NOBLESSE is the latest entry in the ever-growing list of Korean webcomics to be adapted into anime form this year. But unlike Tower of God and The God of High School, which were high-energy shounen extravaganzas, NOBLESSE is all about immortal vampire pretty boys trying to survive high school. There are some darker elements (which take precedence later in the webcomic), but for the most part, it’s just a silly show about all-powerful vampire Raizel and his long-suffering butler Frankenstein kicking ass and eating ramen. Let’s talk about it!
What Is This Show Even About?
Cadis Etrama Di Raizel is a centuries-old noble – essentially a vampire – who has recently woken up from an 820-year slumber in a coffin at the bottom of the sea (Have you ever seen an anime called JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure?) to find himself in the bustling modern world. After meeting up with his also centuries-old butler Frankenstein and enlisting in high school for some reason, Raizel makes it his mission to protect humanity from the corrupt nobles who constantly threaten them.
This show gets off to an unmistakably rough start by requiring viewers to watch the 2016 one-episode OVA NOBLESSE: Awakening before anything else, since the first episode makes very little sense otherwise. But even if you do watch Awakening first, you’ll still be confused because the main series changes the setting from South Korea to Japan with no warning (meaning that the Korean characters also undergo name changes) and several voice actors are different. Once you get past that, the plot is... well, it’s not exactly cohesive and a lot of characters get introduced very quickly... and Raizel doesn’t get to do much right away... wait, why do we like this show again?
So, Why Do We Like This Show Again?
Despite its many flaws, NOBLESSE is a very wholesome anime. Most media that feature sexy vampires or demons, especially those aimed at women, have unsavory themes that can give younger audiences the wrong idea about relationships. There’s no incest like in Vampire Knight, codependency or stalker-ish behavior like in Twilight, or borderline pedophilia like in Black Butler. Raizel and Frankenstein have a healthy parent-and-child-esque relationship, the bond between Regis and Seira is very sweet, and even Manabu and Tao (who are on completely opposite sides) become friends through their mutual love of hacking.
There are also a lot of heartwarming moments that make the characters seem more human and less like sexy untouchable gods, such as Frankenstein forcing M-21 and Regis to clean their candy wrappers off the floor, Raizel’s insatiable love for ramen and complete befuddlement with modern technology, and Takeo’s kindness towards M-21 when he’s being held prisoner. Even if the overarching plot doesn’t go anywhere interesting in the future, we’ll still love NOBLESSE because of these little moments alone.
The original webcomic is insanely popular on Webtoon, so the nobles-versus-humans storyline will probably pick up as the anime goes on. But honestly, NOBLESSE doesn’t have to be a masterpiece to make us happy. It’s rare to see a sexy vampire show that isn’t riddled with horrific toxic relationships, so we’re on board no matter what.
What did you think of our overview? Have you been watching NOBLESSE this season? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!