Friday, April 8, 2011

Utawarerumono Anime Review

Utawarerumono
Funimation
Complete Collection - 26 episodes
600 minutes
$69.98 (2009) $39.98 S.A.V.E. edition (2010)
ISBN 704400097607
English/Japanese Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Tomoki Kobayashi
Studio - Oriental Light & Magic

Synopsis: A masked stranger is found in the forest suffering from grievous wounds and is nursed back to health by an old woman and her two granddaughters.  The stranger has no memory of his past and the mask on his face cannot be removed.  He quickly becomes well known throughout the village by saving them from a vengeful forest god.

The villagers are forced to pay 'taxes' to the emperor of the land and accommodate his cruel soldiers.  Hakuoro's honorable nature cannot allow him to let his new 'family' suffer under the boot heels of oppression.  He starts a rebellion and slowly builds an army of powerful warriors aligned to his cause. Becoming immersed in the dangerous world of politics, Hakuoro must face challenge after challenge to protect his ever-growing 'family'. 

Through all of the battles Hakuoro slowly gains clues to his lost memories - with none of them good.  What secret from his past will shatter the lives of all those around him?

Pros: Bonus omake theater episodes are funny, many of the female characters are well endowed, Oboro's twin archer servants get him drunk and have their way with him (it's more implied than anything)

Cons: Character designs are somewhat "cutesy", the Japanese game this anime was based on had Hakuoro getting it on with several of the female characters although sadly this anime has just the one implied situation (Oboro)

Mike Tells It Straight: Utawarerumono is impossible to pronounce and that description just about sums up the story.  The character designs reminded me of Inu Yasha, but set in a fantasy world where the people have dog ears and tales (quite strange).  Toward the end the story becomes very sci-fi and (fortunately) all of the major questions are answered.  Overall entertaining, but not an essential anime to keep in your collection. 



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