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Bastard!!     |  

Wow, what can I say? This anime came out of nowhere and took me by surprise. You see, I often plan out what anime I intend to buy long before I actually order them. However, just to spice things up, from time to time I will randomly just buy an anime that catches my eye when I am out shopping. Well, Bastard!! was one such anime, and boy am I ever glad that fate decided to smile upon me that day. Folks, this anime is great! The character design is some of the best, and the quality of the animation is top-notch. The characters are likeable, and the story is decent considering the entire series is only 180 minutes long. The soundtrack is cool (especially that catchy credits theme), and the voice acting is rather good. However, this gem is not without its downsides. **braces himself for a beating from the gals at the Bastard!! fix fansite** You see, I get the very real feeling that this series was either cut short or forced to be compacted. The story just jumps around too much. Several episodes leave you wondering just what happened in between, and the ending, though satisfying, does not even begin to wrap things up. This is a big disappointment, considering how sweet this anime was. There was just not enough time to develop the characters and storyline.

What is this anime about, you ask? Well, basically it is about a big bastard. Namely, Dark Schneider, the most powerful sorcerer who ever lived. Fifteen years ago, he nearly conquered the world, but his four generals betrayed him, sealing him away in the body of a young boy. However, the kiss of a virgin will awaken him from his imprisionment, returning him to his true body and power. And this is exactly what happens when his former generals make the mistake of attacking that young boys home, the kingdom of Meta-Rikkana. So Dark Schneider is revived in all his arcane, sorcerous, bastardly might. And guess what, he isn't too happy with his generals, the four Lords of Havoc. He quickly sets out on a quest to avenge his captivity and stop them from resurrecting the God of Destruction. The only problem is that he has feelings for Yoko, the girl who first kissed him and made him free. Then there is the little fact that one of the generals is his former lover and.......well, I think you can see how things are going to get really messy from there on in. This is one sword-swinging, spell-casting bundle of goodness. However, I have to limit its score because of the obvious shortcomings in character development and storyline completion. Despite this fault, I would recommend this anime to anyone who enjoys a good action romp, with plenty of emotion thrown into the mix. I give Bastard!! an 8 out of 10!