Maintaining a delicate balance of power, the kingdoms of Amoria, Ishilfen, and Vanrodis rule over the continent of Kuna'anh. Even the slightest hint of trouble in one country could spark a continent-wide war. However, their one common fear is the evil dragon Daganzord, whose only meaning of existence is to devour and destroy all life.
Ten years ago, a group of mages worked together in an effort to seal away the malevolent beast. But the ritual—later known as the "Balbagoa Tragedy"—was a failure, and many lost their lives. Though his parents died in this tragedy, Hiiro was saved by the swordsman Giruu. Under the latter's tutelage, Hiiro learned swordsmanship with the sole purpose of seeking revenge. Now a budding master himself, he sets out in search of Daganzord in order to realize his long-awaited vengeance, or to be consumed by the dragon and meet the same fate as his parents.
Are you looking for that cool and strong main character with interesting side characters?
Hate to break it to you, but you're in the wrong place. The more I watched, the more I thought that it was complete trash. That is, until about episode 8. Then it picks up and becomes a slightly below average series with a bunch plot conveniences EVERYWHERE for the last 5 episodes. I have seen numerous anime and usually give high ratings. I think that this is actually not worth wasting your
time on. Adventure and Fantasy tend to be my favorite genres, but this...
To emphasize to you how bad this show is: Take a typical cool and strong main character of your choice, remove all of his coolness, strength, intelligence, skills, charisma, and ALL other good qualities. After you're done, take whatever bad characteristics you're left with and add in the personality of a whiny 3-year-old. In fact, might as well make him a Jinchuriki like Naruto while you're at it. Finally, after He-man descends to help and train the main character, you have this series' protagonist who still ends up being a failure.
The show introduces the main character as this mysterious apparently strong guy. Despite training, he gets almost nowhere in terms of individual skill.
Here's a synopsis of what you're getting into:
Dad: "We gotta seal away this ultimate beast, OH NO IT'S TOO STRONG! I... must save my 6-year-old son.................... WHO ALSO HAPPENS TO BE ON THE BATTLEFIELD!"
Son: "Mom, Dad---- NOOOO!"
Dad:"Don't worry, I'll make you a 1-dimensional spoiled knockoff of Naruto before I go!"
Everybody dies and the 6-year-old is now driven by revenge to kill the ultimate beast and most likely has some sort of secretly powerful skill or ability or something, or at least that's what we are all hoping for. (Sound familiar? That's because it's the overused cliche.)
Unfortunately, the reality is that the main male character actually is one of the least attractive main characters that I've seen since school days' Makoto. He's similar to the main character from Tales of the Abyss before he recognized how terrible he really was and changed for the better. I originally dropped this series at episode 7 but decided to give it another chance since my original review painted this series as pretty terrible. Luckily, it did pick up slightly, but it's very boring and slow. The main female character has trouble speaking complete sentences and is very aloof, weird, and illogical. I was hoping she would be some sort of mysterious beauty with a deep background story, but it didn't end up that way.
I only began watching this show because of how interesting the characters looked visually. But the art itself is not that great, it's on the below-average side of standard for newer anime. Battle scenes are kind of dry. Background art is pretty good, though. The animation is absolutely terrible. Welcome back to the early 2000s. Just bad. Overall, the art is on the not-so-good side of average, but since I like the character designs I bumped it up to a 4.
I must say, I think the music is most satisfying part of this anime. That says a lot about the anime since the music isn't really that good at all. There is nothing special about the sounds. Battle scenes are fine and the music is fitting for a fantasy-styled anime. Character voices are fine as well. But the music is pretty good. To be honest, I'd rather listen to the music on repeat than watch this poor excuse of a show.
1-dimensional zero-effort characters. No character is interesting or has any real backstory. The main character is a spoiled 3-year-old in a cool-looking older body. All of the characters are pretty bad. As the series progresses, it only gets more unbearable. However, you may start to get attached to them if you watch it until the end.
Development? What development? Let's just make the characters do random things and have a ton of plot conveniences.
The main human villains look very weird and are psychologically just strange. The main girl is pretty bad as well. The side characters are all pretty bad and I don't feel any interest in any of the characters in this show, so I didn't bother to remember any of their names.
I most likely would've dropped this show around episode 4-6 if I weren't writing a review on it. It's really not worth the time. Towards the end, it wasn't COMPLETE trash, but it was unbearably slow. It could've been worse, but it's nowhere near good or decent.
The first 7 episodes of the series were very dry and boring. It started to pick up a bit after episode 7, but not anywhere near close enough to a point where I would watch it if I weren't reviewing it. First 6 episodes 2/10, the last 6 were probably around a 5/10.
Have you ever watched a show that was just so bad that it was actually enjoyable? Has there ever been a time that the entire runtime of the show, the series just simply did not give any fucks as to how or what it was actually doing? Well, let me tell you the tale of Cerberus, a Spring 2016 anime that looks like it was made in the early 2000's with a plotline so bad that it can't decide whether or not it wants to rush to the end, or drag shit out longer.
Story: The continent of Kuna'ahn is a place ruled by
the evil dragon Dagan Zot. After the Balbagoa Disaster that happened many years ago, the world is left in fear, terrified if the evil dragon will return. We follow the story of Hiiro (Translates to Hero. Yes, that is ACTUALLY his name.) on his journey as a wandering swordsman to kill the evil dragon and return peace to the world, all while the evil Nambuuko has an agenda of his own.
Ok, I'm just gonna lay down the truth here. This show is TERRIBLE. I'm not sugarcoating it either; this show is really, really bad. The main story is trying to follow Hiiro on his way to defeat the evil Nambuuko as well as defeating the supposed main antagonist and fearful creature Dagan Zot. But instead, what we get is a story that can't decide whether or not it wants to slow down to get a feel for the world, or speed up because they need to finish up the story. The pacing is largely to blame for the story's problems because well, there is none. The show goes ALL OVER THE PLACE and rarely decides to stick to one pace. We spend a good 4 episodes on just the first town, meaning about a third of the series is dedicated to just staying in one place and not dealing with the supposed immediate threat that we're supposed to fear.
As a result of the pacing issues, a lot of the show's aspects fall extremely flat. Due to its lack of screentime, the evil dragon is a plot device rather than an actual threat to the series. Hell, the dragon does absolutely NOTHING in the way of actually harming our main characters, acting more as the scapegoat to the majority of the situations that our protagonists are thrown in than actually doing anything. They also attempt to do a fair bit of world building, but guess what? That ain't there either, or it's missing/incomplete. I feel as though the creators were just trying to chuck a bunch of cool ideas together and hope that they sticked. A lot of the things that we're presented feel like they were made just on the spot and pray to god that everything just conveniently falls into place. Hell, the ending was the epitome of "THAT WAS EASY" because of just how convenient everything fell in place.
Overall, the story of Cerberus is a generic, predictable piece of work that fails to do anything right. It can't decide whether or not it wants to be a turtle or a rabbit when it comes to pacing, it can't flow a story correctly, it can't tell us anything about the goddamn world we're in, and hell it can't even get the terrifying evil dragon thing right. Just make it pop up and blow up a town or something instead of having it struggle to get its damn heart back!
- Generic story
- Terrible pacing
- Fails to world build
Characters: Yeah, don't lie to me, these are not characters, these are puppets. Puppets put on this stage of rotting terribleness.
Hiiro. Oh boy. What to say about this one? Hiiro's character is that of a selfish, entitled brat that can't seem to understand the basics of progressing his own storyline correctly. Despite him being the main protagonist, Hiiro is a character that's just thrown around a lot and never seems to do anything right. He's an extremely weak character in the sense that he can't defeat a baby slime, yet his entire spiel in the series is him shouting "I WILL DEFEAT THE EVIL DRAGON!" which given the fact that he has protagonist plot armor, well, you can kind of guess what happens. He can't really do anything right aside from run his mouth and as the audience, there's just no incentive to root for a character that just acts like...that the whole time.
Then there's Saraato, the female protagonist of the story and quite possibly the strangest one here. Saraato is...an odd case. The usage of Saraato is just for purely plot purposes. She doesn't really do anything aside from participating in the plot when needed and smile off to the side. Of course, as the series goes along, we actually get why she's so strange and peculiar, but quite honestly, it's not much of a surprise when at that point in the series, you'll just about accept everything since nothing really makes sense anymore and everything that happens just seems to happen so conveniently, it's a wonder how they even had a chance of losing in the first place.
Then finally, Nambuuko, the big, bad antagonist to the story. Not the dragon (because lord knows we're not gonna get anywhere with THAT thing), but this asshat arms dealer who's a crook more than anything. To be completely honest, I...don't...actually...know what his plan was to begin with. This isn't on the pacing to blame as it is just the story. Nambuuko fulfills the trope of "Muhahaha, I'm Evil!" sort of character cause his plans change, quite a lot. In one scene he wants to enslave a town to make more money. Another, he decides, let's control the dragon! A third, he wants to make all of the armies fight so he can get money and they all gather in one place for an evil ritual. The final, "Screw that, ULTIMATE POWER IS MINE!!!!" As such, the only real explanation I can actually give to what this guy embodies is just "Lol I'm Ebil (evil)" because quite honestly, there's...not really much else to say that could even remotely describe this hodge podge of a villain. (Also, his fashion sense could use a little work.)
The rest of the cast is split off into two categories. We have the fodder who deserves no mention because they're there to movie the plot along, and the rest of the merry band of adventurers, involving Giruu, who is basically Hiiro's bodyguard, Timotte, who comes into the group for some god unknown reason and is virtually worthless, Erin, the nekomimi info broker who carries around a...harp thing that shoots arrows (I don't get it myself), and Palupa, who is probably my favorite character out of the bunch. (I'll get to why later.) Oh yeah, and there's that evil loli Sharisharu who's just sort of...the series's annoyance.
Overall, the characters are in a word, disappointing. There's not much to say about them cause you could probably sum up each of them in about 5 words and even then it's probably too much. The side characters are admittedly more interesting than the main cast and villain, but honestly, I nor you have the time to talk about them.
+ Side characters are somewhat interesting (or entertaining)
- Irritating main character
- Plot-based female protag
- Muhahaha I'm Nambuuko, I'm evil! I'm totally a threat! MUHAHAHAHA!
Art: Cerberus was an original series made by Bridge, a company who is largely unheard of, and with relatively good reason; the animation is bad. Well, that's being a bit harsh. More like...the animation is like stepping back in time in terms of quality. While this largely unheard of company is no Ufotable or A-1 Pictures, the art for this show just doesn't even stack up to the supposed 'standard fare' that we can consider as standard hand-drawn japanese animation today.
The color scheme for this show leans towards a brooding and dark color palette that just seems both lazy and lifeless. The colors just seem extremely bland and uninspiring that I felt like I actually stepped back in time to a show from the late 1990's early 2000's era. There's just nothing really all that positive to say to such lazy animation.
- Low-quality animation
- Lifeless color scheme
Sound: The soundtrack, I don't even bother with. Trust me, there's nothing really that interesting with it. They're ok but...not really worth the time.
Personal Enjoyment: Ok, the show has a fucking AWFUL storyline that's both predictable and bad, the main character is annoying as fuck, the art is lazy, the dragon does nothing, and the antagonist just screams "I'm evil! I'm evil cause I'm evil, lol". So with all of these terrible, eye-gougingly bad qualities for this show... Why. Am. I. Smiling? Well, the simple fact of the matter is, this show is fucking hilarious. Sure, you'll have to turn your brain off, but if you don't think too hard like I do on a daily basis, goddamn is this show just the best thing I've seen. It sort of belongs in the 'It's so bad it's good' category because it's clear that the makers didn't give a single fuck about what they were making. I had a blast watching this show and man that was entertaining.
Did I like this show?
I liked it for the sheer reason that it was just bad and it sorta knew it was bad. Also Palupa. Palupa is the one character I cared about in this series simply because he's that one character that had common sense. Despite what happened in the series, he always seemed to be self-aware of the situation at hand and was able to know whether or not things were a stupid idea and how well their current plan would go.
What didn't I like about this show?
Hiiro. Hate the guy. He's that one guy who's so arrogant and full of himself that you could push him off a bridge and not feel a single shred of remorse.
Would I recommend this show?
No. Just. Straight up. No. Personally, I'm used to watching bad shows, and I get a kick outta stinkers that just seem like they had zero fucks given to them when they were made. But quite honestly, it is not worth the time to even remotely consider this show to be anyone's list just because of the sheer amount of negative qualities that this show has. (You see the overviews? There is only ONE positive out of all of the categories combined.)
Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalites...yeah "Fatalites" is right as in it's fatally BORING.
Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalites is by far one of most boring by the numbers anime LA has seen in a while. Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalites follows a typical "revenge" anime under a fantasy world...sounds similar to another horrible anime with that setting *cough* Chaos Dragon *cough*
With characters who are extremely stereotypical and a hot-blooded main protagonist with NO combat skills in swordsmanship yet gloats about his "combat skills", well the main protagonist Hiiro is an annoying, whining main protagonist and to go with him is Saraato a mysterious girl who has
NO personality, Giruu, the guardian for Hiiro who although he gets a backstory doesn't get developed enough and has your typical "mentor" tropes to him, we also have Tomitte and Palupa who are pretty useless to the anime. The ONLY character LA managed to like was Erin voiced by Maaya Uchida only because she was slightly smarter than the rest of the cast. Since this is a revenge anime, you'd think that the dragon Dagan Zot would be the villain right?.....however this anime brings in a rather generic "money and power motivation" HUMAN villain by the name of Nambuuko and just comes in a just produces obstacles for the "heroes" and just elongates the anime further, really Nambuuko, his presence makes this anime even harder to get through considering how stock and plot grindingly incompetence he is and how his motivation is just STUPID.
In terms of animation by Bridge, the animation is just "meh" all throughout, from the character designs to the battles to the backgrounding, heck to even the monster designs are merely "meh,though LA did see lower quality in animation across the board and stiff battle animation by the halfway point...-sigh- LA just doesn't have anything good or bad to say...it's just..."meh".
The voice acting?...you know what, it feels like even the voice actors are board stiff in this anime, they give out half-hearted performances with some exceptions to the villains especially Mariyse Ise who voices the Nambuuko's henchwoman Sharisharuu and Maaya Uchida seemed to do ok as well, but overall the voice acting is just lackluster.
The ending and the culmination to the ending was just a whirling hole of stupidity from both sides of the main cast of "heroes" and "villains", the ending made the entire "adventure" part of this anime utterly pointless if Nambuuko can just teleport ANYWHERE in the world and just kidnap the heroes, sure the ending finally brings us Nambuuko's "master plan" (in which this plan has soo many plot holes on the central focus AND on Saraato and add in the fact that the entire culmination to this ending was rushed as hell, also pro tip Nambuuko, how about caring for your red shirts and minions otherwise they just might turn on you fucking idiot) and just really the ending was anti-climax on top of anti-climax with coincidences just given to the "heroes" for them to easily win.
SPOILERS AHEAD (LA really just wants you to see Nambuuko's stupidity full force here)
*Why would Nambuuko tell Baffaloopa to make Saraato (in secret even to Nambuuko later on), throw Saraato away then use Saraato again AGAINST Hiiro and don't say that Nambuuko was trying to be smart, he ordered Saraato to DEATH, yeah...master plan there dumbass
*Why bother fusing with Dagan Zot, yeah sure it's his main motivation in the entire anime here but for this to work, he had to get the ONE thing that might kill him in his fused form and have a confrontation with Saraato's dark form and Hiiro (who has Dagan Zot's heart) in order to lure Dagan Zot to Nambuuko in order to fuse with it (you know if Hiiro did suicide as Dagan Zot's heart is in Hiiro thus if Hiiro sacrificed himself the fused Dagan Zot and Nambuuko would also die), again Nambuuko is a dumbass
*The entire point of the inflation of weapons and growing fear for a war was pointless if Nambuuko would nonchalantly USE HIS OWN RED SHIRT ARMY and residents of his castle including Sharisharuu in order to get the power for the fusion of Dagan Zot, also if it failed at all or Baffaloopa would betray Nambuuko, he would have no army (or they would TURN on Nambuuko for this if it failed) or no power or both, *ahem* Nambuuko is a dumbass through and through
Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalites is just an extremely slow slog through a fantasy world that really doesn't care about it's plot or it's characters and by that end even if Hundred is also stock and cliche at least it can play to it's cliches, Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalites on the other hand is just lifeless, mindless and just plain doesn't care and just ticks off whatever checklist it needs to get through it all and brings in soo many rushed plot holes and utterly stupid motivations especially on the part of Nambuuko, LA will say that Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalites was dead on arrival and NEVER improved. LA deems quite easily that Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalites as the worst anime of Spring 2016.
If you don't want spoilers, I would stop reading this now, as a very minor one lies in this review. However, I would argue that the spoiler helps greatly with the enjoyment you'd get out of this show.
TL;DR: If you like unintentionally funny and have a good knowledge of tropes, you can probably enjoy this a fair bit. The characters have some incredible stupidity going on, which can actually end up being charming. Eventually, it can grow on you as well. If you don't like that stuff? It won't have much to offer you.
Cerberus is not a great show, it's not even a good
It is, however, a hilarious show.
Now I'll be up front. If you're looking for a good story, with good production values, excellent characters, world building, deep meaning, and original twists then....
None of that is to be found here. (Maybe check out Re:Zero instead)
Cerberus uses a pretty much by the numbers hero's journey comboed with a revenge story, makes use of pretty stereotypical character archetypes without much thought as to development or characterization, has quite a generic fantasy world (with an odd fascination with crystals) and tropes and twists pulled right out of all kinds of other fantasy and mystical shows. It's not original, and quite frankly I can't argue with most of the reasons people give it a 3-5.
However, in exact opposite to other reviews, I think the show actually has a very weak first episode and gets better from there.
So you start off in the first episode with a generic, sneering edgy protagonist who seems like he's going to be overpowered and played up like a badass. He's got a giant sword, the camera actually focuses on his glinting sorta-jewelry and people are reluctant to pick fights with him/are intimidated by his presence. In other words, a typical power fantasy.
And oddly enough, if you like those type of power fantasy protagonists then you should stop watching Cerberus *immediately*.
By the next episode, it's revealed that the main character is actually *incredibly* incompetent. He barely can wield his sword right, he loses to slimes all the time during training and he can't keep his shit together for five minutes. Yet, beautifully, he still keeps CLAIMING to be a badass. He does this for a good portion of the series, and all the other characters recognize the immediate discrepancy between his bark and his bite.
Headed up by this clumsy asshole, the party consists of a greedy, whiny lizard dude, a sneaky titty-cat girl, a put-upon blue-haired conan (who serves as the protagonist's mentor), a straight-man boy thief, and a wandering moron with a female voice actress so bored that the character sounds like she's on tranquilizers for the whole shebang (or maybe the VA was).
These fools are the only ones that can stop The Villain(tm) and his quasi-competent raging shithead loli sidekick.
The show seems to waffle between taking itself seriously thus generating humour from the incompetent flailing of the protagonist as he tries to stumble his way through the (honestly not that challenging) plot, or seeming to know damn well what it is and having the other characters point out and make fun of the protagonist's nearly endless flaws. If you're ready to laugh right along with and at the show, and if you get a perverse kick out of crappy tropes, you'll like this. It's one of those so bad it's good things...for a while.
See, what the show accidentally does with all the character's incompetence is successfully make him the underdog, which makes it kinda easy to root for him. The other thing is that the characters, while generic, aren't really bad people either. As one of my friends said, that means that the protagonist might grow on you like some kinda purple haired fungus, and his companions as well.
Suddenly, you're into the story and realize you're actually engaged with Seisen Cerberus of all things.
Of course, your mileage will vary.
Story gets 6/10 for being competent enough, though tropey, to hold itself together. It's servicable as a vehicle for the comedy. If you're actually looking to take it seriously, however this would be a 3/10 as there are little to no surprises here.
Art 6/10, it's serviceable with some generic designs and a weird crystal aesthetic. Nothing offensive, but nothing too pretty either.
Sound 6/10. It does its job, and the voice acting is okay for the most part although Saraato (the wandering moron)'s VA's performance is so phoned in that it comes out on the other end as hilarious and AMAZING. If you're actually taking that seriously though, a 4/10 would be more accurate.
Character 7/10. Tropes! Tropes! Tropes! However, the endearing hilarity and odd ability for them to grow on you makes this a weak 7.
Enjoyment. 9/10 I loved this. It was hilarious, and by the end I found I was satisfied with the simple story. This is my own experience, though, so I can't really speak for anyone else.
Overall 7/10. It was good due to its comedy, both intentional and unintentional.
That's Cerberus for you, barely competent enough to get by while being hilarious unintentionally, much like its characters. But, like its characters, you might find it grows on you by the end.