Although this was a fascinating series, in its cat-and-mouse, whodunit approach, the first season (and yes, there HAS to be at least a second season) of “Rokka no Yuusha” (“Braves of the Six Flowers”) was ultimately frustrating, as it came off as a tremendous tease with immense padding. I’ll explain, so settle into your bean bag chair with a couple of boxes of Pocky and I’ll relate the whole saga (part one):
In this Land of Nod, there is a peninsula to the west, a land filled with demons and monsters and unsavory types (kind of like Donald Trump’s condo). Every so often, they get the itch and venture forth to try and kill and/or enslave the residents of the rest of this continent island. Fortunately, coming to the rescue are Six Braves, individuals who have been chosen by the Goddess of Fate, endowed with special powers and abilities to meet the enemy head on and drive them back into their land of volcanos, choking smoke and unpleasantness (Los Angeles without the Starbucks).
The last time these demons ventured forth was 300 years ago and those brave six battled valiantly, with most of them getting killed off in the process. But they fought hard and earnestly and brought peace and prosperity to the land once again. However, storm clouds are brewing and this go-around promises to be more devastating than in earlier times, as the monsters are massing in hordes that border on the legendary. Who will answer the call? Those seven up there, who are, left to right:
Hans Humpty, an assassin and magnificent knife-wielder.
Fremy Speeddraw, Saint of Gunpowder and a crack shot. Known as the Saint-Killer.
Mora Chester, Saint of the Mountain and erstwhile head of this entourage.
Adlet Myer, our hero and the self-proclaimed ‘Strongest Man in the World”.
Chamo Rosso, Saint of the Swamps (you don’t want to know her power; it’s disgusting).
Nachetanya Loei Piena Augustra, first Princess of Piena and Queen of Blades. She rescues Adlet from a prison pit.
Godolf Auora. A knight and fanatically devoted to Nachetanya. He has a giant spear.
Wait a minute. I count…five…six…seven. You have seven up there. Aren’t there supposed to be six? Yes, and that is the complete point of the first season. It becomes obvious that one of these people is a fake, sent in by the demons to foment uncertainty and dissention and eventually kill off the Braves before they get a chance to do the job they have been ordained to accomplish. It’s kind of like “Ten Little Indians”, but we only have seven. We have to figure out who is the fake without killing off a genuinely selected Brave. Each one sports a hexagon in a circle somewhere on their body (you can kind of see it on Adlet’s hand up there), although one segment of the circle will disappear when a true Brave is killed. Trapped at a temple by a fog barrier, Adlet falls under suspicion as being the seventh, and he has to prove that he is not.
This story uses logic and conjecture quite well, as we get to see the personalities of everyone. Quite frankly, I would not want to be ‘friends’ with any of these people, as they are all too egotistical to devote themselves to the greater good. The other problem is that clues are left out there, but we lack information to use them to our best purposes, and other clues are late-revealed, whereas if I had it earlier, I might have deduced who was the fake. (Disclosure: I did figure out who it was, but I changed it, as I lacked a crucial bit of evidence that did not get revealed until Episode 12; otherwise, I was correct). The fight sequences are marvelous, as we see how destructive these talents are and how they might lay waste to the Demon God and his hordes….provided we don’t off each other before we get there.
A slight complication at the end of the season means more cat-and-mouse is afoot, but it also means that there is no guarantee that the actual demon fights will ensue. Look, we spent a whole season trying to Find the Fake and the shaken trust that it generated. Now, we are marching, marching to Shibboleth? Can I really rely on you? We will have to see what happens.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Odd art decisions)
Plot 8 (Holding its own)
Pacing 7 (Gets a bit too overloaded with action)
Effectiveness 7 (A few clue cheats)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 5 (Really angry about a ‘wasted’ season)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I am the strongest.