Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle Review
After usurping the corrupt Acadia Empire, the newly formed Kingdom of Artemisia established the Royal Knight Academy to train warriors in the art of fighting with Drag-Rides, ancient mechanical dragon suits that augment the user’s fighting ability with enhanced strength and weapons, in order to defend the country from future threats. The academy has a catch though: it’s a strictly all-female school. However, the former prince of the old empire, Lux, after displaying talent in a Drag-Ride, is inducted into the academy to train as the sole male student.
The opening scene to any TV show or film is very important, as it’s almost always responsible for drawing you in, setting the general tone and, most importantly of all, giving you a good first impression. So, it is quite fitting that Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle, based upon the novel series by Senri Akatsuki, begins with a scene of the male protagonist accidentally falling into the girl’s bath and groping the female protagonist, perhaps one of the most overplayed and trite scenarios in anime history, as it sets up just how generic, lifeless and paint-by-numbers this adaptation is.
Every single element that makes up Bahamut Chronicle can only be described as lacking. Not necessarily bad, but doing nothing to make itself stand out amongst all of the other endless ecchi fantasy anime that have flooded the medium in the last ten or so years. The lone unique aspect that this series seems to rely upon in order to make itself stand out is the inclusion of mecha suits for the action sequences. That is literally all you get. The world, barring the inclusion of said mecha, feels as if it could have been pulled from any number of other similar shows, and the mecha doesn’t even feel particularly well implemented either. As far as I can recall, they never show or explain the origin of the Drag-Rides, which is head-scratching. This is an anime set entirely in a medieval fantasy world, still living by candlelight and without electricity, yet the gun-toting robots are something we’re expected to accept without even as much as a single line of dialogue describing their origin. If there is a single good thing the inclusion of the Drag-Rides brings to the table, it is the plentiful mecha battles we get throughout the show. They are definitely the closest this series gets to being interesting, mostly due to some good quality animation; however, with a paper-thin plot that pretty much begins and ends at “old empire trying to reclaim power” and a cast of characters that leaves a lot to be desired, the action scenes have absolutely no impact as the audience has no stake in what’s happening, no reason to care, and as such these scenes quickly become dull, even despite their technical qualities.
Although the plot is incredibly basic and thin on the ground, I can actually kind of forgive this, as Bahamut Chronicles definitely tries to take a more character-centric approach to storytelling; however this also fails miserably. Every character here falls into one of two categories, either dull as dishwater and almost completely lacking in personality, like the lead, Lux, or Krulcifer, one of the many girls in the show, and certainly the blandest, or totally cookie-cutter, based on well-worn character archetypes, such as typical tsundere Lisha or kundere Phi. To the credit of the writers, they do try and give most of these characters some backstory, but the personalities of the whole cast are so uninteresting that I just couldn’t bring myself to care about any of it. All goodwill towards the attempts at character building is also undone by the fact that every time a girl gets some story focus, it always ends in them becoming the damsel in distress, no matter how many times we’re told how good they are in combat, with Lux having to come in and save the day, making them fall for him in the process. This makes any attempt at fleshing out the characters just seem like a means to an end to get everyone to be a part of the harem as opposed to a legitimate attempt to develop the characters or endear them to the audience.
Speaking of the harem element, the most surprising thing about Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle was how minimal the fan service is. With it opening on the groan-worthy bath house sequence, I was preparing for the worst, but these kind of scenes, whilst present, are few and far between thankfully, making it much less of a cringe-inducing watch than it might have been otherwise, even if it doesn’t help with the multitude of other issues that plague this series.
Shockingly, Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle comes courtesy of Lerche, the studio behind excellent anime such as School-Live, Assassination Classroom and Monster Musume. Their name, to me at least, is usually a seal of quality, so to see them work on a show this bad is really quite bizarre. Their animation is good at least, but I can’t help but feel that a number of lesser studios could have worked on this instead, as this seems a waste of their usually great talents.
Audio options on MVM’s release of Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle are limited to Japanese audio only, and the performances are about as good as you can expect given what the voice actors had to work with, playing into their archetypes well enough, and not really given the opportunity to do anything more. As for music, the OP (‘Hiryo no Kishi’ by TRUE), ED (‘Lime Tree’ by nano.RIPE) and score are decidedly unremarkable, offering nothing that you won’t soon forget.
Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle is the very epitome of disposable entertainment, the sort of thing that you’ll instantly forget as soon as you watch it, which leads me to recommend not even bothering to watch it to begin with.