I had zero expectations coming into Shingeki no Bahamut (Rage of Bahamut). In fact, I probably had negative expectations, knowing that this was going to be an adaptation of a Japanese iOS game. Visual novels aside, I’ve found it fairly rare for anime based on video games to be anything other than disastrous. Based on this premiere, I believe Shingeki no Bahamut may be the exception.
Opening with a colossal battle between two towering demons in a fantasy realm, Shingeki no Bahamut was going down the shock and awe route. I was unimpressed. Sure, it was a grand spectacle that took advantage of cool monster design, but everything felt generic; I had seen this done dozens of times before.
Proceeding the opening cinematic, however, something drastically changed. The series scales back a bit, a stark contrast from it’s previous magnitude, and invites it’s audience on an enthralling horseback chase across the rooftops of a fictional Mediterranean city, which then segues into a dazzling sword fight atop a run-away waterwheel, barreling down the cobbled streets of a bustling city. As far as action goes, I was already sold, but then they threw in an element of comedy, manifesting as witty banter exchanged between the two quarreling protagonists. It sort of reminded me of the rivalry between Mugen and Jin from Samurai Champloo, which I’m a massive fan of.
After what became a riveting start, Shingeki no Bahamut tones it down, yet again, and cleverly begins to explain the world and it’s lore, not by telling us, but by showing us. Taking us through a day in the life of roguish swordsman, Favaro, we discover a world of mysticism, demonic evocations, and mysterious bounty hunters.
Shingeki no Bahmut is a complete package. The art direction is fantastic, being handled by the man who brought us the masterful Berserk films. Musical composition, evokes an air of grand immensity with it’s powerful choral vocals and orchestral accompaniment, while also making strong use of string and brass dominated tracks that imply urgency and overall excitement. As I’ve said, the scriptwriter seems to understand the power of character banter, and I can’t wait to see what sorts of shenanigans this will bring. Now, as for how well the story will be executed, is yet to be seen, but I think it is safe to say that animation studio MAPPA can be quite competent when they need to be.
I can’t even begin to describe how blown away I am by this anime. Not including the new Fate/stay Night, I haven’t been this excited to watch an anime in a very long time. I wasn’t expecting this at all, and it’s made all the difference. I’m putting all my chips on you, Shingeki no Bahamut; please don’t disappoint. You’ll find me dead, face down in a ditch on the corner of 3rd and 16th street, one mile from the backdoor of Club Regret, if this series doesn’t deliver.
Shingeki no Bahmut Genesis is available through Funimation’s Elite streaming service. New episodes air every Monday at 11:30 am Eastern.Tweet