Heike Monogatari – 01

© Science Saru

「平家にあらざるば人にあらず」 (Heike ni Arazaruba Hito ni Arazu)
“If You Don’t Belong to the Heike, You Won’t Be a Person”

Heike Monogatary is a visually gorgeous and engaging story that permeates with outstanding quality production.

OP Sequence

OP:「光るとき」(Hikaru Toki) by「羊文学」(Hitsuji Bungaku)

「平家にあらざるば人にあらず」 (Heike ni Arazaruba Hito ni Arazu)
“If You Don’t Belong to the Heike, You Won’t Be a Person”

It’s the start of a new season, but wait… The old one hasn’t even finished yet! WHAT’s GoInG ON?!?!? Worry not my internet friend, who just plummeted into the twilight zone in my imagination. The actual Fall season doesn’t properly start until October, but here in the west, this year we get a special treat. Science Saru is streaming it’s new TV anime first through several streaming platforms including bilibili and Funimation while the rest of Japan has to wait until Winter 2021 to be able to cozy up in their homes and watch it on TV. The studio behind Nihon Chinbotsu: 2020 and Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta and my personal favorite Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! are back and are bringing it full force in Heike Monogatari. Consequently the studio is also producing two shorts from the upcoming Star Wars animated anthology. Star Wars: Visions due later this month to hit on Disney+

Let me start off by saying, this is a visual treat. Everything about this series from it’s animation to it’s color usage to the way emotions are portrayed on screen is superb. There’s mastery at work here. And it’s incredible to watch. A period drama in all of it’s splendor with a supernatural twist. I’ll try not to spoil too much about it, since it’s defiantly worth going in blind, otherwise I wouldn’t be blogging about it. That said – Personally I don’t think I’ll be blogging about it here on the blog, neither on RC as it has been claimed, but that’s another story. But I won’t personally be blogging it because it’s a series I want to keep for myself. However let this post serve to entice you into watching it. We only talk about the first couple of minutes of the episode, the rest is yours to watch.

The story is an adaptation from a famous Japanese novel with some minor key details changed here and there to modernize the story a little bit, and boy does it work. More specifically it follows the struggles women were met and challenged with during feudal Japan in the era of the Genpei war. (Thanks G!) The anime doesn’t shy away from showing you the struggles of war, as you’ll see in the first couple of minutes. Not only does it serve to entice us as viewers, but it’s a great way to start the series. Let’s just say, never in my life has backgrounds given me chills, or made me tear up for that matter.

It’s a visual treat, the colors pop, the hues do satin. The animation is fluid and dynamic, so much so that it made me loose myself in it. The world tinted a rose color and it spirited me away in it’s first couple of seconds of it’s runtime. This first episodes starts with a long shot of a flying butterfly (symbology already at work), but I’m sure there’s some significance there, as butterflys are usually associated with the human soul in Japanese mythology. A butterfly carries a soul as it travels to the underworld.

Then the story jumps to a blind monk and a girl who accompanies him. The girl has Heterochromia iridum, a fact that will become important later in the story. They walk the streets of a bleak town, the outside of a castle, the boonies, where the poor seek a better living. And the rich continue to prosper. Suddenly a group of boys whisk by ordering people to move aside, bumping into drunks if they have too. The monk refers to them as the Kaburo Boys, they are the group in charge of punishing those that speak ill of the Heike. Also known as the Taira clan for the history books. The Kaburo drag out a woman who has apparently spoken against the tyranny. One of boys in red gives the woman an escape goat. Blame it on your husbands tongue. So she wouldn’t have to suffer. The girl tries to intervene but the monk stops her. One of the boys in red hears them and takes offense, he comes over and readies his sword. But the monk steps in front of the girl, the Kaburo upfront him with a punishment, he must pay for sullying the Taira’s name, a samurai in green, pushes his sword to the sky, and strikes it down. The monk gives out one last breath, he accepted his death, nay he saw it coming, even if no light could strike his eyes. All of this happens in the first couple of minutes of the episode.

The story then changes to Biwa (Aoi Yuuki) the girl who accompanied the monk and also called Pa infiltrating the Taira clan and becoming one of them, while meeting all sort of quirky characters. One fateful encounter within it changes the way she views her faith.

Everything about this episode I loved! It was perfect, and made me want more. I seriously can’t wait to learn more about this world and the characters that reside within it. It’s like transporting yourself to a different time in the past that otherwise we wouldn’t know anything about. Our lives are completely different from how they were in the Genpei war. And that’s one aspect that makes it interesting. Historically accurate period dramas have a special place in my heart. And I feel some of you might sleep on this. Give this first episode a chance, you won’t be disappointed. Overall I could keep repeating myself here, because of how gorgeous this show is. But overall like I said, this is just a premiere post, I do feel like I don’t have enough skills or knowledge about historical facts to really dive deep into the symbolism and story at play here. That’s probably the main reason why I won’t be blogging this. So Instead this is all you get from me. Nevertheless, expect more premiere’s as they happen. So stay tuned for opinions and reviews on the upcoming Fall 2021 anime season. Expect the hottest, the newest and freshest anime coverage, all right here on fjfreeman.blog! Thanks for reading! See you soon!


ED:「unified perspective」by agraph feat. ANI (++SCHADARAPARR++ (スチャダラパー))

Premiere! by FJ

Author: FJ

A young fantasy writer during the night, motion graphics and illustration during the day. Currently living in Mexico. Aspiring to make a feature film.

One thought on “Heike Monogatari – 01”

Don't be shy.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: