Review of Noblesse: A Series with Flaws
When it comes to Noblesse, there’s not much that stands out, except for perhaps it being one of Production I.G.’s most budget-conscious productions. As someone who has been blogging about anime for a decade, I must admit that this show pushed the boundaries of mediocrity. In a stronger season, I probably wouldn’t have stuck around until the end. Nonetheless, I can’t deny a certain fondness I have for Noblesse, even though it stumbled across the finish line.
A Fundamental Flaw
One of the central issues with Noblesse lies in its core premise, which unfortunately involves the main character. From the very beginning, including the OVAs, we are repeatedly told that Raizel is the strongest being in the world, unrivaled by any other immortal. However, this fact becomes a double-edged sword as the last few episodes strive to prove this point. The problem is, it becomes monotonous and dull. The earlier battles had an air of uncertainty that made them captivating, but once Raizel entered the fray, that sense of tension disappeared.
Interestingly, I found that Noblesse thrived more when Raizel was not the focus. A few weeks ago, I mentioned how the line between protagonist and supporting characters was blurred in this series. Yusuke and M-21 both had shades of being the protagonist, with M-21 potentially having a strong claim to the role. Raizel, while not uninteresting, thrives more as a deadpan character when he reacts to others rather than driving the narrative himself.
The Weakness of the Final Arc
Unfortunately, the final arc of Noblesse is where the anime struggles the most. I understand why Production I.G. felt compelled to include it, but the series was at its best when it focused on the everyday school life with supernatural elements. What set this series apart was its tonal variation and quirky sense of humor. As a shounen action series, it becomes disappointingly generic. The final arc, in summary, was a collection of interesting story elements that, when combined, resulted in a lackluster and predictable outcome.
Even within this final arc, the most memorable moments were the rare comedic ones, such as Regis being thrown into the throne room. As for Raskreia and her paternal issues, it’s difficult to muster any genuine interest. While Raskreia may have been dealt a difficult hand due to circumstance and deception, there was little evidence of her being a competent leader. Since Raizel’s invincibility guaranteed no lasting damage to any character, the suspense was severely lacking. The sole uncertainty was whether Gejutel, the most captivating of the clan leaders, would choose eternal sleep voluntarily (as the former lord had done).
Challenges of an Adaptation
Noblesse, as a 13-episode adaptation of a long-running manhwa, faces its fair share of challenges. While the comedic aspects of the series are enjoyable, they eventually need to lead to something substantial. In comparison, Kami no Tou had a captivating premise and far more intrigue, making its short-lived anime run even more frustrating. Nevertheless, I did find enjoyment in Noblesse, particularly in the first nine episodes. There is an inherent likability to the series and its cast, which sometimes serves as reason enough to continue watching.
Noblesse is an anime series that falls short of its potential. While it has its flaws, the show manages to create moments of charm and interest. The core premise, while uninspiring, does provide a few captivating battles before becoming predictable. As the series progresses, Raizel’s character loses its shine, and the final arc lacks the unique tonal variations that made Noblesse stand out. Nonetheless, there are still moments of comedy and likable characters that make it worth a watch for those seeking a supernatural shounen action series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Is Noblesse worth watching despite its flaws?
A1: Despite its flaws, Noblesse can still be enjoyed for its comedic moments and likable characters. If you’re a fan of supernatural shounen action, it’s worth giving it a try.
Q2: Which episodes of Noblesse are the most memorable?
A2: The earlier episodes, particularly the first nine, leave a stronger impression due to their tonal variation and quirky humor.
Q3: What makes the final arc of Noblesse weaker compared to the rest of the series?
A3: The final arc loses the unique blend of school life and supernatural elements that set Noblesse apart, instead emphasizing generic shounen action tropes.
Q4: Does Raizel’s invincibility make the battles in Noblesse less suspenseful?
A4: Yes, knowing that Raizel cannot be harmed significantly reduces the suspense in the battles. This takes away from the uncertainty that initially made the battles intriguing.
Q5: Are there any other anime adaptations of long-running manhwa worth watching?
A5: While not related to Noblesse, Kami no Tou (Tower of God) is a manhwa adaptation that offers a captivating premise and a greater sense of intrigue, making it highly recommended.