Kurou Daijuuji is a poor detective living in Arkham City. One day, he was requested by Ruri Hado of Hado Financial Group, to search for a magic book. While he initially refused, Ruri offered him a large sum of money upon completion of her request, in which bribed Kuro to accept. As Kurou searches for the book, he unexpectedly runs into Al, a pretty girl that is actually a powerful grimoire.
They forge a contract with each other, bestowing Kuro with powerful magic. Soon afterwards, Al also activates Demonbane, a deus machina owned by the Hado Financial Group, to combat the mechanical menace from the Black Lodge. With this, the war between the Hado Financial Group and the Black Lodge begins....
This anime is a bit too complicated for me. I don't know if it's just because I'm slow or what, but it had so many complicated terms and side stories I can barely catch up.
I did like the concept behind it. It was interesting, talking about grimoires and sorcery and combat, etc. but as I've said it tends to become complicated. The story is good, the execution, not so much. For one thing, there were way too many characters, and some of them popped up out of nowhere, in the middle of the story, making things more complicated. I ended the series without knowing
what the woman-with-the-big-jugs' name was.
The relationship between Kurou and Al was kind of bothersome. I know that Al is probably a 1000 year old person, but she looks so young. If I hadn't known her age I would think that she was around 13-15. I'd guess Kurou would be about 20 (since he went to "college"). It's just weird for me to see them so intimate with each other. Oh well.. I guess anything can happen in anime world.
The graphics are great, specially the grimoires. They were all so nicely drawn. The guys weren't bad either, but Kurou's muscle tone kind of bothered me. He doesn't have a large frame, and yet you see muscles bulging out.
The music wasn't bad. Most of the music were very upbeat and had high energy, like the opening song. I think it was something about God and machines. The ending song was a bit depressing, but I like it. I seem to like depressing and nostalgic songs, which makes me want to rethink seeing a therapist, but it's a wonderful song. Sad, but wonderful.
I can't say it's one of my favorites, but it wasn't that bad either. I did finish it, and at the end of the series I kinda understood what it's about (but then again, I'm still not sure).
Original Review (December 2008, see below for later edit):
"Hey, let's buy some guy who can animate a few robot battles with some 3D software. We'll make up some dialogues as fillers and spice them up by throwing in a few old jokes and a crapload of terms from some successful fantasy-universe or something like that to make it look like some intelligent and thoroughly thought through show ... what do you think about this Lovecraft guy?"
I guess that's what a planning-session for Demonbane could have been like.
The battles themselves didn't look that bad, but then again: The ridiculous mecha design gets boring and the fights
aren't much better in that regard. Most of the time I got the impression they didn't even bother thinking about details, but rather made a new 3D model and threw it at the main characters robot including some flashy sfx. Between the fights the viewer has to face a redicilous amount of Lovecraft-references that (apparently) don't add anything to the show but pure confusion of the viewer. I can't say whether this show may offer something for a person having read all the lovecraft stuff, but my guess would be, that even that is rather unlikely.
EDIT (May 2012):
It has been almost 4 years since I wrote this review. Looking back at the show as I remember it and at my somewhat updated policy for rating shows on my list I chose to update the scores slightly. Also I ultimately did not end up writing reviews here on this site, but I don't just want to 'delete' this one. I wrote it as my oppinion on the show and by and large it still shows how I think about this show. As such the changes will be the following:
category: old score --> new score (reason)
Story: 2 --> 4 (Having watched many other animes I acknowledge, that the quality of this shows story is not as vastly below something that can make an enjoyable experience as my former score depicted, though I still consider it to be significantly below average for the reasons stated in my original review.)
Sound: 3 --> 4 (This change basically is made because I have seen enjoyable animes in the meantime that did almost equally as 'bad' as this one. So maybe it was just because the stuff I watched before this show was somewhat above-average for it's time ... be it in soundtrack or voice acting or sfx.)
Enjoyment: 2 --> 3 (2, which for "overall scores" is outside the range I decided to use for stuff that I at least managed to watch till the end, gets updated to 3. I did not enjoy it, but I at least managed to watch the end because I expected it to get better after the first four or five episodes and then the end was already close enough to pull through.)
Overall: 3 --> 4 (The overall rating gets boosted to a 4, as such acknowledging the possibility that someone who can process the Lovecraft references and likes the style of this show might overall find it enjoyable to a certain extent, though still hard to believe for me.)
My recomendation would be simple - dont watch this anime !
Dont watch it becouse ..... you might actualy like it in the end ...... not knowing how big a crime was commited by its creators.
I must say i hate this Anime - I hate it becouse it is one of the worst Adaptations of The Visual Novels i have ever seen making into anime. It is like a disgrace and profanity of one of the best Action Visual Novels ever released.
Evrything great about the game was wasted in this sorry excuse of an adaptation, flatening the story, cutting
mayor characters, even the jokes and art from the anime are just a clumsy imitation of its original form. (especialy Master Terion and West look awfull in comparision to VN). Only the music thames are cut directly from it making this series a little bit better, still they arent used that skillfull as in the VN where thay perfecty created a mood. It might sound silly - but even animations in VN were better !!
Despite all of this it is still ... quite enjoyable to watch...
Suprisingly - but I guess, should I never see a VN before, I would probably enjoy this series without regret, but instead after watching this series I am totally cruished in sorrow, that splendit idea and story was wasted that much.
Demonbane had the potencial to become one of the greatest fighting anime ever ... And instead it is a B category show that some ppl bash the story (and they are - in case of the anime at least) for beeing just an excuse to show a bit of Mech fighting.
Zan'nen desu ! Dakara Dai kirai
If you are reading this review - I humbly ask of you - do not watch it - find the game - it is even released in USA fully franslated and compatibie with Western unicode.
Then You will see this original, litle bit silly at first, but ultimately really captivating and masterfully executed work at its best. I can totatly and without hesitation recomned that game to all fans of Acion anime, cute girls, mechs, Cthulhu and to thouse who just like to lough a lot. When I plaied this game first time - I felt like- OMG what I am doing. Is this game for elementary kids or what? But then the story the characters and action showed me, how much wrong I have been.
Then, after trying the Visual Novel for yourself, you can see this anime just to see how much they screwed up.
If you wont listen to me and just go with thee anime you will probably like it a little anyway. Just know that you are only seen a badly executed copy that is far inferior to its original form.
So, the raw numbers for this dreadfull anime in comparition to Visual Novel ( in parentheses)
In last words I must of course say - do not treat this review to serius - if you want to see this aniem as it is it's fine with me, whenever you take on my advise is your choice.
If you liked this anime anyway - I am sure you will love the game all the more, and there is even untranslated sequel so I have heard.
Whatever you do - have fun !
Sorry for any misspelling or badly constructed sentences.
Disclaimer: May contain spoilers. Proceed with caution.
One day I was scouring Crunchyroll for something to watch. Upon scrolling I randomly stumbled upon Demonbane. My response was “eh, why the f**k not?” What could possibly go wrong. This was a completely blind watch. The only thing I knew about Demonbane is that its based on an eroge. Hentai games. Oh hell yes. Give me more of that. Demonbane is a mecha series with elements of magic and fantasy. Cute girls, harems, magic, and giant mechs. Basically, books transform into cute girls and help co-pilot giant
mechs called Deus Machina. It doesn’t get any more anime than that.
Oh boy, where to begin with this one? What a mess. Demonbane is textbook pretentious. The series tries to make itself out as being smarter than it really is. Using Cthulhu mythos to hide the fact it’s a generic harem/mecha series. Sorry but just because you reference literary classic doesn’t mean your anime isn’t grade A trash. Demonbane follows the story of down on his luck detective Kuro Daijuuji. He is hired by the Hadou Foundation to track down a Grimoire, a book with untold powers. While on his mission he has a run in with a girl being chased by a scientist who keeps shredding on his guitar. The girl is one of the legendary Grimoire he was in search of. She is Al-Azif. Al is searching for a new and settles on Kuro. They form a contract by kissing and take control of titular mech Demonbane and escape peril. This mech is the Deus Machina the Hadou Foundation had been searching for. The princess of the organization Ruri Hadou allows Kuro and Al to pilot the Demonbane. In comes Black Lodge, an evil organization that is evil. They don’t seem to have any real motivation other than thirst for battle and destruction. Demonbane changes antagonists every few episodes until everything comes full circle.
The characters are incredibly one dimensional. Kuro is your typical generic harem/shonen protagonist, for some inexplicable reason almost every female wants to bang him. Al-Azif is the tsundere loli book turned girlfriend. Ruri is a princess archetype with one hell of a butler. Almost every named female is part of Kuro’s harem. His harem includes books, nun, robot, and a princess. Black Lodge has a collection of some of the most uncompelling antagonists. They are led by Grandmaster Therion. He has the power to destroy Kuro in battle but chooses not to satiate his amusement. Just a generic stoic villain. Black Lodge is filled to the brim with betrayals. I swear there’s a betrayal every 3 episodes. How does this organization function?
Demonbane tries really hard to pull at your heart strings and fails spectacularly. This anime is a fan of the fake out deaths. Master Therion is betrayed and thought dead until his not so shocking return. One character is introduced and killed off immediately. We hardly got to know her, yet we are expected to feel pain for Kuro’s loss. Spoiler alert; it didn’t work. They bring her back later in a shocking turn of events. Now she is trying to kill Kuro for Black Lodge. Kuro is able to talk her out of it through the power of love. But then suddenly, Therion, who is presumed dead, explodes out the girl. I burst out laughing. It was one of the funniest scenes in any anime. Gintama wishes it could be that funny. I had to pause the episode to get my bearings after such a laughing fit. How could they expect anyone to take that seriously? Even main characters aren’t immune from the fake out death.
Deus Machina is the perfect name for mechas used in Demonbane, as the series is jammed packed with convenient coincides and BS. Through the power of love, you can accomplish anything, even bring people back from the dead. Believe in the heart of the cards and all your dreams will come true.
A lowest common denominator anime like Demonbane wouldn’t be complete without gratuitous fanservice. You can’t have gratuitous fanservice without a beach episode. We interrupt the plot to bring you “plot.”
Demonebane came out in 2006 so the animation won’t be up to today’s standards. But even for 2006, Demonbane is underwhelming. Looking at anime like Code Geass, Black Lagoon, and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, proving age is not an excuse for lackluster animation. The art direction is so forgettable. It followed many of the trends of the early and mid-2000s. Female characters have absurdly huge eyes and plenty of ridiculous anime hair. Demonbane incorporates CGI with its 2D animation. The mediocre CGI reminiscent of many Gonzo series released during this decade, clashed horribly with the art style. The OP was total garbage, using only scenes from the show and obnoxious music. Speaking of the music, I can’t remember any of the OST.
Demonbane is a waste of time. The Cthulhu mythos only exists to cover up the cliched harem/mecha schlock. The plot is an abject disaster filled to the brim with plot holes and Deus ex Machina bullshit. The attempts to be taken seriously is laughable. Plenty of unintentional comedy to go around. There isn’t much reason to watch it. It isn’t close to the worst anime I’ve seen but commits the graver sin of being forgettable. If you can’t be the best you might as well be the worst. At least you’ll be remembered. And where’s my harem of books?
Sometimes butlers are depicted as graying old men named Jeeves. Other times, they're the kind of butler we can only dream about. These anime butlers will make you wish you had your very own impeccably-dressed servant.