Hello, fellow myanimelist users. Today I present you the first review of Rokka no Yuusha and I hope it will encourage you in reading the source material and of course make you watch the upcoming anime adaptation and with that let’s jump in.
Ishio Yamagata is a rather unknown light novel author, despite him having fan translations and even more so because he has already an anime adaptation under his belt. You may know it as The Book of Bantora, and as such if you have watched or heard of it you might know how Ishio uses
unique concepts to his works, be it world setting, characterization or motives. Especially when compared to most light novels who are centered on school and the problems of youth. As such he brings fresh air to the current stale demographic of light novels and of course Rokka is no exception to his previous works.
Rokka starts out with fate choosing six heroes, who have a mission to defeated humanity’s mortal enemy the Majin. In that sense the story moves from point A. the human realm to point B. where they fight of the Majins minions and of course with the main objective of defeating him, as have the previous heroes. Kind of boring isn’t it? Well so taught the author too and added a little spice with mystery elements to it, with the biggest one being the 7th hero’s identity.
With that he has written a light novel with the usual heroes saving the world concept and added to it a smaller objective that being just to survive. And that’s just is the tip of the ice berg. Mix in the fantasy world, which subtly ask the question of environmentalism in form of the Majin and racism between those two factions. To the high paced fights, which aren’t too stretched, as such it makes them always fun to read. To the mystery of who is going to betray them? This gives a lot of pressure not just to the characters but to the readers themselves. It is a story of camaraderie, love, friendship, family, revenge and so on...
The characters are as mentioned a group of seven heroes and as such they need to have diverse personalities to them for shear entertainment value and they deliver that. They are all brought together as the six heroes of flowers and need to fight the Majin, if they want to or not, and as such they all have different motives to why they are doing what they do, which is further enhanced by their back stories and it seems like Ishio uses each volume to cover a different heroes story so far. And sadly I can’t cover each one as I may spoil the fun. Than again their summary spills a lot anyway. Although, I will mention my two favorites that being Adlet and Fremy. Adlet is for most people a clown, because of his quote "I am the strongest man in the world!!!" And as such he does have quite a lot of confidence, combined with his fighting style, cheerfulness, intellect and leader ship qualities he became my favorite character of this series. Even if he may be a bit to shonen-ish for most people I guess.
Fremy on the other hand is the total opposite of Adlet. She is a loner type of character, always having that cold aura around her, which she of course has reason to be but as the story unfolds she opens up more and more to the group, especialy to Adlet, despite in what danger they are. Well that was the Human side lets move to the Majins. The Majin is by most described as a creature without intelligence and as such it has only one point of living and that is devouring humanity. As it lost to the Hero of Single Flower and was sealed in a comma like state. The minions of the Majin are born from it and only have one objective that is reviving him. The minions are called Kyouma in it self are combination of different animals, only being different because of their
Horn on the forehead and their inner core. Although they are a lot of numbers to them, they are mostly unintelligent, although there are ones able to think, speak, just like humans. Amongst them the strongest and most intelligent are the Commanders. They are unlike the others, very humanly, and as such have their own personality to them that even go beyond their very existence...
Hazuki Terui has archived what most illustrators don’t (lie), that being picking my interest into a series.
Just look and the covers and you might want to check out this light novel. They have really a high fantasy feeling to them, and what is really lovable about it is that they suit the characters and the combination of various styles, from the clothes, to the weapons, to the more earthy colors; it’s just an instant win.
On the other hand the manga design is just plain awful, god that moe art (although the original art is moe too I guess) just looked so bad and it was poorly made as a form of fan service. Thank god it got canceled.
-Enjoyment and Final Verdict-
Ishio Yamagata made a nicely put together story, with likable characters and interesting battles. However it isn’t perfect by all means. The Mystery aspect regarding the 7th isn’t a really as strong if you have been reading other mystery novels, and as such you might at some point find out who he/she is but I would
stick with it to the end, but only if you are able to appreciate the other aspects of the story. Second point, there might become ass pulls. It sometimes grabs just the intense moment that the story created at some point and leaves you hanging after it only to start again with the same formula. Although they are reasonable and you might think otherwise but that’s understandable. And as such it creates the impression that the author is prolonging the story so that he can stretch it as much as possible. But none the less the story is still quite good and I might have missed some important things that might be on its favor or not but I am only 2.5 half volumes in, but at the very least I can say that I don’t regret the time I spent on Rokka no Yuusha.
I give additional thanks to the NanoDesu translation and especially Zero Ender and his team for picking up the series, at a time when no one even bothered.