Takaya Ougi is just a typical high school guy who wants nothing more than to protect his best friend and live a normal life. Enter Nobutsuna Naoe, an older man who informs Takaya that he is in fact the reincarnation of Lord Kagetora. Naoe, himself a possessor, awakens Takaya's abilities to exorcise evil spirits and fight the Fuedal Underworld. While most possessors remember their former lives before being reincarnated, Takaya does not. Naoe is thankful for this, considering his passionate and abusive past with his Lord Kagetora. As Takaya improves his abilities, he also begins to remember what Naoe did because of his love for him. Meanwhile the dark forces of the Hojo and Fuma clans begin their attack as the Fuedal Underworld descends upon the living world.
Want to watch some cool bishounen? Check out this story about Takaya Oogi, a regular high school student trying to lead a normal life. I looked at this series with curiosity of how shounen-ai would be used. But, I found the story more interesting beyond what I imagined.
Although everything, in the story, at first seemed peaceful, a major turn in events surprised me. But, once the story unveiled itself after time, the fear of freaky spirits disappeared from my system. I grew interested in finding out what happened with Takaya.
First of all, I want to say that I found the artwork incredibly impressive. I think
the animation could have been just slightly better in certain scenes, but the art style was well-designed. Itsuko Takeda's character design has always made, especially in Mirage of Blaze, anime, as a whole, much more interesting to watch. From such amazing art, I immediately grew to love each character. Not only was the art style very appealing but also the character development. I found that each protagonist had complex and almost "realistic" personalities. Sometimes, there were a few forced and cheesy moments that made the main character act somewhat unnormally. But, for the most part, each character had several intriguing characteristics.
Second, the sound added to the effects in a helpful and colorful way. "Suspense" and "horror" were mostly detectable by the sounds used in the anime. Each background music section blended well with each scene and circumstance. As for the opening theme song, I would say it could have been better in ways, but I found that the shot sequence followed reasonably well with the music. The song itself was quite nice. I thought that the lack of an Ending theme song did not take away from the show.
Third, the graphics were not entirely adequate to my tastes, but they were effective and appropriate. The special effects during certain scenes lacked well-timed and flawless animation. But, altogether I found all of the effects unique and useful.
Fourth and finally, the story definitely had a rather wacky concept behind it. But, I found the absurdity of the plot quite entertaining to watch for development. This anime ended up being more than a rather "twisted" love story. There were many moments of drama and action mixed in with some adventure. Really, I found it hard to stop watching because it was so thrilling and interesting to continue watching till the end. The storyline really brought me to enjoy this series very thoroughly. Although a few things were a bit predictable and funky, I loved to watch the story unfold. The finish of the anime left a rather unsettling impression, though, in my opinion. Even so, I recommend this story to all slash/shounen-ai fans. It's a romance story that you cannot miss!
(Meh, I might be a bit biased with my review because I love shounen-ai... But, I still think my ratings were rather valid (inspite of the fact that many people do not agree with such high ratings)).
Let me be honest here. I started watching Mirage of Blaze in my endless search of good shounen ai and yaoi anime. After reading some reviews, I still had no idea what to expect, so I decided to try it out and see for myself.
I will save some of you readers some time now and tell this right away: In my opinion this show is best fit for those viewers who, like me, grave for shounen ai and are desperately trying to find series with even the bare minimum of it. I don't want to mislead anyone to watch Mirage of Blaze as anything else,
as in my eyes it has very little value in any other aspect than as a chance to find some unseen shounen ai footage. That being said, if you still feel like giving it a go, there's still something else I should mention. Mirage of Blaze in itself is lacking even in the romance portion. I'm sure this goes without saying, but if you watch Mirage of Blaze, you have to also watch the Mirage of Blaze: Rebels of the River Edge, 3 episodes long OVA. The OVA will offer something more for the graving people and give a better ending than the one that Mirage of Blaze presents.
As I've already mentioned, I don't think this series has much to offer to anyone. The story is somewhat interesting, but it's not portrayed in a very understandable way. For someone who has no knowledge what so ever about Edo-period, all the feudal lords and different clans, it's a little bit confusing to follow the events that happen. I got the feeling that the creator expected the watchers to know something about all the famous clans and people mentioned in the show (I'm not even sure if they really exist in history, expect for Oda Nobunaga). However, I could still follow the story and situations anyway, by watching the characters to interact with each other. Allies, enemies and opposing clans were easy to recognize when the main characters acted in the story and identified all the people around them.
There are anime series with good, strong stories but not good enough characters to play in them. These characters are dull and pointless to the point that the stories could go on without them. For Mirage of Blaze, however, it's the other way around. I feel bad for the potential characters in this show, who seem to act in a story that's not good and strong enough to support them. These characters are interesting and with different setting, they would've blossomed.
As for the love-story between the two main characters, there's not much. The 13 episodes of Mirage of Blaze consist of just couple of nice shounen ai moments and the information of their backstory. It is explained what happened between them in the past and how they feel about each other at the present moment. For this anime, though, the plot of fighting clans and their members is a priority and the love is just a extra background story. The OVA concentrates a little bit more to the main characters and their current relationship.
Art is enjoyable to look at and I didn't find any noticeable drops in the quality of it. Women are beautiful and men are handsome. The backgrounds are realistic and there are some beautiful scenes of nature, but other than that nothing stands out as extraordinary.
Animation and sound are the weakest links in this show. For me the animation felt "old-fashioned" and somewhat stiff and boring. At some points it was surprisingly good, but mostly it was nothing amazing or nothing too bad either. I hate to say this, but to me the opening and ending songs were nothing. They were rather lifeless, odd songs, that in my opinion had nothing to do with the anime. I watched them once, then skipped them every episode.
I got the feeling that everything was done little bit better in the ova than in the main series. Story, art, even the opening song had all been improved slightly. Events that occurred were portrayed in a way that made understanding what was going on easier. Even the characters felt a little bit easier to approach and easier to emphasize with. The OVA was partly a continuation for the main series, but it had it's own story arc, which actually worked pretty well. So in OVA even the story was better.
Okay, so, if you are going to watch this show, keep your expectations low. If you don't wish for anything too great, you are probably not going to experience disappointment. I know, what a thing to say... but it's true. Even though I'm pretty much implying that this is a waste of your time, I would still recommend you to check Mirage of Blaze out. If you are looking for shounen ai footage, that is. Especially in the OVA, something relatively juicy is served :) Ok no spoiling, no spoiling.
It wasn't a bad anime. It just wasn't a good anime. But I suppose it is good enough that I manage to watch all 13 episodes within about 3 days.
The animation was weird to me that so many of the characters basically look alike and I kept getting confused as to who was who. I'll cut it some slack. This anime is over a decade old but still the fight scenes were a bit weak and disappointing.
Characters....i'd say the characters were mildly interesting. Surprisingly no one really annoyed me or I flat out hated them. They were tolerable enough but this is one of the
few anime where literally no one seems to stand out. From the main character to the minor character, they all seem equally boring and unappealing. I suppose if I had to choose a character, i'd say Naoe is my favorite only due to his twisted character and persona and the evolution of the character throughout the 13 episodes.
Storywise...I really can't tell you what the plot was because so many things were happening at one time. The first episode alluded to one thing and I thought it was going to heavily focus on that particular plot but by episode 2 or even 3 it was abandoned and then we get some fillerish moments before another crazy plot happens and this plot confuses the crap out of me and doesn't make much sense. It's conclusion, though rushed, was satisfying enough but I still was like "What was the point of...." or "why did this..." quite often.
Last but not least the romance...This is quite a twisted anime, especially with Episode 11. The problem with this is....the romance feels forced and tacked on. For most of the 13 episodes there doesn't seem to be too much of a build-up and i'd say around maybe episode 8 or so is when it finally was like "Yeah let's get around to the romance."
I love the idea behind it. It was twisted and not something you see or expect. That being said, the execution sort of made an awesome idea fizzle out royally.
In the end, I say watch it but be ready to binge it. I'd love to see what this anime could be like present day with a much better budget and perhaps even more episodes to fully flesh out characters, plot and romance.
Within 13 episodes, it just was barely average and likely a forgettable anime.
So this was playing in the "yaoi" (not really) room at Fanime 2007, and I parked myself and my luggage in there since I did not yet have my badge or a hotel room in which to store my stuff. (Con advice: make sure at least one person from each travel party has a name on the hotel reservation so you can get a key upon arrival.)
Admittedly I was interested in this anime upon seeing the previews. The character designs reminded me of "X" and "Tokyo Babylon" (the main character is a Seishirou ripoff liek whoa), and there was some nice scenery. I have
a weakness for urban fantasy, and like every girl, I'm crazy for a sharp-dressed man.
That isn't enough to hold my attention more than ten seconds, unfortunately. And that is where this show's good aspects end.
The story sucks. The dialog sucks. The anime itself DRAGS with filler that fills in the gaps between a story that is boring enough in-of-itself to feel like filler. It's filler within filler. There are some gratuitous shounen-ai-esque touchy-touchy moments. Woo-hoo.
It was so boring I don't even really remember what happened, something about a war and the main character being reincarnated and zombies. Sounds like it has the potential to be interesting? It's not.
Just watch "X" and save yourself the grief.