Seasonal Spotlight – Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki

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Historical anime seems to be underappreciated these days.

This is my first Seasonal Spotlight! I’ve been finding a way to write better articles in my blog to have more variety. These kinds of posts will be more in-depth than my usual First Impressions. The anime I’ll be discussing is Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki – a historical show based on a Seinen manga that’s under the radar this season. I was only able to watch it when one of my readers recommended it to me. It was a good decision.

Plot

On the year 1274, a group of exiles were sent to Tsushima to defend the island against the Mongols. Led by Kuchii Jinzaburo, a samurai who has experience when it comes to war. Another important character in the show is Teruhi. Even though she refers herself as a strategist, she mostly serves as a figurehead to the people in the island.

I don’t have extensive knowledge about past events or war however. But this anime is engaging in their tactics and history. Whenever Jinzaburo gives his strategies it’s easy to follow without the specific terms being said. Same goes with how historical facts is being taught while the focus is on a fictional group of characters.

Spoilers up to the current episode to follow.

Characters

This one’s a mixed bag. Some characters get their moments but are forgotten once they’ve done their part. If a character reaches that certain point they’re either killed or is sent to the background until it’s time to be on screen. Not all exiles have shown their past besides their skills in battle.

One example is the merchant. He’s first seen on the boat and gets separated from the group for a few episodes. When he’s back he turned into the comic relief character because he stole some treasure from the burning capital. He hasn’t contributed anything significant so far.

Teruhi also suffers from this too. At first she gets a comment from her father and brother that she’s not fit for war. When they died an honorable death she was in distress. Teruhi goes through a phase and even attempts to seduce Jinzaburo (in a Tsundere way) while a war is ongoing. Despite witnessing many deaths her resolve is out of place in some episodes. Her character is quite inconsistent in the overall narrative.

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The better ship in the show.

Besides Jinzaburo, the only decent characters are Hitari (the archer), Shiraishi, and Amushi who now has a ship being teased by a girl named Sana. However their personalities hasn’t been fleshed out yet. I hope Amushi x Sana survives at the end of the show.

Art and Animation

The notorious filter is one of the reasons why some didn’t give this show a chance. For me, it’s done well for the most part since it fits in the presentation. It is only difficult to see through the filter if a scene takes place at night. If you watched it on a lower resolution it gets worse. When done right, the result is beautiful to look at. The scene with Teruhi and the fireflies at night is one example.

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Though Teruhi is hard to follow at times, she stands out too.

Coming from Studio NAZ, I never expected them to do a historical anime. I commend them for depicting their battles hand-drawn instead of CGI. They had to use panning shots and shaking effects in major battles to cover up the limited budget. The good thing is how the enemies are being executed. Gore is clean and it doesn’t give a messy output unlike some shows that relies heavily on it. The way how the characters fight is also great to look at. They’ve done their research well.

Music

The best part of the show. Whether the scene is a battle or a solemn moment it’s always on point. There is one scene where a character introduces himself while playing an instrument. The OP and ED are also good pieces to listen. I prefer the OP more because it doesn’t sound like a normal anime song. The short piano intro which then builds up into rock music is a great combination. The full version of the OP is available on Spotify by the way.

Conclusion

Angolmois is one of those shows that’s better on a binge-watch. Doing this on a weekly basis will be difficult given the amount of cliffhangers at the end of some episodes. Behind the stigma of seasonal anime, there’s always decent shows to watch and this is one of them. I had heard the anime will cover up until Volume 10 from the manga. Most likely they will rush events in future episodes. Whether it’ll end badly or not it’s nice to see these kinds of shows still exist today.

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