Review: After the first twenty five episodes focusing mostly on Erin’s childhood and her evolution into a courageous wise young woman and apparently the only one who can communicate Lilan the beast lord, the second half of the show is less drama/slice-of-life and more political/action; an epic fantasy in every way. For those who have not read the first part of my review, I encourage you to do so before continue reading this post.
The anime has matured just like Erin herself. There are no more obvious lessons for the children, no Erin enjoying the scenery and life and not many new explorations are introduced. This second half focuses more on storytelling and all the elements and characters introduced earlier in the series start to make their moves, driving the anime forward, building up for the series’ finale.
Politics becomes the central theme alongside with the relationship between Erin and Lilan. The conflict between the Grand duke’s nation which controls the Touda and the Queen’s quarter which has always been held as the land of God’s descendants is burning hot. Evil conspiracy plaques everywhere and war is brewing. Since the Beast Lords are the symbol of the Queen’s divine power, Erin’s ability to tame Lilan sends her straight into the mist of political struggles.
It was such a compelling experience. Kemono no Souja Erin uses its long runtime to its advantages. The viewers who have followed the series from the beginning are, by this time, familiar with the world of this anime and the characters are all well established. The matters in the anime become, at least for me, personal and I was emotionally involved with them; I was enchanted.
One thing, though, occasionally bothers me a little; flashback scenes. It was probably because I marathoned the show that I thought the anime used flashbacks too often. I suppose those flashbacks are more welcomed for viewers who caught the show when it is aired weekly on TV. It’s not a big deal.
Concerning production quality, I absolutely love the art works in Kemono no Souja Erin. The best evidence of this fact is that I took nearly three dozens of screencaps from this anime. I usually took less than ten from each series. The beauty lies mostly in the background art while the characters are drawn with incredible simplicity. For the most part, this show is well animated though stiff and lazy shots can be found from time to time.
Conclusion: watching long series can be draining. For me, it is almost like an investment and I usually hesitate to start watching one. I am telling you now, Kemono no Souja Erin is very long but there was not a single moment that I regretted watching it.
Title: Kemono no Souja Erin
Genre: fantasy, drama
Release date: January 10, 2009 – December 26, 2009
Director: Takayuki Hamana
Animated by: Production I.G
Note: for additional in depth analysis of this anime, please visit this article I published in May but be warned that there will be spoilers.