In a time when demons rule the world and mankind seeks freedom, human rebels gain control of the demon-slaying sword Tenmaken and attempt to assassinate the Demon King Janus. To preserve the sovereignty of her homeland, the half-human, half-demon Princess Hiro must overcome her deep hatred of the humans or face a war that will ravage the entire world!
In the world of Neverland; Demons, Gods, and Humans once lived together in peace. Later, they began to war with each other and the demons won gaining complete control. For centuries they ruled, and now a hero has discovered a sword that could kill their master, and give the humans an edge in the war. -summary
Neverland... heh, lol. Wow...
...Anyway, I still can't believe ADV films would actually allow their name to be mentioned on the same cover art as this monstrosity, not to mention even green lighting this thing at all. Make no mistake, Spectral Force is nothing short of a disaster that goes
completely wrong in every category you can think of. I still hold Art of Fighting as the absolute worst anime I have ever seen, and its held that title on lock for about well over a decade. At this point, I kind of think it's never going to be dethroned; but Spectral Force is one of those anime titles that introduces whole new levels of suck in its own way, and it's pretty damn close to giving the aforementioned title a run for the championship. In any case, it's definitely in my top 3 of worst anime I have ever seen and this is no exaggeration.
Spectral Force is a fantasy anime based on a video game (well imagine that!) that suffers from a very poor sense of direction. The anime has enough plot twist and characters to fit a 26 episode series format, which is beyond bad since the thing clocks in at 50 minutes. Many situations occur, many characters attempt to do different things, many battles take place, and almost nothing is properly fleshed out or concluded all that well.
Let's see, I'll begin with the characters. Well for one thing, there are just way too many of them, and none of them are interesting in the least. They're just all around terrible and only one is somewhat developed. I already forgot the name of the main character, and I can't quite recall if all of the others were even named at all. The anime attempts to accomplish so many things, but turns out rushing and cramming everything in by the end, which results in a truncated opened ending.
For a fantasy anime, there is just no creativity or imagination at all. The broken and busted plot limps into one segment after the other, and the horrendous character interactions have absolutely no energy; this is mainly due to yeah, the horrible characters of course, but it's also because of the atrocious dialouge and voice acting. The writing is just awful; characters who appear to play in the major story, soon fall into bit roles after playing in a major sequence, and it's also unclear on who is the real threat. Supposedly, the humans are the worst of the three evils, while the demons are the worlds best hope. If this is the case; then why is the human who discovers the sword considered a hero? Could this thing be playing off the adage; one person's patriot is another ones terrorist? I doubt this completely since the entire work has been mapped out so poorly.
Visually, it's just as horrible as everything else. For a 2003 anime OVA, there is just no excuse for visuals like this. The animation does not blend well with the CG, in fact, I don't think they tried to blend it at all. The backgrounds are CG and the character designs are just there, it's hard to explain just how bad this looks at times. Forget about decent action scenes, a lot of it is poorly choreographed, while the rest is unseen with stills on static backgrounds, and if that isn't bad enough, there's even one scene where a still character is slowly moving in the background to its desired point. Can you believe something like this? Outside of the wretched ending theme, I didn't even notice the BGM.
It's said to understand Spectral Force one must be familiar with the game. This is never a good approach. Video games to movies really should have content that appeals to both parties; fans and non fans. If developers are only going to bother with fans of the game, then perhaps they should start bundling these movies with their video game counter-part, to spare the non fans unnecessary suffering; but seriously speaking, even if this wasn't based on a video game it really wouldn't be any better.
After watching more than 400 anime titles, I can say Spectral Force is too close to the very bottom of the barrel. Honestly, the only reason why I consider Art of Fighting worse is because I would have to watch it again to be completely sure, and I have no desire to do that. All jokes aside, you can walk into any anime section and pick up something better than this blindfolded. Avoid.
"there's something wrong here" mercenary.
"Why are you floating?" Hiro.
Story/Character: Spectral Force hints at large world building of a generic fantasy multi racial war. Watch Nanatsu no Taizai for proper art & story, or Shingeki no Bahamut for epic multi racial battles. But this story isn't as terrible as the synopsis. Here demons aren't typical villains. Demon lord Janus wanted to sacrifice himself by sealing some op excalibur (called "this" by the purple hero) with his body. By removing the op sword he hoped the world becomes peaceful.
Hiro is the half daughter who hates humans but somehow has human mercenaries serving her. She's left with her
father's mess. Somehow both demons & humans like to attack her.
Shirou/Harry Potter, a tiny mercenary becomes important to the plot. Everyone has natural or funny dubs, but his is the most hilarious. [spoiler] He later becomes a manslave for a noble cause.
Besides the dry war conflicts. Dialogue among mercenaries, Hiro & other races can be funny. And the strained family relations is somewhat interesting among Hiro, her oneesan, Janus, brother who was banished by Janus, which includes power struggle for the demon clan heir after Janus.
Art: ok. There's a few short combat shots with smooth animation.
Sound: ED & osts are fine, maybe the best part of this (dub the 2nd best). There's even some epic pipe organ.
You can watch Spectral Force Chronicle Divergence for more about the world with better art, but less animation. It seems a remake with similar scenes, but more boring plot cards, dry with no osts & no English subs now. If you'd like something blander, then Chronicle Divergence is the answer.