This week I have an anime review of a swords & sorcery series based on a fairly long running series of Japanese novels.

Cast & Crew

Kenyuu Horiuchi as Guin
Mai Nakahara as Rinda
Tsubasa Yonaga as Remus
Akeno Watanabe as Amnelis
Sayuri Yahagi as Suni
Shintarou Asanuma as Istvan
Unshou Ishizuka as Marus
Yuya Uchida as Naris

Directed by Atsushi Wakabayashi
Written & Storyboarded by Shoji Yonemura
Music by Nobou Uematsu
Animated by Satelite

Available from Amazon.com (DVD, Blu-Ray) and RightStuf.com (DVD, Blu-Ray)

The Premise

After the Kingdom of Pharos is sacked by the armies of Mongaul, the king and queen use a magitek teleporter to send their heirs, Rinda and Remus, to safety. However, they are diverted, and end up in a hostile wilderness. Their only hope is a muscular warrior with the head of a leopard, Guin.

High Points

The political machinations are labyrinthine and engrossing, and kept me interested in spite of some of the show’s other faults.

Low Points

For swords & sorcery show, the violence is incredibly bloodless, to the point of throwing me right out of the show. Also, the show has something of a non-ending, which is aggravated by the fact that the translations of the novels and manga we’ve gotten in the US have stopped before the point the show stops at.

Scores

Originality: This is adapted from a very long running series of novels. 3/6

Animation: The animation is very smooth, and fairly detailed. 4/6

Story: The political side of things is very well written. It falls into a few cliches, but from what I understand about the series, it may have created some of these cliches, at least as far as Japanese fantasy is concerned. 4/6

Acting: Solid Japanese dub. From what I’ve heard, the English dub starts strong, but it stops taking itself seriously around the time the politicking gets serious. 4/6

Emotional Response: See the high point. Also the ending left me wanting more, which, for what it’s worth, I’d consider to be a positive, if there was more available. 4/6

Overall: A fun show, but one which leaves the viewer hanging in the end. 4/6

In total, Guin Saga gets 27/42.