Review 2021 Autumn preliminary reviews: Platinum End, stubborn lolis and the coming of age paladin

Billed as the successor to Death Note and Bakuman; Platinum End certainly had a heap of expectation attached to it. The fact that I had heard less than promising things about the manga meant I was a little leery starting this but thankfully the show was better than what I was expecting. Lots of angst as to be expected but the action was also good making it top the trio I present today. That doesn't mean Sakugun and Saihate no Paladin were rubbish series. Far from it as while Sakugun did deliver entertainment on a similar level to Paladin this time around I feel the slow, yet measured approach in terms of storytelling makes me think that there is more potential in Saihate no Paladin over the long haul...


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Platinum End

This reminds me of Mirai Nikki with its classic death match premise when everyone fights for total supremacy. What’s more, that guardian angel of Mirai seems really wicked. I don’t know if she is either trying to manipulate Mirai into a dark path or her version of love is just twisted… She is a character that’s for sure. Ignoring her though this opening episode has a lot of dark themes by introducing depression and suicide right at the start. The second half is devoted to introducing us into the concept of angels and the powers Mirai obtains. Thrown in that mix are some pretty harsh truths that send Mirai into rage and a state of depression. Pretty intense emotions all across the spectrum.

The action does not really let up in the second either as this episode essentially showcases the various ways in which god candidates utilise their powers. Red arrows, white arrows or wings it is all there and it all delivers exhilarating action as well as build a sense of suspense. It is early days but the mounting rivalries between the candidates is building up and this culminates in the shows first cliff-hanger. Knowing how these shows normally pan out I expect more cliff-hangers. It is a very promising start and if things get much better then this could be a show to recommend. 7.5/10 for me and I hope we get a mad ride like Mirai Nikki!


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Sakugan

Honestly, I was a little confused about the developments that occurred in this opener. Things were not helped much further when I decided to read the synopsis about five minutes into the episode to get a bearing of what was going. Some of the copy paste jobs that anime sites leave to explain an anime can leave a lot to be desired….

Ignoring that confusion the overall vibe I got from Sakugan is this is a story of adventure and discovery. In fact, taking the theme of adventure and danger plus the general aesthetic of the show I would say this seems like a mix between Made in Abyss and Deca-Dance only in this one we got a father-daughter combo for the main protagonists which is not something we see very often in anime.

Unlike the first episode the second is easier to follow as it is pretty much a straight up action scene that boils down to Gagumber’s mecha “Big Tony” evading and attacking the Kaiju. It was a relatively entertaining affair but I was not really digging the CGI of these fiends. Still, the climax was funny and nice. After this we get clarity on where this series is going as Gagumber and Memenpu leave home sweet home and explore the greater wide world! A good decent start but seeing as this anime is about exploration and discovery, we will likely get a far better idea about its quality in the next couple of episodes. This is one for the action/mecha fans and if good enough maybe those who like adventure stories will get tuned into this. A 6.5/10 but let’s see the next two epi’s works out.


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Saihate no Paladin

This is an isekai series that centres on a human child named William. After dying in his former life, he is reincarnated as a baby boy where he is raised by three undead characters who all help educate the boy with knowledge, magic and fighting skills. The story itself is unique enough to give this one a go and for the most part the season opening whilst a bit slow off the mark did generate a sense of mystery that keep viewers interested in learning more.

Various questions are raised surrounding the world’s background and why humans have practically gone on extinct, what is Will’s purpose in this world and why these undead creatures have raised him. These are all open questions that will leave the viewers wanting to see more but what is also notable is what you can glean from the ending theme which gives an idea of what to expect next.


The second episode starts on a similar vein to the previous as the lessons for Will continue albeit with a greater intendency. We get to see some real action both in the physical and action sense but again the sense of mystery rears it head that leaves you questioning the motives of one of the main characters. Perhaps more pressing than however is William's coming-of-age ceremony soon. All in all, the two episodes have been decent but not ground breaking. The main issue I had is the pacing which has been rather pedestrian and would have liked if events came at a faster pace. I would give this a 6.5/10 but feel things will pick up.

 
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