Anime Reporter cautiously wades into another harem pool to tell you if it’s safe or not, with Blade Dance of the Elementalers.
Yep, it’s harem time again. That particular genre of anime that throws male characters into situations where they’re surrounded by females of a variety of body types and personalities and chaos generally ensues along with the male character being branded a pervert (it’s a coin toss from series to series whether the protagonist actually is a pervert or not) and a hefty helping of comical misunderstandings. But wait… maybe I’m being a little presumptuous. Let’s actually take a look at BDotE.
The series starts off with our protagonist, a boy by the name of Kamito, accidentally stumbling across a young priestess bathing in the forest. He’s mistaken for a pervert and quickly attacked before revealing that he, like her, is able to summon spirits. As the only male in 1,000 years to possess this gift, he has been invited to attend the all-female academy teaching summoners to harness their gifts… Okay, so I was actually pretty much on the nose with my first assessment. That said, this series is relatively nuanced as far as harem series can go. Yes, there are underwear shots and bathing shots, but hair, soap and arms consistently prevent any overt nudity being displayed. The male character is very much front and centre but his female classmates are often shown as being more skilled and more capable than he is, rather than him constantly swooping in to save the day (though, that isn’t to say that he doesn’t swoop in fairly often), so it’s far from Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero territory, and I’ve made my feelings on that series pretty clear. Twice.
Really, it’s closest in style to Highschool DxD, (not surprising, given that the two series share a director) except without the constant explicit nudity on display, the perverted lead or, dare I say it, the sense of humour. What’s left is a pretty decent fantasy series with just enough mystery to keep viewers’ interest and some strong, imaginative action to up the pace when necessary. BDotE is not astounding or entirely innovative but it sits comfortably away from the extremes of its genre, and manages to tell a story at the same time.
Check out Blade Dance of the Elementalers if you want a new fantasy-style series to watch, just be aware that there are quite a few references to girls being naked, even if they aren’t explicitly on display, so it might not be a series to watch with your grandmother sitting in the next room.
Blade Dance of the Elementalers is currently available on DVD and Bluray in the UK and Ireland, so if it sounds like your cup of tea, get on out there and grab your copy!
Thanks for reading,