Review: Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou Tou

Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou Tou

I found myself being totally burned out from work last week and decided to dig through my dusty stack of anime sitting in my HDD waiting to be watched. I wanted something mindless and shortish, so I thought Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou Tou (東京魔人學園剣風帖 龖) suited my needs pretty well.

I tried to marathon the series on Saturday in one sitting, but I found myself unable to. Not because the series was so intense that I had to take a break, but simply the series was so… erratic.

Before I start complaining about the series, though, I have to say that I did enjoy the action and special effects quite a lot. Almost all of the fight scenes were nicely choreographed, and while I can’t say that they got my blood boiling, they were very enjoyable, none-the-less. The animation of the series was superb. The action was very smooth flowing and stayed constantly good during the whole of the series. Simply, the animation was sharp and precise, and frankly one of the best of the season. Oh, and the blood! The gore! The flying bits of entrails!

The CGs also blends nicely with the cell animation, and as far as I could tell, the music suited the series well. Unfortunately, since I turned off my brain during most of the time watching the series and enjoyed the blood, gore, and violence, I really didn’t pay much attention to much of anything else. Not that there is much else I could pay attention to.

First, I have to say that the plot was rather basic. The overall story is the normal “demons invading the world and a bunch of high schoolers are going to save the world” kind of story, with one of the main protagonist going crazy some point in the story and would probably destroy the world if his/her nakama (仲間) doesn’t go save him/her. One could tell that the background story is probably very rich, and we don’t know yet a lot of things that are happening in the background. For example, who was the really bad guy appearing at the end of the series, why is Kisaragi so worried about the seals in the city, and who/what Hiyuu really is?

No, I think the overall plot is rather good and would probably only get better with the second season, but the flow of the story was rather discordant at times. It feels sometimes during the series as if it didn’t know where it was heading. It didn’t feel as if the intensity of the danger and apprehension was slowly racking up during the course of the series, but came piecemeal and suddenly peaked at the end of the series with the abduction of Misato. The inklings of the bigger picture were sparse, and the hidden plots were shown in almost in an off-hand sort of way, and not really drawing the viewer attention and curiosity. To compound the problem, there was little character development.

Perhaps I’m too critical about this, since my favorite kind of series usually contain quite a bit of character development. Frankly, I didn’t feel that the characters changed much at all during the course of the series (the only one that noticeably grew was Misato, but all her whining during the most the series didn’t help). And while some character history were investigated during the series, we have yet to get to really know the characters. True, character growth is perhaps not something that happens very quickly, and with most of the air time devoted to action, it leaves little time for other stuff. Yet, I cannot help but feel that here the characters stayed the same throughout the series. And being a pure action series doesn’t really excuse it from the lack of character growth, see Hellsing and Trinity Blood for example. Hopefully, the second season will rectify it.

Overall, I kinda did enjoy the time watching Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou Tou. For an action packed splatter series, it basically offered all that one could hope: It has great action and animation, all the blood and gore that anyone could ask for, an overlaying plot that would likely to get big, and great entertainment value. Yet unfortunately at the end, perhaps not without leaving a bitter taste by the apparent lacks in the series. The second season is airing this summer, and I really hope it will be more satisfying than this first offering.

Rating:
Animation: A
Story: B-
Characterization: D
Music: C
Entertainment: B+

Overall: 6.5/10

P.S. I’ll probably marathon another series next week, and hopefully it’ll be something more akin to my tastes. Any suggestions?

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P.S.

Please don't ask me where you could download the anime/movie/dorama. Check Tokyo Toshokan first, please. Thanks.

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