Record of Ragnarok

Alt title: Shuumatsu no Valkyrie

Web (12 eps x 24 min)
3.535 out of 5 from 4,907 votes
Rank #5,277

The story begins when the gods call a convention to decide the whether to let humanity live or die, and settle on destroying humanity. But a lone valkyrie puts forward a suggestion to let the gods and humanity fight one last battle, as a last hope for humanity's continued survival. 13 gods will fight against 13 human champions in one-on-one battles to decide whether humanity lives or dies. 

Source: ANN

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"What a disappointment." "Just read the manga, don't watch the anime." There's a lot of words being thrown around against this anime, and I figured I'd drop my two sense in as someone who is primarily an anime-only for the most part.  Generally, to get my thoughts on this anime out the way from the get-go, Record of Ragnarok is an anime that is hard carried by its story, which yes, is something you can speedrun simply by reading the manga. I'm sure doing that will allow you to get the full story at your own pace. As an adaptation, Record of Ragnarok comes off as a motion picture of the events that happen in the manga. The animation truly is a shame. I've just finished Vivy: Fluorite Eyes' Song immediately after this, and the difference in animation is night and day. However, does that mean you shouldn't watch it? Well, I don't think so, not if you have no intention of reading the manga. I've explained that this fails the manga by not cultivating this story's full potential; you don't even need to have read the manga to see that, because in my opinion, this anime's only drawback as an anime only was its animation. Its animation was simply not good considering this is a royal tournament arc. The ENTIRE story is just round after round of a Gods vs. Humanity tournament arc, similar to The God of Highschool. However, given the choice, I'd rather watch GOH, and from what I've seen, I think the story of RoR has more potential, and it's simply just way more interesting to me. A battle in any medium should not just be two opposing powerhouse-forces colliding in a melee alone; any fight should also be a battle of ideals, and I think that RoR captures this idea perfectly, even in the anime! The story behind this series is simply that good that no matter what medium you experience it, anime or manga, you can still clearly feel just what it is each contestant is fighting for, and that's what I loved about watching this. Had this anime had Madhouse-level animation, I could easily give this series a solid 4.5 stars, but considering you would have to spend 5 hours consuming content that you could easily read in 20 ish chapters, it simply just isn't that worth. That said, if anime is all you know, then this really isn't a bad watch, at least once you get past the first fight. Like I said before, this anime is tournament arc incarnate. With an extremely simple premise, the show throws you right into the fray. There's not much story otherwise, and the show takes massive inspiration from the mythology of several different cultures. The really interesting part is the way they twist these myths to fit the narrative of the show. It's an EXTREMELY original take on mythology, and made the story that much better. The characters to me were interesting too. They're all either mythological figures or real historical figures, and as I said the show had taken many liberties to shape them further to fit the end-of-the-world premise. And trust me, the way they highlight their ideals is golden. Furthermore, it's all backed by magnificent voice acting in both English and Japanese, and put behind a beautiful score. Again though, the animation truly is just betting on the hope you can appreciate the art style, and focus on that instead of the animation, which oftentimes comes off as just still frames with minimal animation. Which truly is a shame, because this series is really good otherwise. Putting aside the fact that its animation failed several people as an anime adaptation, as an anime on its own, I was still able to enjoy myself. Not as much as I could have if they handed this series off to another studio, but I don't personally think there's any shame in having only seen the anime to this show. The animation might hold it back drastically, but at the end of the day, you can let the story speak for itself. It may not have lived up to the expectations of many, but that by no means makes it necessarily bad. Not a high-priority show in my opinion, but honestly, it really isn't that bad.

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