Dating back to the late 1980s, Bastard!! has long been considered one of the quintessential dark fantasy manga series alongside greats like Berserk. Heavily inspired by heavy metal music and D&D, Bastard!! is a series that you dive into when you’re older and aware that not all fantasy series need to have tiny elves and smiling fairies. We’ve always wanted a true anime series—an OVA was released in the early 90s but only lasted a few episodes—and the day has finally come thanks to Warner Bros. Japan, Netflix, and studio LidenFilms. That’s right folks, Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy has greeted the world but is this the long-awaited anime we’ve been craving? Why don’t we find out in our review of the very amazingly titled Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy!
This Isn’t Your Ordinary Fantasy Anime
Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy isn’t your everyday dark fantasy anime and constantly feels like it’s a mix of modern anime and older series. We can’t help but think of Kagome and Inuyasha when we see Dark Schneider and Yoko interact with one another. While Bastard!! isn’t always dark, when episodes have people getting smashed by giants or cut up like butter, you’re reminded why this isn’t your everyday fantasy series and is compared often to Berserk, which sometimes isn’t exactly the best anime to compare it to.
Old and New Fuse
Bastard!! animation is really where you’ll feel the old days of anime and the new age merge together. When combat occurs, blood spills out in glorious fashion with slick animation and eye-opening visuals. Then you’ll have a calm moment where a priest mocks our evil sorcerer and pop in like this is the days of Speed Racer. Even when these older anime clichés occur—and they happen a lot—we found ourselves smiling as this is how you merge anime themes from old and new perfectly. We adore the animation in Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy and clap loudly for LidenFilms!
A Godly Soundtrack Of Mega Proportions
If you’re into heavy metal music and sounds, you’ll be more than happy with the OST in Bastard!!. These songs are righteous with every battle—even simpler ones—having extreme guitar ballads. Coldrain even does the opening theme song which makes us get so amped up before every episode! There was never any moment that didn’t have some epic tune in the background making Bastard!! one of the coolest OSTs we’ve heard in some time. We also loved how many references of names using popular bands like Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, and Anthrax, to name a few, and trying to find them all is a game of itself.
The Story Overall Isn’t As Epic As The Setting
Time to be brutally honest for a moment. While Bastard!! can be extremely graphic and filled with oppai greatness, it borders between absolutely ridiculous—in a goofy way—and extremely mature. Lucien/ Dark Schneider is the prime example of this as he goes from a cowardly kid to a powerful reincarnated being that uses insane magical attacks. Don’t go into Bastard!! expecting a story that will put fear into your hearts as Berserk can. This is a more mellow mature narrative, which sounds like an oxymoron, but we never feel this is a weakness of Bastard!!
Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy is the perfect dark fantasy to binge and we loved every second of it. Yes, the story is absurd and we rolled our eyes a few times with some of the dialogue but never did we feel this was a detriment to this series. Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy reminded us of a different era of anime while looking modern. Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy might not be everyone’s favorite Netflix anime but it’s up there in our hearts!
Have you binged Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy yet, or plan to after reading our review? Comment below to let us know your thoughts! Keep stuck to our always hard-rocking hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more anime reviews!