In what could potentially have been Rio’s most exciting challenge yet as the wyvern horde from last week close in on their missing egg, conveniently being taken in the direction of the village Rio and Latifa are in, Seirei Gensouki actually lets some of its weaknesses show a bit more clearly this week. The animation quality has never been awesome here and here between the motion of the dragons, crowd scenes that were clearly stills, and the underwhelming fight all kind of took away from an episode that was otherwise a nice continuation of the journey Rio has been on.
That said, anime and dragons have a bit of a rocky history.
I love dragons. I love stories with dragons in them. And yet, time and time again we’ve had anime dragons that are just underused, comically used, actually just transform into stock-standard cute girls, or look hideous and move like they are made of a stack of bricks.
Worse yet, the monstrosity in Arifureta with the horrors of CGI gone very wrong.
So I guess on a sliding scale the dragons (sorry, wyverns) here in Seirei Gensouki aren’t the worst we’ve ever had on offer. But they also look ugly in flight and close ups of them look even worse. Rio’s fight sequence, while Rio came out looking pretty cool, does little to impress with the monster he is fighting and honestly it looked like he’d just knocked it out and then at the end he’s given a coat made out of it for armour and you realise the creature that was really just trying to retrieve its egg is now dead.
Not that I actually have an issue with Rio killing it. After the wyvern egg is destroyed the creature really is just on a rampage and lives are in danger. I just feel that somehow this should have been clearer in the moment.
Regardless of how lame the action was, Seirei Gensouki knows to make the protagonist look cool.
But, I did say Rio looked cool and I’m standing by that. We really see how far he’s come in the year he’s stayed in the village and clearly been trained to use his spirit power. The thrashing he gives the wyvern is very impressive and if it had been visually a little more spectacular this could have been a seriously memorable fight sequence instead of just another step in Rio’s path.
Either way, episode 6 of Seirei Gensouki delivered a few surprises this week.
Firstly, I’m kind of glad the red-eyed villain had more of a plan than just steal a wyvern egg and run away. While he’s clearly an awful person as he set up his lackey to die (and not even by the wyvern hands but by his own) that there was another purpose to his plot just kind of upped his credibility in terms of actually being a problem for Rio further down the track.
We also see Rio let Latifa know he’s going to move on. She doesn’t react well initially but we get a nice moment after the fight where the two talk it through.
Which is where both characters actually admit they were reincarnated and had previously lived in Japan. I didn’t actually expect Seirei Gensouki have the characters actually admit it even though Rio kind of already knew because of Latifa’s sleep talking.
The last thing I really noted this week was just how many outfits Rio has been in since the beginning of this series. While so many anime characters are one-costume wonders he’s gone from rags to the school uniform, his travellers outfit to now acquiring a look that more or less makes him look like Kirito from Sword Art Online but I guess that was to be expected given his look in the OP. Still, that’s a lot of different outfits in six episodes and it feels weird that I find that note-worthy but for anime it kind of is.
As much as I would have appreciated stronger visuals and animation this week, Seirei Gensouki continues to progress its story and it remains very pleasant viewing. I am curious about the next phase of Rio’s journey and I kind of hope he finds someone else to travel with soon.
Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021
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