Bastard!! takes place in a post apocalyptic world where magic is in a resurgence, and technology has been destroyed.
Dark Schneider is the hero you'll hate to love, but will anyway. Politically incorrect, naked half the time, and vain as hell. The storyline in Bastard!! follows Dark Schneider from his rebirth, through trials by his former allies and other characters along the way.
The interesting sub-plot is that of Dark Schneider's personality now being a composite of Luche Len Len, a small, naiive boy, and Dark Schneider, the 400 year old exploder wizard. The two sides of his personality make him to be a dynamic and interesting character.
Thunder Empress Arshes Nei and Ninja Master Gara are the two other major players in the story, old allies turned enemies turned allies.
All in all, the storyline is original, and very well done, Bastard!! moves from silly comedy (such as Dai Amon, the Vampire Lord : "I don't care if I don't have a sense of direction, take this!!") to powerful emotion (Episodes 5 and 6, I won't say any more) with ease and flexibility.
The story is the weakest link in Bastard!!, an otherwise rock solid title. Large parts are assumed knowledge from the (extensive) manga series, and the ending leaves you waiting for another episode. Regardless, the storyline that is there is original and well told.
Dark Scheider is one of the most fun characters I have ever seen. A narcissistic semi immortal master of explosive magic who is half a small boy at heart.
Yoko is Luche's friend, before he becomes Dark Schneider. She has a continuing hold of his emotions when he becomes the dichotimized wizard.
Ninja Master Gara proves to also be an excellent character, loyal and skilled, but with a great sense of humour. (And probably my favourite quote ever seen in an anime. Click on my name at the top of this page, it's the quote on my profile.)
Thunder Empress Arshes Nei and Tia Yoko Noto, both in love with a different half of Dark Schneider add a kind of interesting love parralelogram.
Supporting characters like High Priest Geo, Princess Sheila, Gara's Ninja Army, the HILARIOUS Bon Jovina, Arshes' aide-de-camp, Kai Harn, Lars the mini dragon and more add to the fun and expand the depth of the story.
The 2 main antagonists, Karlos and Abigail are WILDLY different in their approaches. Abigail is a necromancer, master of the dead, bent on world destruction. Karlos is Dark Schneider's antithesis, an ice wizard, but unfortunately their fight does not happen in the series.
Bastard!! is well drawn and clean. Characters are well rendered and spell effects are absolutely stunning, I personally would say second to none.
While watching Bastard!! again, I've realised that the direction is one of the three things that set Bastard!! apart. The direction is awesome, it draws you right in to the action. Couple with the voice acting and characters, it makes Bastard!! a truly memorable anime experience.
The voice acting on the subtitled version of Bastard!! is first rate. All character voices are an excellent match to the characters personality, and the acting itself is stellar.
The above comments are for the subtitled version. I've now seen Bastard!! dubbed. AVOID IT DUBBED AT ALL COSTS!! It turned my favourite anime into a shallow superficial slugfest :( The changes in dialog turn the whole thing upside down, I'd HATE Bastard!! if I saw it dubbed before the sub.
Everything! Bastard!! has it all, from comedy to warmth to emotion, packed into 3 hours of no holds barred spell casting, sword smashing good times. Bastard!! is to this day my favourite all time anime, and there's one special note about it that's unusual for anime: It has tremendously high replay value for some reason.
The only thing that really pisses me off about Bastard!! is that there is no sequel.
And good god, the DUB.
Average User Rating for this Review :
4.7 (From 12 comments)
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