Reconciling “epic” story with anti-epic industry demands

The anime industry demands crowd-pleasing television.


This means that a lot of anime is mediocre.


A lot of anime starts off strongly with all of its best ideas and rapidly degenerates into pablum.


Some shows manage to pull off some truly “epic” moments, while still satisfying the formulaic demands of the industry: pic related.


Shingeki no Bahamut – Genesis — Watch the whole episode, don’t turn it off halfway


The opening seems a little stiff, and the follow-up seems a little too loose, but about half-way through the episode, this story hits its stride.

I’m not in love with any of the characters, but I think the writers redeemed themselves right at the end of the episode. I am fairly impressed with some of the artistic choices – e.g. the artists are willing to include some ugly girls in their fantasy town, instead of making every girl a knockout.

Example ugly girl:

It’s interesting to compare the “feel” of this fantasy to magitech fantasies. In a show like Hitsugi no Chaika, magic is very slick and reliable and technological – i.e. impersonal “magitech.” In Shingeki no Bahamut I get the sense that magic is not very controllable by ordinary mortals, and demigods who walk the earth are not easily bargained with. It’s a much more medieval sort of magic, with much more of a personal element.