Great Opening Scene –
This anime opens with a bang in a fairly short fight sequence that was kind of reminiscent of the first time we saw Train from Black Cat in action. In other words it was cool for the sake of being cool and while it is short lived it set up certain expectations around the rest of the episode that were kind of not met. That isn’t to say there’s anything particularly wrong with this first episode other than it never really engages you the way the first few minutes did.
I would have to say that my biggest problem with the first episode is the titular assassin character, Kufa Vampir (whose name is almost as dumb as Train Heartnet from Black Cat so there’s an ongoing connection despite the rest of the episode being nothing like the tone set in Black Cat). Anyway, stupid name aside my real issue with this character comes from the fact that despite being an assassin he seems pretty slow on the uptake and his view of the situation changes dramatically in a very short space of time seemingly on a whim rather than based on any actual evidence.
It doesn’t help that the only other character to get much screen time in this episode is Melida Angel who is pretty much used as a punching bag by everybody. It is nice to see her try to fight with her own strength but in both instances she’s very quickly beaten down so her token resistance does little to remove her from the standard damsel in distress model.
However, while the two main characters weren’t hugely impressive in their first showing, there is potential that they will become more rounded as things continue and the premise here is kind of interesting. The world the characters inhabit, the different motives of the people around Melida, there’s a lot that can potentially be explored that might be quite interesting. Whether or not Assassins Pride does anything with it will remain to be seen but much like Special 7‘s first episode, which wasn’t all that special, this one kind of got my attention while I was watching even while I fully understand why other viewers might have pulled the plug already.
It’s a pure fantasy world that isn’t the setting of an isekai story and while the characters are using magic and swords it doesn’t feel like a generic pseudo medieval set-up for once. The sheer novelty of that would make me at least want to try a couple more episodes and if the main characters manage to step things up a bit this one could end up being decent. We’ll see how it goes.
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Images from: Assassins Pride. Dir. K Airua. EMT Squared. 2019.