Recca is very familiar to its successful predecessor, Yu Yu Hakusho, which Studio Pierrot also created. I have to say that Recca feels like hakuso at most of the times, like that the cast has similarities and such. First of all, I quickly learned character names, and I won’t forget them! That’s thanks to other character who screamed the name of character X EVERY SINGLE TIME when character X got wounded. What a wonderful idea, to do that in action anime! Let’s say, we have fight and character X get’s hurt. His friend shouts: X! Rival whispers “come on X!”, lover (in spe) worries ‘X…’ and we have also buddies, viewers, passerby and occasionally enemies also will make a comment or two.
Now this repeats every time he gets hurt in this fight, which occurs no less than three times at the very least. Works wonders for memorizing character names, I tell You.
We also can see this amazingly detailed and fabulously drawn arena from episodes 17 to 40. They had to work on this background for ages, You know? Otherwise, they wouldn’t have guts to show You ONE BACKGROUND for 23 episodes on 42 episode total, now would they? And hell, what a plot they have, to confine it in one place for so long. The best drama can’t compare!
And it also works wonders for Your concentration! After few episodes, I could clearly tell in what part of the arena they were fighting! In fact, I could almost tell which rock they are now on! And thanks to such familiar feeling it gave me I could concentrate more on what was going on actually, and that’s sooooo useful, because in FoR the plot is lightning fast, man, I tell You, changes are sure hard to spot, so quick they are! Unnoticeable almost. Invisible.
And that tournament! Never since Mortal Combat had any movie played this theme! So imagine my surprise, when I saw it played in FoR! So original! So fresh! And here it’s played till last five minutes of anime! Works wonders on the quality of the plot and of course, for the ending as well! After all, if last episode still is in tournament mode, then the ending must be one in it’s kind, full of closure, without any loose threads or themes, every past gets resolved, everything is well knitted together… yessss, precisely how it’s pulled out here.
Especially the little trick they did just before the ending credits rolled, that just made my jaw drop! Hell, I never would suspect they would so neatly summarize their achievements! “We haven’t concluded this, there’s no resolution in that, this has no closure, and what about that?!” Suddenly reminded by one character, this sure neatly tied up ALLLLLLL the loose knots I could otherwise worry about. Neat ending! Nowadays they don’t end stuff like that, gotta respect old school!
Madougu were great idea, same with developing ninja with abilities, vs madougu ones, it’s shame later it gets wasted.
First 16 episodes and the bunny-like commentator (is there female form for that? like actress?) who liked Recca and became his fan (SHE was fun) also were adorable. Unfortunately, it all was murdered by tournament story arc.
The series is very nicely drawn fights were main reason for my mark here and in enjoyment. Even when story where at its worst, fights managed some level of decency. Unfortunately, they never reached such greatness as for example fights in RK OVA, because here I simply didn’t care that much for characters.
Other than this, characters designs were nice, yet suffered from inconsistencies (sometimes Yanagi looked childlike, sometimes girlish, same with Recca, and I don’t mean here chibi or usual form). Still, half of the anime took place in one huge room so, how hard You think it was for them constantly to use the same background for 21 episodes?
For the first part of the anime it was actually fun, because it carried my hopes for development. When I realized I’m sentenced to watch this damn tournament match after match I quickly understood what awaits me. Death out of boredom.