Netflix brings to our table yet another adaptation of an amazing manga series, Shuumatsu no Walküre (Record of Ragnarok). This time, we’re presented with different pantheons trying to obliterate all of mankind. In order to save themselves, the greatest individuals in all of mankind face these gods in a tournament-style match-up. The thing about Netflix, however, is that it’s kind of a hit or miss. That being said, here’s our scrutiny of this god-slaying series from the soundtrack, animation, and plot—or lack thereof.
Epic Soundtracks For Epic Matches
If you’re not familiar with Record of Ragnarok’s setting, it’s basically a tournament-style battle between gods and humans. The series has a good roster for both sides. Reasonably, the clash between these characters is epic, but that’s for later. Let’s talk about the series’ choice of music and animation style first.
We find the metal part of the opening song quite fitting with the series’ theme, hyping the epic godslaying that we all hope will occur. Meanwhile, the ending song gives off a cathartic atmosphere fitting of how the series loves to end on a cliffhanger.
Story? What Story?
Record of Ragnarok’s plot is basically the gods unanimously deciding to end humanity. In order to preserve mankind’s existence, Brunhilde offers the idea of Ragnarok. Should humanity win, they retain their right to exist, but should they lose, they will be wiped out. Well, that’s basically it. What follows is bloodshed and battles that will make every action junkie orgasm.
Forget about the story. Record of Ragnarok’s actual selling point is its take on how the battle between gods and the legends of mankind unfolds. With the Valkyries leveling the field, the fights are truly beyond human. From fistfights, sword fights, to a battle between different weapons, the series features incredible fight scenes as it promised.
Creative Freedom at Its Finest
The characters of Record of Ragnarok are in no way new. Some may be unfamiliar to others, but most are household names. With that kind of setup, it’s pretty easy to fall prey to unoriginality. Record of Ragnarok, however, easily dodges that with its unique take on the characters. Even though it still includes quirky characteristics these personas are known for, the series adds its original touch to it. Zeus is a very good example of this. In myths and legends, Zeus is known for planting his seed in just about anything living. The series, on the other hand, portrays him as a creepy, lecherous-looking old man. The cool thing, however, is that he doesn’t lust over women or whatnot. Instead, he goes bananas over any unpredictable happening and the thought of a blood-curdling battle.
It’s not only the characteristics that benefit from the series’ creative freedom. The characters’ stories are also given a nice makeover. Since we’ve already used Zeus as an example, then we might as well use his opponent, Adam, as another. Biblically, we know that Adam is created in the likeness of God and is banished from Eden for eating the forbidden fruit. Record of Ragnarok puts a quirky twist to this age-old story. Since he is indeed created in the likeness of God, he can imitate any technique a god uses. Not only that, he isn’t banished from Eden, but he voluntarily defies the gods to leave with Eve after killing the Serpent. They are, in essence, similar but not really.
The series’ character designs are also quite superb, which adds to its attractiveness. The animation style, however, is quite mediocre. It’s a mishmash of different styles from old school 2D animation, to what looks like a PowerPoint presentation, to the use of modern CGI. Admittedly, there are moments the style fits the scene perfectly, but it’s often off and just weird.
Record of Ragnarok is obviously not like our typical action series. It basically takes the best part—the tournament arc—in most action series and serves it as is. That being said, it’s obviously not for everybody. If you’re looking for deep-plotted series, then Record of Ragnarok isn’t the series you’re looking for. Not yet, at least. It, however, has enough action scenes to last us for days. The question now is whether or not Netflix will continue the series, and that is a question only Netflix can answer.