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Shin Hakkenden is a story set in the future where technology has advanced so much that it has become indistinguishable from magic. The plot revolves around Kou, a boy with a powerful jewel implanted in his chest, who embarks on a journey to uncover the truth about his past and the connection between the jewel and the infamous Queen Fuse. Along the way, Kou meets other jewel holders, each with their own unique background, who help him on his journey.The anime has a good pacing, with short fight scenes that don't take away from the story. Instead, they are used to convey important information about the characters and their abilities. The story is dialogue-heavy, which might not appeal to everyone, but it allows for more character development and exploration.While the Sci-Fi elements of the anime are well done, on rare occasions, the fantasy elements interfere with the story, taking away from the overall Sci-Fi vibe of the anime. The fantasy elements are not introduced until later in the anime and feel forced, leading to an unbalanced story.One of the highlights of Shin Hakkenden is its characters. The main characters are likeable, with each having their own unique personality and motivations. The focus and screentime given to the characters are random, providing unpredictability, but it can lead to an imbalance in the story. The villains, unfortunately, lack depth, with most being subordinates of the greater evil, and the 'big bad' is merely a boring megalomaniac, leading to a lack of tension and suspense.The anime's art and animation are done on a shoestring budget. The action scenes are not the focus of the anime, so don't expect beautifully drawn action scenes. Instead, the anime focuses on character development and dialogue. The character design is good, with each main character having their own unique design and clothing. However, the inconsistency between the main characters and the background characters is noticeable. The main characters look like aliens or customised video game characters, while the background characters have a more 'realistic' appearance.The opening and first ending songs are memorable, with the op song called MEMORY. The OSTs played during the episodes are limited, which can become repetitive, but some of them are decent.Shin Hakkenden is a good old classic anime that has its pros and cons. The story is well-paced and dialogue-heavy, allowing for more character development and exploration. The characters are likeable, with each having their own unique personality and motivations. However, the lack of depth in the villains and the unbalanced fantasy elements take away from the overall Sci-Fi vibe of the anime. The art and animation are done on a shoestring budget, but the character design is good. The opening and first ending songs are memorable, but the limited number of OSTs can become repetitive. Overall, Shin Hakkenden is not mediocre, but it has many flaws that detract from its fineness.
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