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Utawarerumono Vol. 4-6

Author: Kevin Leathers

Kevin hasn't written a profile yet. That's ruddy mysterious...

Utawarerumono Vol. 4-6

ADV Films
12 / 15 / 15
03 Sep 2008

If there is one thing I’ve discovered in watching Utawarerumono, it’s this; catgirls are out. It’s all about the dog-girls now. Some how the floppy ears and shaggy tails hanging off the usual cute female anime character works and works well. The cuteness factor is magnified by a factor of 10 and I really can’t explain why it is beyond the idea of using a new breed of animal to mix with a girl. Good lord I feel dirty after saying that...

So here we are in the last half of Utawarerumono which is a show best described as a handbook on raising and running a kingdom. As volume 4 kicks off, the honourable Hakuoro does his best to defend his kingdom from the invasion of a rival and attempt to bring stability back to the region. For lovers of big battles and large armies going toe to toe, you'll get plenty for your money here.

Before we carry on, let us get one thing straight. I enjoyed this series. It was heart-warming, it had a range of interesting characters and for the most part it kept me entertained. But for that to happen, you have to forgive some minor irritations along with some major problems. So let’s just get them out of the way;

Backstory is the most glaring issue. While the main arc was enjoyable and relatively easy to get along with, it is the who, what, when and how’s of the series’ backstory that is poorly explained and delivered. The fact that I had to use Wikipedia to make sense of it all speaks volumes. I can only assume that the backstory came from the original game as some of the plot point offered on Wikipedia were absent from the anime entirely. This is a pretty major flaw in anyone's book.

However, lack of clarity is the only major gripe here, but there are some niggles. The music isn’t particularly memorable and the CG can seem out of place at times. However, you can overlook these production-line errors if only for the general good-feeling generated by the characters and the storyline on offer.

One thing that the series can’t be accused of is not having a wide variety of different characters. You will find it very hard not to find at least one character you enjoy watching and hope you can see more of. The only problem here is that early characters seem to be pushed into the background as the series progresses, and in some cases this is a terrible waste.

I could sit here all day and pick and prod at Utawareumono, but even with the problems outlined above, the series has proven itself to be an emotional and entertaining package as a whole. It manages to avoid the rusty cliche that mire other fantasy series and offers up a cast that you can genuinely care about come the conclusion, and that's a feat not to be sniffed at. Except if you happen to be a Dog-girl perhaps...

An entertaining series with minor flaws and habit of losing itself at times
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