Before Erased came into my life during the Winter season, there was another show that pissed me off every week it ended by keeping the mystery alive. Only in this case, Rokka ~Braves of the Six Flowers~ also had a phenomenally well-designed fantasy world and some pretty good action sequences.
But there was still a fantastic mystery in Rokka that left me annoyed every week that the traitor continued to go unknown.
The premise of the anime is that there’s your classic super-evil figure that has been revived and preparing to send the world into darkness, so the gods choose six Saints as Braves in order to defeat this evil. That’s the initial plan of the show and looks to continue that story the entire season with a “Brave Killer” on the loose as well. However when they reach a temple of sorts that will put up a barrier and limit the fight to one side of the continent, there’s a bit of a snag:
There’s seven Braves and this barrier was put up early. So someone’s betrayed them. Better yet, the presumed Brave Killer also has the same tattoo as the rest of them, so the possibility of this person being an actual Brave exists as well.
This is where the majority of the anime takes place, in the area surrounding this temple. By the quarter point of the series, we are now spending the rest of our time solving this mystery and the majority of the time we’re spending it with main character, Adlet (red hair). He’s initially suspected as the traitor due to his skill set of traps and such that label him like a thief, also he was the one seen trying to break into the temple when they can’t figure out how to open the door. So for the final three-quarters of the show, Adlet’s trying to prove his innocence and survive the plethora of attacks on his life from those who just assume he’s the traitor.
It becomes a game of “Who’s Guilty?” and the writers do a fantastic job to make every one of the seven potential suspects look like they could be guilty.
All seven have characteristics that you’d use as suspicious. Goldov is quiet and stays out of sight and mind, mostly forgettable. Nashetania is way too nice and cheerful. Chamot is tiny and innocent, yet the most aggressive and dangerous of the seven. Mora knows too much about everything and takes the lead the majority of the investigation. Fremy is labelled as the “Brave Killer” and also is half-monster. Hans is an assassin by trade so it’s implied he’s stabbed quite a few in the back. Even Adlet being as happy-go-lucky as he is and the main character of the show, you even go as far as wondering if maybe he’s the traitor without even realizing it.
Throughout the entirety of the show I was pleasantly surprised to know that my initial guess was correct. However I flipped through every single character throughout the 8 or 9 episodes this story arc went for. My initial instincts were correct, but the writers did such a fantastic job of painting everyone with equal guilt that you can’t help but leave almost every episode with a new person at the top of the list of guilty suspects. And it drives you nuts every week the mystery stays alive to see another episode.
It’s impossible not to mention the adorable love that forms between Adlet and Fremy during the course of the season. It’s unique to most relationships formed in anime because of the nature of the show, Fremy’s half-monster, half-human, she’s the first suspect and Adlet’s the second, they spend the first few episodes fighting each other, Fremy trying to kill him, Adlet just trying to survive. Soon enough, Adlet becomes convinced that Fremy is at least one of the six legitimate Braves, so it now becomes not just a game of survival to him, he now wants to live and save Fremy. There’s a point where they call a truce and spend a night together as they’re hiding from everyone else where it becomes very prevalent that there’s something forming there. And then it goes as far as breaking Fremy as due to her really horrifying backstory she doesn’t want to trust anyone ever again, but because of Adlet being a constant in her life since the whole ordeal began, she can’t reject him, no matter how much she wants to. It’s a fantastic little side story next to the big mystery.
Lastly, while there’s already a very fascinating and interesting mystery going on, a really cute almost forbidden love forming in the midst of everything, with all this going on already, there’s still more than enough time for some fantastic fights and action sequences. Every single fight is fast, intense and doesn’t insult you with character suddenly finding the power to fight and win. When they take damage, they’ve taken damage. If they win, it’s either by sheer strength and ability, or they were clever and set up the fight to work in their favour. Sometimes, they literally just make it by the skin of their teeth. All of it is well directed, well written and awesome to watch.
If you didn’t watch this show back in the Summer season last year, you need to check it out! It’s a fantastic mystery with some great fights in there as well. And with the beautiful art direction and interesting characters, it’s well worth a watch!