Recca dreams of one day becoming an excellent ninja, but in this day and age ninjas are only talked about in history lessons. While playing his ninja games, he meets a mysterious woman that reveals to Recca his past, his bond with the powerful Hokage clan, and the special flame power that resides within him. Meanwhile, the evil Kurei has plans to gather the madougu from the Hokage clan so that he may take control over the elemental powers, but Recca is determined to master his flame and stop Kurei’s evil plans. Does he have what it takes to live up to his own expectations and put a stop to Kurei himself?
The Princess and the Ninja - Awakening of the Power!!
Wind and Fire - A Dangerous Seduction!!
The Water Swordsman - The Fang of Revenge!!
Labyrinth of Mirrors - The Flame of Death!!
The Shadow Ninja Clan - The Mystery of the Hokage!!
Fearful Fire Sorcerer - Kurei!!
Stone Guardian - The Game of Death!!
The Room of the Dolls - Fuko's Desperate Struggle!!
Demon Domon - His Unknown Power!!
Clash of Flames - The Two Hokage!!
The Five Fangs of Kogonanki!!
Kurenai The Flame - The Angel of Death!!
This is a show about a ninja boy who wants to become Hokage and uses special attacks based on elements and ninjutsu. Ring a bell?Of course if you keep comparing them, this anime is by no means equal to Naruto. It lacks its variety and complexity, plus it was left incomplete. It never takes itself seriously in a way to create some actual tension. For example, the lead hero is from the past, thrown in modern times. This makes everything to feel like one big time paradox. Furthermore, the duration of the anime is not helping you to like the cast or the story. Although it is 42 episodes long, the big number of characters would require at least double as many episodes to get to like them. If you take out the duration where they fight or train, you are left with very little time spent on each, to the point you see them as nothing but caricatures. Plus, they were all stereotypes to begin with, following the usual fighting shonen formula of training, fighting, making allies of your opponents and repeating the process with stronger opponents. Leaving the story incomplete is also a big minus, as you are left in the middle of the whole deal, feeling disappointed of not knowing what happens next.The production values are also average for its time and rather bad after all these years, with too much use of still frames and cheesy visual effects. The OST is also completely forgettable and the characters look too generic to care remembering them. The irony is that it was made by Studio Pierrot, which also animated Naruto. Meta-series, the anime aired back in a time when far more exciting fighting shonen like Dragonball and Hunter X Hunter were airing. They overshadowed it and that is why the project was dropped half-way. Not only that, but its form of plot development was very similar to Yu Yu Hakusho, which also aired at the same time and got owned by those other two series. Well Flame of Recca is by far the most simple and generic of all of them, to the point it is very easy to get over it and look for something else. And that else ended up being Naruto some years later. Watching this series is a way to figure out the recycling of ideas used in a genre, when there is no attempt at experimentation and innovation. I don’t recommend it to anyone except perhaps out of curiosity to witness how blunt the genre can get. Oh, and check out the manga since it finishes the story in quite an epic way I hear.
It only offers a very small fraction of what the manga truly has to offer. It only focuses on 2 or 3 story arcs and I feel that if you’re at all a fan of the original manga, you’re certainly going to be cheated because it only offers a true fraction of what this series truly has to offer. But for this anime as a whole, it covers enough ground to give the viewers an introduction to the characters and offers excellent development. A majority of the main cast starts out as Recca’s rivals such as Domon and Fuuko, but eventually bigger circumstances such as saving the world unites them to become an unstoppable team. The anime itself is decently paced and the characters share equal time and develop sensibly for what this series has to offer and individually have their own use to the overall development of the story. The villains are also unique and have their own personalities that truly stand out and have their own back-story and goals to why they became to be. So you’re getting an excellent cast in which you can relate to or feel out.Well, the character design is faithful to the manga for the most part. When the manga started out, the art was pretty ugly, but Anzai further evolved and improved his art style to the point that when they made this anime, they used the improved art style thank god. The art style is basic, but still excellently detailed with the costume designs and the diversity of the character designs. I also like how the weapon’s are drawn and have really nifty designs.The action is very high octane and breath taking. It’s very technique based and well played out. Characters have fighting styles in which they contrast and I have always believed in an old saying of styles make fights and this anime also proves that. In addition, the fights also have a Yuu Yuu Hakusho like feel to it where it’s based on tactics and strategy, and you get that in this anime as well. In comparison to Naruto, you get a better overall feel of the ninja authenticity to the action and art design.The music is very addicting and very high spirited. A perfect example is the opening theme Nanka Shiawase by Oysters. It has good control with the guitars and the delivery of the lyrics is very true to the atmosphere of the series. I also can’t deny that the ending theme Love is Changing by Nishida Hikaru also exemplifies this, but more on the romantic side of the series. The background music has a fighting game esque feel to it and is very well diverse in that sense in which it portrays all kinds of moods and personalities.I can’t say much about the dub since I’ve never seen it and have no intentions of watching it just because I don’t want to, but the Japanese voice cast I feel is satisfying enough. I was very shocked to learn that Tobita Nobuo, who is most famous amongst Gundam fans such as myself as Camille Vidan from Z Gundam is the voice of Domon. He does a great job of not recognizing it’s the same voice, but still makes the character convincing as a tough guy who has a soft spot, but overall true use is comic relief. And Okiayu Ryotaro as Kurei and Midorikawa Hikaru as Mikagami are probably the reasons why I can never watch this series outside of the Japanese language. These two reputable seiyuus do a great job in bringing their characters to life and make them very believable.Well, if you want to see the rest of Flame of Recca as anime, the closest thing you’re going to get is if you get the PS2 game, Final Burning. The same studio animates the cut scenes and they got the same seiyuus back. Plus, you get to see the manga ending in anime form.
Well, after my little personal crisis, when I stopped watching any new anime, because for some time I couldn't find anything as good and entertaining as what I already saw, I wanted to pick wisely. I wanted some action, some fighting which I like and so after few reviews I picked Flame of Recca. Shouldn't have done that... Remaining text may contain some minor spoilers, so if you don't want to ruin your watch, please skip to my final review. From not very conclusive start it evolved to one of the biggest cliché factory of shounen fighting anime. Rekka (/Recca in english version, for some reason) is a little simple-minded (check) boy, who is the best fighter around (check) interested in ninjas and have a crush for a girl (check) which for him means he must call her "hime" - princess - and become her ninja to protect her. He has few other fighters from his high school folowing him around and trying to beat him for various not very interesting reasons (check & check), who will become eventually his friends (check) or at least allies (check; don't forget that one dude, who is always gloomy and states, that he's not friend, he's just helping for his own reasons... KAKOI - we should say, but we DON'T). I don't want to bore you with checking out of my list of cliché, so I will stop and move forward. As we proceed with the story, there is, of course, villain, who wants something our hero has, but is too... good(?) to just take it. It's so much better to arrange fight tournament and wait for hero to get stronger, because it's bigger fun like that. Don't get me wrong, I can understand guy's need to fight and to fight someone strong, that's everything all right with me, but... It's a big 'but', because you don't really believe these characters. Through the series I couldn't attach my feeling with any of the characters, I just didn't buy anything they did and say. Other than that, this story has just too much. Too much of talking in the middle of battles and explaining their most secret techniques, too much crying from side character, who must be there, yet she can't handle her friends get hurt for her sake. Even after they like million times say to her, that it's ok, and they will fight for her. Too much name callings and face shots of side characters, which must comment everything (or say at least name again). Too much self proving through batlle and so on. I think that we could get under 20 episodes if we cut out all this filler. Don't get me wrong I watched a lot of shounen fighting series just to know that all of this is part of it, but there was just too much to handle... yeah, and I forgot too much screaming. Last, but not least were such things like a girl, who evereone wants to protect, and who by mmo games language is healer and so have a great deal of importance. This girl thinks like it's a good idea agreeing to give herself to hands of villain if their team lose fight, because she feels like she's doing nothing. (It's the same girl, who must scream fighters to stop fighting, cry and occasionally pass out, that Yanagi girl is for sure on my hate list :D ). From other, for example I really liked when in one battle they say that comrades can't interfere or help, in the second battle enemy commander just walks in the middle of fight to ring and improves his fighter, in the third battle the good guys are saved by friend and thus his victory from before is canceled, and in the last case when the combatant is saved again, combatant is marked like looser of her round. There are some other bothersome things, but I already wrote long enough. So for my FINAL OVERVIEW: Story is just your random, bellow average fighting shounen, characters don't really undergo no mentionable growth through story and you just can't feel with them and believe in them as in the story too. Animation is average (I know it is older anime!) and with swift movements during fights it gets sometimes funny. I really can't criticize voiceacting as seiyu did great job (wouldn't mind less screaming, but it's not their fault). And music was forgettable, but on the other side it wasn't irritating either. Fights itself wasn't very iteresting and the climax was very fast (but I grew up on DB, so you can cross this note out) and not at all satisfying so I will eventually read manga to see the differences and ending as it is unfinished business in anime, but for now I really couldn't enjoy this series as it has so many flaws I just can't ignore or forgive.
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