Can I just say, how the hell did I end up here? I don’t like giving bad reviews, but here we are again. I really wanted to enjoy Assassins Pride, really I did, but that was perhaps one of the worst anime I’ve watched in a LOOOOOOOOONG time. Like, a train wreck full of actual shit would have been a prettier sight.
I’ve been following the manga adaptation for a long time now (haven’t read the light novel at this point), and am caught up with the English translation. I enjoy it a lot and would put it amongst some other really good series. But… I can’t get over this shit-on-a-stick. They completely butchered this anime, and it fills me with rage that they could do this to such a good series.
Okay, okay. I’ve taken a deep breath. Let’s look at specific issues.
Right off the bat in episode 1, we’re presented with a rushed mess. They mashed together the first five chapters of the manga into a single episode. Five long chapters. That were filled with all of the setup and drama to get you involved in the story.
If you read my post on Isekai Cheat Magician, you’ll know how I feel about pacing. Pacing is immensely important, arguably doubly so for fantasy where you also have to build the world along with the characters and their motivations. I reread the first five chapters, and there was a lot of internal conflict for both Kufa and Melida, resulting in your emotional attachment to these characters. While there was flashes of what actually happened, they just kind of breezed through all the plot and expected you to care.
With what we were given in the anime, the darker, more sinister aspect of Kufa, being a professional assassin, is completely lost. The abuse Melida experiences from everyone around her is barely shown, and not allowed to linger to eat away at you so you feel for her. This ultimately results in a lack of caring for both when they decide to forcefully awaken her mana. They basically just rushed the WHOLE PREMISE OF THE SERIES. (－‸ლ)
To be frank, the whole series felt rushed, with nothing getting the time needed to develop the plot or giving you a reason to care about anything. No emotional connection to any of the characters, no cliffhangers, just nothing.
This pacing resulted in a choppy mess of a series. Like, the arc when we go to Rosetti’s hometown felt completely out of place, to the point that I was wondering if the whole arc was an anime-only filler arc. Spoilers: it’s not. But it also doesn’t happen at this point in the series, which could be why it felt like filler. Either that, or because it gave NO build-up.
The last arc was actually pretty accurate, though I still cringe a bit with how they depicted the final battle. Episode 10 was probably the most accurate and appropriately paced episode of the whole series, which had given me hopes for the last few episodes to finish strong, but I was left disappointed. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I don’t like getting too wrapped up in negative reviews, so let’s conclude here. Overall, this anime adaptation was a total mess. It was choppy, gave no exposition or time to develop the plot properly, paired with mediocre animation and super short and dull action scenes. The result is leaving viewers who aren’t familiar with the manga or light novel with a “WTF did I just watch??” feel, IF they could even manage to finish it.
Honestly, this made me mad. As someone who enjoys the manga immensely, this was a huge disservice to the series. It doesn’t help that it appears there was some turmoil with the production staff (could you tell?).
Now, I will say, I have heard rumors that we could get a second season. Because I love the series (not the anime, per se) so much, I hope it does. The world they build it really interesting, with the world of night and all, and the series has a good premise, even though they don’t it. So, I just pray they learn some lessons from this and make it with the attention it deserves.