Anime Best in Show

Review: To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 01 – Best In Show

Quick Summary

In To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 01, "To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts," the Northern Union of Patria is in the middle of a civil war with the Southern Confederation of Patria. The latter's superior defensive positions have given them an edge, so the Northern Union is desparate to come up with a way to turn the tide. Doctor Elaine Bluelake found it for them: She discovered a way to turn normal soldiers into the equivalent of mythical beasts. While the Sacred Beasts (called the Incarnates) were certainly able to reverse the Northern Union's fortune, they did so at a price. Will Elaine and Captain Hank Henriette find a way to counter that price? Or will they lose everything they fought to protect? 

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Best Moment in the Show

Review: To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 01: The kraken and friends

The kraken Incarnate brought friends! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

The moment that introduced the Incarnates was pretty cool, but my favorite moment in this episode was part of the battle montage (8:32) that showed just how much they affected the course of a battle. We see Hank easily dodge an attack (8:50) with an assist from Cain Madhouse. We got to see a quick shot of Elaine looking really concerned about the physical changes in some of the Incarnates, which foreshadowed what was to come. We even got a little humor as some male Incarnate soldiers tried to peep at a Siren-like Incarnate, who made them pay for it. 

My favorite moment, though, was the battle of the ironclads that was interrupted by kraken and friends (9:25)! The kraken came up underneath one of the ships and tossed it aside. Two Incarnate friends leaped off its "shoulders" and took the attack to other ships. It was a cool moment that emphasized just how massive and dangerous the Incarnates were. And did you notice that the music sounded very much like what you'd expect from the period of the United States Civil War? That was a nice touch. 

4 thoughts on “Review: To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 01 – Best In Show

  1. Remember how I kept saying that all that cool posturing in Fairy Gone got in the way of the writing? Here it doesn’t. The emotional beats a predictable and streamlined. So far this seems to be good cheesy fun – the tragedy flavour. I can’t say I’m terribly involved, emotionally, but I click with the world better, and I love the cool imagery. The Kraken was awesome, but I also loved camouflage lizard climbing the balcony.

    I hear from people that the source’s narration was more non-linear; and the writers of this show turned several flashbacks into a prologue of some kind. If so, I’m not sure the decision was for the better. Shows that work with flashbacks a lot often place them where they make thematic sense, so such a re-write is risky. I worry that I’m not as invested emotionally because of that streamlining. Again, remember that I was always cool with the flashbacks in Fairy Gone.

    Taking the two together, I’m hoping that this is a conscious choice to focus on style over substance. That sounds like a criticism, but it’s not. If you have to sacrifice either, choose to keep that which draws you the most. What I hope is that they know what they’re doing.

    I’ve enjoyed this premier more than the one of Fairy Gone, and if it doesn’t get too ambitious it should be good fun going forward. What intrigues me the most is that the two beasts taken down this episode manifested differently: the first almost seemed to have split his human side from the beast side off and be a hostage in this new body he no longer could control. The second one seemed to succumb more to very human desires. Hank smashing the wall is rather interesting in that respect. I hope there’s a point to this; I’d love it if the show came back to the dead scientists research – why she prepared those bullets and was going to shoot them all. That would necessitate some sort of biological substratus that ties all that behaviour together. (I’m slightly pessimistic on that account, but, well, hope dies last.)

    1. ” I can’t say I’m terribly involved, emotionally, but I click with the world better, and I love the cool imagery. ”

      That’s part of the show’s appeal for me. Also, I’m a minor Civil War buff, so the the setting and period really spoke to me.

      “Again, remember that I was always cool with the flashbacks in Fairy Gone.”

      Yep! I remember! Flashbacks can be really effective (I think the Shinra’s Fire Force flashbacks were spot on in its first episode, for example). After thinking about the reports of the source’s different approach, I’m inclined to think the source might have more dramatically effective.

      “I’m hoping that this is a conscious choice to focus on style over substance. That sounds like a criticism, but it’s not. If you have to sacrifice either, choose to keep that which draws you the most. ”

      I could live with that. I’m secretly hoping they can do both! But we’ll see.

      “What intrigues me the most is that the two beasts taken down this episode manifested differently: the first almost seemed to have split his human side from the beast side off and be a hostage in this new body he no longer could control. The second one seemed to succumb more to very human desires. ”

      That made me wonder if there’s a progression. Things start out under control, but the mythical beast portion slowly exerts more and more control — or merges more and more fully with the human host. I recalled that the first Incarnate to go berserk looked almost human when the cannons were done with him, with the mythical portions crumbling stone.

      “That would necessitate some sort of biological substratus that ties all that behaviour together. (I’m slightly pessimistic on that account, but, well, hope dies last.)”

      That would be cool, though, wouldn’t it?

  2. “but hope that the mc doesn’t forgive his love but I suspect he already has.”

    Her gunshot seemed to come out of nowhere, didn’t it? I saw foreshadowing of her being concerned; but her being willing to kill Hank? I’m hoping they give us some more information about that.

    “I hope it won’t turn into a ‘vengeance’ plot, and that the best friend will have depth to his character and not just be the main bad guy”

    Me, too! That would make it a lot more interesting!

  3. The incarnates definitely impacted the flow of battle. I have high hopes for this anime but hope that the mc doesn’t forgive his love but I suspect he already has. Plus I hope it won’t turn into a ‘vengeance’ plot, and that the best friend will have depth to his character and not just be the main bad guy ?

Please let me know what you think!

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