Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Anime Review : Himouto! Umaru-chan R review

Himouto! Umaru-chan R

“A cozy ride which allows us to look deep at this satisfying series.”

What is Himouto! Umaru-chan R?

Himouto! Umaru-chan R is the sequel to the commercially-succesfull, yet less appreciated series Himouto! Umaru-chan which originally premiered in 2015. The story depicts Umaru and again, her lazy outlook in life, but this time, she wants to change, as a sister and a human being.
So, how does it fare?

The season 2 of Umaru was announced fairly later, which 2 months after the announcement that NEW GAME was receiving a second season. This little insight proves on how much Doga Kobo values these two series, but leaning far more towards NEW GAME as the series is more critically received than Umaru, simply because NEW GAME is far better than Umaru in every aspects. While the announcement of Umaru season 2 did get many people hyped up to see the chibi Umaru wreak havoc again, few may have predicted that this could be this good. I think that not only the audiences, but also the critics, were baffled by the improvement made in the Umaru season 2, much like what NEW GAME gave us a season earlier.

We all know how this anime thrives in the eyes of it’s audience, capturing the viewer’s attention via it’s cute and chibi style of Umaru, as well as how she would approach thing in her own way, such as eating chips and cola, and make fun at things her way, which ironically what makes another half of the audience got turned off by it and makes several critics displeased by the series. Despite the status of main character is held by Umaru, the true star of the first season was Kirie and Ebina, and in this season, Umaru seeks to regain that status as a true star of the show and prove her critics wrong.
And boy, she did manage to do just that.

Gone was the overbearing and annoying Umaru and in comes the Umaru that knows the value of friendship, the burden of others, and knows the pain she has been causing last season, especially to her brother. In this season, Umaru looks like a former of her own self and a character reborn thanks to a well-written characterization, which allows the audience to truly endear to her as a main character.
The main comedic routines still remained within the show, but it was greatly, and I mean greatly, reduced and would turn in favor to developing the character of each cast that appeared throughout the show, particularly Umaru and Sylphinford, oh we’ll get to that later.

Umaru interacts more and more with other characters in the sequel.

Allowing her character to develop properly.

As I stated before, Umaru was like a character reborn. This is partly because of her newfound belief that she too is a human being, and wants to socialize with others properly, not just be worshipped all day by people around her just because she is too perfect at everything. The anxiety she felt when she was about to ask out all her friends to go home with her was real, something she has never felt before as she has never come to this realization, which makes her truly alive. And when she does get over her anxiety and fear, and finally asks her friend to walk home with her, the sense of accomplishment is felt to both the viewer and Umaru herself, especially that last shot where she walks home happily with her friends, although that light she continually radiates that other people saw from her completely defeats the purpose of her innocence and charm in my opinion though.

And of course, by the end of that episode, now the norm is having each episode serve at least one interaction between Umaru and friends, whether it’s watching movie, going to the amusement park, or even studying together. It has become the norm, and I enjoyed every single of their hanging out moments.

In each episode, there will be a hang-out session between Umaru and her friends.

Don’t get me wrong though, as despite this fact, Umaru is still Umaru, and she is still as lazy as a sloth. There are still several routines of her either lazing around all day, or just play video games and still lazes around. However, the show found the way on how to properly utilize it, and while it still appears on daily basis, most of them works both comedically or to further characterize Umaru. Lastly, her self-awareness of how selfish she was previously and the fact that she loves her brother so much that she cries upon his return from a long trip is the result of her development as a character which was phenomenally done.

 All in all, Umaru was like a new person, someone never seen before in the previous incarnation.
However, aside from Umaru, there is also a character who was reborn in this show. Her name is Tachibana Sylphinford. Sylphinford was used atrociously in the first season, as a person who gratuitously challenges Umaru at any given corner in hopes of being her friend, yet never succeeded at becoming her friend, simply because the writing of her character was bad. She was unlikable and jarring in her first appearance, which I branded her as a misfit if I recalled correctly, but all that immediately changes upon her appearance in the new season of this show.

She is gaining more and more time to appear and showcase her characteristics properly to the audience, while slowly building her characters that allows the audience to appeal to her. Gone was that someone who constantly boast to no end, and in comes a person who wants to enjoy her time with her friends and value the friendship she has with other. This was highlighted when she received a gift from Taihei and gladly accepted it with no disappointment or anything despite the fact that she received the same gift from her brother. Sylphinford’s development as a character totally made her stood out from her friends, and most of her flaws that we see from the first season properly explained to make us truly endear to her as a character.

Of course, let us not forget the star of the last season, Motoba Kirie. Kirie remains the strongest character in the show in my opinion, due to the fact that she gained more characterization than both Umaru and Sylphinford, and definitely Ebina, and she also gained more screen time to appear in the show. Her character was still the same, someone who could not properly get her message across yet loves her friends with everything she has. 

Her character still oozes that special aura which makes her likable, especially when she shows that she wanted to be a picture-book writer in the future, which had her base the main character of Umaru chibi form. Though it was not shown in the anime, there was an important scene of her progression as a picture book writer in the manga that was definitely must be seen to see her character as a whole. In addition to that, she improved upon Bomber, her brother, when the two of them interact with each other properly for the first time in ages. That scene was quite the sight in my opinion.

While Kirie remains a powerful character in the series.

Sylphinford has finally received the spotlight she fully deserved.

Also, as a side note, it is worth note that Kirie might have ascended to a main character status, due to her new role in the show, as well as her more frequent appearances in the show, much more than the rest of the cast, and almost on par with Umaru. And of course, given the fact that Umaru’s later appearance was just to have fun with her friends, while Kirie was being focused solely, it makes the statement I made earlier all more intriguing.

Anyway, with the three characters done, now let’s move on to Ebina Nana. Unfortunately for Ebina, this season was not kind to her. She suffered the same role that Sylphinford was trusted in the first season, as a scapegoat. Ebina was a highlight last season due to her characters and her bombastic figure, as well as her awkwardness. However, in this season, she appears less important and constantly blushes randomly and got all tongue-tied whenever there’s Taihei due to her apparent crush on Umaru’s older brother, which was repeated numerous times. In my opinion, this undermined her character’s importance to the show.

Especially when her brother’s debuted. Her brother only appeared once, and Ebina has mentioned throughout the show that she is looking for her brother, but that’s it. She makes no effort in trying to actually find her brother and that reasoning has instead become an excuse in my opinion.
Perhaps this is the case of the writers thinking that Ebina is already far more established and decided to left her out of most of the writing since she is already appealing to the audience. At any rate, it was a shame to see such a powerful and endearing character from the first season got relegated into a background figure. True enough, she had several episodes focusing on her, but that’s not enough to showcase her unique characteristics she had.

Everyone is treated in the right way, except for Ebina.

With the four main girls done, let us move on to the rest of the characters. Is this becoming character reviews? This is supposed to be a whole anime review, yet all I’ve been doing was reviewing each character. Well, what can I do? Character development was the main focus of this new season of Himouto! Umaru-chan.

Anyway, I’ll keep it short so I can talk about things other than characters.

Taihei remains largely unchanged from last season. He still constantly scolds Umaru when she gets too lazy and reminds Umaru of the things she needed to do. However, Taihei has shown more genuine feelings in this new season, largely thanks to Umaru’s newfound characteristics, which was also thanks to Taihei half of the time.

Bomber, or Takeshi Motoba, or Kirie’s brother, shows that his appearance in this show is far more important than just goof around. There are several instances in which he played a integral role in developing the character of Taihei, as well as showing her love for Kirie implicitly. Her family talk with Kirie is also a sight to behold, something I mentioned earlier. Bomber has been unfortunate that he has been showing his bad sides to Kirie most of the time, which undermines his worth to Kirie, and that scene truly reinvest Kirie’s belief to Bomber as a brother, albeit only momentarily.

Alex was okay too, if only he appears more than just once every episode. There is something hidden beneath his character. However, given his lack of promotion, there was no need to be disappointed in him.

Bomber remains a largely important, although subtlely.

And Alex is finally receiving his share in screen time, much like his sister.

The biggest disappointment has to go to Hikari Kongou, the little sister of Kanau. She was promoted in many news outlet, and even got voiced by a popular voice actress in the form of Inori Minase, which was far more popular than any of the voice actors in this show in my opinion. However, her appearance was limited, her interactions was limited, and the only thing we knew is that she loved Taihei and treated him like her big brother since her childhood, but that’s it. Her interactions might be limited, but all of those was enough to showcase her prominence in the show, though it’s just that she did not appear enough to make her mark.

She suffered the Elma-problem I mentioned in the Kobayashi-san chi no Maid Dragon earlier. Elma appeared much later in the anime, which is episode 8, and flounders after her brilliant debut episode, as just another dragon who loves to eat. Hikari almost do Elma, though she was a little bit better, since she got a better writing by the show. I sure hope this Elma-problem doesn’t appear anymore though, as it was sad to see character as important as Elma got relegated into a background duty.
But that’s enough of talking about the characters. Let’s talk about something else.

Hikari was unusually left out in the show and had limited appearance.

The overall theme remains largely the same, big brother and little sister. This theme is even more reinforced upon the single-episode debut of Ebina’s brother, Koichiro, and thanks to that, all of the main cast is now positioned properly as a little sister. The interaction between Umaru with Taihei, and Kirie with Bomber remains the strongest brother to sister interaction in the show, as Sylphinford and Ebina’s relationship with their brother are a little bit underwhelming.

The animation remains the same, colorful and vividly animated, with each character articulates their animation properly. Still, I think the studio goes all out when animating that ending scene, where the four main character are animated in a chibi form, much like the Umaru himouto form. Despite the fact that most of them looked out of place, they all still looked cute enough and the animation was top notch.

And speaking of the ending, really love the ending song and how catchy it was. I found myself watching the ending most of the time when I finished watching an episode, something I reservedly do only to Mahoutsukai no Yome, until it was replaced, given how powerful the ending and opening song was.

The ending song is very catchy in my opinion.

Lastly, allow me to talk about voice-acting. The voice acting remains good in the show, with Aimi Tanaka continues to show that she can do great as a voice actor, despite the fact that her voice is type-casted as a young girl, or the himouto version of Umaru voice. Her ability to deliver a proper voice is still good and she sounds relaxed with her role in my opinion. Hopefully other anime will cast her as someone other than character with the voice of Umaru all over again.

While the English dub of the second season is still not here, allow me to talk about the English dub that the show had in the first season. A month earlier, I was able to watch Umaru in the English dub, and that was very unique and captivating in my opinion. Sure, some sounded a bit strange or out of place, but I must give credits to the voice of Taihei and Umaru, Adam Noble and Emily Neves. While Emily was good in her ability to switch out her voice as the perfect Umaru and the himouto Umaru, Adam Noble’s performance as a Taihei truly steals the show for me. He was sarcastically comedic in his approach and performance as Taihei, and there’s just something about his voice that sounded very entertaining to me, in my opinion. When the English dub of the second season arrived, I will definitely watch it again, hoping that the cast remain the same.
All in all, Himouto! Umaru-chan R was a major improvement, as a whole, to the first season of the show. The second season directly focused on developing each and every character in the show, with it becoming the sole objective of this show all around. Every character is given a proper development that allowed the audience to endear to, either with their newfound characteristics, or their innate ability to just make them likable. 

It could not really best the second season of NEW GAME, but it managed to achieve it’s objective well enough, and I think this is far better than the first season, far far better.

A third season is both necessary and unnecessary as the show wraps everything up in the final episode. If there’s a third season, then that’s a good thing, but if there’s not, then that’s okay.

The Good: Character-development was top notch, with each character getting their major development. Kirie remains the star of the show. Sylphinford and Umaru is characterized properly. Catchy ending song. The pace is far better than before.

The Bad: Again, the jokes are toned down in favor of character development. Ebina suffered a lot of damage in her character. Hikari did not appear enough.

Highlight Moments: Umaru crying to her brother when he finally gets back. Kirie realizing the importance of her brother. The image of all four main cast walking home together.

Final Score : 4 out of 5. Far better than the original. Hopefully, the future is bright for both Umaru and Doga Kobo for animating this show.

A splendid show, and a magnificent continuation to it's original show.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Grand Ambition of Kyoto Animation through Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden

Kyoto Animation is one of Japan’s most prominent and recognized anime studio. They pioneer the industry by creating high-quality anime which is almost always positively received by both the audience and the critics.

Critics have lauded Kyoto Animation for their mastery over the genre that they are currently tackling with or even revitalizing a genre that is dying out or is unknown to the audience at that time, their habit of focusing on character more than everything , and the high production value that they always give to any of their production. All while the audience thoroughly enjoyed their anime through it’s sheer force of being highly entertaining or simply looks good.

It is no secret that I am a fan of their work, a huge fan of Kyoto Animation. I have been following them since they released K-ON! And The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is my first exposure to them if I am being honest, although I watched the anime at around 2011, right after finishing both season of K-ON!. From there on, I never missed any of their show, save for the second season of Free!, and thoroughly enjoyed them. However, despite my love for Kyoto Animation, there are several anime that I do not enjoy and think that they need to either work on that genre more or just avoid it altogether, which is Kyoukai no Kanata and Musaigen no Phantom World. Both action-oriented anime is just not the forte of Kyoto Animation and they, in my opinion, flopped at making those due to several problems. However, that is a subject for another article.

The subject for this article is Violet Evergarden. Many people, including myself has realized regarding one thing about Kyoto Animation. The studio did everything but one, which is capturing global audience and having a worldwide interest. Sure, they are popular in some parts of the country, but not that much popular, as many of their anime are normally eclipsed by a more mainstream product, such as Shingeki no Kyojin, Sword Art Online, even One Punch Man. Don’t get me wrong, all of those anime are good, but Kyoto Animation’s production is as good as them, and even better in my opinion, but they just couldn’t capture those audience, particularly because of the genre of their works that is not to the taste of the masses.

Violet Evergarden made by Kyoto Animation in hopes to gain worldwide audience.

However, Violet Evergarden has captured many interest from the mass despite only being airing for just two weeks at the time of writing this. Many people have been talking about it, some, who are not familiar with Kyoto Animation works, are already hyped for Violet Evergarden before the airing begins. This leads me to thinking that Violet Evergarden might be Kyoto Animation’s first step in achieving their dream of capturing the global interest for their products.

There are several factors that made Violet Evergarden unique in terms of their production, and evident at it’s attempt in capturing worldwide audience.

1.      Unusually High Production Value

One thing that always made Kyoto Animation different from the rest of the studio in the anime industry is their focus on quality over quantity, as many of their works focuses on delivering it’s content and it is no surprise to see them high in terms of production value, such as having crisp animation, colorful and majestic background, and a lively character. However, in Violet Evergarden, it is evident that Kyoto Animation goes way beyond their usual call of duty in making this anime, as it is unusually high in production value, whether it is animation or background, with this kind of quality normally seen only when they are producing a movie, such as Koe no Katachi or K-ON! Movie. 

So far, Violet Evergarden has a very high production value compared to the rest.

2.      Worldwide release, complete with respective dub for each region

Some of Kyoto Animation’s works are not released in English, with some unlicensed by an English-language anime publisher for a long time before they finally released it. An example for this is Hyouka, which aired in Japan on 2011 but received their English-language release on the west in 2017. However, in releasing Violet Evergarden, Kyoto Animation opted to release it in multiple region, complete with language dub that correspond the region that it was released. For the English-language release, the one who distributed the series is Netflix, arguably one of the biggest stream provider in the world, and this show is even reffered to as a Netflix Original Show. It was easily seen through this factor that Kyoto Animation was seeking the global audience, but there are several factors which underlined that line as well.

It was released both domestically and internationally.

3.      The Quality of the English and Japanese Dub

Kyoto Animation’s approach for their voicework is notable for including a newer or rookie voice actor and pair them with a more experienced or talented one in order to give the rookie more experience and cut cost as well. Violet Evergarden, on the other hand, had a line-up of a more talented voice actors ,which is already popular to the audience, that helmed the characters, such as Yui Ishikawa, who is known for voicing Mikasa Ackermann in the Shingeki no Kyojin series,  as the voice of Violet Evergarden,  Takehito Koyasu, who is known for his role in One Piece as Aokiji and Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure as Dio Brando, voices the character Claudia Hodgins. Despite the great line-up for the Japanese Dub, they also had a very talented voice actors voicing the character in the English Dub, something that is rare for anime, such as the names of Erika Harlacher, Cherami Leigh, and Christine Marie Cabanos. As I stated before, having a well-known voice actor for an English release is particularly rare for anime in this era, since the popularity of anime is waning in the region which had English as their main language, thus making the English voice a little bit cheaper or less known to the mass. However, Violet Evergarden release, evident through those names, indicated that they are aiming the western audience to pick up the series as their English voice are far superior than those I normally heard in other English-dubbed anime.

The voice talents used for Violet Evergarden was star-studded.

4.      Intentionally great first episode

All anime seeks to do great at their first outing so that the audience sticks to the anime until the end, as they say that first impression are everything. When a person’s first impression to an anime is already negative, they will view that anime as negative even though that anime is already doing good, vice versa. An in the airing of the first episode of Violet Evergarden, the first episode of the anime was so captivating that people had already rated the series so highly despite only being the first episode. The first episode was magnificent in terms of visual, captivating in terms of story-telling, and phenomenal in almost everything. Simply put, Violet Evergarden’s first episode is the dream of so many anime already airing or planning to air. However, why do I say intentional? While a first episode is good, the second episode must absolutely follow suit. While the second episode of Violet Evergarden is good, it is not as magnificent as the first episode. As such, I believe that they are intentionally making the first episode to be as majestic in order to capture the interest of the audience and made sure that they land a lot of viewer for this series.

The first episode was a cut above the rest.

5.      Garnering interest through theme

If you are familiar with the works of Kyoto Animation, you know that they are normally tackling a theme which is rather unknown to the public at that time, such as when they produced Hibike Euphonium, whereas the public interest for marching band is not that high, as well as swimming in the form of Free!, Theme park in the form of Amagi Brilliant Park, and even Monster girls in the form of Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon, as the popularity of that genre is not as high as when Monster Musume no Nichijou aired. Through Violet Evergarden, which is centered around an a young woman trying to find out the meaning of love, it is easily seen that Kyoto Animation seeks to garner an audience interest by using a universal theme which many in the public has shown love for.

The theme of Violet Evergarden is as universal as you can get, and it was widely accepted.

6.      Setting is not in Japan

One of the many aspects of the anime which is sometimes not in the favor of the western audience is it’s setting. The setting is normally set in Japan, and commonly, in high school, which has drawn boredom from the public. Violet Evergarden, on the other hand, utilized a more western-oriented setting, presumably in Victorian era England due to their name and settings but I don’t know and don’t quote me on that, so that the audience hailing from the western region can get familiar with the setting and their name more. This is the simplest yet perhaps the strongest aspect yet, since using a more western-oriented theme and setting can help an anime get over the western audience easier.

Through many things, it can be seen that the show is not set in Japan.

7.      Visually amazing

As I talked  about earlier, Kyoto Animation works tend to have a high production value, evident in their visual. However, Violet  Evergarden turned it up into eleven in this manner. As I spoke earlier, their visual matched those with the one that they normally do for their movies, and this is by far the pinnacle of television anime as none can even close in their attempts in making their anime looks as good as this. This, too, is not done just for the sake of looking good. Instead, to gather an audience interest through a captivating visual, as people tend to flock around a good-looking anime. Many of these people are seen in the community, as there are people who watched Violet Evergarden simply because it looks good.

Visually, Violet Evergarden stood out as the best and finest looking of any Kyoto Animation works.

All of those are the factors which proved the fact that Kyoto Animation is seeking a worldwide recognition through Violet Evergarden. The production value, the worldwide release, and everything, is their effort in making both Violet Evergarden well-known and widely accepted in the west, as well as it is in Japan.

Violet Evergarden is already captivated me through it’s first and second episode, which is the only two episodes that have aired at the time of this writing, and I can’t help but wanting to watch the next episode. This is the effect that Kyoto Animation perhaps seek to achieve in producing this series, but I don’t know. 

Aside from loving this series as a whole, I also love Kyoto Animation as a studio, as I believe that they are the Japanese-equivalent of the Pixar animation studios in the United States. They are similar in their belief and ways to achieve their animation target, such as using a more obscure theme to gain interest, as well as making sure most of their work received the same high-production value, although Kyoto Animation is dreaded for their in-house works up until Amagi Brilliant Park and having almost a similar character model in many of their works. Despite all of that, Kyoto Animation always came through them all in their own way.

It’s just that , Violet Evergarden is in a league of it’s own.

There's no denying that Violet Evergarden is doing a really good job right now.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Food for Thoughts : Ancient Egypt and Anime

Miira no Kaikata

Food for thoughts : Ancient Egypt and Anime

A few months ago, I was playing an old game by Tilted Mill Studios called the “Immortal Cities : Children of the Nile”, which is a city-building simulator that was set on Ancient Egypt and centered on how we, as the pharaoh, build a wonderful civilization and constructed a grand Pyramid when we eventually die. I was captivate by how immersive the game was, and how the game kept true to the lore, and even got too engrossed in the gameplay that I kept playing it for hours and hours.

As an anime enthusiast, then I came to an opinion, wouldn’t it be great if there’s an anime set in Egypt?

Then, few months removed from that, the anime Miira no Kaikata, or How to Keep a Mummy, was announced. Of course, due to the title involving mummies and how I was playing the similar game, I quickly put the anime on my shortlist at what to watch, and when it does air, I was left with this question.

“Can anime actually take place in Ancient Egypt and be immersed in it’s culture?”

Why do I ask that? Well, Miira no Kaikata was set in Japan with a few Egyptian cultures mixed in to accompany the mummy. Don’t get me wrong, the anime was good, but was just that. By the time the anime ends, I kept pondering to myself that kind of thoughts.

Let’s be honest, there are only several titles that are actually set in Egypt or talking about stuffs regarding egypts. One of the mainstream titles that come to mind is the original Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime, as the Yami Yugi is a Pharaoh, whose name is Atem, and I don’t know about the anime, but the manga actually explored ancient Egypt from volume 32 upwards.

Yu-Gi-Oh! manga focuses much of the later arc in the Ancient Egypt.

There are several titles that came close to ancient Egypt, which is Magi. However, Magi is not set in Egypt. Instead, Magi is set in an Arabian night-like settings, with things referring to them, such as the main character names are Alladin and Alibaba, as well as Djinns and the likes.

Another reference of Ancient Egypt comes from the Fate/Grand Order game, in the form of Ozymandias. Ozymandias is the Ancient Greek name of Pharaoh Rameses II, and is actually written as a sonnet by an English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Ozymandias is not referenced in the game as Pharaoh Rameses II, yet it’s Noble Phantasm is called Ramesseum Tetrys, or the Shining Great Temple Complex, a reference to the fact that Ramesseum is the memorial temple of Pharaon Ramesses II. Lastly, the reward from ranking his bond to level 10 is Ramesseum itself that comes with a lore that explains the greatness of Ozymandias, or Pharaoh Ramesses II.

Ozmandias from Fate/Grand Order

This is a shame though, since Ancient Egypt offers a plethora amount of anime-like conditions that an anime could actually take advantage off. Sadly, there are only so much titles that delved in such setting.

Due to the short amount of anime titles actually taking places in Ancient Egypt, allow me to delve further in making Ancient Egypt a setting for an anime titles. What good factors it will have and how it will approach the audience. There are several factors that I managed to gather, thanks to the game Children of the Nile, as well as doing several websurfing and information gathering. Without further ado, let us begin.

1.  Pharaoh tends to be young

Let’s face it. When we talk anime, we want our protagonist to be either good-looking or bad-ass. And I am glad to inform you that the Pharaohs of the Ancient Egyptian history tends to be young, allowing an anime title to place a young and good-looking character in a position of power, which is the Pharaoh. In the history of Ancient Egypt, it is no surprise to see a child, commonly in their teenage years, take the position of Pharaoh due to the death of the previous Pharaoh, or their father, and there is no other candidate other than that young child. Of course, due to the young age, the need for a Vizier, or a Pharaoh advisor, is necessary so that the young child is not burdened too much with the task of being a Pharaoh that leads a civilization. For example, the pharaoh Tutankhamun is famous for ascending to the throne at the age of 9-10 years old and died only after 10 years on the throne, which is at 19 years of age. An anime example of this is Atem, from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime is very young pharaoh that inherited the throne from his father, and he has a Simon as his vizier, who helped him get through daily tasks.

Pharaoh Atem from Yu-Gi-Oh! is very young.

2.  Impressive Architecture

When we talk about the Ancient Egypt, or Egypts in particular, one thing almost always pop up to our mind, which is their impressive Pyramid, in the form of Pyramid of Giza, the tomb of Khufu. However, a few people knew that the Pyramid of Giza we actually see is only the core of the pyramid, with the outer fine limestone of the Pyramid is either stolen or fell off the pyramid as the years gone by. In the Ancient Egypt, the pyramid are grand building designed to house the dead body of a Pharaoh, and the pyramid itself is a symbol of their power and rule. And usually, it is coloured white thanks to the fine limestone acting as the outer shell of the pyramid, which radiates light when viewed from afar. Another one of their impressive architecture is the Great Sphinx, a statue of lion body combined with the head of a man. Through the Assassin’s Creed : Origins, we can actually see the ancient pyramids and sphinx in their magnificent original design, so why can’t we see it in anime as well?

The original look of a Pyramid is magnificent.

3.  Intriguing Culture

The culture of Ancient Egypt is unique, much like the other culture from the rest of the world. However, the culture of Ancient Egypt is yet to be exposed upon, unlike the cultures of Ancient Rome, Ancient Greeks, or even the Feudal Japan, making the Ancient Egypt culture a prime candidate to add upon a new things. As stated before, their pharaoh lineage is intriguing, their ways of making cuisine is also unique, their architectural approach is nothing like we’ve ever seen before, their frightening yet revolutionary embalming technique, and there’s also their writing system, which looks distinctive. By utilizing this rarely-explored culture, the opportunity to open up a new audience as well as those who know Ancient Egyptian culture is prime, as those who are interested by the culture will seek upon the anime to learn more about the culture, while the more knowledgeable audience can compare their knowledge or be amazed from the culture shown in that anime.

The culture of Egypt is immersive as well.

4.  Classical Music

One thing that is always close to a new setting is music. Feudal Japan has their own distinctive music that truly immersive to the setting, as does Ancient Rome, or even Medieval times. And thus, it is no surprise to see Ancient Egypt with their own music. The music can sound Eerie at times, but those eeriness can be soothing and distinctive at times, allowing us to be immersed in their ancient culture. Below is the example of Egyptian music, made by the amazing Brandon Fiechter.

5.  Egyptian Divine Beings

When one thinks of Egypt, then the thought of Egyptian gods and goddesses immediately came to mind, such as Osiris, Horus, and Ra. Their history accounts are as diverse as the one found in the Ancient Greeks, and can even be the same, such as Amun, or Amun-Ra after fusing with Ra, being the father of all gods, much like Zeus. They all are unique and diverse, and opens up a room on how to utilize them. If the anime we talk about focuses on more harmonious time, then the civilization will ask from the gods a favor to make sure their civilization prosper, such as by worshipping either Hapi or Hathor, or even Osiris. However, if the anime in question delves on war, then the soldiers will look for the favor from the god of war Montu, or the likes. The possibility is endless.

Renekton, from League of Legends, is inspired from Sobek, an Egyptian God.

6.  Historical Figures

Ancient Egypt also hosts several important figures from the past. One of them being Tutankhamun, one of the youngest yet prosperous pharaoh in the history, and one of the most well-known pharaoh around the world, with his death mask a prominent symbol of a pharaoh. Another character from the ancient Egyptian history is Cleopatra, commonly known as the most beautiful woman in the world, I think. However, Cleopatra is not from Ancient Egypt, but from a more different time, which is the Ptolemaic Egypt, and thus, had more different cultures than the Ancient Egypt.

Cleopatra, as seen in Assassin's Creed : Origins.

7.  Ancient Egypt are rarely seen

And of course, this factor is the one that persuaded me to write this article. The amount of anime associating with or even set in Ancient Egypt are limited or even very low, making the Ancient Egypt a prime candidate for a setting. By utilizing this, the anime in question will become the first of the kind, where the mistakes of interpreting several historical facts that were inaccurate will be forgiven and even open up more opportunity for other anime or even manga and light novel to take place in this kind of setting. Light novel and manga might be the first steps to achieve this, but to acquire a more international interest, adapting it to anime will be necessary.

Bakura from Yu-Gi-Oh! series.

And there it is, the 7 important factors of what will make Ancient Egypt settings be wonderful and intriguing to see in an anime. However, take note that even by utilizing those 6 factors, the anime is not a guaranteed success or anything of the like, as what I note is what makes Ancient Egypt so unique and distinctive that one should ponder whether or not it will work in an anime-like setting. There are opportunities to gather more interest from the public by utilizing such settings, but we cannot be sure as how impactful it will be to the anime industry.

I enjoyed writing this article, since I am also a nerd when it comes to talk about history and mythological facts. I first got exposed to the Ancient Egyptian settings thanks to playing the game Age of Mythology, a spin-off to the popular Age of Empires franchise, which deals with 3 (now 5) interesting races, one of them being ancient Egypt. From there, I learned mainly about the gods and a fraction of their cultures, However, the recent exposure to the Children of the Nile opened up so much knowledge from the Ancient Egyptian culture for me, which inspired me to write this article.