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Giant Beasts of Ars
Episodes 1-3

by Grant Jones,

How would you rate episode 1 of
Giant Beasts of Ars ?
Community score: 3.8

ars1.png
© DMM.com・Asahi Production/Giant Beasts of Ars Production Committee

Giant Beasts of Ars starts with a solid bang, with just enough character to entice me. The premise is not uncommon these days: giant beasts plague the world and hunters must put a stop to them. The best of these are paladins who use potent abilities to slay the giant beasts. But that is not the only threat to the average people of Ars, as a war of conquest is brewing on the horizon. In the midst of this tumultuous backdrop, a young prototype – Kumi – escapes from the prison where she was being held and runs into Jiro, a taciturn and skilled hunter.

It's a rather formulaic entry to a series of its genre, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Obviously super-powered people fighting giant beasts is always a good romp, so I'm eager to see where it goes. The problem is that we don't have much beyond the premise to go on.

Our young escapee cleric is the unique twist to the formula. Usually stories in this oeuvre have sinister machinations from devious individuals or groups, but having an escapee on the run in episode one was a bit of a surprise. I assumed we would get more of the monster-hunting action-adventure stuff to begin with, but that only takes up relatively small portion of the premiere compared to her flight. The prophecy stuff was what you would expect, but the adorable little cat-pun-centric shopkeeper was a delight. Honestly, the real highlight of the episode for me was all the goofy puns in the dialogue. I hope we get lots more of this little friend and/or other silly side characters, as the main plot and cast seem quite grim.

Rating:

How would you rate episode 2 of
Giant Beasts of Ars ?
Community score: 3.8

ars2.png
© DMM.com・Asahi Production/Giant Beasts of Ars Production Committee

Another good episode from Giant Beasts of Ars. The stakes are still very low to the ground and personal, but we're learning who the characters are and their dynamic under pressure.

Jiro and Kumi are likable leads, which helps a lot. Any time you have co-leads with some friction between them, it can be a tough balancing act to find just the right amount of salt and sweet. Jiro and Kumi strikes a good balance between caring for each other and being comedically at odds with one another, and I hope they retain this dynamic as the series goes forward. Myaa is a terrific third wheel; she's a bit grating in her poking and prodding, but her comedic beats well overshadow any potential annoyances.

The real star of this episode was the visuals. The concept of the paladin and cleric merging is a cool one, and the visuals that accompany it are pretty exciting. Jiro's Son Wukong heightened ability mode looks great and the cruciform slits going through his body as Kumi merges with him are just unnerving enough to be alien and strange. I really enjoyed the giant floating battleship thing too, as it was a big, wonky, unyielding-looking arcanitech vessel. It looked like something straight out of the Zeon playbook, with its giant top-heavy design.

While the show hasn't exactly swung for the fences, it certainly hasn't made any strikes yet. So far so good. Rating:

How would you rate episode 3 of
Giant Beasts of Ars ?
Community score: 3.5

ars3.png
© DMM.com・Asahi Production/Giant Beasts of Ars Production Committee

This episode was a bit lagging compared to the prior two episodes. While I certainly appreciate a narrative's decision to down and give time for character development, I'm not sure I found the contents herein all that compelling.

It feels like the entire episode could be summed up as: Jiro is grumpy, Kumi is inquisitive. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I wish I felt like I learned more about them during all this. The village was a little ho-hum, without much intrigue or unique world-building. We get a new character in Meran, but I don't know what to think about him at this stage. Maybe with time he will make more of an impression.

The monster(s) did not do much for me either. This week's beasties were elephants but eeeeevil, and there was a real lack of oomph in the design. The intended effect may be to twist a familiar creature into something unnerving and alien-looking, but the result was just a weirdly smooth elephant that looked like a vague outline drawn from memory. It was basically just a giant gray blob, but later there was another gray blob with red eyes. Not all that impressive nor intimidating to be honest.

We get more great Myaa moments and silly lines, at least, and the final moments of the episode hint at exciting developments. But either we need to ramp up the plot or go a bit deeper into the character development here because this episode was just average.

Rating:


Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.

Giant Beasts of Ars is currently streaming on HIDIVE.


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