When his clan is wiped out by a beautiful demon, young Taikobo finds himself in charge of the mysterious Houshin Project. Its mission: find all immortals living in the human world and seal them away forever. But who do you trust—and whose side are you really on—when you’ve been trained to hunt demons by a demon?
– From MAL
I don’t know who wrote the synopsis for Crunchyroll but it is barely comprehensible so I went in to this show confused and expecting nothing. It starts out with a standard action/fantasy sequence that is impressive enough but without context doesn’t really have much impact and visually we’ve probably seen better elsewhere so while it works it isn’t exactly screaming for us to keep watching.
We then get a suitably energised opening song that takes us through a large cast of insanely dressed characters so standard anime fantasy all round really.
And the first half of the episode is very ordinary. Kid with tragic background who has kind of been training sent on impossible mission. There’s some lame jokes and a kind of average confrontation sequence. It all just kind of happens. To be honest, I would have still kept watching because it was functional and I like fantasy but it wouldn’t exactly be memorable. Over-powered and over-confident villains and kid with personal grudge against them, it is all pretty standard and you could write the plot outline by summarising about a hundred other shows.
The second half however took a somewhat unexpected turn. The character set-up to be the hero actually confronts the villain (way earlier than he should have) and it ends in a rather unspectacular fashion but it leads to an interesting sequence where we actually see the villain being villainous. Not some past crime or some off screen mention, or even an army charging over civilians. Nope, we actually see her set up and execute 160 more or less helpless people just because she can.
This gives the audience an actual reason to care about this villain and want her stopped, it reinforced the main character’s goal of stopping her and it sets up another character who prevented the main character from also dying in episode 1 for later use.
All in all, while this first episode isn’t exactly amazing, and I strongly suspect we’re going to follow Taikobo around on a lot of pointless fetch quests while he gathers his allies for his next go at the villain, I was still pretty happy with the second half of this opening episode. I’m kind of looking forward to seeing if this show can do something decent with its run.
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