“Rogue” Agent

April 1st, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by

Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero review

Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero” is a rather odd submission in the swords-and-sorcery genre. Whereas most of them have our erstwhile hero taken from his warm bed and friendly confines and getting  plunked into a situation where he has to catch up pretty damn quickly or become worm food (“The Familiar of Zero” is one like that), this one starts at the end.

Akatsuki Ousawa, the hunky hero up there, has come back from the land of Alayzard, having defeated the demon lord of that land. As his dying wish, that lord wanted Akatsuki to take his daughter Myuu (can you find her up there? Hmmmmmmm?) back to his land so she could live a normal life. They both enroll in Babel, which is a training school to help harness these magical people and their powers, so that they can be used for good.

Now here’s the funny thing: Akatsuki has no magical powers. Everything he does is both sheer will and his experience. Myuu has some degree of powers, but they are unfocused. Now, they all wear wristbands that help harness their natural powers to conform to their abilities. As you can see, our hero has to wear six to eight to raise things up high enough so he can bring forth a sword that even the God of War would be jealous over. Yeah, fit that in your scabbard, dude!

The show follows the two of them, as they try to fit into a society that doesn’t really like them, while battling external forces that want to take Myuu back to Alayzard for her ‘crimes’.

So, the first half of the series is really taken up with endless boob jokes. I mean, she can’t find anything to wear and the sequence when they go looking for foundation garments for her is fan service to the extreme. Then, we go to the beach (oh, is that a surprise? Only that it took SEVEN episodes to get there!) and that level of hilarity ensues.

Akatsuki reminds one of the Tony Stark character from “Iron Man”: someone who is rather arrogant, but has the chops to back up everything that he says he can do. This is put to the test in the latter half of the run, when a simple training exercise turns into a life and death struggle and he has to protect everyone from the evil forces that come forth.

Although I found this an entertaining series, it still hit the old tropes of testing the outsiders and the smugness of those elites who feel that Akatsuki is rude and crass and unrefined. Also, all the boob jokes got terribly tiresome, done more as a diversion to prevent you from seeing the thinness of the plot for that episode. At times, it felt like “Chrome-Shelled Regios” in the teams of competitors and the line-in-the-sand competitions were important and that all those smaller stories merely got in the way of the larger tale.

Still, if you like this kind of story, you could do far worse. More closer allied with “Freezing” and “Maken-Ki”, it does make a nice companion set.

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork              8 (The girls are REALLY cute)
Plot                     7 (There is something there, but barely)
Pacing                 7 (The action sequences really work)
Effectiveness       8 (It does what it needs to do well)
Conclusion          7 (Done, but not over, as the coupler is really obvious)
Fan Service         6 (A similar show would “Mahoromatic”)

Overall               7 (Could have been better)

And remember, it’s first run until you see it. Fear my demonic sword.

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