Blade & Soul

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a fantasy Korean MMORPG.


Alka, our taciturn protagonist. A member of the Blade clan, she’s on the run for allegedly having killed her master. She doesn’t spend much energy denying it. Impressively badass with knives.

The Whatever Empire are obviously the baddies here, bullying everyone one else under a thin layer of legality, and hunting our heroine down. Unexpectedly for this kind of setting, their goons got guns, which gives them an unfair advantage. Well, except against Alka, as she can cut bullets down. Some of their female leaders are obviously Important, but don’t get much definition yet. Also, their most elite members can wield some magic.

Morii became the teenage leader of a small backwards village after her father died. The villagers are supportive, but what can they do against the might of the Empire wanting to “buy” their lands ? Well, they can hire a passing Alka, but that backfires tremendously, as the Empire sends a disproportionate force to take her down once they notice she’s there. Nearly everyone dies. Oops.

A decent amount of screentime is spent on a bar-owner, and her one customer who looks interested in taking the bounty on Alka’s head, so presumably they’ll show up again.

Production Values

Well, there’s quite some budget behind this, from the scenery porn to the lavish animation. I don’t feel like the general aesthetics quite come together, though ; that may be from the busy and showing-too-much-flesh character designs. Also, this is quite a bloody and violent show, although not to the point of being unbearable.

Overall Impression

Hey, an heroic-fantasy show that doesn’t suck ! But that’s not enough to make it much good, though : it feels very soulless and by-the-numbers. I mean, it’s hard to make it any more cliché than a burnt down starting village, eh ? None of the characters get to display much personality, and nearly all the villagers who do, die horribly without any chance to defend themselves.

The bottom line : this show didn’t manage to make me care about what happens next. I’ll pass, thank you.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2014.

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I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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