Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero DVD Review


Balancing on a very thin line between ecchi and mild hentai, there is only one word that comes to mind upon starting this review and that is unimpressed. Completely and utterly unimpressed, in every sense of the word. It could even be considered an understatement. During the entire course of Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero I experienced wave after wave of boredom. And I’m almost certain that a cringe became my default expression, only occasionally changing to roll my eyes or give looks of half confusion, half disgust at my TV.

Screenshot (42)The reasons for my discomfort and displeasure come mainly down to personal preference. I was faced with all of my anime nightmares packed into one 12 episode series. With harem and ecchi being two of the most abundant themes within the series, I had a feeling from the start that I would not be someone who could fully enjoy or appreciate everything that this anime had to offer. Therefore, this is me saying beforehand that while I do see the appeal of this anime, I cannot defend its undeniably poor writing and lack of focused storyline. There are very, very blatantly obvious elements of the anime which would have quite the high appeal to a large range of people. Elements being a code word. Large being a key hint. Since it’s next to impossible to go this entire review without mentioning it, I’m obviously talking about the boobs. The typical, abnormally large, anime boobs. Now, I’m not completely ignorant to this; I’m fully aware, as I’m sure every other anime watcher is, that anime is often a place of boobs. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that boobs need to be everywhere, all the time. However this series didn’t quite understand that.

Upon doing some minor research before watching the series, I was under the impression that a key part of the plot was the idea of separate dimensions, Babel and Alayzard, and how the characters were often transported between the normal and magical worlds. I guess I was wrong; there was no real expansion of this idea. It was pretty difficult to even determine the point in the separate dimensions. At the sacrifice of a story that had genuine potential, Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero made the disappointing mistake of favouring continuous boobs and panty-shots over development of a kind of decent idea. It got really boring, really quick. And that was my biggest problem with this series.

Screenshot (51)As far as the story itself goes, I return to my previous point of it being devoid of any engaging plot.  If anything, the series appeared to begin where it should have ended. Akatsuki had defeated the demon king and returned to the ‘normal’ world, Babel, with the daughter of the demon king, Miu. From there it pretty much goes as follows: Magical kids are protected in Babel and train to improve their skills, baddies from Alayzard want the princess (Miu) back, baddies fight the hero (Akatsuki), princess wants to kill herself, hero stops her, hero wins the battle (surprise, surprise). Oh yeah, and there was the few fun, filler episodes of going to the mall and going to the beach, both of which I enjoyed substantially more than the main story itself. Purely for the odd moments of comedy which I believe would’ve suited the characters and story as a better genre in itself.

However, following the series attempts to create a more action-based theme, what I actually got was an instant click within the first episode. I knew I was in for a long, unenjoyable journey of horrible clichés and cringe-worthy arrogance. The moment I was introduced to our star of the show, the all out action-man and (semi-self proclaimed) ‘Rogue Hero’ Akatsuki, there was an immediate dislike. Yes, from the perspective of a girl who is guilty of having many anime ‘hasbandos’, Akatsuki was a very nicely designed and animated character, he’s the typical ‘good-looking’ anime guy. But it was the entire personality and demeanour of the perverted, cocky character that made him all the more painful to watch. Or should I say, endure?

Screenshot (37)

He’s your typical anime badass, if you could call him that. He magically whips off the underwear of any female around him, he rides the fastest motorbike in existence which no one else in history had the ability to do, and the most numbingly irritating trait of all: horrendously overpowered. There was never a doubt throughout the series that Akatsuki’s power would falter. There may have been a glint of hope when it appeared that he wasn’t all that good with magic and was more of an outstanding physical fighter, but nope, he managed to whisk up a sword from those little magical particles within a good quarter of an episode. There were many attempts to try and redeem the character though, through his caring and considerate compassion for all of the lovely ladies. I wasn’t buying it.

The main lady in question, Miu, was just as insufferable as the Rogue Hero himself. It was a hero and princess duo fit for any 8-bit platform game. Miu was a damsel in distress from beginning to end, serving only as the main source of fan service with the running gag of her too-big-for-any-clothes boobs, innocent sparkling eyes and array of girlish squeals and moans. She had little appeal to me, that much is obvious. Aside from being irritated by her, I was pretty much indifferent. She was just kind of… there. Much like the rest of the side characters who drifted in and out, most of the time being completely irrelevant and again just appeared as fan service and to act out scenes of disturbing, fetishy weirdness. There was a lesbian, a few tsunderes and girls peeing themselves. I’m not even sure what that was about, I’m a little scarred. Need I say more? Strange, strange F-A-N-S-E-R-V-I-C-E.

I did want to finish this review off on a more positive note, since I appear to have complained and criticised all the way through, but it really is a struggle to think of anything. Even the opening and closing sequences held no real significance. There’s an audience out there for this anime, I suppose, and in terms of that audience, it’s probably viewed as perfect. But I just don’t see it. Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero truly bored and disappointed me. The obsession of all things inappropriate and fan service based were a complete distraction from any possible redeeming qualities.

Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero is releaed on DVD and Blu-ray on 16 June.

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