Winter Anime Impressions – Kemono no Souja Erin

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I think this will be the last of the winter shows that I’m going to get to. This was another show that really peaked my interest. The author of the source material is the same person who wrote Seirei no Moribito and the animation house is again Production I.G.


Rating: episode 1 – 9/12 A-
Rating: episode 2 – 9/12 A-

Erin is the young daughter of Soyon and she wants to follow in her mom’s footsteps as a dragon doctor. Soyon is regarded by many, even outside of the village, as the best dragon doctor but as an outsider to the village (she married the chief’s son) there are some that would like to see her leave. So far these attempts at getting Soyon kicked out of the village have been thwarted by Soyon and Erin’s intelligence and skill.

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I’ll be truthful upfront, I’m weary of picking up this show because of it’s intended episode length, 50 episodes. That’s a lot of time and I’m not sure right now if it’ll be worth it. The last time I watched a series that long, Hayate the Combat Butler, I really only liked the first quarter and the last quarter; I kept losing interest in the middle half and was bored that the story wasn’t advancing. This might not be the case with this show but I don’t want to get 20 episodes in and realize that I don’t feel like continuing.

The main reason that makes me worry is the show seems more solidly geared to kids then Seirei no Moribito as evidenced by the voice-over at the end of the episode explicitly stating things that where obvious in the show and the total lack of subtlety dealing with the guy that wants Soyon and Erin out of the village. I’m worried that the show won’t be engaging enough for someone like me to watch all 50 episodes.

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I feel terrible thinking this, though, because I don’t believe in letting preconceived notions dictate what I watch. I want what I watch based on the actual quality of the show and the first two episodes where an enjoyable introduction to the series. The animation was very good, as expected from Production I.G. I can already tell that this show, like Seirei no Moribito, does not throw in any of the current popular anime items. So no tsunderes or otaku jokes or other cliche character types – not that these are inherently bad but it’s nice to get a break from that every once and while. I’m also getting to like the characters and the world setting already.

What I’m saying is that I have no objective reason to stop watching this show right now, it appears to have everything I want in a series or at least the potential to (where the story goes is unclear right now). Therefore, I’m going to continue watching this until I’m given a reason to stop.

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Cool ending animation style

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8 thoughts on “Winter Anime Impressions – Kemono no Souja Erin”

  1. So far Kemono no Souja Erin has not disappointed, I rather have a slow plot development and good progress than rushed storylines. The art is pretty unique as well, and I was really looking forward to it. I will likely be finishing this.

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  2. Erin is my favorite currently airing show right now due to wonderful art and music 🙂 Also I like the slice-of-life story, but we’ll see some more politics and drama later. I am determined to cover all 50 episodes 🙂

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  3. The environment really looks Aztec-like for me. Which is rare to see. I like it.

    Kiddy show, eh? Why not?!
    It’s good for refreshing! ^^
    ‘Coz I’m quite fed up with ecchi, senseless killing, bang-bang-bang action, blablabla.

    Loving mother and daughter. Ah, how sweet!

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  4. I really enjoy this series. What this show does to me each time I see it is think: what about animal rights? Who says that they don’t have any? I mean the humans aren’t treating them badly but these large creatures are not happy either. I don’t think I would get so angry if these beasts were at least happy in confinement but they aren’t. Their eyes look dead. The latest episodes (19) show how lifeless they have become in confinement, I just hope Erin does something that would one, make their confinement closer to home. 2. find a way to work with the beasts and not control them against their will. 3. Free the ones who are not happy.

    See after thinking those points, now there is another issue, those that were capture from the egg and doesn’t know any other life and can’t live outside in the wild I believe those can be happy in confinement, but if you take one who has known another way of life and imprison them for humans own selfish deeds and not for the sake of the beast then, I believe erin should do something about it or start a movement, something that will leave a mark saying that animals have a choice too.

    The show is still developing but it is already showing how the humans can be selfish for their own benefit and not think about animals are feeling beings but something for their own use. But it also shows how strict the care of a beast is to the point that the caretaker would die if the precious beast are also dead. an example, Erin’s mother punishment.

    I can’t press my finger on it, but this show is building the plot little by little each episode and I hope that it all comes together with a bang. the first 10 episodes were when Erin is innocent and so everything is still fresh and naive so many people feels it is gear towards kids but as Erin grows and she starts taking in her environment and her experience widens we see the view point matures ad becomes more dark and serious.

    I say, give the series a chance to grow and you’ll grow with it. You’ll see the story through Erin’s eyes and will also see and experience her growth.

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  5. hey man! 9 out of 12 is the same as 3 out 4. that is not an A-.
    that is a C, at 75%
    lol.
    (this is only a remark towards this man’s grading scale, i like the anime, though)

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  6. @Mark: I live dangerously by not reducing my fractions to lowest terms. 🙂

    Actually they are not the same thing. I didn’t want to deal with small differences in grades since I think it’s just splitting hairs – is there truly a difference between a grade of 3.55 and 3.60 – I wouldn’t think so. As a result, I created my own grading scale. If you want, you can check out a more indepth writeup in my about section.

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  7. That’s a good review. I’m making one of it myself right now and was looking around for some pics of certain scenes. I think its strange how this anime doesn’t have an pics posted on the net. I think it’s a bloody good one after you get past the 6th episode.

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  8. Story = 6/10
    Directing = 4/10
    Character Development = 5/10
    Editing = 3/10
    Animation = 8/10
    Voice Acting = 9/10

    While it is an original story with pleasing artwork (the background reminded me of stain glass windows), it is also very long-winded, over-narrated and annoyingly self-reviewing. At least 1/3rd of this production (maybe more) is past footage replayed again and again to the point of nausea. Many scenes simply linger too long on the screen. I found that my finger remained poised over the time-advance button throughout all 50 episodes.

    The story, while likeable, is produced & directed in a bland style. The comic relief characters fail in their mission and either become annoying or awkward. The climax scenes are consistently and inappropriately violated by the opening theme song (complete with subtitles) marching in like Bozo-the-Clown at a funeral.

    For me, the visual aspect of animation provides a large part of my enjoyment factor. Any anime that avoids the bush-baby-eyed micro-mouthed syndrome, MECHA-SHAZAM-TRANSFORM gimmicks and looping graphics shortcuts that plague mainstream anime automatically receives my attention and respect. The visual aspect of Kemono no Souja Erin does receives high marks from me and is the main reason I lasted through all 50 eps.

    The soundtrack is decent. I especially like the ending song, which was unfortunately replaced after ep 24.

    SPOILER ALERT!!!

    Kemono no Souja Erin begins as a gentle story of a wide-eyed nature-loving child (Erin) and her relationship with her loving mother, who is the center of Erin’s world. It is animated in a sunny pastel style and appears, at first, to be directed toward small children. This is reinforced by the narrator over-explaining, in the simplest of terms, every single plot development and emotion that Erin experiences, but in the 4th or 5th episode Erin has a front row seat to her mother’s execution wherein Erin repeatedly screams out while her mother is brutally mauled to death (albeit bloodless) by giant man-eating lizards in a long and drawn out scene (opening theme song included). Erin repeatedly relives this traumatic event in detail throughout the remaining episodes. All I could think about while watching this scene was that small kids are going to be watching this. Following the mauling, in the next episode, the only remedy that they offer to sooth the viewer’s trauma is an awkwardly presented farting beekeeper who has a sexual attraction for his horse and an Erin that recovers faster then I did.

    END SPOILER ALERT.

    I advise any parent to preview the first 5 eps before allowing young children to watch this show.

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