Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis Ep. 2: Everyone wants a piece of Amira

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Angels and demons locked in an eternal struggle for dominance, huh? That’s an age-old tale for sure. In any case, it’s character development time in this week’s episode because if we’re going to go on a wild journey with these characters, we might as well know what they’re all about. We thus see that although lots of people seem to call her a demon, Amira can’t even hold her own around alcohol. One sip was enough to get her drunk, which Favaro almost used to his advantage. Oh, but don’t worry. He wasn’t going to do anything perverted or lecherous with the cute girl as one might expect from anime. This isn’t really your standard anime. Rather, he just wants to kill her. Of course, she’s insanely powerful; far more power than Favaro, in fact. As a result, he can’t really best her in an actual battle. So instead, he tries to kill her in a variety of ways, directly or indirectly. Unfortunately for our protagonist, it would seem that fate itself is conspiring against him. At one point in the episode, even a horse forces Favaro to save Amira when he had just sold her out to the royal knights a few moments ago. Again, it would appear that these two are destined to stick together at least for now.

Like most kisses, that kiss from last week’s episode was a way to form a contract. As a result, Favaro must tell Amira how to reach Helheim, or he’ll forever carry that silly demon tail on him. He even tries to cut it off with his own dagger to no avail. As such, our rogue has only two options: he can either help the girl or, again, kill her and perhaps the tail will go away. But can he really kill someone who’s only looking for her own mother? It’s not the most compelling backstory, but don’t you feel sorry for a girl who literally gets sad when she sees a young animal run around with its mother? In fact, Amira really is rather innocent, which I’m not particularly keen about. Still, I can’t say she isn’t a sympathetic character. MAPPA has done a great job in animating the girl’s various facial expressions, and this really goes a long way in making the girl come alive. In general, this seems to be one of the show’s primary strengths. The characters are just rather likable. Hell, as selfish as he might seem at times, Favaro is still a rather charismatic fellow, but I’ll get to that in a bit. My point is, the anime has done a great job in getting me interested in these characters, and best of all, they’re not high schoolers.

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If there’s anything that standardly anime-ish about this episode, however, it’s the fact that even though our girl is a powerful “mahou shoujo” (if only in the sense that she can transform and kick major ass), at the same time, she’s utterly naive and clueless about the world around her. Once again, we see her destroy one of Favaro’s enemies in one fell swoop. Even though she desperately wants to reach Helhelm, he convinces her that they need some funds for the trip. I can’t help but wonder if he might continue to take advantage of her power in future episodes to make himself rich. In any case, they take a detour to hunt down some giant goat-like creature. Needless to say, our “mahou shoujo” didn’t even break a sweat in the ensuing “battle” (it was too short to be a real battle). So perhaps she is a demon. Then again, perhaps she’s something even greater than just your bog standard hell creature. We learn this week that she’s stolen a God key, and should two God keys come together, “it will awaken.” They must be talking about Bahamut, huh? And Bahamut is still imprisoned up in Helheim, isn’t it?

So you can’t help but wonder if Bahamut is perhaps Amira’s mother. The thing is, Amira doesn’t really belong on either side of this angels vs. demon divide. The angels are after her for the God key, but so are the demons. In fact, the demons outright want to kill her, so it’s hard to think she’s one of their kind. And remember, even though angels and demons are almost always eternal enemies in our stories, we actually saw them work together to subdue Bahamut in last week’s episode. So what is Amira, really? Yes, she has a demon tail, but at the same time, she has no real ally… except for the foolish Kaisar and that kickass horse (it really was a pity that they had to leave that horse behind), I suppose. Even Favaro wants nothing to do with the cute girl, but apparently, Kaisar has fallen in love with Amira at first sight. He might not like it when he finds out who she really is, but then again, we don’t really know who she really is either. All we have are some clues to go on. The head of the royal knights seems to have the same pendant that we see around Amira’s neck. There’s certainly a connection there, but what connection? We can only wait and see.

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But speaking of Kaisar, we see a bit more into his character, too. Yeah, he falls in love with Amira, because he fancies himself a (white) knight. But really, it’s just his archetype. He fulfills that role of a duty-bound character since Favaro is the direct opposite. Furthermore, Kaisar’s role in this show is to play the straight man to the trickster in Favaro. The straight man is what makes the humor work. His interactions with Favaro wouldn’t be so effective if he wasn’t so straitlaced. Again, Kaisar was once a noble, but this time, we learn that his family was not only disgraced, but publicly executed. Worst of all, he blames all of this on Favaro. Really? I’m sure Favaro played a part in Kaisar becoming a bounty hunter, which is a career that people don’t seem to look fondly on in this universe, but did Favaro go so far as to get Kaisar’s family killed? That, I’m not so sure about. I just wonder if our protagonist is truly that unscrupulous. Then again, he’s repeatedly tried to kill Amira in this week’s episode, and she’s a rather innocent character. So who knows? I guess the jury’s still out on the guy.

Favaro’s clearly a morally grey character, and while some people seem to find him annoying, I think he’s a refreshing character. I mean, he’s supposed to be annoying. He’s supposed to be selfish. He’s supposed to be full of shit. Essentially, he’s a bit of anti-hero, which is why in last week’s episode, I even compared him to Captain Jack Sparrow. Again, he’s not as flamboyant — well, he’s a little “boyant” — but you can see how they sort of share the same character traits. Favaro doesn’t really buy Amira’s story, but more importantly, he’s a rogue. As a protagonist, he’s a nice change-of-pace from your standard, wholesome anime hero who feels this weird, unnatural compulsion to help everyone in need. Instead, Favaro’s just a scoundrel in this world filled with nobles, angels, and demons. He’s a nobody, so he’s got look out for numero uno. This philosophy is probably the only reason he’s made it this far. Still, whereas we’ve learn a bit about Amira and Kaisar’s past, Favaro is still a bit of a mystery. Hopefully, this will be rectified in future episodes.

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Anyway, we got another well-executed episode. So far, this is my favorite anime this far. But of course, it’s early, so like always, take everything I say with a grain of salt.

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16 thoughts on “Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis Ep. 2: Everyone wants a piece of Amira”

  1. We’ll definitely get an episode for Favaro’s past exposition. I mean, why is he so rotten? what made him be like this? the scars on his face may have some significance for his past. I’m excited for this anime more and more.

  2. Favaro’s “look at my honest face” joke was so fun even if they used twice it doesn’t got old, also Amira was portrayed genuinely innocent that almost bring a tear to my eye.
    So far Shingeki no Bahamut has been great, I care for this characters so I’m waiting for more.
    PS: I think is wiser to use a dagger/sword than a gun/crossbow to cut some ropes, but then again the latter is coolest.

  3. It’s funny how fresh and different this show feels just because it doesn’t play out like your average anime. The concept behind the story is so simple and the execution so straightforward, that if every other show didn’t feel so anime, nothing about Bahamut would stand out. But instead, the single fact that the characters don’t behave like I would expect them to is enough to keep me interested. The fact that the show looks very polished and nicely animated also helps, although that’s not completely unusual when you’re only two episodes in.
    That said, I don’t know if I would call this episode particularly well-executed. It wasn’t particularly bad either, but there were a couple of developments that I thought could have been handled much better. First off, Amira acting all cute. Besides this being the more “animeish” approach to the female supporting character, the problem with this was that the previous episode and the beginning of today’s episode gave off a completely different impression of her. This side of her personality really seemed to come out of nowhere, like someone had suddenly turned on her “act all cute” switch. As a result of this sudden change in behavior, the transition between certain parts of the episode felt disjointed. I think the transition from her detached attitude seen previously to the more friendly and innocent attitude seen in the second half of this episode could have used one or two more episodes worth of development.
    Secondly, I didn’t really like how the two moments of danger Amira found herself in were resolved. Favaro not killing her when she was all vulnerable because he suddenly realized she wasn’t a demon in that form (how didn’t he notice it earlier)? Favaro’s horse leading him back to her when he was done with her and ready to move on with his life? Come on, there must have been more a graceful way to solve those situations. It’s like the writers wanted to create interesting situations, but when they proved too difficult to handle, they bailed out and went for the sloppy shortcut.

    On a different note, I was also slightly disappointed to see episode director Atsushi Wakabayashi not going for an all-out action episode in the vein of his Naruto episodes, but I guess that was to be expected. Something like that wouldn’t make much sense so early on in the season, especially if the people in charge of the series value their budget.

    1. This side of her personality really seemed to come out of nowhere,

      I’m not the biggest fan of her cute personality, but I wouldn’t say it came out of nowhere. We saw nothing of her last week. We saw her defend herself, basically. Now that she actually gets to react to the world around her, I’m not surprised she’s a bit clueless. Did she needed to be this cute? I wouldn’t say so, but again, I don’t feel as though it came out of nowhere.

      Favaro not killing her when she was all vulnerable because he suddenly realized she wasn’t a demon in that form

      He hasn’t tried to kill her earlier.

      Favaro’s horse leading him back to her when he was done with her and ready to move on with his life?

      This seems like the corny humor that you’d see in these types of story though. The joke is that the horse is a better person than Favaro. It’s not as graceful as you’d like, ’cause it’s a joke.

      1. “I’m not the biggest fan of her cute personality, but I wouldn’t say it came out of nowhere. We saw nothing of her last week. We saw her defend herself, basically. Now that she actually gets to react to the world around her, I’m not surprised she’s a bit clueless. Did she needed to be this cute? I wouldn’t say so, but again, I don’t feel as though it came out of nowhere.”

        It’s true that we didn’t see much of her in the last episode, but I think the way she talked to people and the tone of her voice still gave away a certain type of personality. When she suddenly started acting all cute and friendly, the contrast looked very noticeable to me.

        “This seems like the corny humor that you’d see in these types of story though. The joke is that the horse is a better person than Favaro. It’s not as graceful as you’d like, ’cause it’s a joke.”

        I see your point. I guess I didn’t see it as a joke, only as a contrived way to get the hero back to the heroine.

        1. It is contrived, but I just don’t think it’s a big deal because of the show’s overall tone. If we saw something similar in Terror in Resonance, I’d have thought, “Well, that’s stupid.” But here, I just think it’s part of the atmosphere. That somehow, there’s a damn horse that’s got more morals than Favaro. It’s goofy, a bit funny, and it doesn’t bother me.

    1. I thought it sucked. The song doesn’t match the style or mood of the show at all. The visuals are just a confused mess of overlapping images and filters.
      The visuals actually reminded me of some terrible AMVs I watched, where the people making them were too busy spamming “cool” filters and shaking the camera to actually communicate something to the viewer through a sensible sequence of cuts and a distinct visual style.
      If the opening is something that should make you want to check out a show, I feel this one achieves the exact opposite effect.

    1. It’s a bit different: It seems like Bahamut is centered in the card game’s lore, not the game per-se, like Yu-Gi-Oh.

  4. I’d enjoy this more if the heroine didn’t act like a toddler outside of battle. I makes me worried for if the show will have some romantic sub plot with her and Favaro.

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