Don't really know what to say about this anime. It starts with a plot and well the plot disappears at the end. Everything that the demons have worked for goes up in smoke because well... it wasn't needed.
Like I said before it starts with a plot! William is a descendant of Solomon who happened to bring powerful demons under his command. Lucifer has been away for awhile sleeping and the demons figure they should fight it out to detirmine who becomes the next leader, since apparently they think Lucifer is going to be dead or something, or have William( who is called the elector) to detirmine who that person will be. It's riddled with holes, but it's somewhat of a plot. Then the ending comes along... and it all becomes pointless! Yep, everything is pointless.
Some fight scenes aren't bad. There are some repetitive scenes though at the end which feels really rushed or lazy. The characters have giant eyes... it's rather amusing I guess.
Nothing new just same old stuff over and over it seems...
Characters appear and well don't really develop any changes. Though it seems it IS attempted.....
You have William Twining, that despite being involved personally with the supernatural, refuses to believe it exists. It's annoying.
You have the super-strong-but-I-can't-use-my-full-power Dantelion.
The feminine guy Sitori.
The opposite of William, Isaac.
The list goes on and on. Some characters show up... seem to be promising... then disappear never to be seen again... like what?
Really, the demons go to the human world , but never really try to get William to hand over his source of power or forcibly choose who will be the successor of hell. I don't think I'd recommend this to anyone.
The Storyline was I guess kind of... different to what I’ve seen, but in the same way… it kind of just… made me think of other Anime like, Black Butler and Pandora Hearts. I think the main uniqueness of this was the comedy in this was so pure and it did make me laugh a lot more than I thought.
The Animation and Sound was pretty good. Animation and Sound helped me to be intrigued and interested in this Anime.
The Characters were very different… each one very very different. It’s really hard to go in depth. My favourite character was William (The main Character), but not because of that fact. I just felt that he kind of reacted in a normal way. I also thought of a weird thing. Williams friend’s family owns a tea company or something like that, and Williams last name is Twining, and well there Twining tea… so maybe the friend named Tea after William…just something to think on.
Overall I really did enjoy this Anime, but it just can’t be one of my favourites as it lacked something that other Anime didn’t.
Right, it's confession time for me. If you have been reading my reviews than you may have noticed that I tend to rip the anime a new one. There is a reason for this though and it has to do with the fact that I can't turn my brain off when watching anime. I can't ignore the stupid shown in the anime and this is a problem as most anime are very stupid indeed.
In this case I'm not talking about a 90 pound girl catching a multi-ton cruise missile and throwing it back. Yes, it is stupid but it is a stupid that I'll allow. It's anime. Things like this are normal here and I'm pretty much fine with it. It annoys me to be sure but I will not rant about it.
So, having explained this lets rip into this anime shall we? Just a heads up: There will most probably be spoilers. The more I hate an anime the more spoilers there will be.
Also I watch anime in the original language so when I mention the voice acting I mean the Japanese actors.
ART: The art is pretty good but that is very hard to screw up these days. Character design was fine as I was never lost about who was who. Didn't notice the CGI so there is that.
SOUND: Again no complaints from me. Nothing stood out but that is how I prefer it. Voice acting was good.
CHARACTERS: Main character is William. He is very intelligent and knows it. All he wants is to distinguish himself in school and become a high ranking member of the Brittish elite.
Kevin is the house steward of the Twining estate and fanitical loyal to William.
Dantalion is powerful demon who wants to become the interim ruler of Hell. For this he needs William. He has a temper that occasionally makes him lose control over his powers.
STORY: William is an ace student at school and destined to become a important memeber of Brittains elite. To his horror he discovers that his uncle squandered his entire estate, leaving only the house, before leaving. Desperate to find something of value to pay his tuition he opens a portal to Hell by accident. Out pops Dantalion, a powerful demon noble, who wants to become the interim ruler of Hell while Lucifer is sleeping. He needs William as he is the Elector, the one mortal chosen to elect the interim ruler of Hell. To make life for him more difficult he discovers that William is also the reincarnation of Solomon, a man who Dantalion swore to serve. Unfortunately for Dantalion there are more demons after the position of ruler but his biggest problem is that William does not believe in the supernatural. To William there is just one religion and that is science.
RANT: Yes, I'm very much aware that I am not the audience for this but there can still be things that I can enjoy. If the story and characters are good then I can forgive a lot of shit that is going on. Fortunately they enderstood anough about the material that they injected comedy into the anime. Sadly most of the comedy is from Isaac, Williams friend in school, who is the comic relieve. I found him extremely annoying but even he had his moments where he got a snicker out of me.
What took me out was the many small errors in the story. I mentioned before that the way I watch anime is a bit out of the norm. The first thing I pay attention to is the world the characters life in. It is a school situated on a estate and everyone has uniforms. Technology is mostly absent and at one point they mention the Crimean war so I placed the anime taking place just before WW1. The location is Brittain because all the characters are Brittish and some of the places mentioned are in England. So now I have a where and when.
Some of the errors I spotted were things mentioned in conversation. Dantalion at one point says that the food is bad and that they should try free-range chickens. In that perion in history ALL chickens were free-range. There were no chicken factories and the word didn't exist yet.
Everyone is adressed by their last name. This is an Asian form of adressing someone, not a western. It didn't really bother me that much but then they introduced a character with the name 'Swallow' and I just lost it. If they mean the bird then I can understand why they chose it but the other meaning leaves the door open for comedic gold. Lets have him marry someone with the surname 'cum' and take it from there.
Speaking of Swallow, he is semi impartant as he works with Willaim in the dorm. At one point he asks William to go with him to his house to meet his parents. William misunderstands and assumes that Swallow wants to introduce him to his parents as a possible suiter. This joke failed completely because at this time being gay was illeagal in Brittain. This law was in effect untill well after WW2 so being suspected of being gay was a big deal.
At one point the school organised a cultural festival and I again took issue. Cultural festivals are very much a Japanese thing. We here in Europe do not have them and I have never heard of a US school doing anything of the sort either. I must mention that I kind of liked these episodes the most though as they had the best gags so I can't complain to much.
What did confuse me a lot were the flashbacks to Solomon. You see him meeting the demons and binding them to him. You know that William is the reincarnation of Solomon but he doesn't remember any of it. Anyway at one point you see Dantalion and Solomon together and they are surrounded by books. At this point I started to think: Books? They didn't have books duting Solomon's era. Books were invented after the birth of Christ. Before that we have many tablets and scrolls but actual books as we have today, nope. Then there is the amount of them, in the few shots we see of the library there are hundreds of books. Books were very hard to make and extremely labor intensive. It would take months, if not years, to complete a book and coying was done by hand. So is this the original Solomon or another reincarnation?
A final thing that amused me was William bragging about his lineage on how it went back further then the Royal family. This isn't that hard to do really as there have been multiple houses on the throne of England in the past. There are the Tudors in 1485 who ascended the throne untill they were booted off early 1600. The current Queen of England is, as far as I know, not related to the Tudor family.
It does make me wonder how a descendant of Solomon, an Israeli king, wound up in England and did it early enough to have such an extensive family line.
Anyway if you like looking at pretty boys panting after each other they this will be something you like.
From the first episode, I can see similarities to Black Butler, but the characters and relationships are far more dynamic and interesting. Dantalion may well be more powerful than Sebastian too given his relative rank and status. This show kind of reminds me of Seraph of the End, though it plays out more like a sort of cross between Negima, Seraph of the End, and 7 Ghost. The setting especially feels quite similar to 7 Ghost, though I could toss a tad bit of D. Gray Man, Trinity Blood, and . Seraph and 7 Ghost both have a bit of a religious educational facility setting at first to them like Devils and Realist. Other animes like High School DxD had a similar situation that seems to cast at least some supposedly good or angelic figures as antagonists against demonic good ones. William's absolute objective scientific logical outlook consistant through at least most of the anime gives it quite a unique spin to this type of tale. Like 7 Ghost too, both stories implied the lead character was some sort of reincarnation of some important figure from the past. Negima has somewhat of a similar high school setting feel to it blended with magical combat. And like Negmia, new characters connected to the story as significant figures emerge from the most unlikely of places. The central character William is cast in a similar vein as Issei from High School DxD, but honestly done better and quite a bit less frivolously fan service-ish pervertedly. Though on the downside in a sense, too many characters look genderconfused as if it were a cliche. This is not a knock on such characters just a knock on doing that to so many and in a cliched kind of way. Just because it takes place at I am guessing an all boys school does not make it like some quirky prison or pirate ship so desparate for diversity and attention that such a large number pursue being pretty and effeminate. It comes off like an insult to boys schools or any gathering of more males than females as if that is to imply a percent higher than average must fall into feminine characteristics. Still despite that somewhat distasteful error in judgement, it is a pretty good show overall with consistent characters who are not afraid to grow or change over time but not so much they become different characters. Ya know some shows have actually done that like Code Gaess (which did it so blatantly and illogically I totally lost interest after the jump the shark event). Okay there is a glaring flaw with another character, aka Ernest Crosby since it is implied things are not over with, you see him talking to some mysterious group, and you witness his abilities. It is more than strongly implied that was not the last time he would appear but it was. He was, character wise as big a let down as Jeanne D'arc. In both cases they were not developed or used in the show enough or wisely enough. But really only these two characters have that big of a hole in their presence.
I felt a little disappointed with the Jeanne D'arc character being so breifly used but dressed like a odd quirky prebuescent loli doll? On top of that, when they describe what ecstacy is and what it did to her, she really does come off like a mindless dress up doll. Eligos appears slightly longer in the show than Jeanne D'Arc but leaves a much bigger impression not to mention her look is far better as well as her outfit. Not only that but her outfit looks much more in line with her role and character than Jeanne's does. Eligos even looks almost a dead ringer for an older more mature version of Krul Tepes of Seraph of the End which by extension enhances a similar feel and connection to Seraph of the End. The story is better than that of High School DxD. In some ways, the characters are a bit reversed too, as the main seems to dislike many of the other main characters where as in High School DxD many of the other characters disliked Issei including any viewer that doesn't see women as cattle. If I didn't know better I might swear Isaac was Yoichi from Seraph of the End with a few color changes to hair and eyes. I understand it takes place in a boys school and all but the lack of female characters seemed a bit too complete. No one had girlfriends, sisters, or mothers? There were no other staff members besides Maria? I wouldn't intrude to hint even at major female characters being necessary but more as supporting characters or even present in the background just screamed for a need. Even in essentially all female casts animes, I usually see a few males somewhere.
Maybe the animators failed to study culture much but most of the food in the show appears to be of Japanese origin and nothing you might expect to find in England in the late 1800s. It had a pretty good climax but the very ending felt a bit empty, lackluster, unrewarding, and unfulfilling. Either new seasons or more episodes must be expected or someone dropped the ball on planning the series. Though there is some vague hint at something happening, it still just feels too bare to qualify as a satisfying ending.
The series told a story pretty well with plenty of pivotal moments, strong character support, an engaging plot, twists, dramatic moments, plenty of action and magic, and an excellent high point. Those make up many of the positives, but on the other hand. The ending will leave you wanting and probably either a tad confused or savoring for more answers or well just more of almost anything to help complete the picture. There are too few women characters and the few that appear other than really Lady Astaroth and Maria are barely there at all let alone all that complete or well rounded even for breif characters. More than a couple male characters exihibit to much or too many unnaturally feminine characteristics in a cliche that compels you to point at the setting and it's lack of female characters as the cause, so it feels totally off and misplaced. It is almost a cliche now to swap roles good and bad guy angels and demons without offering anything significantly new or different. The positive highlights are the great complex lead characters of William, Dantalion, Kevin, Gilles, Nathan, Sytry, Astaroth, and Baalbarith. There are slice of life glimpses of every day life for William and his friends, Isaac and Mycroft and somewhat the demons posing as students. The display of powers are a sight to see (with the only exception perhaps being the weird cliched way symbols appear floating as part of the spell, it could honestly be a bit more original as that is getting a bit old seeing in so many magic anime). Astaroth's mature calm demeanor almost counter's William's constant denials of any paranormal activity he sees. She just seems at times the wisest and most mature reasonable and sane of any character in the series. Lamia the loli demon kind of feels out of place despite being cute. But her role is dismissive enough it probably would not matter if she had been a goat butler. It is both confusing and intriguing how Isaac is so into occult despite being an "elite" and a student at a religious school.
The show was good enough to deserve more episodes or seasons regardless of the lackluster unfulflling ending. It was gripping enough that you might find it hard to stop watching just one episode at a time. There is enough originality to keep the story fresh and entertaining without crossing cliches too heavily. The characters or the lead ones are all deep enough to draw you in and make you invested in them. The pacing goes from a kind of modest one to a bit more rapid then back again. It flows as well timed as a great musical piece and better than many other recent series. Despite it's few though notable flaws, or that it is far from perfect, it is well above average.
This series is absolutely beautiful. The plot is very interesting as well, and the character development is really good, especially for William and Dantalion.
I really hope that they will make a second season soon, seeing as it ended on quite the cliffhanger.