Chained Soldier (Season One) – Mato Seihei no Slave

Chained Soldier Title

The world changed when gates to a strange world called Mato began to appear across Japan. Monsters called Shuuki came through attacking anyone they found. Some people were unlucky enough to go there, but then humans found the peaches!

Chained Soldier (Season One) – Mato Seihei no Slave

What did you watch?

As a big fan of Akame ga Kill, I had to dive into Takahiro’s newest series – Chained Soldier. Like Akame ga Kill, I started with the manga and was instantly a fan. It was funny, clever, and raunchy. What’s not to love? Then, I saw that the anime was coming so I decided to put the manga on hold until I’d seen the first season. I don’t tend to read the manga and watch the anime at the same time as it can get hard to separate the two in my head. Anyhow, I had high hopes for this series, so let’s see how it did.

Chained Soldier Episode 1 Yuuki face to face with a Shuuki

What happened?

Random gates to Mato were appearing across Japan. With them came the Shuuki, a violent mindless monster that attacked relentlessly. Sometimes, the unlucky person would be taken to Mato and sometimes, the Shuuki came through to attack. Either way, the outcome wasn’t good. That was until someone discovered the Mato peaches that would give girls special powers. That shifted the balance of power, forcing men to step back and support the powerful women who would save the world. Yuuki excelled at this and was ready to step into the world, however, instead of walking into a new career, he walked into Mato and was instantly attacked by the Shuuki.

Amazingly, he was saved by a member of the Demon Defence Force, riding on top of a Shuuki. Her Shuuki was quickly defeated by the others, but she simply enslaved another one. They ran, but the Shuuki kept coming. When they came across another person who came through, they ran to help. Yuuki stepped between the little girl and the advancing Shuuki even though he had no hope of stopping them. Kyouka, the girl from the Demon Defence Force decided that desperate times called for desperate measures. With no more Shuuki to enslave, she asked Yuuki if he would help her. He jumped at the chance.

When Yuuki sealed the pact by kissing Kyouka’s hand, he transformed into a powerful creature on which she could ride. He also gained inhuman power and speed. Finally, he had a chance to be a real hero, so when Kyouka offered him a job with the Demon Defence Force, he jumped at it. Of course, he didn’t realise the job he was taking was to become the live-in caretaker of Kyouka’s dorm!

Chained Soldier Episode 2 Yuuki cleaing up

What did you think?

I still love the premise for this series and I’ll be diving back into the books shortly, however, the anime didn’t quite go how I had imagined. If anything, this first season felt like it was setting things up for the future without really doing enough to grab your attention. It was very slow. We spent far too much time getting to know the characters and setting up their relationships without much else going on. Sure, it was funny and most of that was because of the reward system that came with Kyouka’s skill. I liked the characters and the design, however, it took too long to get going and as a result, I’ve come away from the season feeling a little indifferent. It hasn’t left me desperately waiting for the second season, which is a bit of a letdown.

Chained Soldier Episode 3 Kuouka sees Unihorn

What was your favourite moment?

And here’s the first problem. There isn’t really a moment that stands out in this series. There were lots of repeated jokes that were funny, but it was the same idea each time. Yuuki gets rewarded, he’s surprised and asks if it’s the reward, Kyouka (or Himari) gets flustered, of course, it’s a reward. The fights were interesting but nothing on the level of Akame ga Kill. The most inventive aspect in the fights was probably Yochiho and how she used her ability to rewind and pause time. I enjoyed watching this show, but I was really hoping for more. It needed a moment that made everyone sit up and say “Wow!”, but that never came.

Chained Soldier Episode 2 Shushu laughing at Yuuki naked

What was your least favourite moment?

At first, I found Tenka’s interest in Yuuki to be funny. She used her ability to warp space so that she could sneak into his room and jump on him. The awkward moments that came from that when Shushu or Kyouka walked in were funny. However, as the series went on, I started to feel like it was all becoming a bit much. Tenka continued to refer to Yuuki as her little slave and even though she said she wanted a boyfriend, it really felt like she just wanted something to play with. Again, I didn’t hate Tenka, but her actions started to feel a bit weird.

Chained Soldier Episode 9 Tenka is still interested in Yuuki

Who was your favourite character?

The most interesting character was Aoba, Yuuki’s sister who had been lost in a Mato Mishap and spent time surviving on her own by eating the Mato peaches. She had been corrupted by them but managed to maintain her sanity thanks to Coco and Naon, and others that we’re yet to meet. Her goal was to destroy the facility that was experimenting on girls like her and free her brother. It’s hard to fault her goals and by the end of the first season, it was looking like the Demon Defence Force was going to end up being a villainous organisation. Of course, there’s the group that Shikoko is running that claims to be gods, so there are plenty of villains wandering around. I liked Yuuki and Kyouka too.

Chained Soldier Episode 9 Aoba takes Yuuki

Who was your least favourite character?

A lot of the characters had moments that didn’t exactly make them appear particularly nice. Himari’s initial treatment of Yuuki was one instance that stood out, but I liked how she developed and soon changed her view of him. The same goes for Yochiho and how she treats Himari. Tenka had her stalker thing going on that I mentioned earlier and Shushu began things by blackmailing Yuuki, stripping him, and sitting on him… hang on, maybe Shushu was all right?!? Anyhow, there wasn’t really anyone that made me hate them yet. Even Shikoko was kind of endearing despite being completely full of herself. In fact, overall, I don’t really have many complaints about the cast. The story is where this series was lacking, and that’s mostly because it never got going.

Chained Soldier Episode 3 Himari chased Yuuki with a chainsaw

Would you like some more?

I do want more. However, I’m not desperate for it. I’d almost prefer that it gives me time to read the books (I currently have all six volumes) before another season comes along and I think that’s probably likely. I would be disappointed if there wasn’t a second season at some point, so I enjoyed enough for that. Hopefully, when we get a second season they’ll be able to get straight into the story now that we’ve spent twelve episodes setting things up.

Chained Soldier Episode 11 Kyouka meditating

What have you learned?

You’ll often hear me going on about characters and how if they are done well the audience will eat up everything they do. Now, I liked the characters in this series and my biggest complaint was how slow the story was, which tells me that there was something about the characters that we were missing. There needed to be something that made me want to know everything about them. When that happens, the story can go as slow as it wants. That didn’t happen this time and I’m trying to pinpoint exactly what went wrong, in that regard. I’m sure it won’t be the same for everyone though and I think that might be the key to things. That key is relativity… isn’t it always? There was nothing with the characters that resonated with me. I will also often talk about how you should pepper your writing with life experiences. Not everyone has the same experiences, obviously, which is why more gives you a better chance of hooking them. The thing is, we want to be hooked, so it doesn’t even need to be perfect. Just give us enough to bite onto. Ha, that sounds like one of Yuuki’s rewards!

Chained Soldier Episode 3 Kyouka rests her leg on Yuuki's shoulder

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What did you think?