In my recent review of Attack On Titan: The Complete First Season I mentioned of the anime series I’ve seen in the last ten years or so Titan was the most engrossing and I ranked it #1 of the shows I had seen. Now that I’ve seen Rage Of Bahamut I have found my new #2 for that list!
I had a feeling this was going to be a memorable series just from the trailer I had seen last year. The animation was by far exceptional, plus it had that Dungeons & Dragons vibe, which was also a big factor in wanting to see it. Way back in high school I was into Dungeons & Dragons, even loved the cartoon that was on at the time, and I carried that love of sword & sorcery into adulthood. Actually I loved sword & sorcery fiction, flicks and toons even before I got into D&D. But once I got into Rage Of Bahamut that initial D&D vibe I got from the trailer soon went away. This show is much more than that, yet on the other hand, I guess, it could fit into that RPG vibe if your characters have been around long enough and are experienced enough to tangle with Gods and Demons, because that’s pretty much what our main characters in this are aligning themselves with and up against.
Two thousand years ago the world of Mistarcia was at war with a mountain-sized dragon called, Bahamut. No, wait, that isn’t entirely accurate, not only were humans combating it so were the Gods and the Underworld, and the opening sequence is awash with humans, demons, angels and Gods all working together to take this “Destroyer Of Worlds” down. They eventually did and it was Zeus and Satan who sacrificed their very beings to imprison the “dragon” and in the process changed themselves into “keys,” which when brought together and then brought into contact with Bahamut will release him. Zeus became a “God-Key,” Satan a “Transcendent Key,” or it’s they’re both God Keys and putting them together forms the Transcendent Key, it’s one of those. Heaven holds one key, Hell has the other. It’s to ensure neither gets close enough to “make life difficult” on Mistarcia ever again.
In present day there are sinister plans afoot by Satan’s legions to release Bahamut upon the world again, but they have to acquire the God Key to do it. Well, Beelzebub and Martinet come up with a rather ingenious plan, they acquire an angel and through powers we feeble-minded humans will never understand they pull from her a separate being that is part angel and part demon. They name her Amira and brainwash her into thinking her mother is waiting her in Helhiem and that she’s to bring the God Key with her. Being part angel is the thing that gets her into Heaven without the alarm bells going off. She manages to sneak past the angels (Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, they’re all here and accounted for) and steals the God Key, but she needs to find someone to take her to Helheim after her thievery goes mildly wrong and she loses a wing during her escape. But something interesting happened once she scored the God Key. To keep it safe she absorbed it into her, thus turning herself into the God Key. This wall all pre-planned mind you by the forces of Evil.
Present day Mistarcia we are introduced to our two main characters, Favaro Leone and Kaisar Lidfald, both are childhood friends, both are bounty hunters and both are at odds with each other. Kaiser hates Favaro due to a misunderstanding during childhood that had Kaiser thinking Favaro’s father was to blame for his father’s death, but it was all do to the manipulations of demons.
As bounty hunters both wear these bracelets that denote them as bounty hunters by anyone who spots them, and their bounties are generally supernatural folk. The gemstone on the bracelets glow when they are in the presence of anything demonic, or monstrous or things that use magic. Both bounty hunters know a little magic but only where it pertains to securing a bounty. When these spells are cast their bounty transforms into a small, stone plaque. Favaro takes these “plaques” to a God called, Bacchus, who rides around in strange looking carriage and whose side-kick is a talking duck, which’s also considered a God. Bacchus pays Favaro and Favaro blows through the money in a night on girls and booze. I’ve never seen any of the Lupin anime movies but I understand Favaro’s character is similar to Lupin. To me the only comparison I could find was to Jack Sparrow from the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies except without the perpetual drunkenness. The show isn’t necessarily a comedy, but with a Sparrow-ish character on hand comedy does happen, but it never feels out of place, though this series gets decidedly more serious as we head to the fated events at the end where Bahamut is finally set loose!
Amira comes into Favaro’s life and he tells her he can get her to Helheim, which is an utter lie. Amira casts a spell on Favaro giving him a demon tail and she tells him she’ll rid him of it once they reach Helheim. During the course of their journey you’ll set eyes on all manners of amazement like a giant crab once they hit the sea, a town full of zombies, the hierarchy of demons and the various angels manipulating humans to do their bidding. There is one more main character Favaro and Kaiser get once they come together to fight the “common enemy” and that is little, undead zombie girl, Rita. She’s in that town full of zombies episode and initially is a villain, but after she’s turned into a zombie she has an affection for both the guys and is there with them right to the very end.
Another human character who ends up playing an integral part is Jeanne D’Arc, a variation on Joan Of Arc, who’s devoted to the angels, but has a moment of falling from grace when she’s deceived by demon Martinet and turned into a demon. During the final battle she’s responsible for the killing of a few of angels, before she’s returned to normal.
The last couple of episodes are epic and I mean that with a capital E as the inevitable of the Underworld’s plan to assemble both keys and unleash Bahamut actually succeeds and we get the whole sale destruction of massive amounts of landscape and beings on an ungodly scale. Favaro and Kaiser do live to see another day as Favaro is the “chosen one” who is foretold to stop Bahamut, but he loses a leg in the process. Kaiser lost a hand earlier, but in the epilogue that takes place six months later both have acquired steampunk metal appendages.
Bahamut is the type of force that cannot be destroyed, imprisoned, yes, and thanks to Favaro banished to another dimension by the end of episode #12.
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 1.78:1 high definition widescreen—5.1 English Dolby TrueHD, 5.1 Japanese Dolby TrueHD—English subs only
Extras included . . .
- Commentary (with the American voice cast) on episodes #1 and #12
- Episode 6.5 – Roundup (23:51)
- Episode 6.5 – Roundup Preview (;12)
- Textless Opening (1:31)
- Textless Closing (1:31)
- Textless Closing For Episode 12 (Full Screen) (1:00)
- Preview for Episode 1 (:12)
- U.S. Trailer
- Trailers (Funimation titles)
Another 12-part chapter is coming, and it’s being called, Rage Of Bahamut: Virgin Soul. There’s already a trailer and two short connected stories (here and here), unfortunately both are in Japanese with no English subtitles.