Reikenzan: Hoshikuzu-tachi no Utage Review

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Let’s be honest, this story will be confusing for a good amount of people who are not familiar with Chinese culture. Originally this is an anime that was a collaboration between Japan and China, making the Japanese voice over harder to understand because of all the Chinese idioms. I’m really surprised to see many people scoring this so highly. It wasn’t terrible but it definitely wasn’t anything impressive by any means. The story revolves around our male MC Ouriku, and his journey to becoming a sage. The beginning of the story flows rather nicely, showing the characters and placing them in the trials that would determine whether or not they gain entry into this clan, which seems to be the best clan to be in. However after the first few episodes of being able to follow the story we are given massive time skips (years of time). Most of the middle and end of this anime is Ouriku hearing about a new word or power then saying “I want to learn that”, then time skip, or simple quick 1 day montage until he gains the power and tells us some fuzzy description of what he felt and what he can do. It was honestly hard to follow.

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Although the art isn’t spectacular, it can’t be called mediocre. The coloring for the characters were pleasing for the eyes and quite beautiful. I also found the drawings of the characters different from common styles because of its Chinese styled way of figure. Soundtrack didn’t jump out at me either even though it was my favorite Utaite singing the OP song. The characters had some interesting elements but nothing gets explored. We have some early character development which builds up into nothing. Our only developing character is Ouriku who again is flat as a board personality wise. Sometimes serious, sometimes comedic/arrogant, but all around bland. The character I was most interested in was Rei the inn owner, however she seems to be a convenient master of things to teach Ouriku occasionally and gets little time for progress.

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I didn’t hate this anime, but I didn’t like it either. This really felt like a time waste as nothing really happens the entire time, I didn’t care at all about the characters, and the comedy was mostly Ouriku’s arrogance in one or two episodes. The story line of this anime is very unique, compared to the modern day anime with copied and reused plots. If you’d like to try watching something different and away from all the usual product anime, you might as well give this anime a go. Japanese and Chinese culture are very different and may just interest you just by how different they are. To be fair Chinese manhua/China in general never get this type of attention, getting their own anime with a full 22-24 mins long episode (most are reduced to online airing of short 5-15 mins). My opinion of this anime maybe be slightly biased for being good. But I’ll be truthful that it’s not the best story I’ve come across, but its one of the better ones.

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