Thursday, February 4, 2010

Beast Player Erin - complete review

There is a detailed description of episodes on this blog, but I think most people would like a brief review with no spoilers, so there it is.

First, from technical side, Beast Player Erin is fifty episodes long fantasy anime (AniDB profile) based on a Japanese fantasy novel. Animation is quite good, although nothing spectacular (though I did saw few beautiful scenes): there are no generic characters, CGI is used only in few massive scenes and there are no sudden quality drops. Sounds, music and voice-acting are also fine, and there are few nice songs in anime. Main strength of this series is its story and characters; I would not recommend it to anybody based just on sound and video. Although there is violence, it's is mostly only indicated, not visually presented; we don't even see blood until second half of show.

This anime covers childhood and life of Erin, a girl who enjoys working and living with animals and later dedicate her life to them. She is raised by only her mother, who is beastenarian in remote village in medieval world and thus is a great influence and role-model for Erin. There are two species of animals introduced which are unique to this series: Touda and beast-lords, which present an important motivator for plot and to Erin's life. Many personal tragedies don't break Erin's spirit and she will grow to have a great influence on future of hers country. Other characters include secret-police members, royalty, teachers, etc.

It is clear that this show was based on a novel, and as anime, I would put it in category of high fantasy; this is no hack'n'slash fantasy. World is detailed and described with no apparent flaws. People and country are showed realistically and dynamically: there are the poor, invalids, racism...

Characters are the greatest strength of this show; they have complex motivations, insecurities, they doubt in themselves. There are no clear bad guys, nor do they act because they are "evil".

Main objection to this show is its length. Fifty episodes are not too long, especially compared to some lengthy shows like Naruto or Bleach, but it's maybe a bit lengthy for this plot. Without repeating scenes, and recap episodes, everything could be shrunk in some 35 or 40 more dynamic episodes. Ending is also somewhat weaker then rest of the show, although there are no lose ends.

I really liked this show, especially because I prefer high fantasy in my literary taste. Also, you can easily connect to characters, and I think anyone can find someone to like here. It is a relaxed and easy-to-watch anime, suitable even for kids, although they will maybe have some problems following more complex meanings and motivations behind character actions. I enjoyed watching it, but I doubt I would ever re-watch it, because it value depends much on plot.

1 comment:

  1. Great review :D I just finished the whole series and I enjoyed every minute of it's breathtaking beauty and refreshingly real and original characters.