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Kaze No Stigma - RedRyu's Review Corner #3
Kaze No Stigma
So this is Kaze No Stigma
Kaze No Stigma is an anime released back in the later 2000's, the premise is this. There is a family of magic users that all can use the power of fire as magic. They use this power to fight monsters and humans doing bad things all over the city they live in. One day an old family member that was cast out returns with the power to use wind magic which begins the start of the series.
This seems like a fine concept, and to be honest the first few episodes are fine in their own right.
Then the first arc ends and everything falls apart. The main issue with this series is that it goes for being bare minimum and never really evolving past that, and even as a bare minimum it doesn't make sense at points with huge heel turns many characters takes.
This series could have been ok, it really could have just been that. In the end, it is bland and forgettable. It does what every other shonen series does, it doesn't do anything new. It exists to exist and never tries to do anything more past that.
More Kaze No Stigma
So the story in the beginning is that Kazuma, the main male lead, comes back to do some business in Japan. The Kannagi clan, the clan of fire magic users, see that some murders have been happening with a wind user killing them. A lot of the family thinks Kazuma is behind this but it is revealed later he is being framed to divert attention away from the real villains.
This was just ok and not bad for an introduction. The issues happen right after this, the story just stops and does what feels like mini plots that barely if at all relate the ending of the show. Many of which really don't contribute to the themes of the show as a whole. It's very dull when we learn more and more about some clans and situations that ultimately don't matter that much or throw very small hints that never go anywhere.
The last arc, Tokyo RPG, actually feels like it belongs and has a place for the characters of the show. It only took til Episode 18 to finally get to that point in a 24 episode show! That is one of the largest problems here, it takes forever to get things moving and when it finally gets to the point where we can get moving, it just ends on a cliffhanger so it doesn't end in any way that is satisfying.
Despite that the ending arc is a lot better than everything that came before it, save for the beginning arc. The plot just feels so filler, like it ultimately doesn't matter in the end and anything got accomplished even with the characters who had limited development.
The Characters in Kaze No Stigma...
The Characters in Kaze No Stigma
The characters, oh lord the characters.
So if the characters were likable enough we could get around that bland plot after the beginning, but no they have one note and don't really move from that.
The main lead Kazuma, is supposed to be a reluctant hero because he doesn't like how the family ditched him. That is fine and understandable. The problem is that he is so inconsistent with how much he helps people to be a hero in this show. It gets to the point it is just unlikable. To save his own brother who is part of the family, he demands to be paid money or he won't do it. He says protecting a girl is part of his job but then says he will make zero effort to protect the other girls with her and does so. He makes some movement away from this, but it is so minimal it doesn't matter.
Then there is Ayano, oh boy is she annoying. She is the fireswordman who gets angry easily and doesn't think about stuff to hard even in a fight. She goes about eating a lot to be "funny", basically is an incompetent fighter most of the time being one upped by Kazuma most of the time. She is the awesome next in line to lead the family swordfighter...who pretty much loses most fights or gets one upped almost all of the time unless she gets help. So she is unlikeable while pretty much fitting the the tsundere trope to a tee while never evolving from this. She just isn't likeable, since she comes off as very annoying when she just does one thing and one thing only with nothing else to make up for here.
We're suppose to feel like Kazuma getting to like the Ayano is something to be noteworthy for a romance, but it is incredibility forced even in the own show they try to force them together. He is too much of a jerk to make it seem like the romance would work, and she is too much of a angry girl being treated poorly for it to properly make sense.
There are two characters who stood out to me as being passable or actually good. One is the main character Ren, who is likable because he makes effort to find a solution between the fighting between the two and has a stronger arc for what he tries to do in a middle arc in the anime. Still that arc is very bland overall and while he is a likable character with good development and motivations, he isn't as present enough for it to make a distinct different in the plot or the other characters.
The other likable character is Jugo Kannagi who is the current head of the household. He shows very well why is he the head of the household and seems to make real effort to try and fix the problems with the family.
The other characters really don't leave that strong of an impression or are just as unlikable as the two main leads. Kazuma's dad supposedly banished him to help him find his own way, but treats him like dirt and talks trash about him all the time even after his son shows how strong he got and beats him in a fight with wind magic that he finds to be weak. He even offers to kill his own son when he goes berserk with grief at the end of the show. Wow the unlikability just piles on.
We're supposed to like these characters or find these traits funny at times, but it's not. It's not done well nor done to a degree where we understand it. If you go too far with an unlikable trait, it becomes down right hateful. Which is the ultimate problem with almost all of the characters in the show.
The Animation and Sound
The Animation and Sound
Well, if the animation has some awesome fights maybe we can have something that holds the show up a little better, right? That isn't the case here, the fights many times aren't animated that well and even then are incredibly boring. One person throws magic at another person, then the other guy uses his powers or magic at the other. Rinse and repeat for every fight scene.
It doesn't change up at all, the animation doesn't hold up nor look that good in this entire show. None of the movement elsewhere even looks that good to hold up for what goes on during this entire run. It honestly looks like a lot of those anime that got into the computer coloring and animation in the early 2000's. The ones that used this to try and make it look better but instead used it to cut money but not really improve on the movement going on. I understand not every show is going to be animated perfectly or the best, but here it just doesn't look that good. It's not the worst for what I have seen for animation, but I would put it on the bad side.
The sound is just as forgettable, it sounds like music from a generic RPG that doesn't hold up on it's own. It's there and that is about it. There isn't much to say about it. Even shows I admit have huge flaws can have background music that I might want on my Iphone, but this doesn't cut it at all.
For the voice acting, it's fine on both the Japanese and English sides. Nothing bad or outstanding on either side from what I have heard.
The Textless Opening
I can't really say this show is bad to the point where it is hateful, it's just bland and forgettable while being very inconsistent in how the characters act.
Kazuma's Father is the most hateable character in the show, the main characters aren't likable enough to make this concept work.
The fights aren't really entertaining and nothing stands out, it's there and that is all that can be said for it.
Overall if you are slightly interested in the concept and want to check it, I don't see why not watch it. I still would not recommend it. There are other shows and anime with a similar concept to this one and done far better than this.
This show is based on a light novel which is unfortunately unfinished due to the creator dying in 2009 and I have been told is darker while going on for much longer than the anime does. I'd pass this one up unless you were very interested just to see this idea.