Warning this review may contain spoilers.
first impression, so we have a future world with mutants and evil corporations. With a rescue, the girl plot going on seems interesting enough. And considering I checked this out in my rookie days. This was more enough to get my interest and see what’s up.
So are story with main character kyosuke who was living with his mom in some sort of cathedral and one day they get Attacked and before she dies she stabs kyosuke and days later he wakes up alive and meets a girl who claims to be his twin sister Runa this girl is then kidnapped by the Kirihara corporation who want to capture Runa for some possibly evil reason and After that he meets a middle-aged man named Shiro who helps him get his sister back.
But it turns out that this girl is actually something called a flicker who contains a piece of his sister Runa and he finds out he a mutant is known as soul taker.
While they're trying to find the Flickers and save Runa are duo is joined a by a mutant named Komugi who decides to help them on their quest to catch them all while fighting the forces of the kithara group and the hospital mutants.
So Soul taker starts out as pretty much an episodic, save the girl and fight the monster of the week kind of series, which at first glance seem very boring and cookie cutter. And considering how there are Meany series similar to this you are probity wondering how does soul taker hold up or retain any interest in me or any viewer who would even bother to watch it. Well I would say to that is while the first half of the series is nothing really to write home about, but I would say that the Secord half of the series is where the real meat of this series lies. As it evolves from a monster of the week plot into a series about grand conspiracy revolving around a virus that turns people into mutant’s, aliens and people trying to play god. Which sounds pretty good and to give credit where credit is due I felt that soul taker story was inuring enough and the fact it tries to be different to warrant your attention is something I can really dig. Now when this first came out people would have praised it for being slightly different and thinking outside the box, but now in modem day soul taker ideas and concepts are so dated and the series in itself hasn’t aged well, its aged as well as a bottle of milk and it doesn’t help the fact that mealy of the story elements of soul taker feel like they were poorly ducked taped together. From the mutants, evil corporations, aliens, and some sort of virus were very poorly presented and I have no problem with the ideas for the plot elements because it made it a bit more interesting. But it’s just that way were done and presented in a very cliché way, which kind of bothered me because I have seen other shows that have used similar ideas and did them a lot better., like blue gender, guyver and even I hate to say this even guilty crown did this better
the whole virus doesn’t seem that important or impactful like no one is flecking out that there is a virus that can kill them or turn them into monsters. Almost No one really seems to care its like oh yeah there virus going around that could mostly kill us and there mutants running around nothing to see here, in guilty crown this virus was a big deal and treated like a big deal or this idea of this alien who made this virus for the sole purpose to editing human D.N.A so one day a mutant would be born that would able similar to the alien in D.N.A so he could mate with it. why pick humans to be part of your project to bring back your race from excitation when there clearly other races that could be better for your needs, in Guyver it was expanded that humans where bioweapons made by this alien race and were also used as the basis for highly mutable super soldiers.
But in soul taker it seem like this alien just came across humanity and decided since he was Lonny and horny he decided to fuck about with the human genetic code so he could get a bride, which oddly enough kyosuke and runa are such mutants as they have evolved to the point where there basic like the alien but in human form. And the reason why I bring this up is that these series try’s to pull an Adam and Eve story at the end, with kyosuke being Adam and Runa being eve. Because Runa wants humanity to burn and the only person she cares about is her brother so why the fuck does not destroy all of humanity because you believe they would be a treat to you, your brother and the inbred mutant’s you’re going to use to inherit the earth. Even though 99.99% doesn’t even know or care about your existence in the slightest and with space travel technology it wouldn’t be hard for you to travel far away from humanity and start playing house with your twin brother and what bothers me even more is all these references to Christianity that goes nowhere and doesn’t really add anything besides woh we mentioning things from the bible and the question I would like to pose is what does talking about angels, demon and etc have to do with this type of setting. And I can see the counter-argument being that those references are part of the native and they add some character and identity to the series. And while I would agree that viewpoint, I would like to counter that there not really doing much with it as they don’t really explore or criticize any of the theology behind it and more a less has it there for the sake of being there.
But besides those problems and nick picks I think we should talk about some of the things this series story-wise dose quite well. One thing I will praise the story for is that each of the flicker rescue mission all feel different and all have some sort of variety, besides the monster of the week shit, one episode which I really liked and showcases this, is the episode where the main character comes across the flicker named Megumi. Who at first seems alight. But you soon find out that she hates Kyosuke and runa with a passion. Because of their existence is in her mind the reason why she won’t have a normal life and will always be hunted like some wild animal. And what makes this episode very impactful to me at least is that it showcases how these flickers didn’t a choice to be mere fragments of runa, let alone be involved in all this bullshit.
I also feel that the pacing for soul taker is pretty good and everything flows very well, nothing feels to ruched or to slow and its cool to see a series that can hit that sweet spot pacing wise even though its 13 episodes long.
And my last positive I would say is that the conflict as well greyness to it has most of the bad guys of the week are not evil per say but are more a less people that fell from grace and it that’s itself make the main charter journey and the lives he takes more impactful as some of these people only sin was fighting for the wrong person or making a few mistakes in life. Like for expanse the hospital mutants who origalty wanted to use this virus to help people and in the process lost much of their humanity. In fact the leader of this group is his own father and what makes that so impactful is the reason why Kyosuke is out there fighting the Kirihara and the hospital mutants, is because he trying to find and save one of the few family members he has, but in order to do that he must fight and even kill his own father to compete for that task. Which is a pretty fucked up situation in my humble opinion.
The main character Kyosuke is a slightly bland I want to be the good guy and the hero type of character.
Who for the most was ok it's just personally I dislike these types of characters.
I thought his slightly going to the dark side moments are ok but it doesn't lead to much and even though he is going through so much physically and psychology.
I feel that character wise he was wasted potential Because he could be a really cool antihero but no he just cry's or Feels bad after he kills the bad guy of the week that are evil and trying to kill him.
and while this fits with his character and makes him feel more human instead of being this larger than life powerful super mutant that just kill people with zero fucks given. Which would have been cool to see it's just the crying that really rubs me the wrong way, because When I think about The main character kyosuke kind of reminds me of kira from Gundam Seed.
Don't know if that a good thing or a bad thing but considering that kria is my lest favored Gundam protagonist I count it as a negative.
The side characters are a tad bit more lively but most of them are still very one note. There is not match character development or fleshing out.
Except for shiro, Komugi, and runa.
Because Shiro has an ok back which relates to the main character, Basically he fell in love with a flicker who was killed by the Kirihara group that's he was actually a part of, he also makes a decent mentor figure to are the main character.
Kokugi is just kind of the tag along that's slightly useful and has a thing for are the main character, She more for comic relief than anything else and she was slightly fun to watch.
Runa is ok as a character, But she not very fleshed out well and her reasons for doing what's she doing is kind of petty.
Also she doesn't have enough build up as well So another character that was wasted potential as well as her reason for doing what she doing is I love my brother way too much and I hate humanity because my mother tried to murder me so because of that humanity can burn even though that action was taken way out of context as that attempted murder was to awaken her powers so she could protect herself from the humans who do want to harm her and her brother.
Also, most of the villains or bad guys of the week are most one-note and boring.
even if some of them have reasons and motivations that make them slightly above being a one-dimensional evil bad guy of the week. Like for example there main character father Richard who isn’t a bad guy and I can see where he is coming from and why he doing what he did. But on the other hand you got Yui Kirihara one of the main antagonists who have a good motivation for doing what she does, but I feel it falls flat because how could a successful smart women like her get tricked so hard, like for context she is hiding the alien that made that virus and working with it because it would bring her dead husband to life if she gave him Runa which turns out to be a troll.
And I just wondering how a smart person like her could let herself get manipulated to such a degree and you can say it’s because she was so desperate to get her husband back that she was willing to try anything. But my problem with it is why didn’t she ask for proof that this alien could deliver on what he offered and For a person who has such a high position in the business world I would have thought she would have asked for proof first instead of taking its words at face value.
The animation is a bit choppy and dated, it doesn’t look as bad when compared to some series from the 2000s. but there are series that look nicer and flow better like Digimon tamers, s.CRY.ed and InuYasha.
It backgrounds are slightly bland and just looks like someone is on a drug trip.
The art style is very trippy and full of symbolism and metaphors and dark colors.
Which is slightly cool and no shocker here as the Director of soul taker is Shinbou and if you want to see what happens when he has a limited budget and without Shaft to enable him to go all out.
Like there are entire scenes with just random shit going on like a clock gears Turing or biblical symbolises just because and I can tell that Shinbou tried his best to shove in as much of his latest acid trip into this show as he could and if you’re a fan of Shinbou and like his style I think you should check out soul taker just to see some works from his earlier days before he partnered with shaft.
It's fight scenes are ok, Could have been better, It's just hard to keep track what's going on exactly and it doesn’t help when most of the fights end with his finishing move lighting breaker
The character design is bland, but the mutants look cool.
They kind of remind me of guyver or devil man, It has that old school anime style to it.
Also its color scheme is very dim, like Most of the time the series looks so bleak and dim. Which goes hand and hand with the beck future setting that the series takes place in.
I like the op song with gives the 80s feel like the beginning is just like soul taker and The ending I wasn't really a fan of because I find it boring as fuck.
The ost for this is slightly forgetful. But it does fit the tone of the show very well.
The music and ost were done by Kow Otani, Who done hit for Gundam wing, outlaw star and ZoidsConsidering that I like this series I found the ost kind of disappointing. Sub and dub are fine,But if I am being honest I heard better and worse. So both sub and dub are passable.
I like the mutant fights as they all have different powers and forms which I thought was cool. now it could have been this ok rule of cool show with the monster of the week, save the girl, save the world from an evil corporation. Its just this series try’s to set some sort of higher standard and while I like the series for trying, the end product wasn’t up to par and I more a less enjoy it as a nice one-timer expiace or a series I could chill out and watch with a few friends while drunk
Now if you want if something somewhat entertaining And something easy to watch then soul taker is the anime for you.
So I guess it's an ok time passer for rookies but I wouldn't hold my breath.
because in all honesty if you have any experience with anime storytelling as a whole then probably stare clear Because everything this show has done another show has done better and even if you enjoy and like soul taker I feel that it’s going to become forgettable after a point as it pretty predictable and you see most things coming from mile away. So I feel that if you like this series but want something better, I think you should check out guyver or the first half of blue gender as a place to start. Before you move on to more things.