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Utawarerumono (2006, OLM)

Anime Reviews

Utawarerumono (2006, OLM)


Eruruu discovers an unconscious masked man who reminded her of her late father. She takes him back to her home in the rural village of Yamayura to nurse him back to health. He himself has no memories of his past and is unsure why he has a mask he can't remove nor why the local residents have ears and tails.

Soon he earns the respect of the locals and when their tyrant emperor crosses the line, he takes the lead into overthrowing him and establishes his own empire, "Tuskur". However, peace doesn't last as Hakuori's talents attract a lot of unwanted attention. He and his new found friends soon find themselves caught up in a spiral of relentless battles to keep their people safe and, little by little Hakuoro's past also begins to catch up with him.

Decided to watch this because I really enjoyed playing through the sequel visual novel/SRPG titles. Based on an adult visual novel of the same name (there's also an edited toned down version, "Prelude to the Fallen"), it starts off very similarly to the Mask of Deception game.

Right off the bat it's a very lively first episode despite the cliche setup. Pacing is good. There is never a dull moment. Every episode has something happening and it's great watching the characters support each other. It's as funny as it is serious, like other good shows that's intense but knows when to lighten to mood and take a short breather. There's many wholesome moments.

It's not your one man army kind of show either so even though the main cast are stronger than the average character you see a lot of coordination and team work going on which is why it makes it more intense and makes you want to cheer them all on. They're more human in a sense.

Audio is great. It has a catchy OP and there's also that signature sound of clashing blades at the start. Art on the other hand isn't so good. The red episode titles are horrible and the 3D CGI used for the crowds look stiff. Character art isn't that great either. The odd episode like 14 you see some very bad drop in quality too such as characters look very out of proportion. Well, at least the animation is good with some fluid battle scenes despite some blatant repeated usage.

There's also pretty much no fan service in it despite the source material; maybe just one or two bath scenes and boobs joke but not your usual, oops I groped you kind of joke. It more of a brief still.

Having played only the Mask games, I liked how it shows how Tuskur came about, origin of the Tatari and the seal. A bit disappointed that it didn't explain Kuon and her "mothers" so might have to play the original game to find that out.

It's a great story as long as you don't mind a bit of sci-fi mixed into what's mostly your feudal fantasy show.

There's a 3 part OVA that probably takes place after episode 24 but it's more of a joke and as with most OVA's it's filled with uncensored fan service so, you're not missing anything by not watching it. Or if you're interested in Urutori's maternal side, Kurou's secret admirer or Touka's survival side, you might like it.

Utawarerumono S1

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