Thunderbolt Fantasy

Alt title: Thunderbolt Fantasy: Touri-ken Yuuki

TV (13 eps)
3.997 out of 5 from 474 votes
Rank #1,361

In an ancient kingdom, a vicious warlord is on the hunt for a magical sword. Forced to escape his soldiers, the young girl who guards the sword is hunted until she receives some unexpected help from a pair of odd strangers.

Source: Crunchyroll

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Code of Umbrellas image

Episode 1

Code of Umbrellas

Attack of the Xuán Guǐ Zōng! image

Episode 2

Attack of the Xuán Guǐ Zōng!

The Woman In Night Devil Forest image

Episode 3

The Woman In Night Devil Forest

The Whereabouts of the Soul Echo Flute image

Episode 4

The Whereabouts of the Soul Echo Flute

The Sword Devil, Shā Wú Shēng image

Episode 5

The Sword Devil, Shā Wú Shēng

Seven Comrades image

Episode 6

Seven Comrades

Demon Spine Mountains image

Episode 7

Demon Spine Mountains

The Enigmatic Gale image

Episode 8

The Enigmatic Gale

The Essence of a Sword image

Episode 9

The Essence of a Sword

A Thief's Pride image

Episode 10

A Thief's Pride

A Proud Life image

Episode 11

A Proud Life

A Blade That Doesn't Cut image

Episode 12

A Blade That Doesn't Cut

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Full version here: Short version: Ok, I won't make it a habit to do first impression videos for too long but people either treat this series as the worst thing to ever happen to Anime or a refreshing shot to the mediums withered arms. While the puppets are entertaining the answer lies somewhere in a grey middle ground. Thunderbolt Fantasy is exactly how it looks on the surface: A swords and sorcery "Anime" where the Anime is done with elaborate puppets. In addition the plot is incredibly simple: A brother and sister duo protects their family magic sword, villain kills brother in an attempt to steal magic sword, girl leads a slowly growing party in an attempt to get in convenient ass-kicking range of the villain. The only reason I'm not writing off the plot 100% is Gen Urobuchi is behind the wheel of this project. And if that man's good at one thing it's a sudden, painful plot twist. Go watch Madoka if you want an example. The real draw is the puppetry on display. Overall its decent: The puppets themselves are overdesigned but very pretty, movement is alright, the scenery is very well done and combat is choreographed very well. But characters faces don't move. Or emote. At all. And when a character is mad/sad/talking it's a bit jarring. Also theres quite a few awkward stiff movements on display. To be fair it could be I'm not used to the whole puppet show concept but it does take some getting used too. Overall the show is entertaining to watch but it needs to start ramping up its A game before the concept becomes stale. They've already recycled a combat track to the point where it doesn't hold the same dramatic weight it did in the first episode. And to it's credit, with a cool enough trick up its sleeve it could maintain the entertaining momentum the puppet novelty built up. Consider me cautiously optumistic for this series. Keep an eye on it and lets see where it goes from here.

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