This season, we’re thrown into the fantasy world of King's Raid: Ishi wo Tsugumono-tachi, an anime based on the King’s Raid mobile role-playing games, where a demon lord was defeated and buried by the legendary warrior and king, Kyle. 100 years pass and people are living in peaceful times; however, demons start becoming a regular sighting.
The fate of the knight apprentice, Kasel, changes forever when his friends and seniors in knighthood are brutally massacred by demons. With his close friend Frey, Kasel embarks on a dangerous mission to find the sacred sword bestowed unto Kyle, King of Orvelia and Kasel’s father through convoluted, yet tragic events.
King’s Raid is your run-of-the-mill fantasy in various ways. You have Kasel, your average “defender of justice” type of protagonist with lowly origins who, through a dramatic series of events, comes to realise his true, prophetic, main character’s origin when he is visited by a friend of his biological father – King Kyle – and told of his parents’ heroic efforts to defeat and seal away the Demon Lord Ang Mundo. This happened 100 years ago; however, through sending Kasel’s pregnant mother through suspended animation, Kasel was essentially placed in the current age in order to pick up where his father left off.
He must first find the Holy Sword Aea that his father used to defeat Ang Mundo if he is to stand a chance against any of his demonic foes. The sword was sealed away by King Kyle’s comrades, of whom the dark elf Illya was ostracized for her creation of a false holy sword, which was seen as blasphemy against the Goddess of Light, Lua.
The first three episodes of King’s Raid are incredibly heavy on the exposition, with large chunks of lore coming in conversations between characters. There are tensions amongst the various races, with demons being categorically hostile against humans, and humans harbouring contempt for the Dark Elves, an ostracised race who are used as mercenaries by an ambitious nobleman named Lord Moriham.
Moriham seems to have ambitions of one day assuming control of the kingdom given that the current king is bedridden due to illness, leaving all the admin to nobles and advisors. He plans to use the dark elven contingent known as Black Edge to fight off the demonic enemies of the kingdom, but he also uses them as a demonstration of his own power and influence.
Black Edge is led by Moriham’s right-hand man, the dark elf known as Riheet. They have a vendetta against Orvelia because of the oppression elven kind have experienced at the hands of humans since the defeat of Ang Mundo 100 years prior to the series.
Initially, Kasel is shown in knight’s training with his seniors, all of whom best him in swordsmanship and combat. However, Kasel is distraught when the knights are sent out to King’s Forest after word spreads of demon sightings in the area. Only one individual returns. Driven by his sense of justice, Kasel sets out into the forest to investigate, with Frey following closely behind after failing to dissuade him from going alone. They arrive at a gory scene – the entire squad massacred save for one, who was still missing.
They are soon flanked by the same demons that killed Kasel’s friends, but they escape when the demons are exterminated by Riheet and the Black Edge. The Black Edge are in turn rebuffed by an unknown woman who exhibits incredible power and a strange interest in Kasel. Riheet chases her away and he and Kasel exchange words. Kasel feels pathetic after being unable to defeat even a single demon, his self-pity is interrupted when he and Frey meet a pink-haired sorceress named Cleo, and a stoic young man who claim to have been sent by the Great Sage Dominix. After meeting the Great Sage Dominix, Kasel heads out to form a party that will help him on his mission to find the Holy Sword Aea.
Kasel is the orphaned protagonist of lowly origin who learns that he is the son of the legendary King Kyle who, 100 years ago, defeated the Demon Lord Ang Mundo, granting the Kingdom of Orvelia 100 years of peace. Kasel’s youth is marred by the invasion of his home village by demons. Witnessing his mother’s death at the hands of the demons, Kasel’s sense of justice implores him to become a knight apprentice with hopes of becoming someone strong enough to never have to lose another person he cares about to the evil of the demons.
Kasel’s childhood friend Frey from his days in the orphanage. When Kasel decides to investigate the missing squadron who went to defeat the demons in King’s Forest, Frey doesn’t think twice about supporting him in his mission. She has healing abilities and can deal with the brunt of non-fatal injuries, but when she and Kasel were in the forest flanked by the demons, if it wasn’t for Black Edge, she and Kasel would have died.
The only surviving knight of the squadron sent out to investigate King’s Forest, Clause was badly injured by the demons, but he managed to flee the scene and alert the Chancellor and nobles of their failure.
A friend and former advisor of King Kyle who was entrusted with watching over Kasel’s development from his birth, eventually revealing himself and his duty to Kasel and Frey. He had appeared to them at the orphanage when they were children, now revealing himself to be the Great Sage who will lead Kasel to the Holy Sword of the Goddess of Light,
The leader of Black Edge, the dark elven mercenary contingent under Lord Moriham. Riheet and his comrades have a vendetta against the Kingdom of Orvelia due to the defeat of Demon Lord Ang Mundo. Riheet is first spotted by Kasel and Frey in town, who notice the townspeople’s discomfort with his presence in the city. His first appearance is what King’s Raid uses to explain the discrimination faced by the Dark Elves and the tension citizens are feeling because of rumoured demon sightings.
So far, King’s Raid does not feel like a particularly ground-breaking fantasy anime. It posits a generic framework for a fantasy storyline and gives it convoluted lore revealed through rather heavy exposition. The characters are one-dimensional and rather bland to say the least, and the hefty, convoluted plot seems rushed in these first three episodes. It leaves much to be desired, but perhaps our standards are high for a fantasy. It is not the best, but King’s Raid is definitely not the worst either. Are you watching King’s Raid? Drop a comment below and share your thoughts about the show so far!