This Week in Anime
Is Sirius the Jaeger Worth Watching?

by Michelle Liu & Steve Jones,

Sirius the Jaeger puts its own spin on vampire action by throwing its bloodsuckers back in time to the 1930s, but is this twist enough to make the series stand out in a crowded genre? This week, Micchy and Steve check out this ambitious action-adventure romp on Netflix.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network. Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead. Not Safe For Work warning for content and language.

@Lossthief @Liuwdere @A_Tasty_Sub @vestenet


You can read our full review of Sirius the Jaeger here!

Micchy
Hey Steve, I have a problem here. Why do I keep watching anime with sex-clowns in blimps?
Steve
Better question: why is Netflix always the one licensing them? Is the clown-fucker demographic that huge?
I have to wonder if this was partly my fault for watching B: The Beginning like three times last year.
You at least must be the reason why they're making the sequel, B: The Middle.
Unfortunately, we're not here today for the B sequel that's happening at some point. Instead, we've got Sirius the Jaeger, which may as well be the story of Sasuke Uchiha if Sasuke were Russian and a doggo.
Damn, I think you nailed it. Discussion over!
Okay, I guess we can elaborate. Sirius the Jaeger is also a hodgepodge of well-worn monster tropes from pop culture, thrown together mostly for the purpose of animating cool fight scenes. And it's pretty good at that!
Yeah, I might find it difficult to say much about Sirius. The story's one we've seen a million times, with pretty modest goals and scale. It's easiest to describe the show as a pared-down version of famous parts of Naruto with more monster stuff thrown in. At the same time, putting it like that feels like I'm underselling the experience. For all its familiar elements, it's also good entertainment, because they found an excuse to have Frankenstein monsters, vampires, werewolves, vampire werewolves, AND vampire Frankensteins in the same show!
Let's not forget the greatest monsters of all: cowboys.
Cowboy vampires hunters, even!
I'd liken it to the anime equivalent of Penny Dreadful in that it's a period piece that seems to revel in getting all these creatures in one place, using that as an opportunity to riff on our familiarity with them and then just do its own thing.
For instance, I really like Sirius' take on vampires, who transform into these huge toothy monstrosities.
I for one liked the vampire lady with the sword leg and enormous fangs.
Very Same.

It's a shame she dies like two episodes in, because she's the best. And I'm not just saying that because I have a Thing for anime women who could kill me.
I mean, I'm definitely saying it because of that. But yeah, most of the villains in this show are extremely campy and just seem to love being evil. It doesn't make for the deepest show, but as pure entertainment it's a cut above most other Netflix "original" anime.
It doesn't hurt that director Masahiro Ando is hella good at directing action scenes. If nothing else, Sirius is nice to watch in motion. I almost don't care that the costume design in this show makes no goddang sense.
What is that sweater? Why are her boobs half out? Why does she have a belt on both her shoulder and neck? These are all questions I need answered.
Y'know, I took that outfit in stride while watching the show, because anime, but now that I'm focusing on it, I am actually losing my mind a little bit.
You can't see it in that shot, but her top also ends in this pseudo-tutu ruffle and I'm like What.
Outfit aside, Dorothea is still a very relatable character.
She is! The only thing that would make her more relatable is a big ol' stein of beer. I wish she and the rest of the cast got more focus though; the show spends a whole lotta time on Yuliy's angstboy arc and kinda shortchanges the rest.
Yeah, after the first episode I was under the impression this would be more of an ensemble story about all of the Jaegers, so I'm disappointed that nobody but Yuliy (and Willard to some extent) gets time devoted to their backstory or personality. But that's endemic of Sirius the Jaeger on the whole: there's a lot of Stuff happening, but very little of it matters in the end.
Oh yeah, that Frankenstein monster secret weapon gets wrecked in about five minutes. Oops!
That's just what I was about to bring up! Why was this guy even in the show?
I mean, the answer is so we could have a standoff with a tank and an army of vampire Frankensteins wielding flamethrowers, which is awesome, but from a story perspective he does literally nothing.
My best guess is that he's a remnant of an idea that got scrapped at some point, but honestly, the show could've done without him altogether. That whole plot direction with the Japanese military developing a superhuman weapon is kinda neat. It sure would've taken better advantage of the 1930s setting than whatever the hell the actual conflict turned out to be. Like, they set the story in a politically complex period of Japanese history, but nothing ever comes of it. You'd hardly know what year it was if not for the period-specific cars.
Yep, the stuff about the Hyakko Party was neat and has a lot of basis in real Japanese politics of the time, but like a lot of characters, this dude is just here to get his head chopped off.
Not every show has to get into heavy politically-charged themes. Sirius is perfectly free to be a fun spectacle and nothing more. It's just disappointing when the show drops these tidbits early on and then totally scraps them. To some extent, the early seriousness prevents the show from ascending to really absurd heights, since the military characters stick around even as the show devolves into supernatural mumbo-jumbo.
At least we'll always have Golden Kamuy as that perfect marriage of early 20th century Japanese military intrigue and a cast of total fucking weirdos. Sirius the Jaeger is also disappointing because the main "plot" is about beating the vampires to this thing called the Ark of Sirius, except I still have no idea what the Ark of Sirius does and I'm pretty sure the show doesn't know either.
It's a classic Anime MacGuffin, and that's it.
What killed me is that the rest of the Jaegers had to go get a SECOND MacGuffin in order to make the first MacGuffin work, and we only learn about it when they actually go retrieve it. It's like the writers suddenly realized, "we need these characters to do something while Yuliy is hanging out the cowboy."
This whole plot is held together with chewing gum and string tbh. Though for all the futzing around, Yuliy's arc is actually pretty nice. He's introduced as this guy whose raison d'etre is to exterminate vampires, but he finds out his long-lost brother has become one and can't bring himself to kill him. So then he has to start looking for a whole new purpose in life, which is I guess is to preserve his tribe's history in this Ark thingy or something. I dunno, they throw around a lotta platitudes.
As with the rest of the show, it's nothing we haven't seen dozens of times before (the last survivor of a species, fraternal conflicts, chosen one narratives, paternal abandonment, found families, etc.), but altogether it makes for an acceptable and emotionally grounded story.
I think the best word for Sirius the Jaeger is "competent." It does what it needs to do pretty well, but it doesn't leave much of an impression by the end.
Yeah, it's competent and that's about it. Which is fine! Though I'm personally super sick of Sad Boy Does Awesome Things stories and would much rather watch the adventures of Ryouko Naoe.
She is a consistent delight, and it's a crime the show didn't let her do more.
Like, she sees a vampire for the first time and her first reaction is to take a soldier's sword and slice the shit out of it! She's so good and I'm honestly annoyed that she ends up being little more than Yuliy's emotional support.
Hands down one of the best moments in the show, AND THEN THEY DON'T LET HER DO THAT AGAIN? I mean, I do respect how much she's into Yuliy's beastmode, but she really deserved a bigger role.

She comes back home and decides to give up her kendo training to focus on her studies like a good girl! POR QUE NO LOS DOS? Sirius the Jaeger does a lotta cliches pretty well, but it also keeps genre conventions like "not letting girls do shit" and that just sucks.
Let Ryoko live her best life.
I don't think there's much point in harping on Sirius for playing things too safe, but it's disappointing nonetheless. I'm also mad they never gave Mikhail a real shirt. Leave the boy some dignity.
Truly the greatest question posed by the show is how he was able to time travel to a Hot Topic to buy his clothes.
Also, I'm sorry, but as much as I did feel for Yuliy and Mikhail's arc of reconciling as brothers again, I could not get past the fact that their final scene together looks like it belongs on the cover of a Harlequin romance novel. They had to have known. There's no other reason why they would draw it this way.
I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought that omfg.
It's gotta be freezing out there, somebody button that boy's shirt.
Too bad, he's a white-haired anime boy, he's required by law to offer as much fanservice as possible while dying tragically.
The only other character I want to highlight is Yevgraf, who's a pretty great villain for two reasons.
1) He's voiced by Kenjiro Tsuda.
2) He vores the MacGuffin.
The Takehito Koyasu vampire is pretty cool too, but he gets rekt halfway through and doesn't vore any MacGuffins so...
Better luck next time, Koyasu. Speaking of that, the ending seems like it wants to be teasing a sequel, but given that Yuliy is some kind of wandering wolf boy god now, I don't know what that would look like. I guess the answer has to be aliens? They've already run out of vampires and frankensteins, so that would be the next logical step.
galaxy brain: alien vampire frankensteins
I'm only interested in a second season if Yuliy's god powers finally gave him nipples.
YES, JUSTICE FOR ANIME BOY NIPPLES.

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