IT STARTED WITH A TALL TALE…
What They Say
BASED ON THE HIT MOBILE GAME!
From the director of Tiger & Bunny and the studio behind Terror in Resonance! After a one-horned demoness hears the drunken boasts of bounty hunter Favaro Leone, she drags him on a journey to reunite with her family. The pair set out on their grand adventure—completely unaware of a destination where they’ll face dark forces working to fulfill an ancient prophecy that will bring about the end of the world.
Rage of Bahamut has some of the best audio in not just terms of dialogue but also music. The opening theme song is a heavy metal jam that perfectly complements the intense nature of this swashbuckling fantasy. Meanwhile, the dialogue between the characters has both comedy and moments of a more serious nature that blend together well in the setting. I was particularly impressed by the unique humor between Favaro’s raucous personality and Amira—the beautiful pink-haired demoness.
It’s no surprise that the video for Rage of Bahamut is stunning. The artwork is some of the most unique I have seen in an anime, and the directing is stellar. The use of unique angles and constant motion is something you don’t see often in anime, which likes to cut corners with their animation to save on production costs. All the fight scenes are greatly animated in glorious detail. Character motions are fluid and natural.
The anime is produced by the studio MAPPA. I actually don’t know them for anything outside of their other anime, Terror in Resonance, which is held up as one of the greater anime of its times in terms of quality production, storytelling, and directing. The writer for this series is Keiichi Hasegawa, who began writing back in 1990 and has been a writer for almost every Ultraman series produced since Tiga up to the first season of Ginga. He also did the writing for The Big O, an older classic. You can see his unique brand of dark themes in this series.
Befitting this anime’s darker and more fantasy tone, the BluRay sleeve features a dark background with beams of light shining down on the three main characters. Favaro is in front with Kaiser on his right and Amira a little further back on his left. Here are three other characters, but you can only see their silhouettes, showing they are important but not the focal point of this series. While this anime is much darker than some others, it still has a fan servicey nature, which I feel is a trademark of anime in general. Perhaps owing to that, the back features a close-in view of Amira’s buttocks and the devil tail sticking out of it. On the other side is the anime description.
Rage of Bahamut has probably the oddest menu background I have ever seen. The music is dark and foreboding, which creates a complete contrast to the joyous atmosphere in the visuals. The scene is replayed over and over is the dancing scene from the series, in which Favaro and a drunk Amira are dancing and laughing together. Disc 1 includes the Play All, Episodes, Setup, and Extras options. Disc 2 does not feature the extras.
There are 28 minutes of special features for this anime. The normal textless opening and ending theme songs are present, as are the trailers for both Japanese and US releases. Oddly enough, there is a preview for episode 1 of this series. However, the main extras that grabbed my attention were the episode commentaries and episode 6.5 – Roundup.
Content: (Please note that this portion of the review may contain spoilers):
You know an anime is going to be exciting when it opens with a roof chase scene between two of the three main characters of the series. Beautifully animated and full of action, the scene on the roof immediately describes Favaro and Kaiser perfectly, showing their clashing personalities as Kaiser blames Favaro for his family’s downfall. We also learn through this seen that Favaro and Kaiser have a shared history together.
Favaro is a self-proclaimed ladies man, a free spirit, and a fairly talented bounty hunter. I like how different he is from traditional anime protagonists, who are often young and naive. This is a man who is boastful and worldly, a man who claims to only watch out for himself and no one else. He loves having the freedom to do what he wants, which I guess is why he became a bounty hunter. On the other hand, Kaiser is a righteous man with a strong sense of honor, constantly following his ideas of justice. He is fixated on avenging his family by killing Favaro.
After losing Kaiser during the chase, Favaro captures a man called Garth, who has a high bounty on his head. Sadly, before he can celebrate, Favaro is attacked by Ghos, Garth’s brother. Ghos summons a demon to attack Favaro, who tried and failed to defeat the demon on his own, but he is rescued by a mysterious beauty with pink hair named Amira. She transforms into a demon and easily defeats the summoned demon. Turns out Amira overheard Favaro boasting previously about having been to Helheim, where her mother is supposedly located. She convinces Favaro to take her. As insurance, she gives Favaro a demon tail to ensure he cannot betray her.
This anime is very much a classic fantasy journey. It follows Amira and Favaro as they travel to Helheim, braving dangerous typical of a western fantasy novel, for reasons that I feel are typical of the fantasy setting. The traditional western fantasy setting and themes make this unique for anime. It is not often that a Japanese anime takes themes more common in western storytelling. The only one I can think of that does something similar is Cowboy Bebop, which was not surprisingly more popular in the west than it was the east.
We soon learn that Amira is a very naive and childish young woman, which is completely at odds with her gorgeous and adult appearance. When Favaro takes Amira to Ysmenport (a port town with ships), Amira assumes the captain of the ship is Favaro’s mother, which leads Favaro to explain what a father is. Of course, even before that moment, we see how childish she is when Favaro takes her out to go drinking and dancing. She seems to have no real concept of distrust. After a night of drinking, Favaro tries to kill her to remove the curse, which shows her own lack of discretion, though this moment is interrupted by Kaiser discovering them and falling in love with Amira at first sight. Of course, while Amira is incredibly naive, we do see that perhaps her trust wasn’t misplaced when Favaro saves her from the Orlean Knights when they nearly capture her.
As the story continues, it is eventually revealed that Amira is a half-angel/half-demon. This revelation comes after Amira and Kaiser are captured by Azazel and rescued by Favaro and Rita—a two-hundred-year-old necromancer who becomes an undead and ends up traveling with Kaiser. They are brought to the royal castle. The gods reveal her identity during this time and state that she is not to be harmed because she is in possession of the God Key, one of the two keys used to seal away Bahamut.
Amira and Favaro play off each other quite well. In the beginning, Favaro wanted nothing to do with Amira and only agreed to take her because she cursed him with a demon tail. Even after Favaro rescues Amira from Azazel, he still holds to this opinion until Azazel reveals himself to be the mastermind who got both Favaro’s and Kaiser’s fathers killed. After that, he has a change of heart and begins to more full-hearted support Amira’s desire to be reunited with her mother. It isn’t until the last few episodes that we learn Amira’s memories of her mother were all fake. She is tricked into absorbing the Demon Key, which is combined with the God Key to unseal Bahamut.
Rage of Bahamut is a unique take on the traditional western fantasy story. It combines anime tropes with western themes to create something completely different than anything I’ve come to expect from either anime or fantasy. The pacing is great despite being short. While I do wish this series was longer, the faster pace kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire anime. It’s a lot more entertaining than I’d expect from something adapted from a mobile game.
Content Grade: A
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: A
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: May 28th, 2019
Running Time: 300 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
55″ Class AQUOS HD Series LED TV LC-55LE643U, Xbox 360 DVD player