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kilrazan

  • Joined Jan 11, 2019
  • 29 / M

Noblesse

Jun 9, 2021

Noblesse is a fantastic adventure that knows how to play with its tropes and do them right. It takes everything you remember being excited about from shows you probably think are cringy now, and executes them properly in a way that makes them cool again. A note - there was a 2016 OVA that's the actual intro to this series, but it's not necessary at all to be able to pick up and understand the story.

Story: Noblesse is an amazing take on the traditional tropes of Vamipirism without actually dealing with Vampires. In fact, the so-called "Nobles" are an incredible deconstruction that takes all of the best parts of modern Victorian-style Vampire lore and supplants them into a clade of classy folk who are definitively *not* vampires. Their role is quite the contrary; playing off the phrase "Noblesse Oblige", the Nobles are folk who use their immense power to oversee and protect human society from the sidelines. "What purpose is there in having power if not to use it to help the weak?". We follow the story of Raizel and his human friends as they (somewhat awkwardly) attend High School together without his classmates knowing Raizel's true nature. Intrigue abounds as we find out about two separate factions that are both tracking down the source of a superhuman disturbance, a coffin, and the individual formerly contained inside. One of said factions is a team comprised of modified humans, much to the chagrin and disgust of the other faction. Ultimately we see Raizel and his friends caught up in the intrigue, and it only escalates from there as friends are made and lost along the way. I think the ending was a little rushed and even anticlimactic, but it makes sense and feels right for the story. I hope to see a season 2 to pick up some of the loose plot threads. 7/10; I want to see more of M-21.

Animation: While it's certainly no "One Punch Man Season 1" or "Jujutsu Kaisen", it's far above most other anime productions of late. The visual designs are pleasant, the details are crisp, and the fight scenes carry a lot of impact. 9/10; I could watch Franken do his thing all day.

Sound: Simply great. The intro and outro are incredible, the foley art is on point, and the voice acting is stellar. 9/10; I won't necessarily be listening to the OST in my free time, but it fits the show perfectly and does the exact job it needs to.

Characters: Absolutely incredible characterization on display here. This author understands how to take those tropey "I have to go all out just this once" kind of themes and make them *work*. I never thought I'd see the day that I'd be wiggling in my chair in excitement just from hearing the phrase, "I hereby lift the seal on your power" - I had thought it couldn't be done, that any time I'd hear anything like that again I'd just cringe at it the same way I do at the shows the memes were made from, but instead there I was on the edge of my seat quivering with excitement. Beyond that over-arching theme, the individual characters themselves are very well designed. Everyone has a unique and interesting visual design, but more importantly they all have fiercely predominant personalities that very clearly guide their decisions. There are no character suicides or bends, there aren't any moments where the characters betray their stated motives just to move the plot along, and most importantly the characters aren't so stoic as to be immovable. The characters are dynamic, they grow and change, learn from their mistakes, and show a broad range of emotions. These are some of the best written characters in recent memory. 10/10; I want to sit down with them and eat Seira's cooking.

Overall: While it's absolutely not the best anime I've seen, nor even the best anime of its season, it's a welcome and refreshing display of quality work. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will remember it for a long time, and will likely be rewatching it down the road. I'll likely find myself comparing other anime to this, and I don't imagine many will make a favorable showing. 9/10; I want to see more anime like this that pull tropes from classic legends and twist them into a new lore that's in a lot of ways entirely the opposite of the original legend.

7/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
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