Busou Renkin is your typical action shonen, which stands a step above all other mediocre shonens by ripping the hell out of several ideas from various other successful shonen. The end result is completely average but to anyone back then who was unfamiliar to the “big three” Jump shonen as we call them today, it appeared to be much better than it really is. I guess that only proves how the genre is just rehashing the same old stuff instead of going for innovation... but that is a different story. For now let me tell you what this anime is all about.
The animation is done by Xebec, so you can’t hope for anything above an average overall. These guys never manage to create something good and definitely never something great. Directing is done by some nobody who never managed to produce something worthwhile, so his name does not deserve mentioning.
The story starts with a typical teenager getting killed by a monster and being resurrected by a supernatural girl, who immediately makes him his aid in tracking down the monsters. I bet you already have images of 3X3 Eyes, Bleach, and a dozen others crossing your mind. I’m not saying it took the ideas straight from those shoes; rather that they are so commonplace you end up comparing the similarities to the most memorable ones.
The monsters in the story are called homunculus and they are created by alchemy. Now what does that remind you of? Anyway, on each episode the duo fights a homunculus and/or trains to get stronger and fight stronger monsters and their masters. Those who manage to master their power, have huge auras surrounding their bodies and their hair go straight up, change color and start to glow. NOW WHAT DOES THAT REMIND YOU OF??? And the lead is slowly taken over by the dark side of his powers too. ANY BELLS RINGING???
I could go on with many further examples, like how most of the classmates are look-alikes from Bleach, or how there is this secret society of alchemists fighting evil members of another secret society, and so on, and so on. All that are present in 90% of all shonen and as much as one wants to treat each anime as a stand-alone work, ends up losing interest because other shows are too damn similar and too damn better at showing the exact same thing in a more interesting variation. Variety is the spice of life, even the anime viewer one, and this is a fine example of how a show that can have a fine application of the established formula ends up being forgotten by others who simply have better production values or more advertisement.
So at this point it is easy to figure out how story and characters are quite typical and under normal circumstances should both take the base score. Which is true, if the anime didn’t have any memorable ones, and so happens it has two of those. And no, it is not the lead chick, who is a Rukia rip-off, nor the lead male for being Shonen Hero TM. I am actually referring to one villain-gone-antihero later on, named Papillion. The guy is amongst the most extreme cases of gay coolness I have ever witnesses. Ok, I know most of you will probably point me at Star Driver but over there everyone is FABULOUSLY gay, while here he is the only one. That means, he stands out in the crowd and is thus far more funny and memorable. He also belongs to the crazy villain becoming crazy ally category, which makes him even more interesting as a character, unlike all the rest who are pretty much stuck on the same role and are soon forgotten because they are all look-alike to some other show.
The second character is a minor villain named Moon. He was memorable for his ridiculous head and his even more ridiculous yelling of his name and power. They guy was pure insanity and I liked him for that.
I see no reason to (try to remember to) describe any other characters. Most of you will just imagine I am referring to some side character in Bleach or FMA, anyway. Yes, they are THAT generic.
The story is also better than average for the simple reason it is not stretching a simple quest to last 500 episodes, nor it throws in entire filler arcs. The plot and the overall story may be generic and predictable but it is only 26 episodes, enough to cover two story arcs. That is a feat for a shonen show and I give it a thumbs up for that.
The visuals and the action are not bad either, as some battles require a strategy and teamwork. In fact, the entire theme of the show is to chose teamwork over solo god-level status, which ends up turning you into a destructive monster; which is a nice theme actually. The opening theme is also extremely blood-boiling and offers you a nice first impression of what to expect. Here it is BTW:
(video contains spoilers) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo6GWfIQamA
Voice acting wasn’t bad either, especially to those two guys I mentioned above. Sound effects were otherwise nothing special.
So in overall, was this anime worthwhile? Well, it sure was a lot more back when it aired but in a few years its novelty faded away for not having enough things for you to remember or rewatch it. Not much innovation as I said. I guess it is a nice time-killer if you got bored of Bleach and your expectations are not high. Otherwise, it’s a pass.
The storyline in this anime is very typical. Without watching any episodes you could probably guess quite accurately what happens. That being said there are certain instances where it borders on good.
The animation was solid. Not good, not bad just solid.
The music and voices were O.K., although some of the voices, for the annoying characters do not help their cause, the main antagonist in particular. Although it has to be said that is kind of what is being aimed at.
O.K., nice development in places. Some very annoying characters though. Some of those annoying characters end up with a strange amount of screen time towards the end, which does make them more annoying. The most annoying part is the protaganist who is pretty much a carbon copy of every other protaganist.
No real ‘WOW’ factor, nothing to really make it stand out in the crowd of very similar anime.
This anime is fantastic. Okay, for those still reading lets dive into this review! There are certain patterns I see in a lot of anime's that I am sick of seeing, and I get sad when an anime falls into these patterns but somethimes they manage to break free, which makes me oh so happy.
Pattern number 1: guy accidentally wanders into a bad place, gets killed, resurrected, and then joins forces with who ever saved him.
Pattern number 2: Girl moves in with guy, que sexual tension
Pattern number 3: Give protagonist awesome powers, make each episode stand alone and have him always with with these powers
These are present in this anime but not always around. (minor spoilers) guy and girl kinda live together but aren't all weird and sexually confused, they are more concered with actually getting sh*t done. Guy does get killed and resurrected and joins forces with group that helped however each episode is not a stand alone story, when new people get introduced they are not killed off at the end of the episode they usually matter and will continue to.
*If you're only going to read one part read this part!* Everything being taken into consideration, this anime follows some bad patterns but manages to save itself from cliche sadness. This is worth a watch! The main girl and guy characters are both great and interact great together. This anime isn't the best thing I've ever seen but it has a special place in my heart for being an action anime with touches of all sorts of other elements but never really losing track of any of them, please watch it.
Some of you may be suprised by how high I've rated this seemily genaric anime. Well there is only one thing that saved this show in my eyes and thats Papillion or should I say Pap-i-llion (*with extra love). This guy is literly the most Flamboyant over eccentric characters I've ever seen. trust me if you watch this anime you will never forget this character. the rest of the cast however, I have a tough time remembering their names. They are very forgettable, but the voice actors do an ok job with what they had.
This show at first seemed so genaric I thought it was a parody of some kind. This is actually my 3rd time trying to watch it. the first two times I just couldn't get past how corny it was. but after running out of other things to do and watch I've decided to give it a try. and boy am I glad I did. this show wasn't too bad and the plot didn't feel all that forced like some others I've seen. it kept me interested and courious to see what happens next. (even though I've guessed what happened on more than one occasion.)
In closing the story isn't too bad, and the action is decent. But what really gives this anime a boost is the un forgettable Papillion. He made me laugh every time he showed up.
Overall the Story had a good Pacing, knew when to make Comedic Appearences without tuning down the worth of characters. Although there is not much of it, but that's for another Section. Pretty Generic Plot for a Shonen, though the story itself leaves many plotholes and a mega happy ending for both villains and heroes. Large Plotholes, Overall Bad Ending but Good Pacing give the story a rating of 5/10 from me.
The Animations are overall not to shabby. The Weapons, Villians and Characters have some interesting over the top creative stuff that it covers the weak cast overall pretty good. Weapons have good detail and have some nice flair to them with some creative detail on them. Villians and Heroes have over the top looks with some ending up very good and some pretty bad through it. The fights were short most of the time and when they got prolonged they are still interesting throughout.
Instead of using Guitar Sounds and all the like we have expierenced by other Shonen Shows, this packs a good amount of Orchestrial Music in it that fits the mood and is generally used pretty good. Although i personally dislike the voices, they weren't that bad overall and just might be my one of my own little hate about this show. SFX Sound is pretty bad though.
I was thinking about 3/10 or 4/10 because the cast overall is really one dimensional, the main protagonist is boring and generic, but the female Lead (second string to our protagonist) has a good and interesting personality, look and weapons in fights. Although she also has some generic moments, it's not as bad as the rest of the cast. Looks try to help out but characters do not really develop over the course of the anime.
I think the Show is average for a Shonen Action Anime but does well in Sound and Animation but forsakes as most Shonen the Story and Characters which is sad. I probably would have given the whole Show a 7 or 8 if the Characters actually had development or even non stereotype personalities. The best example is the protagonist, you could switch him out with every kindhearted, i'll protect them all protagonist of another anime and they would fit just as much as he did.