An ancient legend states that with the revival of the Demon God, six heroes—the Braves of the Six Flowers—will be chosen by the Goddess of Fate, granting them power to rise up against the fiends attempting to turn the world into a living hell. Adlet Mayer, self-proclaimed "Strongest Man in the World," has arrived at the continent of Piena in hopes of becoming a Brave. Although it doesn't go as smoothly as he had planned, Adlet is ultimately chosen as one of the six heroes shortly after being greeted by Nashetania Loei Piena Augustra, crown princess and fellow Brave.
Rokka no Yuusha follows the two as they embark upon their destined journey to fight the Demon God, intending to meet up with their fellow heroes at a small temple outside of the Land of the Howling Demons, the fiends' domain. However, when they finally unite, seven heroes are present, and soon the others begin to suspect Adlet to be a fraud. Now on the run, Adlet must utilize his unique skill set and wit in a fight for his life to identify which member of the group is the true impostor before it's too late!
Rokka no Yuusha adapts the first novel of Ishio Yamagata's light novel series of the same title.
Pony Canyon USA localized the series as Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers in the US in 2015, but cancelled the standard edition Blu-Ray/DVD version of the series in favor of making the collector’s edition a more attractive purchase for fans.
The quickest way to pique my curiosity is with the ‘mystery’ tag. It often has me dusting off the magnifying glass and getting set to put my perception to the test. Rokka no Yuusha stepped up to the plate this season and its plot summary had me interested: A show where six heroes try to fight off a great demon but seven show up for the job instead. One character gets picked on early as the infiltrator and it’s up to him to prove his innocence. Rokka no Yuusha didn’t end up testing my intelligence though. Instead, it decided to insult it.
If there’s one
big tip you could give to anyone writing a classic ‘whodunnit’ tale then do this: Give everyone a solid reason to be confirmed suspicious. If you start to abandon characters then the strength in your writing falls by the wayside. This lack of equal screen time and development made it incredibly easy to rule certain characters out as the ‘extra’. The show feels like it is written to cater for an action show, not a mystery one. The focus is on set pieces and not a study into its characters. That’s the fatal flaw. In a show that clearly tells us early on that it’s going to be show about catching the villain in disguise, it abandons even trying to be an interesting and challenging mystery. With paper-thin characters, convenient solutions, characters that scream fanservice over depth and a bizarre ending, Rokka no Yuusha will not be a show that hangs around in the memory bank for the right reasons.
I can understand those who enjoyed the anime because there’s some action, suspense and some passable characters to get you by. If you’re after an anime with some solid action, but nothing ground breaking, then this may satisfy you. I, however, felt betrayed by the show not living up to its potential and betraying the mystery path it started to construct in its opening half. A harsh sentiment? I maintain the show dug its own hole deeper with every single episode.
The story is focused around Adlet Mayer, the self-proclaimed ‘strongest man in the world’. He is one of the six chosen heroes to defeat the demon god. When seven people arrive at the meeting location Adlet quickly becomes the prime suspect in the hunt for the ‘extra’ person. We watch as he tries to clear his name. Adlet himself isn’t a memorable protagonist but he does have his moments. The way he tries to rally others to his cause is at least believable for the most part. His relationship with one character in particular is easily the most interesting part of the story, a relationship challenged by the other party’s motives and their background. It’s such a pity that this sort of development couldn’t be spared for all six other members of the group and actually go some distance towards making the mystery more engaging. It’s true that a 12 episode limit plays its part in limiting that but that’s no excuse whatsoever for not at least making an effort to improve in that area. There are some hilariously silly conveniences towards the back end of the show as well that don’t do any favours towards correcting the aforementioned writing flaws around the cast. For every logical deduction made towards finding the culprit another ridiculous one strikes back. Often the show misleads you into thinking it’s making progress when it’s really just creating vapid excuses for the characters to come into conflict with one another.
Given my sentiments at the start of this review, I’d be going into spoiler territory if I were to discuss the impact of the rest of the cast. What I can say is that it’s an eclectic bunch of characters who each bring a different ability and personality to the table. Some feel like they’re playing an active role in the story while others just feel like they’re there to make up the numbers. Some character dynamics exist but there aren’t enough connections established between the cast early on to keep me interested in the big reveal that lays ahead. As previously mentioned, you can feel that certain characters being named the seventh would be too underwhelming. Too much of the cast fit this bill.
Animation is a rollercoaster in the quality department. The show looks average as a whole but the early episodes certainly look the part. In fact, the first episode probably set the bar too high, especially with one scene which looks excellent. The variety in environments from the early episodes get lost as the show goes on and that’s a real shame. The story lends itself to this fact but a lot could still have been done to breathe a bit more life into the areas where the bulk of the series takes place. A lot of the CG also is jarring when placed next to the traditional animation (what a surprise).
Rokka no Yuusha treads this bizarre line between being an action and a mystery show and fails at succeeding in either genre. Tension in fights doesn’t exist because the show doesn’t give me a chance to empathise with or understand the majority of the cast. It makes the show very difficult to recommend. If you’re after a satisfying mystery, forget it. If you’re after some action, perhaps. Me? I put the magnifying glass away early on.
This review won't contain any spoilers regarding the series other than stuff that have already been written in the synopsis which is, of course, spoiler-free to divulge into. I should also note that this review is solely written from my anime-only watcher perspective, as I did not read the original material.
Rokka no Yuusha unfortunately does not give the best first impression regarding it's actual story line and genre for people that are looking for a series to start. It gives off the impression of it being your average demon-fighting fantasy anime, and it's understandable to think of it as such at first glance.
But that's not
really the case. Or well, it's not really the case for the part that was adapted in this anime. The series is actually a niche mystery fantasy focused series that focuses into the vast Mesoamerican fantasy world and to find the potential impostor among them. As the synopsis for this anime points out.
At first, the anime may give the impression of being stale, or boring. But the suspense in it between the main characters is something that is not easily found in your average anime. The settings of the series may not be the most original out there, but it is without doubt executed phenomenally
The anime production is done by Studio Passione. As far as I am aware I consider this to be it's first major production. The anime has gorgeous colours and background visuals, especially at it's first episodes. Some of the background visuals could easily be considered to be put as wallpaper considering its exotic beauty.
Unfortunately due to it's lack of success and it being the studio's first true production, the quality of the animation and art drops midway during the series where it's quite evident that the animation feels sketchy or/and has a lot of cutscenes. The facial expressions proportions are sometimes off too. I wouldn't call it completely bad, I find it acceptable and in the important scenes it thankfully delivers great quality.
The biggest gripe about the visuals regarding the series is definitely the CGI. It is not very pleasing and they look awkward, thankfully the CGI usage is minimal halfway through the series except for select few moments.
All in all the art shines at the beginning, then decreases to being acceptable. I don't think a series should be completely judged upon it's production issues in certain episodes.
Please note that art in itself is a subjective matter, whether someone thinks X looks good, Y could see it as negative, so all of this is simply my opinion regarding the matter, it is not an objective fact. the only thing that can be considered as "fact" is that it have gotten inconsistent.
I find the sound in the anime to be fitting to the theme that it presents. The first opening gives you the feeling of it being a fantasy show, not necessarily the best sound out there, but it conveys what the show is about at that time. While the second opening tries to fit into more of the dark atmosphere of the show at that point in the series. I don't have a solid opinion regarding the ending but I did definitely like the two other endings that are character-centric. It's a nice touch musically, especially that the characters themselves sing it.
The soundtrack is eerie at times, I never once thought that it wasn't fit. The music is done exactly where it should be done. It compliments the atmosphere that the show is trying to display. It's rare to find such a nigh-perfect placement sound for certain scenes, but Rokka No Yuusha implements that effectively.
Even if the sound is not outstanding if it's viewed on it's own, it's done in a fashion like it's an exclusive musical piece for the specific scene that is happening. And that is something that I personally respect from composers that pay respect to the art that they're working on.
The voice-acting cast does well for the the type of personality they're working on and there is no monotone voices, and the sound-effects are definitely well fit.
This field is definitely where the series shines best at. Despite the fact that the show is only 12 episodes long. The cast has a very distinctive personalities and roles that are easily recognizable. They're also for the most part all incredibly likable to the audience. Their developments in such a short period is amazing, and it's very evident as to how the characters changed from their first appearance.
This includes the main character. The main character is not your average lead hero. He tries to reach to the best conclusions in the most logical way, and he's humane. May be naive at times, but he looks past his naivete if the situation asks for it. The same falls for the rest of the cast.
It is not surprising that this category is the show's best field. Because the plot revolves around the cast, and how they act depending on the situation that is presented to them. All of the cast have their own motives and desires and are explored thoroughly. The designs are rather attractive as well, but aesthetics are completely subjective as pointed out previously.
Rokka no Yuusha is an incredibly enjoyable anime. It's clever. It never feels repetitive. Every episode has it's own new content for the watcher to explore through and think about the mystery surrounding it. It's very great at displaying suspense between every episode end for the watcher to watch the next. It's definitely a series that is worth watching in one-go.
If you like tension (edge of the seat feel) and character-centric fantasy show this is definitely the type of show that I'd recommend to watch. Unfortunately, this series suffers from the point that it will most likely remain incomplete (anime-wise)
Thanks for reading my review and any feedback is appreciated on my profile, as this is my very first review.
I’d describe Rokka no Yuusha (Braves of the Six Flowers), a fantasy show that’s more than just about swords fighting or saving the world. Well initially, it sets up it like so with its background story. Apparently, it’s revealed that a Demon God existed a long time ago whom annihilated humanity. And now, its return is imminent. Six heroes (or otherwise, known as braves) are chosen by the Goddess of Fate to apparently fight the Demon God. The catch is that there is a fake hero as the story introduces a “7th brave”. Main male protagonist Adelt learns the hard way of what exactly it
means when suspicion falls upon himself.
Based on the light novels written by Ishio Yamagata, the series takes on an interesting approach at fantasy and adventure. Rather than the group traveling together to fight against enemies and reach the final boss, there’s inner fighting between the heroes themselves. The cause of this is because of the existence of a 7th hero whom the others label as a traitor or double agent. So in essence, the show follows more into a mystery genre as the story progresses. We meet Adelt, the self-proclaimed “strongest man in the world” in the beginning. Perhaps the cleverest of the heroes and we find out about his past based on his background story. His role in the series becomes prominent because others begins to suspect him as the fake hero.
As a show with such a colorful cast of characters, we are also introduced to the other heroes. All of them possesses their own unique traits, personalities, and abilities. These include Nashetanya (princess of Piena and Saint of Blades), Fremy Speeddraw (Saint of Gunpowder), Goldolf Auora (Nashetanya’s loyal follower), Chamo Rosso (the Saint of Swamps), Hans Humpty (the mysterious assassin), and Mora Chester (the Saint of Mountains). The show quickly establishes the fact that none of them can be trusted. Unfortunately for Adelt, he becomes a prime target after several implied facts labels him as “the fake hero.” It sets up a good amount of storytelling as the series immediately shifts into a fantasy/adventure/mystery hybrid. What I also find interesting is how we learn more about the characters including their reasons for being there along with the various hypothesis that focuses on the mystery aspects of the show. Initially, some people might misjudge Rokka no Yuusha and think it’s a typical fantasy story with plain swords fighting. But when it comes to the mystery elements, it’s where each episode begins thrilling enough to anticipate what may happen next. The episodes connects each other in clever ways because of the theories and implied facts. The mystery aspect gets more and more complicated as fingers are being pointed at each other among the seven braves.
The characters themselves are also fairly interesting by individual standards. Fremy Speedraw is the lone wolf with a cold heart and dark past. Labeled by others as a brave killer, she is also a prime suspect in the beginning until Hans begins tearing Adelt’s story apart. One of the most intriguing part of the series is her relationship development with Adelt. It’s hard to say exactly their nature as Adelt trusts her but she doesn’t in return on most parts. As they spend more time together though, some of this begins to change as Fremy wishes to learn more about him. Hans also becomes a character that will catch the audience’s attention. Not only does he seem to be the most mysterious but he is also very intelligent with his deductive thinking. The way he analyzes Adelt shows his wits as a critical thinker. This seems to contrast with characters such as Chamo and Goldov who seems to be only there for their own personal reasons. Chamo doesn’t even seem to care much about who the fake brave because of her childish and perhaps borderline insane personality. Goldov just seems to be there because of his undying loyalty for Nashetanya. Speaking of which, Nashetanya herself is also shrouded by mystery regarding her true alliances and personality. It seems that her personality actually changes depending on who she interacts with. Throughout the series, it’s hard to not also label her as a suspect of the fake seventh brave. Finally, there’s the level headed thinker, Mora. Becomes of her calm personality and age, she is seen in regards as the leader of the braves. Although as time goes on, she displays more of desperation to kill the fake hero. What to say about all these characters? They all seem so different but their common goal is the same: to get rid of the mole and kill the Demon God. The catch is that the show focuses a lot more on discovering the fake hero rather than their collective journey. As a show that present itself this way, it can be a hit or miss for certain fans. Personally, it’s something that I welcome with its refreshing concepts. It inspires theories from the viewers and let ourselves think who may be the fake hero. Additionally, the show does a fairly well job at establishing its world fiction and background history. What may be disappointing is the pacing as the show only adapts the first volume as a 1-cour series. In other words, certain parts of the original story is omitted while we don’t learn a whole lot about our main characters (example: Chamo, Goldov, Mora). Furthermore, the relationship dynamics seems to focus more on Adelt and Fremy than any other character in terms of depth. The others only seems to be there for their own reasons such as Goldov’s loyalty to Nashetanya or Chamo’s respect for Mora. It’s a bit of letdown for anyone who is more curious about the other heroes as their characterization isn’t as strong as Adelt or Fremy.
Passione is a fairly new studio as they’ve only recently worked on Rail Wars, a show that is easily forgettable. Taking that aside, I would say that the artwork aspects of Rokka no Yuusha exceeds expectations. The world fiction is fascinated illustrated with the resourceful mountainous regions. There’s also inspirations that are drawn from the Azetc-like architectures and gorgeous views of the dense forests. Temples are also decorated with high class fantasy characteristics and Kyouma (the monsters that are spawned by the Demon God) heightens the legitimacy of their world’s danger. Furthermore, the character designs of the main characters are all very distinctive with their combat gear, fighting style, and even animal motifs. The action of the show is also very well performed with good amount of cinematic body movements and clever camera angle timings. There’s little fan service although some of the CGI designs of the Kyouma can be distracting at times. But all in all, it’s a fairly well produced show that is hard to forget when its art department is mentioned.
Soundtrack is also strong enough to keep up with the rest of the series. The OP theme song has two parts – the first half gives off a general impression of the show while the second half is more symbolic of the main characters. Some of the ED theme songs are also performed by the characters’ VA themselves, something that I found quite unique. Speaking of which, the character voice mannerisms all are noticeable whether it’s Hans’ cat-like dialects, Fremy’s cold voice tone, or Mora’s commanding presence. The show also does well with its OST particularly when the mystery aspects kicks in with its more eerie coordination. Some of the underwhelming performances will probably be Chamo as her childishness can be borderline annoying or Goldov’s single minded role. Adelt is really also a character that people will find to like or hate just by his personality matched by his voice. But despite that, the soundtrack and voice performances still show of what Rokka no Yuusha is capable of. And that’s definitely not something so easily accomplished in a show like this especially with it being so talky and filled with dialogues.
What can be said about Rokka no Yuusha in the end? It’s a fantasy series but not one you will expect to be like from the beginning. Yes, there is still action and magic like the most of the typical stuff fans are used to these days. But unlike others, Rokka no Yuusha adapts with its premise that will hook the viewers into getting into the show more and more. Rather than just watching, it’s also anticipating what the audience will think who the fake hero is as the story progresses. With a good degree of high class fantasy setting and colorful characters, it’s also hard to also ignore those aspects of the show. No, it’s not Dangan Ronpa or Btooom that becomes more of a survival game. Instead, Rokka no Yuusha stands out on its own as not just a fictional fantasy/detective story but also a creative engine with all sorts of matching gears.
Upon the day Demon God revives, it will awaken from its slumber only to turn this world into a living hell. It will not be long before catastrophes and despair befall humanity. Thus the Six Heroes chosen by Goddess of Fate shall rise to drive back the Demon God to its eternal slumber. Each time the Demon God re-incarnates, his power gets increasingly powerful. The six heroes who are also known as the Six Braves will prevent this calamity once again.
Adlet Mayer, one of the heroes who embark on the journey with the sole reason of defeating the Demon God. His motive is none other
than taking revenge to Tgurneu, one of the demon leaders. After Tgurneu raided his village, all the people around him were either killed or have been taken away from him. Extremely angry as he was powerless to fight back, he became the disciple of Atoro, an old warrior specializing in killing demons. Adlet undergoes eight years of training physical and mental under him. After the training, he possesses various equipment along with his fast speed movement and cleverness makes him one of the unbeatable and the faster of heroes. Soon enough, Adlet will be accompanied by the other heroes to work together to defeat the Demon God as well to completed their sole purpose as a heroes.
You have to give it to Japan: this old concept of story is very genius. After so many series with the same concepts in the anime industry, this series proved that there is still more quality stories out there. This show is actually great. In fact, the series is certainly different than the others. As I watched this series, I thought, “This is what I was looking for”. Frankly, the storyline for this anime is naturally fantastic but I found it acceptable by simply kicking out the logic. That's what we always do anyway. The character design is nice and clean without too many blemishes. Each character's clothing is cute and suits their personalities. This is an aspect that makes the anime worthwhile. I also thought that the realistic hair color of the main character is unique and out of white hair trend. This is a simple fact where they made a right decision because I’ve started to get bored with this kind of trend. Yeah, it looks fantastic at first, but then all characters with white hair become the same characters we’ve seen as any other series. The difference is just they are not from the same series.
While on the other hand, the characters from this series are more energetic and are generally pleased. At the worst, the character is fairly pleasant and occasionally quite good personalities. I'll never get bored with all of them. For starters, I really love the main lead. Although he is considered stupid and weirdo by each of the characters (not to mention he is the weakest one in terms of powers), he does not let this kind of thing get him. He's simply using all the knowledge that he has learned to ensure the fight is in his grasp. Not too impetuous and stupid for a main character. He uses anything as he sees fit for his advantages for all the fights. If you’re looking for an over powered main lead, you’ve chosen the wrong series. This series is focusing more how he succeeds to go this far using all the experience he has learned. He works really hard to go this far. This is an honorable action for him to take. The atmosphere for each episode gets tense as we are afraid something bad will happen to all of them. This is none other than our affections to see all of them are safe. We’ve taken a liking to them without us even realizing it. The show is also consistent throughout the series that they have not wasted time for idle chat. Even if there is, it's solely for character development.
Art and Animation
The art is pleasing in its cuteness. I would like to say the art and animation is definitely well done and pleasing. As a result, we are treated to a highly quality animated series.
The music is pleasant in the show. The Op and Eds for the series are quite catchy and very intriguing for us to listen. I watched both Op and Eds to the very end. I loved seeing all the characters perform in those two. They were like dancing for each other and lend itself well to the warm atmosphere. The music in the series provides a cheerful feeling but also some deep emotions. I found it rather sad like something painful is hidden.
Enjoyment and Overall
In truth, though, I liked the girls, especially Fremy Speeddraw. Initially she is quite harsh and rude, but as the story goes on, I just couldn’t help from falling in love with her. Not to mention she is actually a cute girl right from the start. Her harsh and suspicious attitudes result in more of deep affections. She is probably a special one in a thousand girls. I’m not simply seeking a Tsundere type here, but she is just more than whom you call an attractive person. You will only realize it when you have been struck by her cuteness and completely fawn over her. In all honestly, Fremy unfeeling of emotions doesn’t stop her from being a personal favorite character of mine.
While certainly not perfect, Rokka no Yuusha is very fun and enjoyable to watch. It slowly builds up the characterization it is satisfying in the end. I quickly grew to love all the characters. The show is well written and paced. It's a bit depressing when knowing this series has come to an end. Still, I got quite a ride with the series. Give the series a shot because this series has great potential and will hook a lot of fans by no time.
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