Synonyms: Shadow Skill (1998), Shadow Skill TV
Japanese: 影技 SHADOW SKILL
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 2, 1998 to Dec 24, 1998
Duration: 25 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.331 (scored by 2123 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsaction adventure martial arts
Aug 21, 2010
The story of Shadow Skill – Eigi takes place in the land of Kuruda, which is one of four lands that protect the Holy City of Julianess. (Each land has its own unique fighting style but only Kurudan is actually looked at beyond just name and one move.) Among the four, Kuruda is known for its long history of invincibility due to their elite warriors known as Sevalle/Sevar. The main heroin, Elle Ragu is one of these warriors, namely the most recent one, and thus maybe not that well known at first. Along with her step-brother Gau Ban, whom she took into her care once his family was killed, they face various adventures in Kuruda. Along the way hey meet some old friends like Fia Arcana, who seems to have a history with Elle, or some new ones like Kyou, who is a member of an demon-beast hunting group. The first “half” of the series is in a bit lighter tone, concentrating more on the adventuring and so, rather than doing anything too deep. Testimony to this are the various comedy moments which are not rare for fantasy anime but here comedy does not play a major role. This however changes after a while when the real plot starts to unfold. All the seemingly unimportant things start to matter as they begin to play their main role in one man's plan to annihilate the so long managed peace. The ending is nice and fulfilling despite the fact it leaves some questions unanswered. Maybe a sequel in some distant future ? Who knows. (doubt it ^^)
The characters in this anime are diverse and in tone of the old days of fantasy anime. Elle is the strong type that acts lazy but when push comes to shove she is dependable and acts mature. She earned her title and it doesn´t get to her head. She is quite protective of her little brother but in her own way. Gau, the second of the two main characters, is Elles adoptive little brother. He trains hard and does his best to be of any help to Elle. He is portrayed as the weaker individual climbing his way to fame and strength thanks to the support of his surroundings. However, he has his own inner demons whom he has to face so he can become like his older sister. This though, becomes more apparent in the second half of the story. The other characters are also done very well but they are a bit neglected. Indeed Fia and Kyou got some attention regarding their personal backgrounds and so on but the rest is either minimal or shrouded in mystery at best. We have many characters whose past has been hinted a few times however the line ends there and we are left to ponder who or what they really are.
Well, as expected from a show that is over 10 years old, the graphic side to this anime is nowhere near today's standard. Be it characters, locations or misc. For me however, that is not a negative. Sure, it may not be so detailed or the colours aren´t so vivid but I still think it stands on equal ground with its brethren form the days of old. It certainly has its own unique ring to it but if you aren´t a junky for modern anime art styles then this will hardly play a role in your enjoyment.
OP and ED were nice but hardly memorable. You might listen to them a few times but then it´s fast forwards from a certain point on. The rest of the sound department is good at best. VA is done very nicely and that´s about it for sound...
I personally enjoyed this anime quite a bit. It has all an anime needs to keep its audience entertained throughout the entire run without having to worry about too much fillers that can bore you to death. The story isn´t ground-breakingly innovative or anything and yet it´s not unoriginal either. It has many elements of your ordinary fantasy anime but tied together by a entertaining story and nice characters. What more can one ask for ?
Shadow Skill – Eigi is definitely worth watching for any fantasy anime fan out there and even for those that aren´t fans, since it still manages to be entertaining. They might not find it as great but at least they won´t be let down either. This is one of those anime where you can sit back and relax while watching the story unfold without having to worry whether you are or not just wasting your time. In short, if you are a fantasy fan watch it and you´ll be pleased. If you aren´t but have the time, give it a try, who knows, you might like it even more. ^^
(5)- Anywhere, anytime, as many times as you like!
(4)-Definitely worth seeing more than 3 times…
(3)-Once for regular viewer, 2 (or even 3) times for a fan.
(2)- Seeing once is more than enough.
(1)- Impossible to even reach the end…
Aug 25, 2010
I haven't enjoyed an anmie like this for quite a while , its just a good old school butt kicking ,ass whopping heroic in the face of death and just plain funny type of anmie , that keeps you involved and rooting for your Heroes all the way through.
Story - yeah its a fantasy , but on the whole , it was well done. I liked the whole four county concept.
Art-- old school type , but some of the emotions on the faces and the action was outstanding.
Sound- I heard only on dubbed , but it was not bad at all . The voice actress who did elli captured the mood exactly.
character.- On those that the anmie focuses , they are developed very very well.We get to see their history , weaknesses , strengths and interactions with each other.There is more than hint of romance with a love triangle as well.
The love letter episode was classic , i couldn't stop laughing.any more would be a spoiler.
yes , its an awesome anmie and yes it deserves to be watched and enjoyed.
May 10, 2013
It gets better and WAY darker as everything progresses, So is the art, it looks better than the epiloge or the movie, and u really can see that money and attention is put in this emerald .i like the intro-outro part of the serie´s with nice dancemusic at the last episode ending credits. Then, the martial arts, quite a limited choice of martial arts are in the anime and not dozens and dozens like in fist of the north star, aside that the fighting in lots of scens are well executed by viilians and heroe´s, it made me jump from chair to chair out of madness and happyness but its not like some halfbaked kickass stuff, NO! Then the legend of gau ban, wich is an suprise story in and anime story! i already rewatched it soo many time´s i lost the counting , but it stays damn good read more
Feb 20, 2013
Shadow Skill is the name of a powerful fighting style, perfected along the years by slaves whose hands were always in chains. Thus all its power lies in somersaults and aerial foot attacks, while leaving the hands to be mainly for defense. In a way it shares the same origin as the funky Capoeira style, while adding some superpowers like sonic booms and bone cracking grabs. As far as the fighting goes, it is quite spectacular on a superficial level, as there is a lot of jumping in the air, using boomerangs, and binding chains, and smashing both terrain and skulls alike. Most of the songs are cool to listen and make the battles more exciting as well.
The problem here is the production values, which are not allowing the fighting arts to look as smooth and spectacular as they could have been and mostly end up feeling stiff or crude most of the time. Reused frames and static caricatures are all over the place, while the faces distort a lot during choreographies, something akin to what they did in Naruto battles (hiring different people for the battle scenes). It’s just Studio DEEN doing its usual lazy work and trashing its premises for retarded action and fan service. Well, there isn’t a ton of nude in it but surely, all those tight clothes, bouncing boobs, macho men, and cute girl sidekick can’t be ignored. But it doesn’t overdo it as much as the lack of realism in fighting, which in turn takes a lot away from the gravity of the backdrop story.
And yes, there is a backdrop story and I must say it is a decent one. The heroine Elle is the current practitioner of this style, and is also one of the four elite champions of her kingdom, thus her role is to protect the king from invading armies and other sort of internal issues such as raving monsters and powerful criminals. Along her travels an orphan boy she found in the battlefield, who is dead set on learning her style and fighting to protect all he loves. There are lots of scenes where the two of them share their worries and reveal their sad pasts, all part of a way of life where you need to fight for all sorts of reasons. And yes, typical to its genre all the fighters love to kick ass because it makes them be in control, gives them a sense of security, help them to find happiness through the thanking of the people they save, and so on. Elle is also not a peon of the king, as she constantly does things her own way, and usually acts very vulgar and undisciplined; thus she is a fine grey character. He adopted brother Gau also is interesting for slowly learning of how the world works and improving fast in the Shadow Skill. It has a very nice way of making you feel like there is more to the fighting; a serious aspect besides brainless action. And it is not just personal drama, as there is a sinister plan looming in the background, as evil fighters prepare to take over the kingdom by killing its elite protectors. Thus many of the seemingly stand-alone missions are in reality attempts to kill Elle and weaken the king’s defenses.
But as I said, it does very little to properly present all its ideas. Half the episodes feel like stand alone missions where we get to know the characters through their tragic pasts. And when the second part begins and the conspiracy starts to reveal, lots of stuff feel random and poorly executed. There is a super powerful man called Scarface, and he acts all mysterious and stuff, saving the heroes when they are in trouble before disappearing. He ends up being nothing but a plot device for cheap thrills. There is also the elite warrior of the conspirators, and he acts all mysterious before his goals are revealed and are just pitiful megalomaniac stuff. There is this chain-summoning girl dressed in green joining them midway as some sort of emotional support as well as a possible romance, but she ends up being useless and even a bother, as she constantly stands in the way of the fighting. And there is this invading army nobody can possibly stop when they otherwise can level buildings with a punch. The ending is also very rushed and even leaves things unexplained. Damn you DEEN; will you ever care to do it right?
And sadly, there are simply way too many shows out there that share Shadow Skill’s elements one way or another. When you think about Capoeira for example, you would easily prefer Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo over this. When you think about a practitioner of a deadly martial art, Hokuto no Ken is eons cooler. A woman with a tragic past roaming the land along with a boy and fighting monsters? Here comes Claymore. I could go on forever with these comparisons but down to it, this could have been a lot more than your usual half-baked DEEN travesty.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 1/2 (basic)
Animation 1/2 (crude during the battles)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 5/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (bad directing)
Conclusion 1/2 (solid but messy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 7/10
Presence 2/2 (sexy/cool)
Personality 2/2 (cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 3/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of the loose plot)
Memorability 2/4 (the drama was interesting but all the rest are rather generic)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 3/10
I would like it more if it wasn’t DEEN who animated it.
VERDICT: 5/10 read more
May 16, 2013
The show itself is in a bad spot though. I suspect the fantasy purists drop it because at first glance it appears to be a martial arts anime. Well, okay, it is a martial arts anime. It has some of the classic elements of that genre. At the same time, though, it is appropriate to say that the Shadow Skill is just part of their world: like magic in D&D. Fans of martial arts anime are also likely to be disappointed with Shadow Skill because the martial arts are simply part of the warfare. There are some training scenes and whatnot, but the show is also very concerned with political maneuvering and other larger issues.
(minor spoiler alert for text below this line)
Shadow Skill follows a handful of characters that are basically individual, independently acting soldiers. They find themselves increasingly embroiled in the machinations of some unknown power that seeks to destroy their nation, and plunge their entire continent into war.
Probably the most vexing thing about this show is that it is incomplete. The first season is finished and it makes a complete story, but that story is basically the first arc of some grand, multi-season epic that was never told. It's still good though. read more
May 11, 2013