Dec 17, 2015
kuuderes_shadow (All reviews)
Lance N' Masques is not a series for everyone. In particular, if you are someone who needs their anime to be heavily realistic, or full of grit, or to have some deep message to it, then you might as well just close this page now and walk away as this anime won't satisfy you in the slightest.

If, on the other hand, you are after a fun and quirky series, that mixes together a fairly large number of genres in a way that still feels comfortable, then this might just be what you are after.

There are many different ways of interpreting and watching this series, but in my view this series is, at its heart, a comedy, although there are certainly sections that are not comedic in the slightest (including, incidentally, pretty much the whole of the last episode). However, I believe that in general treating it as a comedy is the best way of watching it - enabling you to appreciate that the lack of realism is deliberate, and done for comic effect. This, the absurdity or at times sheer imagination of what is being presented, is the main source of entertainment in the series, rather than gags or laugh out moments.

Some of the action scenes, particularly those not involving the main character himself, seem designed to attract the curiosity of the viewer rather than to engross them with the suspense of the action, whilst others are more of the more standard type, rooting for the hero's success. Whichever type they fall under, though, there is nothing even remotely realistic about any of them, and indeed several of the fights are won in ways that wouldn't even make sense in reality, which would obviously detract from the series still further for the viewer who craves realism.

The cast of the series is centred around Yotaro, the protagonist, but each of the fairly large number of characters has a distinct personality, and every one of them has their own distinct relationship with Yotaro, which vary from the obvious to the outright absurd. The characters are, indeed, another of the series' strengths.

That said, not all is positive about this series. The art style in particular is, to say the least, rather unusual, and most noticeably so when it comes to the characters faces. Some of their heads are literally as wide as they are high, and I swear there's something odd about the noses as well. This will likely take a few episodes to get used to.

The plot itself is in some senses rather repetitive, and not everything that happens fully makes sense either. Certain themes, such as kidnapping/hostage taking, show up rather more often than they should do, to the point where someone just watching for the plot may find themselves getting tired of it by the end. There is, though, enough variety that this doesn't detract from the series if you don't let it do so.

In short, the plot is weak, and the art style can take a bit of getting used to, but the characters are good and so is the humour.
Given that, as already mentioned, this is a comedy series (no matter what MAL's genres may claim at the time of writing), the latter two things are, in my view, rather more important than the former two, and thus, again in my view, the series is a good one overall.

(My scores for the individual sections, incidentally, were: story 5; art 3; sound 7; character 9; enjoyment 8; overall 7.)