When it comes to video game adaptations, there’s an incentive when it comes to please fans. Blade & Soul is a good example based off a game and one that failed to live up to any expectations. Based off a Korean MMORPG game produced by NC Soft, there’s a truckload of problems I find that didn’t do well when adapting such a genre. But really, Blade & Soul isn’t anything special especially when the main characters are generic to the core. It’s soulless per se.
For starters, we get a fantasy setting with beautiful landscapes and the feeling that you’re actually in a fictional world. That’s
the initial impression the show first makes but it quickly loses its praise when we are introduced to its cast of characters – beautiful women wearing skimpy outfits. One such character is named Alka, with a very cold personality and a thirst for vengeance. From the beginning, we find out that she’s on a quest, to deliver vengeance as a way of revenge as result of someone that killed her master. Although the premise sounds promising, it derides itself with its setup when most of Alka’s persona is setup as solely being a warrior. As the titular character, she wields a dangerous blade along with a tattoo for a gimmick. And if that wasn’t cliché enough, she is hunted down as a bounty that countries has set up to claim her head on a plate.
Throughout the series, Alka suffers not just from characterization but also value, a sense that makes people underappreciate what she is doing. In the beginning, she is chased by some soldiers with guns (yes, guns in a series when blades are a prominent feature). But of course, she is able to avoid death with superhuman feats. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it all happens far too fast and makes the audience wonder what this purpose is. Really, a girl with a soulless personality wielding a blade and on a quest for vengeance should deliver more than just showing off her moves. The only hint we do get is some of the flashbacks we see between Alka and her master. Unfortunately, it feels subtle and lacking compassion because we don’t feel attached to their relationship. And speaking of relationships, Alka is on a sinking ship when it comes to forming one with any character. Literally, almost every character she meets during her quest dies. In retrospect, she is walking death flag that triggers your fate of doom.
As refined as the premise may be, the show feels less more of an adventure or quest but more like a cat and mouse game. From the first episode, it’s clear that many people want Alka’s head on a plate. Although she hunts Jin Varel (her master’s murderer), Alka becomes the hunted nearly every episode with pursuers. For a girl with such a cold personality, she doesn’t hesitate to defend herself and draws out meaningless fights. The action itself feels lifeless and solely seems to function as a way to show that Alka needs to survive in order to carry out her revenge. In short, Alka is a character that is hard to get attached to or sympathize about. In fact, many people in this show suffered more than she has so why does she get any more special acclaim?
The rest of the cast members doesn’t do much well with their characterization either. For instance, there’s Dan Roana who serves as the leader of the Pleasure Gang, a group that opposes the Palam Empire. While their motivations are different, its goal is the same as Alka; to carry out revenge for what they did in the past. Cliché as it sounds, the show also neglects any development as the premise of revenge is delivered with a lack of emotional attachment. Similarly, most characters seems to have mental breakdowns or suffered some sort of grim past. The key failure here is not just a lack of attachment the audience will feel distanced from but their characterization. Almost nothing is explained by some of the characters’ motivations and their stale influence towards Alka’s adventures is hardly memorable. Similarly, antagonists are generic with stereotypical inspirations and in general, a lack of focus in their persona. On the other hand, there’s some character development but not on Alka. Instead, they only come and then soon goes away like the wind as characters are killed by this show’s shenanigans.
As an adventurous series, the story is also plagued with weak direction and senseless action. There’s little purpose to what most of the characters do throughout each episode. For delivering a series about survival and revenge, there’s a lackluster development in any sense for Alka. It genuinely dismiss any sort of change with her character because her soulless personality. Even when the show tries to deliver some charisma such as Jin Hazuki’s bounty hunting ways, it ultimately fails to achieve its general purpose. It’s just the basic face value of the hunter and the hunted. Only the strongest survive and the weak perish. It’s generic and lacks melancholy from a series that could be potentially thought tearing. You won’t be shedding tears during Alka’s quest of revenge but rather confusion and despair, the action of shaking your head and wonder where this all goes to in the end. And speaking of endings, the show functions like a time bomb that explodes with destructive results, almost laughable by the conclusive episode.
The only hopes saving this show is its world concept and civilization. Its landscapes are beautiful and the world this show takes place in has a diverse population, especially in terms of races. Unfortunately, none of that really becomes a focus because the majority of the show focuses on Alka and her adventure. With a lack of world building and character dynamics, the only other noticeable feature I can say for this show would be the action. Because it adapts a serious tone with minimal comedy, the action can be a hit and miss. On some scenarios, it is honest with integrity and well-coordinated movements. The way Alka fights proves credibility of her worth and the violence itself is explicitly true to this show’s grim atmosphere. Otherwise, it can feel forceful and devoid of attractiveness when it feels repetitive. Some action scenes are also motivated by a lack of focus in its writing and to be honest, this show just fails to deliver its intentions. Hey, it even tries to do that with some terminology overview at the end of each episode. The key word here is ‘try’ because for whatever reason, they are usually left out from the main story. Shrug.
As a fantasy series, the production studio Gonzo focuses primarily on bringing this show’s world to life. And based on visuals, it does live up to its promise when it comes to artistic values and artwork. The world is decorated with thought provoking imagery and beautiful landscapes. Many of its structures also brings the feel of a fantasy to home. Character designs are also flamboyant and crafted to fit with the show’s premise. On the other hand, fan service is present throughout every episode whether it’s the camera angles, revealing outfits, or female character designs that makes them look more voluptuous than they should be. Oh and violence always become a centerpiece at every angle in the show so expect blood pouring like rice.
Soundtrack is hardly noticeable and the only time they seem to hold any promise is during action scenes when climatic events happen. The OST just seems to fade in the background with little emotional value because the way direction characters are drawn out. The cries and agony of despair can only be sympathized when we feel attached to the characters so most of their portrayals feels hollow. The scream of pain and despair feels empty with thoughtlessness. For Alka, her voice is hardly memorable as nearly every conversation she has with others feels monotonous and lacks feeling. The only credit I can give to the soundtrack would be the ED song for its symbolism, style (with the decorative dancing), and catchy tone. Otherwise, it’s nothing special.
Blade & Soul is a disappointment and a show that you should not come in with high expectations. What you get is an emotionless girl that I doubt anyone will feel attached to. Her quest feels hollow with little value besides to deliver her vengeance. Mindless entertainment is what you get from this show’s fragile story and incoherent developments. Forget the majority of the characters because none of them really stands out for more than an episode besides Alka. And while technical visual aspects saves the show from total destruction, it’s still hard to salvage from its own delivery. Such a shame too with a beautiful fantasy world at hand but everything that ultimately delivered is just a big ball of broken gadgets. Be aware.
At first, this series seemed to be extremely intriguing. I liked the premise of the story, and the art/animation style is gorgeous. But unfortunately, for a majority of the series, that's the only thing that I could say positive.
Alka is an assassin for the Clan of the Sword. She's on a journey to find Jin Varrel, who killed her master Hon. Jin is a demon-like woman who controls the Energy of Chaos and kills without feeling, which is similar to how Alka has learned to kill in her work as an assassin. On her journey, Alka meets three gorgeous, strange women, each a great
warrior in her own right and grapples with her slain master's wish that she leave the life of an assassin behind.
Sounds promising right? This series has great potential. But, it develops far too slowly for me. The action, when it does show, is very exciting. But does not occur frequently enough. Like most series, there are flashbacks and back stories that are needed to be shown. Unfortunately, I feel as if it took way too much time, and deviated from the primary plot too often.
I feel as if the series relied too often on the bombshell beauties' looks to maintain the viewers attention. Yes, the female characters are gorgeous. But that can only take a series so far. That being said, the animation style used is outstanding. I thought the colors used really conveyed to the mood of each situation/episode. Same could be said of the music.
Overall, a wonderfully animated series with some great characters. Some great action. But far too much emphasis on the gorgeous (big breasted) characters looks.The series was very slow to develop, and was boring at times.
Blade and Soul seemed promising, but then it lied to you...
STORY: If you don't already know, Blade and Soul is based off an MMORPG. The story is based around a girl named Alka, who belongs to the infamous Sword clan. A clan known for being extremely dangerous and are usually hired assassins. At first it seems like something promising, then the next episode disappoints you, and then the next and then the next.
ART: The art in this anime isn't something that should be talked about. As they only focused on the female characters and left all the male characters looking like an awful,
half-ass, middle of class drawing. And of course the only thing that gets great detail are the boobs.
SOUND: Its your typical BGM for the anime. Nothing really stood out, especially the ending, which I found embarrassing to watch for reasons that I don't fully understand yet.
CHARACTER: The characters seemed promising, until everyone else besides the Main Character developed throughout the anime. Of course the only time the Main Character develops into a decent human being isn't until the end. But before that, she's your typical anime character who is full of nothing and has/shows any emotions. Then you got your side characters who are all over the place.
ENJOYMENT: Its not really much to watch, but its something to watch when you have nothing to watch.
Perhaps a thing of note is that Blade and Soul does not look nor feel like a video game (as one might have expected), just your standard fantasy fare with the magics, totally not loli/shota/furries and stuffs. Blade and Soul is essentially another Queen's Blade... You know, as in, lots of sword wielding thots and... stuffs. Though, it's nowhere near as sexually rampant as Queen's Blade. Instead, in it's place, Blade and Soul can manage to be more retarded. Whatever semblance of an actual story there may have been has surely been bastardized; but to what extent has it been butchered I wouldn't know. And
it seems like I will never know for certain either since NCsoft will never make an English release of the damn game. In any case, what we have here are heavy handed conflict and resolutions, and a plethora of awkward brief as well as irrelevant flashbacks (except perhaps the flashbacks we see between Alka and her master) that happen for something the show is entirely alien to. A thing called "emotion".
But that's not to say that Blade and Soul is particularly painful to watch. No, you'll be able to marathon this with relative ease. You will at least not feel like your mind is being relentlessly cut to tiny pieces by an utterly shat-upon pacing and heaps and mountains of contrivances. It still pretty much has every other problem that typically plagues a video-game anime-adaption, though.
Which now brings us to the characters. One loli, three or four shotas, a wannabee cutesy stubborn drunk girl who suddenly turns to psycho bitch and back, a lady bar owner whose not afraid to get her hands dirty and is supposed to play the wise old hag yet is nothing of the sort.... Ugh, why am I even trying? One of the bad guys is a muscle bound oaf that does nothing but grunt! Everyone here changes whatever semblance of a personality they have as the plot demands it, particularly in the case of the obnoxious drunk girl and bar owner to jarring effect. And especially in the case with our dear lead Alka, she plays the role of the done-to-death assassin. One whose apparently supposed to be cool precisely because she's humorless and cold to the point where she might as well be holding a giant poster sign saying, "Please ask me the following question: 'are you even human?', thanks!". Only in her case, someone else would clearly have to write even THAT for her. She may be likable only in the sense that she might one day stop injecting herself with fifteen-hundred different tranquilizers on a daily basis.
The only real positive thing that came out of this mess was the ending theme. Which, curiously enough, is in stark contrast to the content of the show. That is to say, it has a lot of flow and emotion to it. Whatever the story was aiming for at the end of each episode, "RAINBOW" by LEGO BIG MORL took that trash and turned it into something that might make you think you're actually getting emotionally invested in.
Not recommended. Unless you're in the mood to see nothing more than some boobs along with some silly sword action.
The anime has supernatural dark theme and mainly focuses on woman with a little fanservice here and there. The protagonist is a woman named Aruka who is seeking revenge against Jin Valel the one that killed her master, while being haunted by bounty hunters at the same time.
Plot (3/10): it was kind of disappointing that blade and soul didn't really have a solid plot, the episodes aren't connected to each other whatsoever, each one has its own events, characters and places, I found it to be very boring actually... I wouldn't recommend this anime if you're a fan of big/complicated plots.
characters (4/10) : since females
are the only ones who lead, there's total absence in characters variance, no originality, basically they all share the same looks, even personality except for Aruka who is the silent/dark type which is even more annoying because the main character is supposed to stand out, not stay silent for 3 consecutive episodes.
Graphics and sound (7/10): the thing that attracted to this anime is mainly the graphics, after watching the first episode you can tell that it has good animation, great battle scenes, the sounds were also beautiful and really matched the theme.
character development (6/10): the main character really changed a lot through the episodes, from a cold blooded assassin to someone with a human side, lost and confused, instead of becoming stronger, Aruka became weaker, I don't want to use the term "useless" but her presence in the anime just became annoying and you'd wish she reverted back to her old self.
in general, I had great hopes for this anime but it disappointed me, I wouldn't say it's bad, it's okay but just didn't live up to the expectations..
Blade and Soul, when i first knew about it i knew that it would be your typical mediocre anime.
Story - 3/10
The anime has a very weak plot and 80% of the it is just the pointless journey of Alka which has little to no connection to her so called revenge or whatsoever. The story only seems to come back at episode 10 and by then i think everyone has forgotten what the main plot is.
Art - 5/10
The art isn't bad but the design is not to my liking as it makes the characters seems more mature.
Sound - 6/10
I am judging this category
based on the opening and ending song of the anime since i don't usually take notice of the soundtrack in anime.
Character - 2/10
Correct me if i'm wrong but i think there is absolutely no character development in this anime. Since there are no development, there is nothing for me to say.
Enjoyment - 3/10
I did not enjoy watching this anime and even hoped that it would end quickly so that i don't have to continue watching. (I don't like to drop a anime halfway through.)
Overall - 3/10
Overall this anime is bad. I've already expected it to be mediocre but didn't expect it to be that bad.
This is my first review so i'll apologies if i did anything wrongly :)
Bueno, muchachos another action josei pack anime has ended, so I'm not gonna fuck around, so with out any adieu, here are my ratings for each of this anime's category:
Story- I like the story where it revolves around an assassin who is trying to find her soul, now let's not forget that this anime's title "Blade and Soul" can be interpreted as an evil person who is trying to find redemption were it was more of a metaphor than a title, the plot may be good but not very good because the dramatic part didn't come along until the middle of part of the
anime as a whole, also, there is that 13th episode which was more of a drag than anything else, but then again it can be ignored since the main climax was entertaining in the 12th episode. Also, I kinda like that the cast were josie that also gives this anime such uniqueness.
Art- I kinda like the way the character's were drawn, ok so it does have that moe thing on them but then again the way they were illustrated was a combination of hotness and elegant, though, Alka's attire may have that fanservice that the pirreos would howl for it can be forgiven.
Sound- I don't have much to say as to the voices of the characters, in fact their voices do really match the roles that the character's portray, however, Alka, hummmm, I really do find it hard as to why she has to have this laconic woman whose action talk more that her words, though I like her, her being a woman with few words would be the reason why I have to give this category a 6.
Character- Alka, like I've said is a woman with few words, now the thing about her was that this anime revolves around her and with Jin Varrel who happens to be another woman with few words. Though, I like the way they fight and how Alka tries to search her soul, there are times that she just goes in circles, Jin Varrell's role on the other hand pretty much depends on her bitch Yu Ran. As for the other characters like Hazuki was more of a filler for Alka's hardships, Loana was more like a drunkard bimbo big bitch and Elle Karen, oh yes her character.....was more of a mystery than anything else but she was also a disappointment because we were made to think that she's gonna gets some payback on Alka for killing her man, but has a change of heart in the end, such action prompted me to give this category a 6.
Very Good 8.
Enjoyment- My enjoyment stems from the main character's quest to find her soul and that's all I have to say.
Overall- It was one very good anime, not bad for taking it from a Korean MMORPG, I guess when it come to making good anime Jap's don't have the monopoly and it goes to show that even if it was taken from a Korean MMORPG them Korean can make a good anime as well if they were given a chance.
Blade and Soul is the latest game that is based on an actual MMORPG and not about people trapped in one. It mostly follows Alka, a mysterious swordswoman who is being hunted by the same people who murdered her master.
As stated the story is essentially about how Alka is trying to find the person who killed her master while at the same time trying to stay alive. To make matters worse, Alka herself has a bounty on her and can be identified easily by a tattoo on her body, meaning everyone is out to get her. On her journey she meets both friends and foe
as she tries to free both body and soul.
The story background, while standard, sounds decent as a journey of self discovery. It's very hard to talk about why this does not work in this anime without talking about the characters first.
Alka herself has almost no personality at all. She is extremely reserved and rarely speaks. Near the end she gets some development because the story picks up for sake of finishing it and by then the viewer doesn't care. No connection has been made to Alka (or any of the characters) so when something happens to them it's hard to be interested.
It might be not as bad if Alka was the only character without a gleaming personality. The entire cast is bland and one dimensional. It might be said the main villain (Jin Varel) is essentially an evil version of Alka. Also, a couple of major character Karen, and Roana have the same issues Alka has in her development. It comes to late, done too fast, makes little sense, and no connection is made by the viewer to the character. To top it all off, there are reoccurring side-characters that seem to have no purpose at all but to take up time in an episode.
Now we can get back to the story. For the first few episodes things are very loosely connected and Alka is simply getting put into a different situation where she has to solve a problem. In other words, it goes nowhere. However, later on the story takes over and huge changes in the characters take hold. It's almost like watching two different shows. On top of that in the latter half you wonder what the point of anything that happened in the first half was besides simply meeting the rest of the cast.
Finally, we get to something good. The animation is really good and Alka herself is nice to look at. The sound is decent too. Overall the production values of the anime are fairly high. Also, anyone expecting a fan-service anime is going to be disappointed.
Overall the anime just had no balance. It had some decent fight scenes but almost all the attempts at comedy are tired. It doesn't really develop any characters and the couple times it does is ruined by pacing and placement. The show tries to get you to feel emotional but again, too early or too late. It's not even a good show for the sake of watching anime girls with large breasts. The game might be better than this.
Normally I don't bother with reviews, but the reviews I saw for Blade & Soul p**sed me off. They hardly do this anime justice, apparently Blade & Soul is based off a game, I've never played it and I don't intend to. This review isn't about the game but the anime and the anime was GOOD!
Story (7/10): The general plot of the story is good, it's not to cliche. An assassin goes out for revenge against the person who killed her master. Stuff happens. Etc. Now I don't mean to spoil it or anything, but that's not the only plot for the anime. It begins
with her wanting revenge, but it ends up with her trying to find her own path.
Art (9/10): I LOVED the artwork! The fight scenes were done so well, boobs jiggled when they were supposed to, slow motion bullets ricocheting off stuff, sword swings, fire. It all looked beautiful. 'nough said.
Sound (6/10): To be honest, I'm not a good judge for sound. The OP and ED weren't annoying to watch and were quite enjoyable. But when it comes to sound, I don't tend to pay attention...
Character (8/10): The characters were really well, you can see how their personalities grow with time and they never act out of character. They're just great. I had quite a few "NOOOO!" dramatic moments
Enjoyment (8/10): The anime is actually quite enjoying. I was glued to my bed watching it, waiting to see what would happen next. I stared shocked, even whined about a few scenes because how they tore me up.
Overall (8/10): Overall the anime is definitely worth a watch if you're into intense, serious animes with good fight scenes and character development.
To be honest, Blade and soul have good moments and alot of Bad moments. The bad ones surely overhelming in this anime but the character design and the style is very nice drawn and also animated, with exeptcion of Episode 10 this was the worst of all.
Alka is beeing hunted by Jin Varrel ( Ingame name is Jeon Seon Yung) Yuran and Ga Gangte.
this is not always the case of the entire anime in some Episodes we all thing it is the end because main antagonist died before the end. And then its turned into an unexcepted disaster.
Overall it is hard to follow
and sometimes you wish just to stop the entire series. But the 3 end episodes saving this anime from breaking apart under its story. So I really hope it turns out good with the special ones.
Each anime has its own notable points. Bleach has music, Naruto has a good story, One Piece has the moronic fanbase and Blade&Soul has one of the most memorable character developements ever. If you can't stand uselessly long analysis just read the first 2 paragraphs.
Before I start going into a very extensive review of the aforementioned lets throw down the basics. Blade&Soul originates from a chinese medieval fantasy MMORPG. The basic plot is that the Param empire has taken control of everything and groups rebel against their oppressors. That said the anime never clarifies if Param are actually bad guys. Or rather, it
never shows the rebels being the good guys. Both sides are corrupt, with drugs, whoring, thieving and murder being pretty common. Keep in mind that I haven't played the MMO so I'm not sure if things are relayed correctly, but the anime version left me a pretty good impression. Our protagonist is Alka, an emotionless (way more on that later) killing machine fighting the Param Empire to avenge the murder of her teacher that she was framed for.
Regarding the technical stuff the animation is stunning, in very high resolution and with very good combat depiction. The fights instead of being typical shounen fights (aka throw a punch, take 5 seconds to show the reactions and another 10 seconds to explain what you just did) are fast paced and with no more dialogue exchanges than needed. In fact people who talk during fights tend to die, pretty horribly at that. Also keep in mind that there's a lot of blood and considering the amounts of cleavage shown the anime easily gets a 13+ (by Japan's standards). The music on the other hand is forgettable and the voice acting fitting but nothing extraordinary.
Now for the show's highlight: Alka, the protagonist. When we first meet her, and in fact for the majority of the anime's episodes, Alka displays no emotion whatsoever. She is a cold calculating killing machine with no regrets for what she does and no purpose other than "getting revenge". "Getting revenge" might be Alka's own words for it but I have my doubts about that. Revenge as a feeling is something brought fourth from hatred and Alka is completely incapable of feeling anything, let alone a strong emotion like that. In the anime we will often see her get injured but she never gets angry at her attacker. She will of course fight to defend herself but she will display no signs of happiness upon her success. In other words it's not revenge that moves her. A sense of justice maybe? No, Alka has no morals or a code that she follows, I doubt she even understands the concept of justice to begin with. No, I believe the real reason Alka is trying to find the people who murdered her master is because she doesn't know what else to do with her life. (Spoilers) That is also proved by the fact that after she does get her "revenge" she shows no satisfaction, but just sits arounds until a friend tells her to follow her and she complies. Like a program, after she has completed her initial task she doesn't know what to do, so she just goes on standby waiting for someone else to input the next purpose of her life.
Alka wasn't a person who became a killing machine, but rather the opposite. In the anime it is often mentioned that she is not exactly human to begin with but a monster, but I never understood if they were referring to her cold indifference to the mayhem around her, or a really monsterous background. But despite me naming her machine the viewer will propably see her in another way, especially after 2 or 3 episodes. I found myself considering Alka a child more often than not. Her appearance is definitely adult, no question about that, but unlike the rest of the equally gifted cast Alka just doesn't come out to the viewer as a woman but as a girl. It's not that she is stupid but rather that like a child she has yet to understand how emotions work. Throughout the series the viewer will experience two things. One, that he will start paying very close attention to Alka's behaviour, trying to find clues as to how the girl thinks through even the most mundane of things (like the way she walks in a city). At that point kudos to the animators for paying attention to little details like that. The second is that you will propably feel guilt for craving for the moments when Alka is under intense pain, because screams, widening of the eye etc etc are reactions you don't often see in her apathetic face. (Either that or I'm sick in the head... I have no problem with that.)
Heavy Spoilers: After Alka does get her revenge and she witnesses the death of another student of her master she does start feeling sadness, though the change is still subtle. And as she slowly acquires emotions Alka also comes to the realisation that "killing is bad". Still she manages to push that thought aside and maintain her expersionlessness until a busty-blonde tavern owner invites herto work at her tavern. Alka, having no other purpose at the moment immediatly complies and begins to work for the busty-blonde. Said busty-blonde had appeared numerous times before in the anime, continuously bumping unto Alka and saving her when she needed saving. You could say she was the show's Urahara. The busty Urahara (god, a terrible image just crossed my mind...) introduces Alka to another employee, also a former assassin. The employee immediatly empathises with Alka and tries to befriend her, which Alka greatly appreciates and finally lets herself become a bit more "alive".
One night the busty-blonde calls Alka to her private room, where she tells her a story about how she was in love once and her husband was brutally murdered by an assassin. The blonde shows an already-nervous Alka a portrait of her husband and Alka realises in horror that she was the one who had killed him. The blond suddenly appears way more cruel than the character we had been used to saving the day. She tells a fastly-panicking Alka that the reason she kept her alive was so that she could have her revenge. While Alka was emotionless she wasn't worth taking revenge on, so the bar owner kept helping Alka develop feelings (throughout the series the viewer had the impression that the proprietress was acting out of kindness, that's a big twist to the story). Alka goes trembling back to her room where she's met by the other former assassin. At this point keep in mind that the girl is experiencing fear and guilt for the first time. She has no idea how to react to them, and up till now hasn't even felt anything strongly positive that could balance out what she's going through. The employee finds Alka covering herself with the blanket and trembling (believe me, adorable scene) so she comforts her. The girl (and at this point she's definitely a "girl" and not a "woman") is immediatly calmed by the presense of a friend and actually begs the employee not to leave (she wanted to make some tea to help calm down Alka). The employee leaves anyway promising to be back soon. As time passes the girl starts looking for her and finds her dead outside the building. The blonde is standing on the sideways and whispers to Alka that all murderers will eventually get what's coming to them.
And so we arrive to my favourite part of the anime. "Mental Breakdown" What's really wonderful about this is that it doesn't last 5 minutes like the typical emo phase most shounen protagonists go through, but rather the rest of the series! After running away (and I do mean running) from the tavern Alka keeps realising just how many people she has killed and for the first time in her life is afraid of death herself. The shock of seeing herself murdered doesn't make things better and she considers herself responsible for it (which she kinda is). Alka keeps moving... No, the girl keeps "running" from place to place, struggling to escape her guilt and her increasing fear. At some point she even hallucinates from the terror. Let it be clear to the reader that this is a HUGE difference from before. Whereas Alka was a fearless killing machine at the start she is now a crying girl trembling. As the girl keeps moving from place to place she keeps finding graveyards mostly filled by her and her despair keeps mounting. This also starts to affect her combat skills. Alka, apart from being dead-tired due to lack of sleep and taking care of herself, keeps freezing in the middle of the fight. It is never explained why but I assume that it is either the thought that she fills more graves or the fear that she may actually die, or a combination of both, earning her more wounds and terryfing her further in a loop.
In the end, half-crazed and completely weakened the girl runs to a snow forest, trying to get away from civilization and her victims' graves. She stays for a while (in a semi-insane state, now almost completely unable to use her weapons and way too wounded) in the house of an elder couple who welcome her as if she was their child (the father does seem enraged at her at times). At some point she realises that she had killed their daughter and tries to escape panicked. This is a great scene because it shows to her that practically "there is no escape" from her sins, which she realises all too well. The husband tries to shoot Alka but instead misses and kills his wife. Alka freezes in place watching (these were the people that had saved her from certain death and welcomed her to their home). The husband (looking at the girl) puts the shotgun in his mouth and shoots, leaving the girl with the corpses of the people who had taken care of her in the middle of a cold snowfield.
Now the anime does bring fourth a question repeatedly that is basically the axis around which the anime moves. "When is it right to kill someone?" It is never clarified if Alka was on the wrong when she was working as an assassin. Certainly she caused a lot of pain and propably left a lot of women widows, a lot of children orphaned. But it was her job and many of the people she killed were truly corrupt. In the end Alka doesn't find the solution either, but just kinda skips over the part.
I love the series. Not because of the combat, the animation, of how gifted all the females are, the depiction of corruption or even the plot twists, but because of huge the change of our protagonist is, from a machine with no human emotions to a broken girl with no hope. That said I do have some complaints: One the most notable male cast member is the ape of the Param, whose name I can't even remember. Two: There are no flat girls, as a class A lolicon I cannot accept that. Three: The ending. Unfortunately they had to ruin it, and instead of ending the anime with a broken Alka the girl is saved by the busty-blonde (who found revenge bitter after all) in the last half of the final episode. Honestly I could do without that. Fourth: You never understand the story of the villain, or tha nature of the evil magic Param uses. Yeah I get that she's a tortured soul like Alka but... Who the f$"£ is she? Anyway, ignoring those (and they can be pretty easily ignored) I definitely suggest watching this if you're a fan of action or if you're looking for some food for thought.
Blade & Soul was a good anime at all, didnt followed the original story of the game, but still a interesting story in general, but sometimes it was kind of confusing for what exacly the main character was looking for, and in the end i have to confess that was cliche , and i really had high hopes for the it because i like the game so far, writting was bad but the background history was still good, the battles was kind of nonsense but still fun at least for me, the end like i said was ok but it could be a lot
Art And Sound 5.0/10
I quite liked the anime art, was very good designs of the characters, but I didnt liked the point of the ecchi / Fanservice, let the warrior female characters naked, something I expected much more was the Scenarios and Landscapes, disappoint at this point! would be amazing if it had beautiful landscapes like the original MMORPG, the soundtrack was ok, good osts but it could be better, sometimes reminded me some historical asian movies.
Poor writting and the background story was pretty and interesting, character progress was kind of poor with the art of the anime, if you dont have nothing to watch and dont want a deep action anime and you like the story of the Blade and soul, you should check it out, but dont expect too much from it.
Contains spoilers, but still you should read as I'm telling you why you shouldn't watch this anime.
I'm writing this review just to warn people who come to watch this anime because of their interest in the game, like myself.
Beware, this anime is super bad, in every way, when it shows some good points, it's only let down by something else, nothing good comes from watching this anime, you'll lose interest after the second episode, and half way though you'll be forcing yourself to continue just for the sake of completion. Let me explain why this anime is so horrific:
1. The story... The story has some
relations to the game, which is obviously expected, but it just doesn't have any punch to it, it's so bland, it hardly makes sense, there is no background story, no history. Sure, you know why Alka (the main character) is after Jin Varel, for revenge, but it's pathetic, it just follows Alka's path of vengeance and there is no plot what so ever here. It takes a twist towards the end of the anime, after Alka supposedly kills Jin Varel, but she comes back to life, but you don't even know she is coming back to life until she is actually up and walking and hunting down Alka again. And by the way, you never do find out why Jin Varel killed Master Hon (Alka's reason for taking revenge). Atrocious.
2. The art... The art could have been the one good point of this anime, and actually not being so bad, it was let down by the poor syncing and the dreadful animation. There were times where the characters were talking in animation, but actually no sound coming from them, no voice over, they were just mouthing or something? I doubt that was intended, it happened multiple times and it was so frustrating to see, it was cheap. There was another time, where a character was just walking on the spot, doing the same animation over and over, while they were talking over the top, like a game that had froze. So despite the art not being too bad on the eye, it was let down dramatically until the point where it was frustrating to watch.
3. The sound... Over dramatic breathing, makes you think you're watching hentai, and have to turn the volume down and be on the edge of your seat constantly listening out for your parents. At least the closing song was good (in my opinion).
4. The characters... Oh my gosh, where to even get started, the characters were so BORING. They had nothing about them, no history, or very vague history at most. There was no explanation as to how Jin Varel came impure, and how Alka was born into the clan of the sword. The main character Alka, hardly said a word, it was watching her static face and hearing her over dramatic breathing as things happened around her, she is utterly the most boring main character I have ever came across. The proprietress shows potential, however nothing comes of it, you don't really learn much about her, other than the fact that Alka killed her man in the past, you don't know how she developed her fighting skills, or how she became the proprietress, and that can be said for every other single character in this anime.
5. The enjoyment... Huh? There is none. I was bored throughout, despite one scene which looked like the producers put all their time and effort into, a battle between Alka and Jin Varel, and it still wasn't even that good to be fair.
Overall, if you're coming to watch this anime, because you play the game, you'll find some relations, but you won't learn anything about the game, and you certainly won't enjoy watching the anime. And that's my review, it turned into more of a rant, but how can that be helped, watch and you'll see. But please save your life and watch something more interesting.
So I was looking for something along the lines of "hot chicks with swords" and stumbled upon Blade & Soul. I wasn’t disappointed. The action was clever and exciting. The characters were well thought out and interesting. The visuals were a treat to look at. It delivered what it offered and I’m glad I watched it. But I do have one complaint I wish to address to pad this review. The character of Hazuki is poor designed and overused to virtually no effect. I feel the show could’ve done without her. Some may dislike this show because of all the T & A and that’s
fine. Personally I felt the story and action were engaging enough to ignore the fan service and just enjoy the show.
Story & Characters:
Blade & Soul tells the story of Alka, an emotionless assassin, who seeks to avenge her murdered Master. Killing and death is very much in the focus in Blade & Soul but it succeeds in showing what a double-edged sword killing truly is. Blade & Soul shows a nice character progress, being relatively short 1-cour series does show through as sometimes the development is slightly too sudden. In the end Blade & Soul is a story of Alka growing up and becoming more aware of the world that surrounds her, it truly is filled with likeable characters and I surprisingly didn't find
overly annoying characters in this show. What did bother me was the fact that not all characters past could be told and were left untold, again likely due to the fact that it is only 1-cour series but they did very well regardless.
Art & Sound:
The art and animation in Blade & Soul was good and the fights were smoothly done and action packed. The characters were beautifully made (although all very heavy in the boob department) and the show was overall very pleasing visually. The music wasn't really anything astonishing and I wasn't particularly impressed with either the opening nor the ending music.
Enjoyment & Overall:
In the end I did enjoy Blade & Soul although it did have minor problems which were caused by the fact that this IS indeed an anime based on a game. There were some things left unexplained which bothered me a bit (and the game isn't avaible in English either so fuck you NCSoft for leaving me in the cold). You would usually think that after getting 7/9/7/8/8, you'd get 8 for overall but this isn't the case here. The character development and art was very good and overall I did enjoy the show very much but the story just lacks enough punch to bump this anime to an 8 and it does show through at the end of the anime. But that being said Blade & Soul is much better than what you'd expect out of a game adaptation and is definately worth watching if you're into action and appreciate the good art in anime.
Blade & Soul has a good story to be inspirational in an MMORPG, the development is quite normal fulfill the goals it promised in the beginning but in the middle the story starts to get confusing . Revenge was kinda the main theme of this whole show saying we should take revenge upon people who done bad or some crap
The battle in episode 2 11 and 12 were awesome the thing that kept the show interesting
Like if ur into an anime with a good story this isnt for you but for battle come check it out got some good ones and boobtastic
After watching 1º episode I expected a well designed story, maybe not the best, but it seem to be good. It has a lot of diferent powers and characters really interesting and you are waiting to know more about them and.... you will be waiting for it all the anime long. There´s no explanation that reveal the true of the story Thinks happend when they must and thats all. I still wondering why its named Blade and Soul. they only talk about soul in some moments that try to be intense and oving but they end up being crap. So they fucked up
with the argument.
this anime seems to have some elements computered-animated, personally i dont dislike them, but excetp the main characters, the rest of the characters and the enviroment don´t have a good animation in my opinión. The other big problem with this anime are transitions, the studio thaat made this anime hasnt heard about them, putting the picture on black and turnning off the music isnt the right way to change scenes.( I left fanservice behind)
I think thats the most important part of an anime, a good soundtrack can make you be glue to the screen and this anime dont have it. It has a pretty high number of songs and the opening isn´t so bad, but the rest of the music is completely generic, it transmit nothing, don´t matter if alka is fighting or about to die.
They are all females, OK. They all have big "OPPAIS", OK. The problem is that the have no history behind them, except alka that you will see some flashbacks about her life, almost the rest of the characters don´t have a past, purpose or a goal, they are part of the anime because the studio cound´t do an anime only with a character.
If u have nothing to see, or you want to see it while your doing another thing its okey. You won´t probably like it, but it will entertain you. The lastest episoies improve a little bit, and the last one, which is different form the rest, its the best.
Though I do see why people don't think such fondly of Blade and Soul, I do think it's unappreciated.
Since this is an adaptation of a game, the makers probably chose to focus on the characters than the war.
While I do see the show lacked on the world building department, on characters development department was top notch, specially on the MC.
Aruka started as an empty character, moving only by the desire to kill her master's killer. And that wasn't for revenge, at least, due to her lack of emotions, it seemed that way to me.
But during the course of the story, her evolve at a
slow but extremely well built pace. The other characters also had great development, Karen in particular.
But, it all culminates on the end, when someone ask her what she was doing and Aruka answered "living".
The story could be seen as an unique genre of it's own. Almost like a Action Fantasy slice of life.
I'll say again. I do see why people complain about Blade and Soul, but if you watch thinking about the characters and how they evolve with each chapter, maybe people would appreciate more. Or perhaps this is only wishful thinking.
*only really minor spoilers here
Watching the first 8 episodes of Blade and Soul feels like you're just watching another fantasy medival anime, albeit a very bad one. The story feels rather rushed and is vaguely explained, the characters are flat, and lack any meaningful depth or connection to them.
What got me through this anime for those episodes was the somewhat decent animation, and a little hope that the anime would improve itself. It eventually did, with the second half delivering more emotion, character development, and brings and interesting twist to the story. It eventually reverted back to being your typical hero vs Big bad
guy towards the end, but the main character motives are better understood and the ending was conclusive. It still left a lot of questions unanswered and quite a bit of flat characters though.
One thing I didn't particularly like was the way the anime tries to develop their characters and progress the story by introducing new characters every episode, only to kill them later on in the SAME EPISODE. This is somewhat similar to what Akame ga Kill did, showing the side characters backstory in one episode and killing them in that same episode. This may work with a lot of people (and in AGK it did), but for me it just won't do.
Talking about things that are mixed, there is also the animation. Sometimes the fight scene can make you go wow with some stunning shots and cheography, but most of the time it is just average. Animation consistency is decent with the some strange inconsistencies (mainly one of the final episodes, they were just probably saving budget to animate the following episode, which has a big fight scene). Women character designs are good though, if a not on a little bit of the fanservices side. They look good and stand out, but you kinda feel a little bit jarring when almost any woman in the anime has big breasts and huge asses.
Have you guessed why I wrote "women character designs" instead of "Character designs" yet? Because the character designs for the male characters in this anime are nonexistent. They either be extremely ugly, or extremely generic if you are being generous. This probably won't pose a problem to the viewers, because 95% of the main chracters are females anyways.
The BGM used in the anime is rather standard, but I was pleasantly surprised by the ending, "RAINBOW" by LEGO BIG MORL. Not only the ending music is good, but the animation accompanied by it was simply amazing, even if it is CGI. The opening is trash though.
Overall, Blade and Soul is not good, nor bad. It didn't do anything well, but that doesn't mean it did a bad job either. Other than the twist after the first 8 episodes, and the simply top notch ending, There is nothing that is particularly good or new that can be had in this anime.
I definitely had some fun while watching this anime, but would I recommend it to anyone though? Probably not. There are animes that are more worthy of your time than Blade and Soul.
So, as a summary,
Watch if you want:
- fanservice, characters with big boobs
- somewhat intersting fight scenes, battles
Don't watch it if you want:
- a decent story
- memorable characters
- beautiful animations (art is rather debatable though)
Art, animation: 6/10
music: 7/10 (just for that godly ED)