ANIME & MANGA - Review
09:55 - 19th February 2016, by NEO Staff

Blade and Soul – Complete Collection

Wandering the land, silver-haired assassin Alka seeks revenge against the menacing Param Empire for the death of her master, rights the occasional wrong, and gets into a lot of gore-flying knife fights. This is because, being the bad eggs that they are, the Empire has put a bounty on her head, making Alka’s life even more perilous than it was already.

Blade and Soul is originally a Korean MMORPG – set to release in the west early next year – and while the adaptation is set in the same world, it has its own original plotline. Unfortunately, that overarching storyline – which ostensibly revolves around Alka’s vengeful feelings and crumbling sense of emotional detachment – is not particularly compelling. You’ll be waiting for a few episodes for Alka to express any kind of emotion, and even when she does, she’s still a long way from being anything resembling a likable character.

Occasionally, a series with a lacklustre narrative will be saved, somewhat at least, by good art and animation; but that’s regrettably not the case here either. The secondary characters all seem to have an uncanny look of cookie-cutter sameness, and in several episodes the backgrounds and animations are incredibly amateurish. It also feels like the series’ creators attempt to compensate for this by presenting viewers with a constant barrage of underdressed ladies from the outset (this being an RPG world, basically all the female characters have armour sets which are in the decidedly scanty range). Depending on the viewer, this will probably feel at best condescending, and at worst, crass and exploitative. Even though it’s not a particularly long watch, Blade and Soul probably isn’t worth any of your time.

Plenty of blade, but not nearly enough soul.
SCORE: 1.5/5
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