Bastard!! Ankoku no Hakai-jin
Genre: Action
Format: 6 OVA
Allegiance: AIC/Shueisha
Director: Akiyama Katsuhito
Vintage: 1992
Intelligence Agency Report by: Lady Sage
The Four Lords of Chaos are trying to reawaken a demon god sealed ages ago, a disaster that could bring about the end of the world. Meta-Rikana holds the seal on this god of destruction, but their defenses are at the breaking point. In order to avert disaster, they summon Dark Schneider, one of the most powerful magicians ever. But is the cure worse than the disease?

Field Agent Report by: Lady Sage
Plot
Characters
Impact
Visual
Audio
6.00
7.75
5.00
8.25
8.00
Overall 7.00
(not an average)
 

I think I went into Bastard!! expecting too much. I had heard some great things about it, plus I’m a longtime fan of slightly skewed fantasy. After I finished watching the series, I couldn’t help wondering who had replaced this hilarious fantasy action/comedy series that I had heard about with these six marginally entertaining, loosely connected OVAs.

Bastard!! did go right in one or two places. The protagonist, Dark Schneider, is like few characters I’ve ever come across. He ranges from hopelessly perverted and narcissistic to violent and careless to downright tender, all within a ten minute space. It’s his sheer unpredictability that makes him so fascinating. Also interesting is Darsh’s half-elven daughter/lover, Arshes Nei, a bundle of conflicting emotions with a painful past. Unfortunately, the rest of the characters are as unexciting and stereotypical as they come.

You know that “parts of a manga” feel that detracts so much from otherwise entertaining OVAs like Oh! My Goddess! and 3×3 Eyes? Well, it has an even stronger presence here, bordering on total incoherence. The characters jump from location to plot point with little to no connection between episodes. More than a few times I found myself scratching my head and wondering when exactly something happened. The story is robbed of any coherence the manga may have had.

Bastard!! was made with an OVA budget, and it shows. Everyone and everything moves with the smoothness the plot lacks, and the colors are bright. The animation has a rich, hand-drawn feel to it that is lost in the CG animation today. Such a budget could have been used to create exciting, innovative battle sequences. Alas, such is not the case. Instead, the battles are plagued with the “my energy ball/spell is better than your energy ball/spell”-style fighting, with the only bright spot being the humorous insults thrown back and forth.

I did enjoy Bastard!! to an extent, but it’s nothing I’m in a hurry to watch again. It’s one of those anime best left to renting on a dull afternoon, when the only other anime on the shelf that you haven’t seen are train wrecks like MD Geist or Battle Arena Toshindena second-to-last resort.