A Leopard Head Filled With Dread: Guin Saga

When you wake up wearing a leopard’s head,

it’s gonna be a bad day.

Today’s entry is another one-episode anime experiment that I just couldn’t stomach more of: Guin Saga. I know that there’s a possibility that I’m going to get raked across the coals for this one since Kaoru Kurimoto’s light novel series is a best-seller and the current longest continuing single-writer’s work in the world, but I just couldn’t get into it.

Onward to adventure! And stuff!

This tale revolves around Guin, a warrior with a leopard mask affixed to his head who can’t seem to remember anything other than his name (maybe) and the word “Aurra.” In episode one he encounters a royal set of twins named Rinda and Remus who are fleeing their home after a late night attack leaves them orphaned. As the twins are pretty much useless at this point (I’m lookin’ at you, Remus) Guin helps them escape from some evil dudes who are out to get them, then further helps them escape from the evils of the forest at night. Then the next morning… more evil dudes! Whatever will they do? Tune in next time to find out! (Or if you’re like me, you’ll take a pass.)

Kan u tell me y I haz a lepbird hed?

Perhaps I should have given it one more episode, as it was getting more intriguing by the end. However, it was only the events themselves that were mildly interesting. I couldn’t get behind any of the characters, and for me that’s a deal-breaker. If I’m not cheering for anyone or lusting for anyone or loving to hate anyone, what’s the point in watching? I thought that Rinda was capable enough, but I wasn’t really feeling anything for her. I wanted to punch her brother Remus in the throat every time he opened his mouth to speak because he was such an annoying whine-bag. As for Guin, I thought that he was a little ridiculous. There was one part where he asked questions in his melodramatic voice for five minutes straight and I literally laughed out loud. “Who am I? Where did I come from? How did this mask become attached to my head? What is my quest? Where is my homeland? Do I like nachos? What is the name of my pet rock? How will I find a fresh loincloth to change into later? What is the full value of pi? When will I be able to catch a rerun of The Golden Girls?” (Okay, I made some of those up, but that was how it replays in my mind.)

Spooky monster says, "Stop asking so many questions, Battle Cat!"

The art was once again reminiscent of He-Man (though without the copious amounts of skin shown in Queen’s Blade, which is one plus for this series) and the story seemed to have potential, but not enough to keep me coming back for more. To be fair, I have nothing against He-Man (though I always preferred She-Ra) or fantasy stories that edge into sci-fi territory, it’s just not my cup of tea. I’m a bishōnen lover who enjoys harem comedies and gothic fantasies, but that’s me. I can see how others might be really into Guin Saga, and had I seen this episode a month or two ago I probably would have kept watching since at the time I was clamoring for any and all anime that I could get my paws on. I also read that the series has elements of yaoi and yuri, which I like (because I love any and all genderbenders) but there is no guarantee that the anime will get into those parts (as evidenced with Fruits Basket, sometimes there’s a lot of good stuff that gets left out of the anime). The only thing that I really liked was Kanon’s ending theme song, “Saga~This Is My Road,” which sounded like an Enya B-side. Nothing else pulled me in enough to make me go back for more. Now that I am so spoiled for choice, Guin Saga just doesn’t make the cut for me.*

*Editor’s Note: Okay, so I was bored one night and I did actually watch the second episode. I have to say, it got much better. The characters still seem flat and uninspired to me, but the events are intriguing, and the show does a good job of ending on cliffhangers to bring you back. Plus there’s finally a couple of cute-ish guys on board (yes, I can be swayed that easily.) So I shall continue to watch Guin Saga for now, and perhaps re-review the series should my initial opinion change drastically.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. GuinisKing
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 21:24:05

    GUIN SAGA RULEZZZZZ!!!!!! GO GUIN!!

    Reply

    • Miss Pink
      Jul 16, 2011 @ 14:49:45

      Y’know, I’m about halfway through the series now, and I’m enjoying it much more than I initially did. So I’ll re-review it when I’m finished! 😉

      Reply

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