The gods have grown tired of humanity and have voted to destroy it, but an objection from a valkyrie gives humanity a chance to save itself. Ragnarok is the battle between man and god that will decide their fate!
Record of Ragnarok (Season One)
What did you watch?
I had just come back from vacation and was looking to watch something that required no effort and randomly decided to watch Record of Ragnarok. I’d heard the general disdain for the show but had managed to avoid any real details. So many times, I’ve watched a show that has had some vocal backlash and found it to be very enjoyable and not even close to the criticism that it’s received so I don’t tend to worry about noisy opinions. If I want to know if something is any good, I’ll watch it and come to my own decision. So, how did Record of Ragnarok do? Let’s get into that now, but don’t forget there will be spoilers.
The gods meet every thousand years to vote on the fate of humanity. This time, it would appear that the gods have given up on the project they started and have unanimously decided to eradicate them. However, that plan was stopped by Brunhilde, a valkyrie who brought Ragnarok to their attention. It was a clause that enabled humanity to fight for its right to exist. Thirteen humans would face thirteen gods. Win seven bouts and humanity would be safe for another thousand years.
As it was Brunhilde that brought it to their attention, she was asked with selecting the humans to fight the gods. Determined to win, she also enlisted the help of the other valkyries who would join the human in battle as a mystical weapon. The gods believed that the results would be a foregone conclusion, but maybe they underestimated mankind. Maybe not. Only Ragnarok would tell!
What did you think?
I came into this series expecting fights. Lots of fights with colourful and exciting characters. However, in reality, there were only three fights, each one lasting about four episodes in length. They were punctuated with flashbacks and explanations from the spectators. It wasn’t exactly what I hoped for and the first eight episodes were a bit of a drag, especially as the characters weren’t particularly interesting. They were fine, but there wasn’t anything I could connect to. Then, there was the third fight which featured a samurai – Kojiro Sasaki and it was excellent. I’ve come away feeling much more positive about the series as a result, but it really was down to the last four episodes.
What was your favourite moment?
It was actually the moment that Kojiro Sasaki defeated Poseidon. The fight had been epic and did a surprisingly good job of fitting the flashbacks and the action together. I think Kojiro’s fighting style allowed for more natural breaks which made it work. However, it was the end of the fight when Kojiro, spurred on by his friends, stepped up another level and sliced Poseidon to pieces. It was intense and spectacular. It was one of those moments where you can’t help but sit up and take notice. Absolutely breathtaking!
What was your least favourite moment?
In comparison, the first fight lacked a character that you could connect to. The flashbacks happened whenever and broke up the fight too much. It sapped all of the intensity and fluidity of the action. There was too much lazy misdirection that kept trying to tell you one thing that was obviously not true and was shown to be so moments later. It wasn’t a terrible fight but it felt too disjointed.
Who was your favourite character?
I want to say Kojiro Sasaki, but it would be a lie. Brunhilde was the absolute star of the show with her wide variety of expressions and her overwhelming desire to beat the gods. She was a fantastic character and delivered some of the best lines of dialogue. I literally couldn’t get enough of her and through the first two fights, she definitely carried the show.
Who was your least favourite character?
Poseidon would be the easy answer and I think that was by design. They kept him fairly disinterested and cold. It definitely made it easier to cheer for Kojiro, however, I think Zeus was probably a little more annoying. Sometimes, it was funny, but other times such as his introduction dance with Hermes were just plain weird. He filled the “crazy old man who was actually incredibly powerful” trope complete with the over the top lustiness and wacky facial expressions.
Would you like some more?
If you had asked me after eight episodes I would have said no. After twelve, I would gladly sit through more in the hopes of coming across another fight like Kojiro’s one. Those last four episodes were fantastic and made watching this series absolutely worth it. They got everything right and seemed to learn from the first two fights. It was an impressive improvement. I am a little wary of them using Jack the Ripper as the next champion of humanity, but I am curious enough to want to see how that goes.
What have you learnt?
Pacing is a massive element when you are putting together a fight scene. Get it wrong and a great fight can become boring to the point that you won’t care who wins. If you do it right then the audience will feel every blow and heartache. The wins will be that much more satisfying and the losses devastating. That’s what I want from my fight scenes. Breaking them up with flashbacks or anything for that matter can kill the pacing.
If there’s no obvious place to put them, I wouldn’t even bother. If we really need to know something, tell us beforehand or weave it into the fight. Don’t just jump away to a flashback whenever you feel like it. There needs to be a reason that we will want to see it otherwise, you’re just detracting from the action. Since this was a battle series, it makes more sense to focus on the fights. That’s what we’re here for, after all.
Other Posts in the Series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – Ragnarok
- Episode 2 – Worthy Opponent
- Episode 3 – Killer Move
- Episode 4 – Joy
- Episode 5 – FILE No. 00000000001
- Episode 6 – Great Emulation
- Episode 7 – Expelled from Paradise
- Episode 8 – Grace Abounding
- Episode 9 – Tyrant of the Ocean
- Episode 10 – Greatest Loser
- Episode 11 – The Swallow Gazes into the Abyss
- Episode 12 – And Ragnarok Goes On
- Season Two
- Episode 13 – Good vs. Evil
- Episode 14 – The Indomitable War God
- Episode 15 – Birth of a Monster
- Episode 16 – The Final Labor
- Episode 17 – Requiem
- Episode 18 – Conflicting Motives
- Episode 19 – Hundred Seals
- Episode 20 – The Pinnacle of 1116
- Episode 21 – Resonance
- Episode 22 – The Brink
- Episodes 23-27 – Buddha versus Zerofuku