Well, we are officially three episodes into the Winter 2021 anime season, and that means it's time to share our first impressions of the shows! Today we are going to have a look at Project Scard: Praeter no Kizu (Scar on the Praeter). Scar on the Praeter is a brand new, original anime produced by GoHands that began airing in January 2020. It's not based on a manga or video game like many other shows, but instead is an original project - which means no one can predict what is going to happen next in the story, or where exactly this anime is going! That’s all part of the fun.
Scar on the Praeter is set in the near future in a fictional region of Tokyo called Akatsuki Special Zone. The area, originally meant to be a utopia, is now lawless and controlled by warring gangs and abandoned by the rest of the city. People still live there, most struggling to survive in an area decimated by conflict and strife. Inside the Akatsuki Special Zone, there are people with magic tattoos that possess the powers of ancient beasts and gods, which grant the wearers special powers. These people are known as Scards. Scar on the Praeter follows the story of one young man, Yamato Kai, who has recently become a Scard.
Please be aware of mild spoilers ahead.
Pro: A Distinct Art Style
One of the first things that sticks out about Scar of the Praeter is its unique art style, which you will notice immediately. Scar on the Praeter combines traditional hand-drawn animation with computer-generated images. The cityscapes in the background tend to be made on a computer, giving them a 3D look, whereas the characters interacting in the foreground have a more traditional anime look to them. Even the colour choices in Scar on the Praeter stand out, as it makes heavy use of dark, muted colours rather than bright ones to add to the overall dark tones of the anime.
While the urban backgrounds are gritty and run-down, Scar on the Praeter’s actual characters are nothing short of beautiful. The cast is almost entirely made up of men, each with their own unique hairstyle, clothing, and signature weapon. If you’re looking for eye candy in the form of attractive anime boys, look no further. And all of them are undeniably handsome! Scar on the Praeter uses a bishounen style for its character designs rather than a realistic one, despite having very realistic backgrounds and settings for each of the scenes. The contrast is a little jarring at first because, at times, the characters look like they have been stuck into the scenes from another anime, but as Scar on the Praeter has gone on, the unique style has become just a part of how the story is being told.
Pro: Thoughtful Characters
All of the characters in Scar on the Praeter are distinct, not only in their design like we said above but also in their personalities. Even the bad guys in Artemis, the group facing off against the main heroes, have their own stories and personalities (actually, they are a lot funnier than the main characters so far!). It makes us feel invested in seeing these characters’ story playing out because their personalities make them feel more believable and realistic. Even Eiji, who was only in the first episode, had enough presence that we were really sad when he died!
Con: An Overly Complicated Story
If you have been reading this and wondering what exactly a “Praeter” is, you aren’t alone. Even three episodes into Scar on the Praeter, we also have not seen this mysterious word from the title being used yet. Being honest, Scar on the Praeter throws viewers right into the action without explaining much about the setting or the story - in fact, you do not learn the background of the Akatsuki Special Ward until the second episode. Most of the characters and organisations are also introduced with little to no back story or explanation. That makes Scar on the Praeter a bit hard to follow sometimes, and even harder to get into. Hopefully, as the season goes on, more information will be revealed as the story unfolds. We personally hope they are saving everything up for a big twist or a shocking reveal down the line!
Overall, Scar on the Praeter is off to an interesting start. The art style alone makes it worth giving it a shot, if only to see how it has set itself apart from most other anime this season. The story itself is a bit hard to follow, but hopefully the mystery now will pay off down the road. It has no shortage of cool action scenes and fights between beautifully designed characters, and each character has been given their own distinct personality. Only three episodes into an anime based on an original idea, it's hard to guess how the season is going to go - but so far, we are definitely intrigued, and looking forward to seeing more of these character’s lives throughout the season!
Are you watching Scar on the Praeter? How do you feel about it? Do you think you will start watching now that you’ve read our impressions, or did we help you decide it isn’t for you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!