Saturday, April 22, 2006
Episode #2 -- King of the Wasted Forest
And so the H-game adaptation craze continues with Utawarerumono a low key fantasy series that follows the adventures of a nameless amnesiac trying to find his way in a mysterious village, the inhabitants of which, for reasons as yet undisclosed, all possess fluffy ears and tails.
With not a whole lot happening in the first episode the pressure was on for this sophomore instalment to impress, and impress it did. Unlike the first episode there's plenty of action as the villagers seek to slay The King of The Forest - a ruddy great tiger with a hankering for human flesh. With our incognito hero's help they devise a devious plan with which to ensnare the beast, culminating in a stunning finale that evokes memories of Ghibli masterpiece, Princess Mononoke.
It's hard to believe Utawarerumono has its roots in the smutty world of H-gaming as it's actually quite a classy lil fantasy adventure with slick production, eye catching design and great animation. The plot, while not wholly original, manages to avoid many of the cliches you'd normally associate with the genre, spinning a pleasing yarn that is by turns exciting, intriguing and visually captivating. Some of the characters, Erururu in particular, are a little too one dimensional for my tastes, but even at this early stage Utawarerumono promises to be a fantasy yarn to remember.