Rory’s Reviews: Blade & Soul

Blade & Soul
Blade & Soul is a fantasy anime based on the Korean MMORPG of the same name developed by NCsoft. The anime adaptation was done by Gonzo.

Blade & Soul follows Alka as she seeks revenge for her murdered teacher. Her target is Jin Varrel, who serves as the antagonist for this anime. The plot is simple, though halfway through the anime goes on to show that revenge isn’t all that.

At first, Alka serves a strong but silent protagonist. She is capable of killing without the slightest hint of remorse, all whilst she pursues the path of revenge. She bears a butterfly tattoo, which often attracts trouble to her.
The antagonist, Jin Varrel, is able to use a dark power known as Impurity. She is responsible for murdering Alka’s teacher. Just like Alka, she is emotionless.
The majority of the rest of the cast are female; the drunk gun nut Hazuki, the inn proprietress Karen, and the leader of the Pleasure Gang, Dan Roana. One thing that is constant throughout Blade & Soul is the fanservice; it is taken to ridiculous extremes in episode 13.

As Alka journeys for her revenge, she meets many other characters. Most of the time, it seems that the only reason these characters are introduced are to die. Seemingly this would be of no concern to the emotionless girl, but… well…

After the halfway point of the series, Alka undergoes some drastic character development. All her past actions come back to haunt her, particularly concerning who one of her victims was in the past. The cold-blooded killer Alka seen at the beginning could almost be an entirely different character from the Alka seen in episode 9. It is quite a jarring change, and any action is withheld until the last couple of episodes.

When there is action, it is enjoyable to watch. Obviously, Alka is at her best when she displays no emotions, and her inevitable fight against Jin Varrel is decent enough. The confrontation at the climax of the anime is arguably the best scene in the entire thing.

After twelve episodes of dark action, episode 13 changes tone entirely. Alka barely appears in it, and the focus is very much on comedy and fanservice. It does not add anything to the plot, and the mood whiplash comes out of nowhere. It’s really jarring compared to the climactic confrontation of episode 12.

In conclusion, Blade & Soul‘s best parts are its action scenes. Alka’s drastic character development serves to show the emptiness of revenge, but it comes with a lull in the action.

Score: 6/10
Without a doubt, any scene where Alka, or any of the other characters, are fighting are highlights. There isn’t really much else to add.

About Rory

I enjoy writing, manga, anime and video games, so naturally here on my blog, you will find anime reviews, Nintendo news and other such things that I deem interesting.
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2 Responses to Rory’s Reviews: Blade & Soul

  1. Overlord-G says:

    Decent show it was. Jin Varrel and Hazuki were my top two ladies.

  2. Blade & Soul was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I found the focus on revenge pretty intriguing and some of the later episodes handled that pretty nicely alongside Alka’s development. However, the first half of the anime was really slow and characterization is extremely limited for just about anybody who isn’t Alka or Karen, and I couldn’t bring myself to care about most of the cast. Blade & Soul disappointed me in a lot of ways, yet it wasn’t all bad in the end and definitely could’ve been worse. I’d probably dislike it a lot more if the anime remained like the first half through its entire run.

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