Noblesse

Rating: 1 out of 5.

This one felt a little different initially, and after a little research after I completed watching the series, I found why. While this particular production was Japanese, the series originated in Korea. Initially I felt this had promise, but it dwindled down into ordinary characters, subpar story, and decent artwork. Overall disappointed.

Characters

Rating: 2

I like Raizel. Quiet and sure, but also aware of his environment and the potential disadvantages he find himself in as a result. Basically, this guy is a member of a superhuman race called Nobles, although he himself is a super-superhuman called a Noblesse. They have a great deal of magical powers that allow them to do the stereotypical large explosions of amorphous light and stuff. Raizel is superior to all the other being we encounter in this story, and he acts like it. He has been “asleep” for “820” years, apparently precisely to the day or something. Without being arrogant outwardly at least, he mostly watches his way through this story, with limited dialogue. I don’t mind this however. Being in that situation, one would feel less inclined to communicate. Imagine finding yourself at home among a colony of living dolls, with proportionally superior physical and mental power, and you’d kind of get the idea. All Nobles have characteristic red eyes, and he rocks these quite well. Tall and thin with black messy hair, I get the Black Butler vibe from this guy, just without the smug arrogance of our friend Sebastian.

However, he never is really pushed to much development. I was glad when he finally exerted his power in the last episode, but even that was kind of unremarkable. Partly this was because the power of the other characters was never really established. We were led to believe they were powerful, and they had some battles with other characters who we thought were powerful, but not really enough to give us a good idea of the balance of power against Raizel. He easily overcomes all of them with little effort. So I kind of like his dynamic, but it ends up being a little underwhelming.

The rest of the characters are ordinary or poor. They either have potential and are underdeveloped, as is the case with Frankenstein, Yusuke, and Seira (really pretty), or they’re ordinary and subpar, like Regis, M-21, and Raskreia. In Frankenstein’s case, you have all the possibilities of that famous name at your disposal, and while the initial design is one of a superior human, outside the Nobles and therefore presenting a power balance issue, he ends up being no more than that. He’s powerful, none of the other Nobles can ultimately beat him despite his “inferiority” as a human, but that’s it. A lot of entitled raging by the other Nobles goes on whenever they battle him, and it’s stereotypical and gets annoying really fast. Yusuke has lots of personality, but disappears from the show after a few episodes, and never plays a significant role. Seira is tall, strong, quiet, and beautiful, but that’s also all she ends up being. She nearly ends up being executed for siding with Raizel, amidst the overly emotional misunderstanding among the current set of Nobles that painted Raizel as a traitor. It was just a little underwhelming.

Regis looks a lot like her, is a lot shorter, spends most of his time with her, but apparently never has any connection to her at all beyond being sent on his initial mission with her. He is ordinary and tiresome, with all that stereotypical try-your-hardest-never-give-up stuff. That’s a fine thing of course, but it’s so old in anime that when employed you run the risk of boring your audience to death. And he basically does. M-21 is a modified human, by whom I forget, because it doesn’t actually matter ever in the story. He also suffers from this same theme, but more in the sense that he’s simply getting beat up all the time by Nobles and never really seems to find any way to overcome his weaknesses.

Raskreia is the daughter of the previous leader of the Nobles. I don’t even want to go into it too much. Basically, her dad was the leader of the Nobles, and while she was sure she was the heir to his position, she overheard him speaking to the renowned Raizel one day about how he felt about becoming the next “lord.” Apparently too shocked to listen further, she lives thereafter under the misunderstanding that her father was offering the position to Raizel, and that Raizel was going to take it. We find out, of course, that Raizel declined, in deference to her. Nevertheless, she managed to miss this part of the conversation, though it occurred within seconds of the part she overheard. After this, her father “died,” something they call “eternal sleep,” of his own accord apparently, and we don’t really get a good explanation as to why this needed to happen either. Nevertheless, Raskreia in her jealousy attempts to pin her father’s passing on Raizel, and he ends up a kind of outlaw, and she becomes the next lord. Raizel gets into his 800-year sleep sometime after this, and if that’s explained why then I missed it or simply don’t remember. Nevertheless, she’s all up in arms now that Raizel’s location has been discovered, and she gets more up in arms when she realizes he’s awake and living his life. Let alone that he’s spending that time attending a local highschool and living among other highschoolers, making no impact whatsoever on anybody’s world or life. Her dialogue and design are all very ordinary, as well as the themes she utilizes in her character. It’s all very tiresome.

Long story short, her machinations get some of Raizel’s friends involved, he takes Frankenstein with him back to the land of the Nobles, his friends go with him despite his urging them to stay behind, Raizel fights the other Nobles but doesn’t really hurt any of them, the misunderstanding is cleared up, and everyone’s happy and everyone goes home. The end.

Artwork

Rating: 7

The quality is good. Nice coloring, always a fan of the red eyes, it gets your attention. I mentioned Black Butler, but it’s also a little in the Lelouch territory, as the characters have a lot of hair and are awfully long-limbed and thin. Not my favorite, but it works well enough. Clothing is nice if unremarkable mostly. Scenery kind of takes a back seat in this one. Lots of large buildings of various kinds, and lots of large open areas to allow for massive one-on-one battles.

I don’t care for the way weapons and magical effects are so hugely massive. I understand its tradition in anime, and I definitely like it when used appropriately, but too much of it makes it commonplace. And commonplace is not much better the real-world. We lose the ability to differentiate these kinds of powers from ordinary real-world powers. There’s nothing to compare it to, and so it becomes unmeasurable and uninteresting. Hell, their opponents aren’t even harmed much by it usually. Yeah they deflect it, but that even doesn’t speak much for the powers. It’s overused.

But that’s my only quibble on the artwork. It’s overall quite good, and I wish there’d been more quality aspects to place around it to make this worth watching.

Story

Rating: 0

I basically went over this at the end of the Character section. There’s not much more to it than that. I forgot how this story began by the time I reached the end of it. Granted, there’s only one season out at this point (Jan. 2021), but this particular storyline doesn’t have anywhere else to go anyway, so there’ll be another storyline if there’s a second season. I hope it’s better than this one.

Overall: 2

Good artwork is not enough to redeem this show from overall ordinary characters and poor story. I definitely was interested at the outset, as there seemed to be some interesting mysteries and some powerful entities involved. Once Raizel revealed himself at the end and settled everything, the emptiness of show was pretty much resolved. I wished for more, but was underwhelmed. I don’t recommend spending time on this one.

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