It’s here! But what the
hell heaven is this about? Unfortunately (depending on perspective), Leviathan seems to be nothing more than an expensive marketing tactic in order to lure Japanese viewers into playing a social card battle game of the very same name, which I believe is also recently released as well. For the rest of the world, it doesn’t matter either way. Promotional gimmick or not, as long as I get my share of their “soul-soothing” voices, I am content.
A heart-warming story?
I’m not sure how clichéd the plot is going to get, because from the looks of it seems to be nothing more than a typical “The main characters suddenly band together somehow and defeat evil” kinda deal to me and nothing more. Since this is purely an introductory episode which introduces the main characters and how they got to know each other, there isn’t anything worthy to write home about in terms of plot development.
Technicalities-wise, the visuals themselves are strictly average, nothing overly impressive – considering it is Gonzo behind the production (hell they were thought to be dead, last show they produced was a year ago). There was also a few lighthearted comedic moments, which combined with the prowess of the holy quadruple, is something sufficient enough to put a small grin on my face. The moral of Leviathan’s story is: There is no (real) story, so don’t expect one.
The one thing I liked about Leviathan is that it doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t. From past to present, there has been cases of anime that start off their opening episode with guns blazing, charging full steam ahead, only to breakdown and fall apart subsequently as it progresses, and finally end up being remembered for what it has done wrong, not for what it has done well. In a sense it akin to saying: “Hey all we’ve got are 4 high-profile seiyuus that probably cost us all our budget, so don’t expect anything else from us but that.” After all, the main goal of Leviathan is not to be a contender for any of the “Anime of the Year” awards but rather to serve as a form of advertisement for the game itself.
It’s not about what you see, but what you don’t see
More specifically, it is about what you hear. Granted, many people are going to dismiss Leviathan quickly just because it looks mediocre, and I don’t disagree with them for doing just that. Weak plot, not the best animation ever. Why even bother watching this then?
For the godlike cast, of course. Again, many people don’t give a flying fish about seiyuus but it is worth nothing that in Japan, Japanese VAs are often seen as celebrities, if not more famous than idols, TV actors/actresses themselves. Perhaps it might be nothing more than a cultural phenomenon to some, but I personally find it very intriguing and more or less found myself caught up in it. Speaking of which, it is also worth nothing that by getting the big names on-board, it also acts as a magnet for followers and fans alike to get them to part with their cash (and believe me this actually works).
Oreimo trio + bonus = ?
To end this post off, how can I not introduce the
goddesses voices behind the main characters? Coincidentally, I noticed that three of them are also reprising their roles in Oreimo S2, is this a conspiracy or? Anyway, without further ado:
Bahamut (Kitamura Eri). If you haven’t heard of her (quite literally too), you must either be missing in action, or not watching enough anime. She is by far the most versatile out of the 4 here, as I’ve heard her play many different roles with voices so different that only someone with a honed ear can tell (or alternatively you can cheat by looking up the cast beforehand). From low-pitched males, to high-pitched girls (her trademark voice I’d say), to a more ladylike role, she has done it all.
Syrup aka Kuroneko (Hanazawa Kana). If you haven’t heard of her (quite literally as well), you must either be living under a rock for the past couple of years, or new to anime. Highly distinguishable voice. Syrup utilizes the high-pitched voice set of Hana Kana. It is also interesting to note that Kita Eri and her have co-operated in many anime titles together.
Jormungand aka Kirino (Taketatsu Ayana). Her claim to fame was starring as Azusa in K-On!. Although these days I would say that she’s more well-known for playing little sister roles such as Kirino, Suguha, and more recently, Kotori in Date A Live. It’s kinda nice to hear her using a slightly more effeminate voice set (for example Azusa) instead of the now-default “bratty little sister” voice.
Leviathan aka Ayase (Hayami Saori). Even though she voiced Musubi in Sekirei way back in 2008, it wasn’t until 2009 did she catch my attention for roles such as Saki in Higashi no Eden and Ikaros in Sora no Otoshimono. Thus far I’ve only heard her feminine voice set though, but then again I’m not complaining..
At the end of the day, Leviathan is mostly a show that doesn’t necessarily excel in the visual department but on the contrary, its main strength lies in the audio, specifically the voicing star power. Set the appropriate (low) expectations and I’m sure Leviathan will be an absolute treat to listen to, especially for that ED (ending song).