If past experiences have taught me anything at all, it’s that worthwhile Anime adaptations of video games are few and far between. This “phenomenon“, if you will, is very much similar to that of live-action adaptations of popular Anime or Manga series’; often, they’re not worth glancing twice at, but, on occasion, one will come along that exceeds expectations and blows audience’s minds. The unfortunate truth behind this is that, most of the time, what audiences are delivered is nothing more than money-making drivel. Why watch the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Anime series when you could just play the wonderfully-fulfilling video game?
Now, what’s harder than adapting a video game with a pre-existing story and characters to fill it? How about a mobile game with, arguably, an infinite amount of creatures and enough detailed lore to put Lord Of The Rings to shame? Some would say this makes an adaptation far easier, but if it’s me you’re asking; I feel as though it makes it much harder. Not only are you having to pay tribute to the extensive lore of the game, you’re having to feature a series of interconnecting characters, both new and old, that makes sense in the context of said story. Unlike an Anime like Monster Strike, whose characters are regular humans caught up in a larger-than-life mutation of the mobile game, Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis takes place within the video game’s realm. This, to me, would pose much more of a challenge.
Thank you to Universal Sony Australia, who have localised this particular Anime, for the opportunity to review a series I have wanted to see for quite some time, but could not thanks to it’s lack of a Western release…until now.
Meet Favaro Leone, professional bounty hunter and casual scoundrel. When he’s not crossing swords with his arch nemesis and former best friend, Kaisar Lidford, he can be found at the local tavern spinning tall tales to anyone who will listen. After a one-winged demoness overhears his drunken boasts, she wrangles him into an unbreakable contract that will force him to make good on the promise he made.
With nothing but a destination in mind, the pair set out on their grand adventure—completely unaware of the dark forces working to fulfill an ancient prophecy that will bring about the end of the world. That is, unless a charming rogue, a clueless demon, a disgraced knight, and a tiny zombie can band together to change the course of history.
Visually arresting and fun from start to finish, Rage of Bahamut is a can’t-miss title for any action-fantasy fan. – FUNimation
Straight out of the gate, Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis is a series that doesn’t take itself too seriously, unless absolutely necessary. The series opens up with a light-hearted yet action-heavy cinematic scene that not only introduces us to the two main characters who we will follow for twelve episodes, but to the tone of the series as a whole. While, by the end of it’s first season, the stakes are raised and the series is thematically darker, a great sense of humour still remains. Following characters like Favaro and Kaiser, who counter each other so well, is what made this series so appealing. Fantasy stories of this kind usually work to quickly send me into a slumber, but the series’ eccentric and overtly likable characters are what allowed me to keep interested from the very first episode to the very last, and while my comments seem like they were the only worthwhile features of the story, it would be wrong to describe it as such.
Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis had an incredibly comfortable flow that didn’t spend too much time on one thing, and yet didn’t rush to enter the next story arc prematurely. It had a fantastic balance that kept me on my toes the entire way through. Every single episode brought something different to the table that was different from the last and yet still lent to the overarching story. Every single story element had it’s place, with nothing feeling as though it was forced into the script for the sake of stalling or episode-filling. Most, if not all, scenes from the series were pivotal to the continuation of the plot, and that includes those that were obviously tongue-in-cheek. It also helps that the English dub was directed by Sonny Strait, who is a master in the industry and was able to write an understandable script that still retained each of the character’s humorous quirks, and personality nuances.
On the topic of the series’ English dub; Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis had a few star players in the industry taking up the roles of lead characters, with the most noteworthy being, without a doubt, Ian Sinclair who provided his talents for the role of Favaro which, I believe, was a perfect choice, but that’s not to say that his performance wasn’t made more enjoyable thanks to his equally-capable co-stars. Chris Rager (Kaisar) and Tia Ballard (Amira) worked wonders performing alongside one another. The relationship between these three characters was clear as day, and it was made obvious through their voice performers’ fluid acting.
Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis also featured one hell of a great soundtrack which, I must mention, featured perhaps one of my favorite Anime opening theme songs of all time; EXiSTENCE by SiM. When every single episode opens up to a song of this calibre, you immediately understand exactly what you’re in for. Usually I would skip over an Anime’s opening after hearing it for the first time and deciding that it wasn’t necessary for it to repeat, but for this particular song, well…it was a game-changer. The series also featured an incredibly striking score which was performed by what I could hear to be an incredibly adept orchestra. Being a series within the fantasy genre, it only makes sense that a soundtrack like this would be featured, but never before had I paid this much attention to the inflection of a Bassoon or Vienna Horn. It was quite the auditory experience.
No Anime would be complete without it’s defining element, though; the visuals, and Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis featured a level of animation quality that stayed at a constant high quality throughout the entire series. While there was indeed dips in it’s visuals during in-between or transitional scenes, they were barely noticeable, that is…unless it was your duty to pick them out. Fight scenes were fluid in motion, and always cinematic, but the use of CGI for certain character, mostly Bahamut itself, seemed somewhat out of place, though, it truly depends on your personal views. While I’m not a big fan of CGI animation within an Anime series, there may be many of you out there who prefer it and, therefor, will enjoy the small amounts that Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis has to offer.
I absolutely loved Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis. Without a doubt in my mind, this series is one of the greatest video game adaptations I have every personally experienced, and I think it relies solely on the fact that it was not made obvious that this series is indeed one based of a mobile game. I believe the writers did a fantastic job appropriating the lore featured in the game, whilst also developing their own unique characters which fit into the universe perfectly. This series features a great character cast, all of which are memorable and likeable, and all of which bring something to the story. As I’ve mentioned; I feel as though every element of Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis was entirely on purpose. Nothing was by accident, nothing was unnecessary, nothing was placed for the sake of saving time. Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis is a well-rounded Anime series that doesn’t demand that audiences have prior knowledge of the game, nor does it try and promote said game in any way. It is a wonderful series in and of itself, and it’s one that I feel every fantasy-fusion fan will enjoy wholeheartedly.