First Impression- Rokka no Yuusha


She looks important.  I bet she has a superpower!

spring15-irenesNo man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the
same man.”― Heraclitus



Adventure Ho!  Yar mateys… no that’s wrong.  We are off for the holy… no that’s not quite it.  We seek to unite the warring… what is happening?  Lets go murder an evil Demon!  Okay, lets go with this.

If the Hero isn’t Flashy, Minus 10 points to Charisma


I like it when people things go boom

Irene: Yes, for this series, I decided it was worth exercising my title as Athenaeum Châtelaine, and getting the quotes out. For indeed this is a journey that has begun with a little more than a single step, but we won’t sweat the particulars. This is a series that seems set up from the very beginning to be epic. It knows what it is and so pulls out all the stops from it’s very opening narration. It has a split between being a LotR-esque prologue and a storybook “once upon a time”, as a voice tells us of the tale of the evil demon god that arose and decimated the peoples of the land, only until a lone woman with divine power defeated it. But of course, it is never defeated for good, only put to sleep, or rest, or sealed, or something like that. We have to have something for our new heroes to fight after all. And so, every so often, six warriors–no more, no less–are summoned by the goddess of fate, a flower symbol appearing on their skin, to defeat the demon god and his minions.

The world of this series is the first thing you notice. I’ve heard that the original material actually went with the normal medieval European setting, but it was changed in this series to be a more Meso-American environment, which is something I haven’t seen in an anime series since back in the 90s. I’m glad for the change, as it is quite unique, and something that sets this anime apart from the others this season. The sweeping establishing shots are quite breathtaking and exotic, and they go well with the fantastic score by Michiru Oshima, who has done such stellar work as the music for both the original Fullmetal Alchemist and Zetsuen no Tempest. It is easily the second best score I’ve seen this season. (If you want to know which I consider the best, hint–(Oshima is doing the music for that one too. 😉 )


But now, like any epic tale, after introducing the world, you will have to introduce your fellowship of characters that will going on this journey and enduring this task. Majority of the time, these main characters will introduced one or two at a time, from the most important to the least. And so, following formula, we first meet the main character of Adlet Mayer. A cocky son-of-a-gun that has more confidence than couth, his is determined to become one of the chosen six warriors, no matter what it takes. While we do get a bit about his backstory (through a plot-halting exposition drop), and that he had trained to defeat the demon king, we still don’t know much about what his reasons are and why he decided to do this. It seems to be a single-minded goal in his mind and one that he will risk anything to achieve. So, you have to wonder where he came upon such a goal and why? Did something happen in his past that he decided to declare vengeance on the demon god?


I don’t believe Adelt has a history with tentacles, but that sure would inspire a grudge

Well, while his reasons may not be fully explained, one thing that should be drilled into our heads by now is that he is “the strongest man in the world”. If you didn’t catch that, don’t worry, he will remind you multiple times before the episode is out. You really can’t tell him otherwise, so it’s not worth even trying. Yet, while I doubt he is physically the strongest, and his fighting skills seem to rely more on tricks, being prepared and surprise than actual strength, he does seem to have a strength of spirit and character that is pretty indomitable.

The other member of our warriors we meet is Crown Princess Nashetania. She’s not that interesting of a character yet, but I’m hoping we’ll get more from her in the future. Her “bunny armor” doesn’t give me much hope that she’ll be more than eye candy with powers, but one can hope. However, her presence and her exposition about the history of these destined warriors does leave some interesting world building to consider. Who are these “saints”? How do you get to be one? It doesn’t seem to be a title associated with being one of the six destined warriors, so are you born with the power? Also, it doesn’t seem to be in just one nation, but these saints exist in different lands as well. And I can see how some of these saints would have useful powers , such as Nashe’s “saint of blades” or a “saint of fire”, “saint of water” etc. However, some of them are bizarre, “saint of salt”? How does one acquire that ability?


Any saint worth their SALT knows its all in the neck

The plot so far is being unfolded at a pretty slow pace considering this is only a single cour series as far as I know. We basically only get to see the world, set up the story, have the inception of the plot, and get through the introductions of two of the six warriors–oh, sorry! Seven warriors. Yes, they haven’t revealed it yet, but there is going to be a bit of a problem when Adlet and Nashe get to that rendezvous point. Remember that there was only supposed to be six warriors, no more, no less? Well, this time around there will be seven warriors, which means…’one of these things is not like the other, one of these thing is not the same…’  One of the warriors is an enemy implant, but which one is it? I’m not sure yet as we have only meet two of the seven, but I will enjoy playing the whodunit game every week and seeing if I can deduce which of the seven is the actual mole. It might just even be someone who is under the demon god’s influence, and doesn’t even know it. Looking at you, Adlet-san…

I’m all about Swashing and Buckling


For my next trick, I will make a demon disappear!

Samsura: Hurr Hurr hurr, thats real purty.  I think Rokka will win points for just being the most visually impressive premier of the season.  I’m coming into this season having previous experience with the novels, so I am aware of what is different and what is plain invented.  For instance, there really wasn’t any world building for the city of Pienna in the novels, so the look here is 100% anime original.  Which is great!  I sure can’t recall the last time Montezuma made an appearance in a show, I’d pick him over Cao Cao any day.  Though since this setting is anime original, it does clash with some of the outfits that are faithful to designs from the novel.  Now I’m no expert on Olmec fashion, and I know putting animal ears in your hair is a long standing anime tradition, but I think we can all agree that Nashetania looks completely out of place.


Must… not… make… Fate joke

So for a show that’s supposed to have 6 heroes but is gonna have even more, we so far have met two.  Adelt is a trickster who acts like Baki Hanma and fights like Batman.  Nashetania is the willful princess who always gets her way, tradition be damned if its gonna stop her.  Both of these two come off as immediately likeable, I for one don’t get tired of Adelt’s proclamation because I like how the show has already stopped giving him the credit.  Spoiler: There are a lot of strong people besides Adelt.  I quite liked the fight scene we got, the way the camera spun and the fight was choreographed quite impressed me.  When Adelt breathed fire and gave the old soldier the old arm toss I was happily watching every move he made.   If this level of fighting can keep going on, this show can only become more impressive to me.  Hopefully to you too.


  Can I get some Lore with a side dish of foreshadowing?

Now I won’t pretend that the info dumb in the middle was the most graceful way to get a large amount of info across.  The “two characters tell each other information that everyone but the viewer knows” is the easiest way to get stuff across, but it is never the ideal.  The short and simple is that long ago big bad demon showed up, one saint appeared to fight the demon.  Saint seals demon, every few hundred years a new generation of saints and warriors appear who try to seal the demon.  For me, if this was all the series had to offer, I wouldn’t recommend Rokka as highly as I do.  But the things that really sold me on Rokka appear later on, so mums the word.

Final thoughts


All and all, I’ll be fascinated to see this new story with a classic plot about the newest warriors fellowship battling against the great evil of the land, but this time, with a bit of a twist in that there is someone among them that doesn’t belong and what that means for the safety of the mission and the chosen six. Also, what will all the other characters be like? What powers will they have? What will be there position in the group? And what about the villains? We’re going to need some personal, front and center villains if we’re going to keep this threat alive. And not just zombie-like monster goons either.  Even Sauron had the Witch King, Sarumon, and the Uruk-hai to keep the conflict levels high. So, hopefully we’ll see more of what kind of bad guys we get in the coming episodes.

This was a great premiere and one of many series to look out for this season. I would suggest it to anyone just on the animation and score alone, but the plot is also great too. I will be following the heroes’ journey as they face increasingly more desperate odds, and remember that it is the journey, rather than the destination, that makes it all worth it.


Rokka is the type of show that does the basic generic stuff well, then gets better with its own unique twists and turns.  The standard action and characters are fun and exciting.  The standard fantasy plot is no better or worse than others, but Rokka adds a wonderful outer layer.  This episode was all about setting up the world that we are gonna see going forward, and I can’t wait to be on this journey with all of you.

If anyone of you readers are working for the demons though I will have to choice but to turn you into furniture.


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26 Responses to “First Impression- Rokka no Yuusha”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    I decided it was worth exercising my title as Athenaeum Châtelaine, and getting the quotes out.

    You should. You have a title to stay true to, miss. 😛

    A good start and seems very Aztec focused for an opening so I’d like to know exactly where this takes place. Although with the bunny princess, there’s sure to be other lore mixed in. The premises of using a small number of warriors sounds similar to what we had with Nanatsu no Taizai.

    With this series being a single cour, the possibility in my mind is the other Braves will all gather before the halfway point. Or go with the option of spreading throughout most of the run before the finale which leaves to question how much exposition each character will get that it will be treated as sufficient.

    Adlet Mayer is a little too cocky off the bat, though he cooled down a bit during the time spent in his cell. Sure he’s trained to defeat the demon god and is skilled in trickery but that’s still not a guarantee to be a candidate for the six Braves. I mean, there could be others who may have proved themselves more promising than him. So demanding from a goddess to be one is egotistical, pretentious… and should be hazardous to his health had that arrogance rubbed her the wrong way.

    Crown Princess Nashetania (Yoko Hikasa) is most likely the strategic type and there to keep Adlet in check when he lets his ego get the best of him. Just looking at her, she’s not the physical type so magic user is the best bet. Apparently, she’s aware of the Unlimited Blade Works technique. 😛

    And I can see how some of these saints would have useful powers , such as Nashe’s “saint of blades” or a “saint of fire”, “saint of water” etc. However, some of them are bizarre, “saint of salt”? How does one acquire that ability?

    I think they basically become a “Saint” of whatever ability they have within them. The titles sound like random, last minute ideas.

  2. HannoX says:

    I loved the Meso-American look of Pienna. It’s great to see a fantasy anime adopt a setting other than Medieval Europe or Oriental for its setting. OTOH, Princess Nashetania’s rabbit ears looked stupid. Maybe we’ll get an explanation for them that will make them tolerable.

    I suppose if the Demon God or a number of its minions are giant slugs or snails a saint of salt would be handy. Giant escargot for dinner, anyone? For now I’ll just assume the original material is clever enough to explain why a saint of salt exists.

    • BlackBriar says:

      For now I’ll just assume the original material is clever enough to explain why a saint of salt exists.

      You have to look at it from a point of view of how an ability would be used. You have to be creative. Salt is sodium.

      In the first season of Seikon no Qwaser, a Qwaser, with control over the element of sodium named Shinichiro Ootori a.k.a Phoenix used his ability to manipulate to sodium in the lead’s brain to restrict his movements when he was a child. His body couldn’t even twitch.

      Later on during his agendas, he used his ability to immobilize then combust the sodium in his enemies’ bodies until they ignited on fire like match sticks.

      I think it’s unwise to dismiss an ability even if it doesn’t sound threatening because it might actually be. We’ve seen the Water benders from Avatar: The Last Airbender. They have a secondary trait that allows them to manipulate people’s blood like Katara does. Just like Fire benders have the nature to create lightning. Fire Lord Ozai and Princess Azula are examples of that.

      What Rokka no Yuusha will do with its salt user should be interesting.

    • Iron Maw says:

      In the LN it’s explained that Pienna royals and such have a tradition of wearing animal motifs in the armor/clothing.

      • IreneSharda says:

        I see that as just a way to explain why they wanted the main female character to have bunny ears. 😛

        • akagami says:

          I want to say I’ve seen a similar-looking character design, but I can’t remember from where. Maybe Queen’s Blade? Although I’ve never watched it.

  3. skylion says:

    I found this to be quite average in many respects. It didn’t not win me over, nor did it really make me champ at the bit for the next episode.

    The meso-American stuff was neat for a bit, but then they didn’t really do anything with it. I know it’s supposed to look cool and all; but it’s like they broke out Fantasy Maker the computer program and just picked the new Azteccy skin update…superficial stuff really.

    Then they spent half the episode with the lead in a cell. That was just kinda meh.

    Then they had that flirtatious bit of business in the middle. That was cool, and I liked the rhythm it had…But As I Know That You Know That I Know style exposition is such weak tea in most circumstances. At least they spiced it up a bit “Hey baby, you really turn me on with all this hero talk…”. But really it felt like they were reading the ingredients off the side of a box containing bright, sugary, crunchy cereal. Names, stuff, things, words, talking! Didn’t seem to add much, especially when they are just gonna have to repeat them later on…

    I might give it another go next episode, as the characters are on the run. They might spend ten minutes in the rest area talking about more saints they won’t meet til later, though…

  4. akagami says:

    I feel deceived. Adlet is clearly not the strongest (or at least he hasn’t shown any inking of super strength). He’s effective, I don’t argue, but effective strongest. I was promised a Lamborghini and got a souped up Supra instead. I want a refund.

    Not a bad first episode – it didn’t impress me visually or story-wise, but I like fantasy enough to want to see where it goes.

    Can I be the Saint of Ice? Since the last one got killed?

  5. Pedro says:

    This is my favorite anime of this season. An unique fantasy setting with awesome music and a bit of mystery? Count me in.

    I think the princess’s bunny ears were explained by the Meso-American setting itself, since it’s a culture that had zooathropomorphic lore like the egyptians. They even had a Jaguar Warrior appearing in this episode as well as that old man with Hawk-looking clothing. Though using rabbit as a motif is still weird.

    • skylion says:

      Rabbits are weird….

      • zztop says:

        The novels explained Piena royal family members wear animal motifs on their clothes/armour.

        • skylion says:

          Kinda wish they would have gone into that stuff in the show, but I guess it can’t be a documentary?

          • zztop says:

            The infodumps in this episode was a combination of smaller infodumps from the existing 5 source books.
            I guess they want to get the info out of the way to focus on the good stuff later on.

    • HannoX says:

      Mayan rulers sometimes had Rabbit as part of their name. So given the setting here, maybe it’s not so weird. I’d still like a bit of explanation though of why she adopted rabbit ears.

  6. zztop says:

    I was wondering when Metanorn would cover Rokka!

    The only stuff that still needs introducing is Akagami no Shirayukihime, Gate, and Monster Musume, and everything’s done!

  7. zztop says:

    I’m glad for the setting change, as it is quite unique, and something that sets this anime apart from the others this season.

    Anime Piena is based on the ancient Aztec water city of Tenochtitlan; modern-day Mexico City sits atop its ruins.

    Setting-wise, it’s pretty shocking how unoriginal a lot of fantasy manga/anime/light novel settings are. I’d say nearly 90% are set in medieval Euro-fantasy worlds – and half resemble Final Fantasy ripoffs – the remaining are East Asia and Arabian Nights.

    What other fantasy settings would Metanorn like to see more of? My few favourites would be 1920s-1940s, late Meiji-era and colonial Southeast Asia.

    • skylion says:

      I just don’t think they did much with the Aztec setting, but that’s just me.

      I would like to see more modern fantasy settings? Something like the Jim Butcher Dresden Files books. But then I’d also love to see someone do something like the Castle Falkenstein RPG setting. Unbreakable Machine Doll had the thought down, but didn’t even come close enough.

  8. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Must… not… make… Fate joke




    There. Done.

    I expect heartripping sacrifices in this show if it is Aztec-themed.

  9. amado says:

    il just throw it out already in case some people doubt or have misunderstandings with the show:
    1. this is not just some random/special case where 7 people were chosen instead of 6, one of them is indeed faking.
    2. the 7th’s purpose there is not to help them, he/she’s there to fuck them up so dont expect that type of plot where 1 guy is pretending to be one in order to help save the world.
    3. the fake’s identity isnt the only thing this series has going, their enemy kyoma are going to pose a LOT of problems that they cant just cut their way through.
    4. there’s no harem, as some people have been thinking seeing that there’s more than 1 girl and the other 2 guys arent really that attractive to pair off each character.

    mostly im saying this in order to get rid of the notion that this is gonna be your typical fun, happy and easy going type of adventure fantasy. expect to really think a lot instead of turning off your mind to enjoy this show.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Not as fun, sadistic and guro as the content of the other show of the season that has all the main characters’ default alignment as:


  10. amado says:

    why does my posts get eaten?

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