The Spring 2021 Preview Guide

by The Anime News Network Editorial Team,

How would you rate episode 1 of

What is this?

There were once many heroes who saved the world from Destruction. Time has since passed, and young men and women who have the title of "Successor" awaken powers from the heroes of old, and are entrusted with the fate of the world. The "Seven Knights" are a group of top Successors. Among the Seven Knights is a young woman named Faria, who is fighting against the troops of Destruction. In the midst of this battle, she saves a young man named Nemo. Nemo then awakens the power of a Successor, but no one knows of the hero whose powers he has inherited.

SEVEN KNIGHTS REVOLUTION: Hero Successor is based on Netmarble's Seven Knights smartphone RPG and streams on Crunchyroll on Sundays.

How was the first episode?

James Beckett

In addition to the tryhard title, SEVEN KNIGHTS REVOLUTION: Hero Successor shares many other traits in common with the legion of fantasy/action-adventure mobile game adaptations that have come along over the years. For one, it throws around an awful lot of capital-letter Important Proper Nouns to try to convince you that it's setting and story have anything interesting to offer: “God of Destruction", “Great Dark Age”, “Granseed Academy", the hero “Eunomia", the “Evil God Nestra", the dark cult “Physis", “hero's successors", the “Goddess Serrass", and so on and so forth. And like so many of the middling, forgettable stories that these mobile games have produced, you could swap put all the names and lore bit with anything SKR's competition has produced, and you'd get basically the same result.

Here's what the anime is really about: Nemo is a floofy-haired Hero Boy that lives in a world with a bunch of Spooky Skellington Dragon Gorilla Things that kill people. Nemo is rescued by Faria, a Shiny Sword Lady that takes Nemo on a ride aboard the Exposition Express, where the premiere literally pauses to give us the prerequisite history lesson on all of those aforementioned Important Proper Nouns. The only thing that matters, in the end, is that super special hero types go to Granseed Academy to train as hero successors in order to fight the Spooky Skellington Dragon Gorilla Things. One heavenly blessing later, and Nemo has himself the ability to turn gacha pulls into nifty weapons like a sword arm. Voila – the heroes go punchy-punch, and the scary monsters explode.

Don't get me wrong; I just spent all weekend losing my shit over Godzilla vs. Kong, so believe you me when I say that I like it when heroes and monsters make with the punchy-punch. Thankfully, this show understands the same fundamental rule that GvK revels in: If you're going to be all about silly spectacle, make that spectacle look really damn cool. Seven Knights Revolution isn't a barn burner by any means, but it gets the job done so far as eye candy is concerned, and that is one thing that would get me to recommend the show to anyone that isn't already a diehard fan of the game, or of the overall genre of “Rage of Bahamut Wannabes". I myself much prefer kaiju and mecha over generic fantasy RPG settings, so I don't think SKR is going to be my jam this season, but you could do far worse for yourself, all things considered.

Rebecca Silverman

About ten minutes in, I decided that I would be more surprised if Seven Knights Revolution WASN'T based on an RPG. It has all the hallmarks of the genre – generic monsters, complicated and barely explained backstory, magic summoning items…it's definitely not trying to fix what isn't broken. But that's hardly a damning thing to say about a sword-and-sorcery fantasy series at this point, and this is a perfectly fine, if very middle-of-the-road first episode. It succeeds at introducing us to the two main characters, the world, and the ongoing struggle without getting bogged down by too many details or a lot of jargon, and it has fight scenes that are fun to watch. That's not bad for a first episode.

If it also isn't strikingly good, well, at least part of that is because it does appear to wear its influences on its sleeve. The gimmick is that the eponymous seven knights are the spirits of deceased heroes, and the chosen few can summon them if the goddess Serrass grants them the power via a silver card embossed with the image of their particular hero. The heroic spirit then fights in tandem with their summoner – they aren't possessed, per se, but more like they have part of the hero's arms and armor and the hero themselves looking over their shoulder. (This may be illustrated a bit too literally in the second half of the episode.) Summoners, if the hapless Nemo is anything to go by, are chosen when they have a great wish, presumably to protect someone. Nemo gains his spirit by wishing to save Faria, the girl who saved him earlier on, and her goal appears to be to save as many people as she possibly can.

That's actually how Faria and Nemo meet. Nemo's been accepted at Granseed Academy, where Faria's the student council president. Because the evil cult Pysis has been slaughtering entire towns all across the land, Faria and Ellen (another council member, I assume) have been traveling by private train trying to beat the bulbous skeleton-headed monsters to each town. They fail in the first one, but in the second they find Nemo, the sole survivor. Nemo is shocked that anyone would try so hard to save his life, and when a monster attacks the train, he's determined to return the favor – to Faria, specifically; apparently Ellen can just stay on the ground amidst the wreckage.

While this isn't anything particularly unique, I will be disappointed if Nemo's name doesn't prove to be significant. “Nemo,” as you may know, is Latin for “no one,” and I really want that to come into play somehow, whether that's how he sees himself or something more sinister or interesting. Since Faria remarks that his bond with his spirit is unusual, there may be something odd about Nemo himself, especially since the monsters are far more interested in Faria most of the time. In any event, this could be yet another perfectly serviceable fantasy anime based on a mobile game – and the only way to get your sword-and-sorcery fix. This may be damning it with faint praise, but there are worse things.

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