Heion Sedai no Idaten-tachi (The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace) is based on a manga series written by Amahara of Interspecies Reviewers and drawn by Cool-kyou Shinja of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid! This is a cool collaboration that promises weird humor and offbeat sexiness. It certainly deserves more attention, for its unique animation style, extraordinary premise, dark humor, gratuitous violence, and for some infamous scenes that… went a bit too far. Let’s take a look into what did and didn’t work!
The Idaten deities have been slacking off for eighty years since their last decisive battle with the demons, their eternal enemies. Rin was the sole survivor of the last battle and since then, the younger Idaten are under her wing. Hayato is the archetypal shounen protagonist, Ysley is the genius one, and Paula is averse to fighting and prefers being close to animals and nature. With the reappearance of a new demon breed that looks and acts human, the Idaten deities have to buckle up and fight for the balance of this planet. However, the new demon breed holds secrets that destabilize the understanding of the Idaten as “good” and the “demons” as bad, and as complete opposites.
Compelling Plot, Fights, and Mystery
Ok, so what we loved about Idaten is that the truth about the past is revealed little by little. We see the training by Rin, we meet the demon enemies and learn about the Zoble empire, but we can’t foresee how things will turn out. The pacing is good, despite the short run of the show, in just 11 episodes.
When we do meet the demons and realize that this is a battle royale, morality is muddled. Who are the good guys? Apparently, no one! The deities act more like traffic conductors, intervening before the Earth gets destroyed, but they are untouched by violence, cruelty, and injustice, making the demons closer to humans. This was one of the most interesting parts of the show, making it more of a postmodern Dragon Ball.
Sexy, Hot, and… Uncomfortable
There’s the infamous ending of episode 2...The army of the Zoble Empire attacks a town, pillages, and rapes—including a scene with nun Gil, who gets raped by a swarm of soldiers. It’s a disturbing scene, to say the least, although it serves to show us the kind of world the story is set in, and in creating the conditions for later developments in the show. This is a seinen series, so violence and sexual themes are not completely unexpected, but this is still uncomfortable to watch and it felt unnecessary, nevertheless.
We’ve also got Miku, suspiciously named after and looking a lot like Hatsune Miku’s deranged sister, who offers plenty of opportunities for fanservice in the series. That’s all fine and well until we see her plan for repopulating the demon empire, which involves young, very young demon boys. Idaten plays up its dark wacky humor and thrives on exaggeration, but we have got to point out that several lines were crossed in those instances.
The bottom line is, Idaten might not be everyone’s cup of tea, so be warned.
Another downside was that the ending didn’t really conclude anything. The Idaten brought balance back, according to their purpose, but the demons with Miku in the forefront have regained power, and end up trapping Ysley and Paula. The ominous last scene leaves a lot unanswered. We still don’t know who the demon king is exactly. He is connected to Rin’s grandfather but how he came to be is an open enigma. With not many chapters out and they being untranslated, we are left with a cliffhanger…
MAPPA Signature Animation Style
Idaten looks good, it’s a fact. The opening sequence is amazing and reminds us of Mob Psycho a lot. The color choices for backgrounds are unique, too. We get green skies and purple mountains, among other combinations. The quality is consistent throughout the series, and the quirky character designs make it stand out from other action anime. If you like your anime fights to have an experimental touch, you should give Idaten a go.
The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace is an action seinen anime with dark humor, epic fights, and unexpected twists and turns. If you like anime like Dorohedoro or Mob Psycho, then this is a solid watch.
But, what did you think of The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace? Was it fun for you or did you drop it after things started getting weird? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for reading!