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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hatenkou Yuugi Rating and Review

Series: Hatenkou Yuugi
Animation Studio: Studio Deen
Original Run: 10 episodes
English Licensor: N/A
Adaptation of: Minari Endoh's manga "Hatenkou Yuugi" (aka "Dazzle")

Summary: At some point in time, children must leave the nest of their parents and make it on their own. For Rahzel, that day came when she was 14 years old. Within a matter of minutes, her father pushed her out of the house and told her to go on a journey. Being the headstrong girl she is, Rahzel decides to go through with it and go on an adventure of her own. As she walks along, she comes across a fairly good looking albino named Alzeid. She approaches him based off of his looks but soon realizes he is mugging someone. His target gets away when his attention breaks away to the sudden appearance of the teenage youth. After Alzeid points the gun at Rahzel she notices the bored look in his eyes, she declares that she'll take him along on her journey and make his bored life into something worth smiling about.

The albino joins her and simply states that he's only traveling with her so he can kill the woman that murdered his father. The two are also joined by the womanizing Baroqueheat, who was a military friend/acquaintence of Alzeid in the military. Unlike Alzeid's stubborn/cold/semi-cool demeanor, Baroqueheat's the exact opposite. Rahzel puts up with the two guys and their conflicting characters as they begin to form a very tight bond with one another. But it is a given that this odd trio is not your average group of travelers. You have the vengeful albino, who wields a gun and can cast spells, the flirtatious goof-ball, who can transform his hand into a sword, and last but not least, you have Rahzel, the energetic 14 year old magic wielder.

The group simply travels around together, each focusing on different goals, but nether the less, they are together. The towns and stops they make do have their dark sides to them, and some are just downright creepy. One example being the circus where the ringmaster kidnaps and kills children to use their body parts to make her own "perfect" child. Yeah, disturbing. But the series has a bunch of twisted adventures like this one. The series is a pretty fast watch, as it is shorter than most. It isn't the greatest anime out there but it does have its pinch of psychological, horror, romance, comedy, action, and adventure aspects. So if you want a tiny sample of some popular anime genres, take this series for a spin.

A.I.'s Rating: 7/10

A.I.'s Review: "Hatenkou Yuugi"/"Dazzle" is one of my absolute favorite manga series of all time, but I honestly wasn't "razzle-dazzled" with the anime adaptation. The animation was not the greatest and the anime had scrambled up the manga's original story line so much, that I felt a bit lost. Like I had posted before, I am not a major fan of Studio Deen, and this is one series that underlines that fact. The original manga has a lot more dark undertones and contains more blood and gore, so I understand toning those aspects down. But the studio got rid of all the blood and such which really makes this series unique from all the other "magic" animes. Thus the one reason why I was shocked when Umineko came out was, that series was PACKED with blood and gore WHEN it included magic involvement. So I was a bit upset at this studio for cutting "Dazzle" short.

But in defense for the series, I will say that some viewers that don't care too much for the manga and saw the anime first, typically enjoyed the series. Also, I will add that the "adventures" the group goes on--that were based off of the manga's events--came out nicely. The voice actors were great, and I felt they really matched their characters. The characters were fun, and I loved how they all contradicted one another and stood on their own. I adore the opening song and its animation, as it really captured the overall feel of the series. "Hatenkou Yuugi" is not a typical adventure story with a group going around to save the world. But rather a group simply traveling and going where fate takes them. I included the opening animation below and check the series out if you want, but it isn't one I'm totally Gun-ho on.

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