Bastard‼ Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy (Season One – Part One) – Bastard!! Ankoku no Hakaishin

Bastard Heavy Metal Dark Fantasy Title

The Kingdom of Metallicana is under attack by the Dark Rebel Army who hope to reawaken the demon Anthracax. Their only hope of survival resides inside Lucien and it can only be awoken by a virgin’s kiss.

Bastard‼ Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy (Season One – Part One) – Bastard!! Ankoku no Hakaishin

What did you watch?

One of my goals this year is to get fitter (the same as every year) so we bought a treadmill which worked out cheaper and more convenient than paying for a gym membership for two. This treadmill came with a screen and several apps. One of those was Netflix, and since it would let me stream any of my usual anime services to it, I was forced to pick something new to watch. I saw Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy and being a fan of heavy metal, dark fantasy, and calling people bastards, it seemed like an obvious choice. Well, let’s find out if you can judge a series by its title!

Bastard Heavy Metal Dark Fantasy Episode 1 Dark Schneider and Yoko Tia Noto

What happened?

The Kingdom of Metallicana is under attack. The Dark Rebel Army has timed it so that the head mage and the King were both absent, leaving the castle almost undefended. Deep beneath the castle is one of the seals that are keeping the demon Anthracax in a state of slumber. The Dark Rebel Army plan to revive Anthracax and rebuild the world. However, the Kingdom of Metallicana has an ace up their sleeve. When the evil wizard Dark Schneider was defeated, he reincarnated into a boy. That boy was then taken into the care of Metallicana and his persona locked away, allowing Lucien to grow up as a normal boy. There is a way to awaken Dark Schneider should the need arise, and it has.

Yoko, the daughter of the head mage is the only one who can do it. She must recite a spell that he taught her and awaken Dark Schneider with a kiss… a virgin’s kiss to be precise. With the world at stake, Yoko has to muster up the courage to kiss Lucien in front of the Princess and the packed throne room. Well, this is a little embarrassing! After a brief pause, she completes the ritual and watches Lucien transform into Dark Schneider, the legendary evil wizard who tried to take over the world. But, will he really help them?

Bastard Heavy Metal Dark Fantasy Episode 1 Dark Schneider casting venom

What did you think?

I was not planning on reviewing this series episodically. It was just going to be a bonus series I watched and would have likely just gotten a season review or two. Then, at the end of the second episode, we got to see the ED for the first time and I had a revelation watching it. The episode itself was fairly forgettable, but the ED spoke to me. It reminded me of what I was missing with my own story. It made such an impact on my mindset that I had to talk about it, so I decided to start reviewing each episode. That should have been the first clue that I was about to make a mistake. This series started all right. There were some entertaining moments, but it very quickly went down from there. By the end, it was almost too ridiculous to watch. So, I’d say watch the ED and maybe the OP but don’t even bother with the actual show. I wish I had just decided to write a post about the ED.

Bastard Heavy Metal Dark Fantasy Episode 9 Count Di amon and Dark Schneider laughing

What was your favourite moment?

It was the ED… I know, ridiculous, right? Anyhow, it was the ED that made me realise that I was trying to rewrite a dark fantasy story as an epic fantasy. I had strayed away from the thing that got me excited to write and I believe that may have been a big block on my ability to write for far too long. The ED lifted that and made me realise that I needed to embrace the story as it is. So, what was so cool about the ED? Well, it was a mix of fire and glowing blue lights. It started with Dark Schneider watching over a massive burning crater as several naked girls slowly fell into the crater. At the bottom, they stood up and walked into the distance. The song – Blessless by Tielle is also pretty cool.

What was your least favourite moment?

There were a lot of really annoying things such as Dark Schneider being an uncharismatic lecherous dick, but I’ll talk more about him in a little bit. The most annoying thing about this show was how little it thought about its audience. Every time anything happened on the screen, we were then told the same thing moments later. We saw it, you don’t need to tell us about it too. It started with the people in court advising Sheila. Then, we had the ninjas explaining the battle between Gara and Dark Schneider. Then, when Dark Schneider and Arshes Nei were fighting, Gara gave us a blow-by-blow account of the entire thing, despite us seeing it all happen. It was infuriating. My guess is that they weren’t sure how to animate the mage fights so that they were interesting so they gave us this – the least interesting alternative.

Bastard Heavy Metal Dark Fantasy Episode 9 Gara defending Metallicana

Who was your favourite character?

In the beginning, I quite liked Yoko. Then, I kind of liked Sheila. Then Sean Ari. Then Kai Harn. And, then Arshes Nei. There seems to be something of a pattern here. It might seem shallow and indeed it was. In truth, I loved the character design for all of the girls. They were varied and interesting and they all looked hot. Unfortunately, that’s where it ended. All ended up being fairly shallow and uninteresting as far as character went. The biggest problem was that they were all instantly besotted with Dark Schneider, despite his obvious character flaws. So, kudos to the character design team…

Bastard Heavy Metal Dark Fantasy Episode 1 Shiela Tuel Metallicana

Who was your least favourite character?

About two-thirds of the way through the series, I started to get flashbacks to another series with a protagonist who was a serial groper. Dark Schneider had reminded me of Licht from Plunderer! Now, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of reading my posts about Plunderer, you’ll know that I absolutely hated that series. I gave it every chance imaginable in the hopes it might win me over, but it didn’t. There were no redeeming features in that series and Licht was a large part of that. So, Dark Schneider reminding me of Licht was not what I had signed up for. I sat through twenty-four episodes of Plunderer. I’m not making the same mistake here. I do not like Dark Schneider.

Bastard Heavy Metal Dark Fantasy Episode 4 Dark Schneider carrying Shiela Tuel Metallicana panties

Would you like some more?

There are currently twenty-six more episodes and I’m not in a hurry to watch them. I came into this series expecting some epic fantasy battles and a banging soundtrack. I got neither. The fights were static and the music was pretty unforgettable aside from the OP and ED, which were good but not metal. Aside from the character design, I had a pretty rough time with this series and I can’t in good faith keep watching when there are thousands of other shows that I can try. So, I’m not going to continue straight away and there’s a good chance that I won’t get back into it at all.

Bastard Heavy Metal Dark Fantasy Episode 11 Yoko Tia Noto

What have you learned?

When you give your series a subtitle like Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy, you better know enough about those elements to deliver. I don’t think this series delivered enough to be considered dark fantasy. It wasn’t edgy enough or dark enough to be considered dark fantasy. There were elements that were dark, but simply calling the protagonist Dark Schneider, does not make him dark. Oh, but there was the Dark Rebel Army, too… If you want Heavy Metal, you’re better off watching the 1981 animated movie called Heavy Metal. Then, to add to insult, they gave us a half-hearted attempt at ecchi. I have to laugh that they think it’s more acceptable to show a guy ripping his own heart out of his chest than allowing a girl to have nipples. This series tried so hard to be edgy and cool, but it didn’t respect the genres and it shows. I’m not sure they even understood the genres.

Bastard Heavy Metal Dark Fantasy Episode 13 Dark Schneider rips out his own heart

Other posts in the series

Series Information

English TitleBastard‼ Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy
Japanese TitleBastard!! Ankoku no Hakaishin
ReleasedSpring 2022
Animation StudiosLIDENFILMS

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What did you think?