Rage of Bahamut: Genesis is the anime series loosely based on the Mobile CCG, Rage of Bahamut, published by Mobage and developed by Cygames. The story follows the character Favaroooooooooooooooo! as he travels with a half-demon named Amira on a quest to find the land of Helheim. As an adventure anime, Rage of Bahumut has a lot of strengths, and as a comedy, it somehow works.
I had first heard about Rage of Bahamut back in 2012 when it was a new Mobage game, back when I was playing Monster Rancher on my old Galaxy S2. The company, Mobage, have an English language version of their game service (and in my opinion, it’s a lot more robust than the Japanese version of the service) and I saw a lot of my Monster Rancher friends trying this game out. I have to say that the game was incredibly fun at the start, and fulfilled my desires to hunt for for demon-girl waifus. Fast-forward a few years and Rage of Bahamut is one of the biggest mobile games of its time and in the works is a Rage of Bahamut anime.
The anime is a bit different to what I was expecting, but to be honest, it’s a hell of a lot better than I thought it would be. It’s not entirely accurate to the lore of the game, and it definitely avoids the mechanics of the game in its entirety– outside of a few references at least– but damn is this anime good. Trust me on this, as a fan, if this show was anything below amazing, it would be treated as possibly the worst anime series of all time. So for me to be praising it before even getting into things goes to show just how damn good this series is.
Rage of Bahamut: Genesis starts out with one of my favourite scenes in any anime, ever, of our lead character, Favaro, being chased down by the bounty hunter Kaiser. This opening scene is probably one of the most fun scenes in any anime series. It has everything, a bit of comedy, a bit of drama, a bit of intensity, and a whole lot great choreography. It really sets the entire feel of the series in stone right from the get go, so you know straight away what it is that you’re getting into with the show from right from the first episode.
It was enjoyable how the series progressed from a show about an immoral bounty hunter to a show where the characters actually showed strong growth and change of character over time. You can see this kind of progression early on in the series where Favaro clearly is not enjoying his contract with Amira, but somehow is critical of himself for not trying to end things when he has the chance. This kind of self-reflection in characters is something that I think that a lot of anime series tend to forget about, and so this being included gives you that strong sense of character development.
There was also this real sense of adventure from the series, even if the pacing feels a bit quick when you’re watching each episode back-to-back. The party have an end goal in mind, and each episode seems to bring them just this little bit closer to reaching it. You really do get a nice sense of progress from the series that just really enhances that adventure feeling. It helps that each story introduces interesting characters and situations, some of which are easily recognisable from the game. Like the storyline of the zombie girl, Rita, or the many times the Man character, Jeanne d’Arc, appears.
Never would I have imagined that an anime adaptation of a mobage title have such amazing and fluid animation. Even more, there is an intense attention to detail that really makes this series excel. The only downside is that there is a small amount of CGI used in this series, particularly when it comes to depicting Bahamut itself.
In particular, I really liked the designs of Kaisar, Amira and FAVAROOOOOOO! The look of these characters, original to the anime, pretty much tells you their personalities at a glance. It’s quite remarkable that Amira’s opening costume is a rather mysterious looking garment, showcasing her mysteriousness early on, but soon becomes a more recognisable character wearing a garment that compliments her childish, yet curious nature.
I have to really point out how amazingly well choreographed the action sequences in Rage of Bahamut: Genesis really are. Right from the first episode with Favaro’s battle with Kaisar, you just know that each action sequence is going to be a rollercoaster ride in itself. And the show proves this time and again. What’s even cooler about this is that the main characters are often underpowered in most fights, meaning that a lot of battles become unconventional fights that aren’t seen as often in anime titles these days.
Even the background art in this series is really well done and sells the fantasy world of Rage of Bahamut really easily. You can’t help but just want to explore the world with this party of miscreants and enjoy the scenery along the way. In particular, I liked the way that both the Gods and the Demon lands looked. But even the more fantastical areas, like the area around that tree spirit thing, looked simply amazing. I was really quite impressed.
When it comes to audio in anime, you’ll usually find that it is either really good, or average at best. Quite often, when dubs are added to the mix, things just become exceptionally bad. However, Rage of Bahamut: Genesis is a series that remain mostly exceptional at all times. I have to admit that the dub was initially a bit strange to me, but the voice actors really do sound similar to the Japanese voice actors. The only downside to the dub, really, is that the English voice actors seem to restrain themselves on any scene that involves excessive yelling. This makes all of Kaisar’s “FAVAROOOO!” lines a bit lackluster in comparison to the Japanese version.
The opening song, Existence, by the band SiM is probably one of my favourite songs (still). However, some can argue that it doesn’t really fit in with the feel of the series. However, this doesn’t stop it from still being an awesome song. The ending song, which name I forget, fits the series much better. The OST of the series is quite vibrant and fitting too. I can’t think of many instances where the music didn’t fit or was too obtrusive.
Overall, Rage of Bahamut: Genesis is an amazing anime series, just in general, and not because it is based on a game. Although some might consider the pacing to be a bit quick, that sense of adventure is quite real and the characters are ones that you really enjoy watching. If you’re into fantasy, definitely pick this one up. If you’re not, still give this one a watch because everything about it works so well.
Rating: FAVAROOOOOOO! /10
Rage of Bahamut: Genesis is adapted by Funimation and released by Sony and Universal Entertainment here in Australia. This review is based on the DVD release as provided by the publisher for the purposes of review. You can purchase it here for ~$43. Imaged sourced from tumblr (somewhere).