In all of us there are shows, games, bands, anything in entertainment media that we look at as being far under-appreciated. Those shows that no one watched, games that no one played, bands that no one listened to. We all have those and it drives us crazy, so it drove me crazy throughout the 2016 Winter Anime season when a show like Bubuki Buranki (or BBK/BRNK) not only got little attention, but any attention it got tended to be negative. And that would always bug the hell out of me, because it was one of my favourite shows of that season.
For starters, the fact that an anime that was centered around mechs (although the majority of the show doesn’t feature mech fights) and still got my attention, that’s a big one. When it comes to anime, anything mech-related tends to fall flat with me, I don’t commonly get into shows like that, in fact I can only name three shows of that ilk I’ve ever watched in full and enjoyed: Gundam Seed, Schwarzesmarken and of course, Bubuki Buranki. I tend to find mech anime a little too serious and in some cases, a little too dark, Schwarzesmarken coming very close to being a little too much in both those directions, but managed to keep me interested by its strong story. But in Bubuki Buranki’s case, it’s not serious, it’s not dark, it’s just fun and entertaining and quite over the top.
The art style the show carries also adds onto my enjoyment of the anime. Bubuki Buranki’s animation reminds me like if Japan decided to take what we saw in Rooster Teeth’s animation RWBY and apply that to your basic mech anime. Everything looked so beautiful, the characters all looked extremely unique, beyond just this is the girl with red hair, this is the girl with blue hair. Every character had a unique look, whether it was their hairstyle and colours, their outfits, their weapons, their attitudes, each character felt different and unique. And we’re just talking the five main characters, we’re not even getting into my favourite character of the show yet.
Pushing Hiiragi to the side (because he was a piece of shit), the main cast are all fantastic characters, in particular though the girls really stood out while #1 MC in Azuma as the only boy left of the main five, he was an okay character at best. I found him to be a little too much in the direction of the boy that never gives up but then sometimes wants to give up and then suddenly doesn’t want to give up anymore. The girls on the other hand, we’re beyond feisty, had a giant fire under them. All three of them had beyond vengeance coursing through their veins, they were all intense, yet could be adorable. They were all beautiful young girls, but you did not piss them off, especially Kogane-chan. Kinoa is such an amazingly strong female character, overcoming some really shady shit with one of the villains in Souya. And then there’s Shizuru (pictured above), who when she’s fighting seriously is one of the most badass anime girls I’ve seen in a while, she’s absolutely incredible.
But I wouldn’t be doing myself right if I didn’t talk about a specific lady when mentioning fantastic female characters…
Reoko Banryuu. Never has there been a villainous woman that I have been so attached to. Since the very beginning when she first appeared on screen, I was mesmerized by this woman. The pure evil this girl had and yet looked just so damn beautiful, terrifying but beautiful. And then once she started fighting the main characters, her true insanity came out and that’s where I was hooked on her, to the point that she may just be my favourite villain in anime right now. The sight of her bleeding profusely from her head and yet that laughter and sickening smile on her face as she continued to just destroy her enemies with incredible ease. For the entirety of the anime, you got the sense that she was without doubt the most powerful person on the planet and even with the five main characters working together, she was a challenge on her own! We’re not even counting the other four main villains attached to her, Reoko on her own is still extremely dangerous.
But not everything in this show is absolutely terrifying, so let’s finish up this week’s spotlight with a few quick notes about the show, the things I couldn’t fit in without making this post go on forever.
It’s so weird how the show has such a terrifying villain in Reoko and some pretty horrifying backstories, like Kinoa’s and especially Kogane’s and then the show flips to being very silly and cheesy and downright fun. I’ve always appreciated anime for doing that, not keeping you depressed the entire show and bringing some light to it. Though I cannot forgive the show for having Hiiragi as such an unlikable main character, one of my most hated characters from this year. Ever further, the last few episodes of the show were such a whirlwind, throwing in new sets of five-character groups from other countries to be other Bubuki users, they really could’ve done themselves a favour by maybe only introducing one group, rather than shoving two in so quickly. Lastly, speaking of the end, the idea of the MC’s (Azuma’s) sister being involved with another Buranki team was silly to me, Japan seems to love siblings a little too much in anime and I think the eventual conflict we’ll see in Season 2 may not be all that interesting, despite the family backstory.
So if you’ve never watched the show, I strongly suggest you give it a shot. And if you didn’t like it in the early going, give it another episode or two. I really loved it and I think it’s far better than the 6.5 rating that MAL gives it.