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Assassins Pride

Assassins Pride

Written by Ross Locksley on 12 Mar 2024

Distributor MVM • Certificate 15 • Price £39.99

In a future Earth that has seen the human race decimated and huddled in one remaining city called Flandore, the remainder of humanity is split into two categories; those that can control mana, and those that can't. Mana users can manipulate their inherited powers in different class disciplines (Samurai, Paladin etc) and be trained to fight the feral lycanthropes that walk the wastelands. 13 year-old Melida Angel has inherited her family's powerful name, but none of their mana abilities, which leads the family patriarch to hire Kufa Vampyr (subtle) to train her. Should she still fail to develop her abilities, his orders are to assassinate his charge to quell the rumours of her potential illegitimacy to the family bloodline 

By episode 3 I realised that Assassin's Pride will forever be etched in my memory as an anime "not aimed at me". The name suggests, well, assassinations, which aren't really my thing, but what I got was essentially a tween magical girl show that focussed on girls coming of age, discovering their feelings and a conspiracy that was strangely bloodless, concerned more with honour than actually killing anyone. Though the last three episodes do ramp up the tension somewhat, you'll endure sleepovers, classes and romantic jealousy to get there.

What made me a little uncomfortable was Kufa's relationship with Merida, who is 13 in the anime. While he doesn't romance her directly, he's still receptive to her advances and kissing her before the end of the show. I'm not overly sensitive to this stuff usually, but this seemed screamingly inappropriate, though I'm sure young girls watching the show will find it exciting in the same way Angel and Buffy being a couple found favour. 

Assassin's Pride
Sir, put the schoolgirl down and get in the back of the van.

It does strike me as odd that the age of the characters is lower than the BBFC rating, but that aside it seems to be obsessed with introducing villains and then reforming them - by the end of the show, I think the body count is one henchman. Should really be called Assassins Embarrassment. 

I watched the dub, but would heavily recommend subtitles for this one - some of the English cast sound too old for the characters they're portraying, and honestly the formal dialogue isn't delivered convincingly, something the Japanese voice actors manage handily. It becomes important when the show is essentially all about status, and the way characters talk to each other is vitally important to establishing rank. 

To be fair, the series is mostly harmless fun. I can see the Sailor Moon fans enjoying much of this - the character designs are pretty good, the music has a certain flair and though the animation is a bit choppy at times, the direction makes up for it during action scenes. It's watchable fluff really, possibly the very definition of what the kids might call "mid". But then as I established early on, as a 45 year old man, I'm very much not the target audience for this show and can subsequently judge the technical qualities and suitability for the target audience and to that end, it passes the time but fails to make much impact.

Troubling elements aside, it's really an anime for younger girls looking for a bit of wish fulfilment fantasy, a role it handles well. For the rest of us, it's not much to write home about.

Ross Locksley
About Ross Locksley

Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time. You can read his more personal articles on UKA's sister site, The Anime Independent.


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