First Impressions: Tactics

Another boy, another… goblin?

This tale seems almost familiar…

Hey guys, need help with any spiritual problems? Pay no mind to my dad back there. He likes to support my work.

I just saw the cover of this one online and sought it out based on one character reminding me a bit of Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler. And guess what, the premise rings familiar, too! In episode one we meet a young man named Kantaro who is traveling the countryside in search of… something. We can tell that he’s mystical and cool by his traditional Japanese garb and his white hair. He makes his way to a family who are in distress because the daughter of the head of the house is in love with a farm hand and he’s sick but there’s a jealous maid and blah blah blah.

If you guessed that this was the guy who drew me into this anime, you'd be correct.

While they’re all Princess Bride-ing it, Kantaro comes across what he’s been seeking: a demon-eating goblin (who looks nothing like any goblin I’ve ever seen in any work of fantasy prior to this). Kantaro frees him, names him Haruka, and thus becomes his master. Meanwhile, back on the ranch, the daughter gets trapped in ice by an ice demon (on account of loving the farm hand; remember the jealous maid? Yup.). Kantaro, armed with his spanking-new butler, er, goblin, goes back to rescue her. I won’t tell you what happens next, but you can probably guess.

Haruka even has black feathers floating around him, just like Sebastian! How could I not be intrigued?!?

Despite my somewhat snarky summary, I rather liked what I’ve seen thus far of this anime. I’d have had to, considering that I was streaming it via a sketchy website and the picture quality was sub par. But I liked the art (what I could see of it) and I’m interested in the story. The episode that I watched was subtitled, but I believe that there is an English version available on DVD. In the nine months since I began getting into anime, I have yet to come across something that resembled Black Butler on any level, and the fact that this one does intrigues me. From this episode alone I’d call it the lovechild of BB and Mushi-Shi. When I first saw the cover art and read the description I assumed that Haruka was the main guy and that Kantaro was his cute demon-eating goblin companion, but no, it’s Ciel and Sebastian all over again, only out frolicking in the woods of Japan among nature spirits and stuff instead of kickin’ it in Victorian England. There’s no question that Black Butler will remain number one in my anime fandom heart, but I’m open to seeing what this slightly older version of a boy and his demon, er, goblin, turns out to be.


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