Recently, I was sat watching some Anime with my housemate, and he was like “have you seen Thunderbolt Fantasy? Oh man! It’s awesome, put it on!”
So, naturally I was expecting Anime, but what I got I was not prepared for. My first thoughts were, “Japans done a Thunderbirds?” as you are presented with a set of puppets moving in real time, with very extravagant movements and in VERY ornate costumes. Initially, this put me off, but only for about two seconds, as the show immediately kicks off with why it’s amazing.
Rarely have I seen fight scenes so well executed, and never have I seen it done with puppets. They open with one of the coolest opening sequences I have ever seen, and it just draws you in. Let me attempt to paint a picture with words here.
As guardians of an ancient sword, known as the Tiān Xíng Jiàn, Dān Fěi and her brother flee from their temple as it is under siege by the evil Xuán Guǐ Zōng clan whom are intent on claiming the ancient weapon for themselves. Dān Fěi carries the guard of the sword, without which the barrier to the sword can not be breached, and an epic battle ensues as her brother slays clan member after clan member, until their master, The Bones of Creation turns up and defeats the brave guardian.
Narrowly escaping, Dān Fěi finds herself in the care of a wondering swordsman from a far of land, and a mysterious man lounging under a tree, and here our adventure begins!
I’ve already mentioned how well executed the fight scenes are, but these only make up a small portion of what makes this show great. I found myself loving the character interaction, with their over the top gestures that made everything seem like an 80’s Japanese action movie, but it was what was layered in these conversations that drew me in so deeply.
One of my favourite character interactions in the show so far is between two swordsmen sat at a restaurant having a chat. I won’t give more of the scene than that away, but it was so well acted by the Vas, and so well written. There is another scene later in the series that really took me as well, but to describe any of that would be impossible without spoilers, but it involves a hood and a change of clothe…a-hem, I’ll leave that there 😉
I mentioned earlier that the puppets wear very ornate costumes, and this is no exaggeration. They are down right beautiful to look at and make me want to own everyone one of them as an action figure or model. The attention to detail doesn’t end there though, as the scenery is so well made that there are times when you forget you are watching puppets in action and feel like you’re watching high quality live action.
If that combined with the great story telling wasn’t enough to convince you that this show is worth a watch, the entire thing is accompanied by an amazing musical score, building tension at the right moments, and pumping up the excitement for those epic fight scenes!
The entire series can be streamed now on Crunchyroll, so head on over now 😀 #Notsponsored
So, with that, as is traditional with my reviews, I leave you with the intro of the show, which includes one of my favourite opening songs of all time.