Kingdoms.
A word of warning however. Younger children may not enjoy this series as even though much of the violence is stylised, the aural effects and music enhance the visuals, and all three give the imagination a good old kick. Older kids may enjoy the series though, especially as it's one of those rare anime that doesn't assume it's audience is made up of morons who need everything explained to them.
This show has pretty much everything one could want from a series: politics, love, betrayal, assasination, history, religion, war, friendship, joy, sadness, terror, a touch of mysticism, and more besides.
Given the content though, I can only wonder how anyone could consider this to be simply another "kid's show".
Apr 25, 2011
After I received a small hole in my heart after watching The Twelve Kingdoms, I was searching around for a nice fantasy anime with a certain scope and detail in a fantasy setting. I did not know that my small open wound would be ripped further and leaving me *gasp* in further pain; anime is my heroin.
We begin the story that would have had the typical children's story feel, yet as the memorable character Erin encounters her major lessons in life particularly of death and passing, she develops a strong trait of maturity and her resolutions after each trial is really admirable. Yes, Naruto might have a similar lesson, but the story of Erin is something that I find more invoking of feeling and somehow more consistent as she continually remembers her saddening past and tackles the future.
The presentation of Erin is without a doubt unique, with its rustic-fantasy themed colors and selection in music. The only potential flaw that I see in the series is the continual reuse of certain scenes. Everybody's tolerance differs, but even as a person who might finish a 20 minute episode in 5 minutes (hell why not read the manga), I found myself watching through 99.9% of each episode. The pacing is that good.
In terms of pacing, the series has two time skips, which implies a total of three sections to Erin's life (about equally divided throughout the series). Each segment of Erin's life is again, well-paced with enough development in each episode to seem seamless. There are two filler episodes however, before the third time skip and I skipped over them to get into the real meaty juicy part of the main plot. What one should note, however is that Kemono no Souja Erin is an anime with several layers and three very different stories. In the beginning is the childish dream/anime that is similar to the story of a small blonde haired girl who lives in the mountains. As we progress it's the academic life of a beastarian scientist, and finally it's the story of a national hero who is involved in court intrigues and romance. It is this miraculous bilsdungroman across genres that I think makes Erin not just a 9.8-star anime, but a 10-star.
The realistic lessons and involving, touching lines, dynamic character portrayal, and a plot that is just "so right" all deserve a good watch.
There is the end of my review, and I have to say, I was really finding myself in withdrawal, but I'm more seriously addicted than I ever expected...this is more serious than heroin
I find that one of the more critical, compelling, and powerful moments in a series, just like human life, is in its poetic end. This series has been adopted from a series of novels, and as expected, the level of a conclusion of this anime is to me, so touching. Hell I've been crying throughout all the sad parts in this, and the last time I can remember crying was that first pokemon movie when I was really young...heck
This series to me has been a really moving piece with a similar impact to the Studio Ghibli movies, only that the artistic force has been slowly growing since each episode. To me, this is one of those animes that I will remember and cherish, a true masterpiece in my eyes.
I think that I've learned that it's not the special effects and sophistry of an imagery that makes a series worth watching, but the cumulative effects that pass to its viewer a deep sense of understanding. It appears to me that this anime focuses on a very beautiful story on the nature of relationships between species and the question left unanswered- will human relations be the same? This is a question I've also considered and I'm sure that many others have also wondered, thought, and perhaps gave a small sigh of despair.
I think that this is a masterpiece with a few small flaws if one considers them flaws. The messages throughout this series become increasingly complex and always emotional and powerful. How will I ever find an anime to match this I wonder (funnily I was watching Morbito: Guardian of the Spirit) before this (same author and animation studio(?) I believe). It's just a small coincidence.
Again, I think that most can understand and truly appreciate this series. It goes beyond simple "character development" and the sense of realism and life is apparent. I do hope that you'll all take the moment to enjoy this experience.
My mistake, there were actually 3 time skips ;) read more
Apr 22, 2009
First of all, don't judge an anime by its art-work and NO, this is NOT a children's anime.
Before I start writing a review, here is a quick advice: Watch the First 6 episodes and then rate this anime and tag it as a children's anime if you want. After watching first six episodes, you will not be able to avoid this anime anymore, because it happened to me and now i know how wrong it would have been if i dropped this anime without even going to the main storyline.
The plot is set in a world of fantasy beasts. Erin, a ten year old orphan is the lead character of the anime. Her father, the son of village chief had long passed away leaving her mother Soyon, a beast doctor when Erin was a toddler. Brought up in a single parent family by her mother Soyon, Erin is a quick learner, and everyone loves her for her intelligence she has been gifted with.
The village breeds and nurtures wild beasts called "Touda", in our world, it appears to be a larger species of Komodo. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komodo_dragon
Erin's mother Soyon looks after the Toudas, the fearsome beasts that are used for military purpose. Great wars have been decided by the superiority of touda-army and thus upbringing toudas have become a profession of many villages. Erin, with her amusement and delight watches as her mother Soyon looks after toudas. from aka-chan (baby) touda to monster kiba (huge touda reared up using special treatment and care) Soyon looks after many of these wild beasts and the best beast trainer and beast doctor in the village.
However, Soyon always faces harsh remarks from some villagers as she has been from the Kiri tribe. The Kiri tribe is a tribe that isolated themselves from regular people for long and rumors say they rely on forbidden teachings and beliefs. A notable appearance of the Kiri tribe is that, they have midori (green) eyes and hair, which Erin genetically got from her mother.
But most of the villagers love hardworking Soyon and her lovely little girl Erin, as Erin's energy and enthusiasm runs through every corner of the village and her presence can be felt always.
Erin, growing up with the teachings, the wisdom and the warmth of her mother, and days ahead are full of promises as she decides to follow her mother's footsteps and become a beast doctor herself until....
(this is where you pick up the anime from, episode 6)
The story is by far the best in recent times. this anime has so much to offer and I am amazed with the settings it made up (first 5 episode) before turning into an absolutely heartbreaking and at the same time heartwarming story.
Most of the characters are already developed, it is only Erin and the two sons of the duke, and the heir to the queen, Seimiya who are going through the age of development.
The sound is amazing. the background songs give a nudge of tenderness and at the same time fills your heart with warmth.
The animation style is different and probably the reason why this anime scored so badly. I myself decided to hang up this anime after watching the first 3 episodes since I didn't like the animation style at all. but I had plentiful time and ran out of ongoing anime and decided to give a go after a friend suggested me that i will miss it if I don't pick the show up.
I did and watched two more episodes and thought "Is it really worth it?" I am glad I decided to give another try, but was telling myself episode 6 will be the last if this anime doesn't pick up any pace. And boy am not i glad that I did!
Episode 6 and onwards have been absolutely amazing. I am now at episode 14 and cannot wait for more. This anime is probably the best anime of all the anime that started since January 2009 and sad but true, people will overlook this anime because many couldnt bear the slow pace of the anime at the start and above that, there is this animation style.
Overall, this anime has been almost a masterpiece. read more
Jul 2, 2009
The depth to this anime is truly exceptional, to the point where I'm not sure I've ever seen its like. The plot builds slowly, and meticulously. Each new episode lays down new stones, each building on the last, constructing the world with considerable attention to detail.
This story could quite probably have been told in 26 or even 13 episodes, thats the feeling I'm getting as it progresses (this being written with 17 episodes out so far). However the story hasn't been drawn out so much as each character and element of the world has been allowed to grow organically over time.
This is an epic tale with epic presentation, with an artistic style I can't really attach to anything else I've ever seen. I can only imagine that once this series is done it will take on a life of its own; but, even now as its running I can think of no other anime I was ever less likely to stall or drop.
This is as close, I think, as an anime can get to a truly good book. A must watch. read more
Apr 18, 2009
I'm giong to keep this extremely short until i watch mroe, then i'll edit.
Kemono no souja erin is NOT a childrens book anime from what the other reviewer said. If one thinks of prejudice, death, politics, wars and folklore as a anime for children, you have downs.
I'll just note that the animation style may not suit everyone as it isn't what anime norms are today; with having said that, the characters look great, and the buildings although different have a certain charm, a charm that i find more attractive, ever play valkyria chronicles? it reminds me of that kind of animation.
the music is very befitting of the background and only adds to it.
Voice actors are pretty good.
Even though I cannot divulge more information at the time, i recommend giving this show a try, and i'm sure it will get much deeper as it is a 50 episode anime.
Sure if you wanna be judgemental and not give it a try be my guest, but on the same note, one might say that the writer of seirei no moribito wrote this story as well, and with that, i take my leave. read more
Dec 25, 2012
The story itself has a lot of depth and is unique. It has a superb plot and the animation suits the mood of the story.
Overall everything comes together and makes for an amazing viewing experience.
I actually feel that it deserves to be watched more.
Then there is Erin. She is an outstanding character and the way she grows up and learns about the Toudas and Beast Lords is what makes this anime special. She goes through a lot of hardships and follows the toughest road and perseveres.
Her relationship with Lilan is the essence of the series. She wins over everyone around her. Finally her determination is unparallel.
Then there is the background music and soundtrack. It is absolutely mindblowing and fits each scene perfectly. The Music is some of the best I have seen in anime.
Overall it is a heartwarming and flawless story of the relationship between Humans and Beasts which is a must watch.
There is no other series quite like this one.
There is no scene which is shown without meaning.
The thing to look out for in the series is the relationship between ERIN and LILAN.
It is one of those rare series where everything clicks to achieve near perfection. read more
Feb 26, 2010
The story starts off slow but its still good enough to keep watching,about episode 6 the story really kick starts and you really get hooked into it,the story is very original and very exciting to watch,but its very simple and straight forward which is a good thing ^^ .
i found the narrator part in the start of the episodes kinda annoying cause it does this every episode but it still doesn't kill the episodes :)
when i first saw the ART i thought its too childish but i reckon it suites this anime perfectly ,it feels like a children story book kinda art work but then again its only the background that feel like that , the characters look pretty decent.
the sounds were AMAZING it suited every moment although their were some parts that had rock type of music :), i love the song Kemono_no_Souja_Erin_-_Ai its such a nice melody :)
I love erins character shes sooooo lovable and strong willed , she reminds me of john of ark ,i reckon shes the best and most realistic female character I've seen.everyone else plays their part BEAUTIFULLY ,it never seems like its too much or too little.
from the start to finish I loved every single second of it :)
i wish i can give this anime more then a 10 , i think this is the best anime to ever come out,ive learnt my lesson to never judge a book by its cover , i wasn't very keen to watch this but DAMN i LOVED IT.
im sure another anime like this wont be ever coming out , this is easily in my top 10s ,remember to watch this up to at least episode 5
this anime was soooo good to me that i stayed up till 7 am in the morning finishing this and i didn't go to work LOL but i dont recommend doing that but hahah read more
Aug 15, 2009
I guess all that’s left is for you to go ahead and see for yourself how good it is. I hope you will enjoy watching it as much as I did
May 1, 2010
Directing = 4/10
Character Development = 7/10
Editing = 3/10
Animation = 8/10
Voice Acting = 9/10
While it is an original story with pleasing artwork (the background reminded me of stain glass windows), it is also very long-winded, over-narrated and annoyingly self-reviewing. At least 1/3rd of this production (maybe more) is past footage replayed again and again to the point of nausea. Many scenes simply linger too long on the screen. I found that my finger remained poised over the time-advance button throughout all 50 episodes.
The story, while likeable, is produced & directed in a bland style. The comic relief characters mostly fail in their mission and are often annoying or awkward. The climax scenes are consistently and inappropriately violated by the opening theme song (complete with subtitles) marching in like Bozo-the-Clown at a funeral.
For me, the visual aspect of animation provides a large part of my enjoyment factor. Any anime that avoids the bush-baby-eyed micro-mouthed syndrome, MECHA-SHAZAM-TRANSFORM gimmicks and looping graphics shortcuts that plague mainstream anime automatically receives my attention and respect. The visual aspect of Kemono no Souja Erin does receives high marks from me and is the main reason I lasted through all 50 eps.
The soundtrack is decent. I especially like the ending song, which was unfortunately replaced after ep 24.
Kemono no Souja Erin begins as a gentle story of a wide-eyed nature-loving child (Erin) and her relationship with her loving mother, who is the center of Erin’s world. It is animated in a sunny pastel style and appears, at first, to be directed toward small children. This is reinforced by the narrator over-explaining, in the simplest of terms, every single plot development and emotion that Erin experiences, but in the 4th or 5th episode Erin has a front row seat to her mother’s execution wherein Erin repeatedly screams out while her mother is brutally mauled to death (albeit bloodless) by giant man-eating lizards in a long and drawn out scene (opening theme song included). Erin repeatedly relives this traumatic event in detail throughout the remaining episodes. All I could think about while watching this scene was that small kids are going to be watching this. Following the mauling, in the next episode, the only antidote that they offer to sooth the viewer’s trauma is an awkwardly presented farting beekeeper who has a sexual attraction for his horse and an Erin that recovers faster then I did.
END SPOILER ALERT.
I advise any parent to preview the first 5 eps before allowing young children to watch this show.
Feb 17, 2013
Though it is labeled as a "Kid's anime" I wonder will kids understand it fully and I believe this anime will attract older audience more after they watch some episodes. A anime which contains betrayal, politics, assassinations, tragedy and death is no way can only be labeled as a kid's anime. Though the potrayal of the love and warmth between a mother and her daughter is really heartwarming its good to see in this age where anime world is getting full of ecchi and animes with comedies and incest love it makes us forget that the love between a mother and her daughter or two brothers or a foster father and a daughter can be much stronger and beatiful and heartwarming than the love between just a man and a woman.
The story begins in this anime in a small village where mystic creatures named "Touda" is taken care of and prepared to used as a tool for the wars. There the mother of the protagonist "Erin" is the head doctor of the Tuodas and Erin being just a child follows her mother's footsteps best as she can to become a Touda doctor herself, but life is not that easy as Erin grows up she experiences many things of both sadness and happiness and becomes mature earlier than rest of her peers. She finds new goals of her life and learns the truth about the world and also the distortion and corruption which is already taking place in her country.
This anime had one of the best ending ever from the all animes I watched and I really liked it so I would recommend all of you anime fans to watch this anime.
Jan 6, 2010
Gender: Fantasy, slice of life, romance, despair, war, politics, betrayal and many more.
As would have been told by others, this series is what i would consider a rare jewel. I found it hard to believe how good is good before actually watching it.
In my honest opinion,this story is like the work of Hans Christian Anderson.One might consider his work to be for children, mind you, there are a lot of turbulence in this anime that in no way a kid would understand. If i have to give it a rating, i would considerer this to be PG. Its meant for children as this is a very well done fairy tale but without parental guidance kids will get lost along the way. The story WILL, trust me it WILL, be very satisfying even for adults.
This series is probably the slowest in term of development and will have flashbacks of events in the past.Adding to that, this series follows the life of a girl from the age of 10 to 18, so you have to know that it has got a huge plot. On the other hand, although its slow, I personally believe that its going to be and impossible task to go any faster. This anime has probably the plot of a perfect 40 episodes series, however, dropping it to 26 would mess it up. Pushing it to 50 might prove otherwise, they have an excess of 10 episodes to go deeper.
This anime is done in a very standard chronological manner. It might seem to ordinary but believe me, no other way is better. Don't expect the story to suddenly moves back 5 years to reveal "things" so that the next 10 episodes make sense. The director knows where they want to be by the end of episode 50. Its not going to have "Itachi is a good person" cliche twist. There will be 0 WTF it doesn't make sense plot change. So don't let this method deter you. All fairy tales starts with "a long time ago" and moves forward, you wont find something like "action" and somewhere in the middle " a long time ago".
This series, is divided to 2 important chapters. The 1st half is a fairy tale, it will be really touching and daring. Why so much character? because unless you fall in love with the cast, they could not brought the magic of this anime. The 1st prove of why slow is good is episode 7. The next half of the series focus on a bigger plot. By now everyone knows inside and out about Erin. Put her in the middle of a huge mess that she tries her best to avoid, thats what the second half is about.
Another way of saying is, 1st half is about Erin growing up, second half is about Erin as a parent protecting it child.
How good is good? Mind you, I've never seen and anime with plot as deep as this.
The animation of this anime is not the best, but its perfect. What do i mean? Would you like reading a fairy tale book pictures meant for Gundam series? the animation will make a lot of people think its for children due to its simplicity but simplicity itself is what makes this series practically perfect.
The level of gore of this anime is minimized as much as possible. As much as they could, some parts of this series is more dramatic that most anime meant for mature audience. I mean it, some parts are really really shocking. I seriously doubt this series is for children.
Being eaten alive and shred to pieces on camera with blood all over the places.
In this series, we will pretty much follows the life of young Erin for 8 years, we will indeed goes as deep as one would ever expect for an anime for Erin. This limits the dept as to go with other characters. In many full series, many characters are tend to be dropped and never mentioned again. this series has a very unique way to ensure that wouldn't happen.
People die. This series is not afraid to kill characters that you fall in love with. they will let you understand and love a character in about 5 episodes, then BAM killed him/her and show how much that affects Erin.
To be honest, i did not enjoy the first 5 episodes one bit. But after episode 7, i pretty much hooked. I really enjoy this series as a whole.
Just like the animation, this series does not use fancy 2009 sound effects, nor does it use famous songs/musics to fill it up. Critters, wind blowing, grass, birds. what else do you expect from the location of animal nurturing center? Jpop? classical music?rock? or even techno? no, you expect lullabies. Its simple yet prefect.
The fight scenes uses musics that are not too sophisticated either so as to not disturb the balance of the series.
This series is seriously underwatched and underrated. It portrays a really good example of how harsh life is. There is no such thing as happily ever after, as people die sooner of later. There is no magic to controls everything the way you want. Of course, this series have to cheat a little, they indeed put a very smart girl so that we can skip her study sections and move on with the story. its not meant to make her shine as super-powerful-heroin.
I understand that this series has a simple story line but i did mention that its got the deepest plot of any 2009 anime. Why? there are 2 ways a story can be successful,incredible suspends or simple story being told in an incredible way. this anime is more of the later than not.
Lastly, i would like to apologize if this review is hard to understand due to my poor English but i just had to express my sincere feeling about just how good this anime is. read more
Jul 10, 2009
This is an anime you can't miss watching!
Mar 12, 2010
Also, this anime seems to exist in some bizarre world where, despite there being super skilled assassin type figures and two types of invincible beasts, poison ends up being the most worrisome agent of life. I think the plot spends as much time on poisonings by the end as it does touda.
I did enjoy core elements of the plot, and that is the main reason I finished the anime. I liked the focus on Erin, and I could even forgive her being the typical "supergenius, super caring" character who can do absolutely no wrong because of the nice voice acting and the interesting progression of her life. I also liked the touda, though I liked them less once another super invincible creature was introduced. I felt that both touda and beast lords should have been introduced right away, or it should have only been one the whole way. I felt that after Erin&Jone, the anime struggled to ever keep itself at quite the same depth of interaction after moving to focus on beast lords. It especially struggles to make any action feel slightly convincing, and several conversations as it goes on become more and more incredibly tedious, e.g. Erin talking to either queen.
This is absolutely a children's anime, and I do not see why everyone is trying to vehemently deny it. The first OP and ED, the narration (utterly childish storytelling tone, constantly interferes with the quality of interaction with the story), and interaction between characters (Erin and her mom, the Queen and anybody, Erin and Yuuyan, any and all explanations about anything ever from one character to another) all make sure that this cannot progress above being childish. People can try to use the more violent moments to write it away, but the art contradicts that. Also childish are all depictions of Erin imagining anything horrible happening (the last example episode 44, 19:30 or so in, when she pictures what is happening at the academy).
The music is very nice sounding, especially when you have only heard each song once (with the exception of the song that inscrutably rips off one progression from Trigun). Unfortunately, they ram the same songs into your ears relentlessly, and eventually at very wrong moments.
Not much really needs to be said about the art, since the flaws are much more glaring than usual. Sometimes the mistakes are much more glaring (like when the touda are swimming underwater episode 7 and llook like barrel of monkey figures). Also, lots of shots that are the same shot being panned very slowly, or zoomed out from very slowly. Kid Erin is a bit annoying to look a thanks to her eyes (not that any character's wayward pupils are any fun to look at). The Beast-Lords, paraded as a paragon of beauty, are actually ugly beasts in motion, and simplistic when "shining" and flying to save the day.
Overall, I really have to rate this anime a waste of anyone's time. It loses what depth it has as it goes on, it struggles to balance the time and how the time is spent on any action, and everything is far too predictable. It is enjoyable enough, and there are plenty of cute moments, but it cannot be said to be worth anyone's time due to the length - it should have absolutely been a normal anime season, not 50 episodes.
Oh, like a lot anime and manga that lack substance, this series spends a lot of time making up for it pretending that characters going "oishiiiiiii" and talking about food should actually be entertaining. Like always, it definitely is not appropriate outside an anime or manga about food. I did not keep any official count, but surely somewhere around ten times. read more
Jun 5, 2010
As I mentioned, the story has great potential - we have our main heroine that we meet when she is still a little kid, we watch her grow, mature, and struggle, through all the hardships she has to overcome. In the same time the story gives us insight about what is going on in the country where the heroine lives, introduces us to the royal family, and some political intrigues. The characters presented have different backgrounds and aims but all of their stories intersect at some point. This is what you normally call "great storytelling", but the thing is - the anime is horribly slow and not well planned. It could have been so much better.
Many people claim that slow plot development of "Kemono no Souja Erin" simply builds up the atmosphere, and in some episodes - maybe they are right. But in most of them - no sir. Many episodes in this anime show action that could be presented in 10 minutes but goes on for 20. And yes, some very good series do this and are still great, but this anime it's not the case, because the means through which the creators prolong the episodes are mainly flashbacks, still shots of scenery and conversations presented to you in few still shots of people sitting next to each other. In other words - this is a prime example of poor directing and lack of money for animation. In some episodes you will see the same scenery scene even 6 times (I counted), and the flashbacks that remind you what happened few minutes ago. And why would somebody do that? Of course, not to animate anything else. This does not count anymore as "building up the atmosphere". It really, really doesn't.
I don't know what happened during the production of "Kemono no Souja Erin", but something must have gone wrong. The way it is done really makes you feel as if it should take 26 episodes and nothing would be lost- it shouldn't be that way because the story is really good and complex. It is simply a shame that it went the way it did - it could have been a real anime gem, but it's not. You get bored, you see the same scenes you saw few minutes ago, you look at the endless still shots of scenery, and you don't get enough satisfaction. The poor directing and planning turned this story into and average show. I can only guess the novel is amazing. "Seirei no Moribito" by the same author, came out to be a MUCH better anime. Check it out instead.
Jan 27, 2009
Combat is bloodless (or very nearly) and there is little onscreen violence even during fighting sequences and what is shown is rather brief or extremely simplified (though the touda are a little mean looking at times).
The story other than is fairly simple and pretty straight forward. There is a narrator to fill in all the minor details and explain each characters motivations & thoughts when necessary.
The artwork is nothing flashy with the exception of a few detailed still images of Asian styled dragons & serpents used during transitions. Overall it is composed of soft colors & simple clean lines. Reminds me a lot of picture books I used to read as a kid, especially the shots of the village and cut-away elevation diagrams of the holding pens where the touda (giant lizards) are kept.
The characters and creatures are well drawn but for the most part they have very little detail (especially on clothing). Close up shots are a bit more detailed, but it still looks like a picture out of a coloring book at times, very simple & rather plain.
I have to say I wasn't a big fan of the way they drew the character's eyes, they were just colored circles without the black pupils, it looks a bit strange imo, kind of lifeless.
I have to say the overall simpleness of the artwork is one of the biggest detractors to this series (for me anyway), we are talking about a visual entertainment medium after all. If the work is not visually appealing it can be that much more difficult to enjoy the story as it is presented. However, considering the probable target audience, I can understand why it is presented in a simple picture book like style.
The BGM was soft and melodic, mostly strings & piano with a bit of upbeat electronic/synth during the more "dramatic" sequences to help set the mood. There was a musical interlude as well complete with vocals, a sort of cute little "lullaby" scene. Overall I think the BGM fit well with the style of the show, fairly tame with nothing too harsh or out of place. As a side note, I really liked the OP/ED theme music too.
The voice acting was decent. The narrator sounds more than a little monotone/dry in her delivery at times (always), which kinda got on my nerves a bit, but the rest of the cast wasn't too bad.
The main characters at least were likable & kinda cute, pretty much what you would expect from this genre considering the intended audience. The relationships and interactions between the characters are fairly straightforward and easily understood. This makes for a simple story but the characters end up feeling a bit lacking in depth at times.
Overall it's the kind of series I'd watch when I'm not looking for a lot of over the top action or romance/drama. I'm sure I probably would have enjoyed this more if I were maybe 15 years younger, but for what it's worth I didn't hate it either ^_^
Jan 10, 2013
An excellent story with compelling characters. A very strong lead female character, and mostly interesting, complex villains, but many secondary characters are sort of flat (perhaps because most of the character development is spent on the lead Erin and the beasts/animals she interacts with?).
This show doesn't offer a clear view of good and evil, rather, it shows a rather deep, complex view of life.
Very unusual art stylized like some older anime.
This show's atmosphere is sort of heavy and oppressive, even though it has some happy moments it also has many depressing moments.
This show seems to suffer from limited funds. Lots of reused graphic and music (and some of the graphic looks really... cheap (but the show also has some some very artistic, beautiful graphic segments).
This show is plagued by an unreasonable amount of flashbacks and retrospection, and feels unnecessarily stretched. (even has 2(?) episodes which are pure retrospection). While in a way this helps in creating a more nostalgic, melancholic feeling, it can be far too slow at times. Feels like the whole show could have been done in 26 episodes rather than 50, I don't like skipping anything in a show, but this show has forced me to skip through some episodes every now and then, it was just too much repetition of the same scenes over and over.
This show has a very satisfying ending. read more
Sep 12, 2012
Jun 10, 2012
Why is it that this anime is so unknown? In my opinion, This is one of the best animes out there!
Story: This is a epic story that tells us the live of Erin in a seemingly medieval fantasy country. Although in long series, there usually are a lot of fillers and boring episodes, this anime maintains a good pace from the beginning to the end (although there are 2 recap eps, and a moku filler but it was a funny ep anyway). But maybe the pace is a bit slow for some people. However, the story is so heart warming and dramatic at the same time, it's a simple joy to watch, even if you feel it's a bit slow. And it just keeps getting better and better as it goes.
Art: The art may seem simple and ugly at first glance. However it has a unique refreshing new style and the colors are well chosen. It really matches the world it describes. I hate CG, but even the CG scenes in this anime are pretty.
Sound: Such beautiful songs! And the song Erin plays with her harp is so lovely!
Characters: Each character has it's role. Erin is so lovable. The voices were very well chosen.
Overall: A master piece. Why is it so unpopular? Maybe it should have been more advertised? Maybe if the main character were a boy with those arrogant personalities typically in shonens, it would catch more people to watch it? Maybe if there were more battles and action? Maybe if it was a studio Ghibli anime? But I'm so glad it was the way it is! I'm glad it was not main-streem oriented. Thank you for presenting me with this great anime. read more