King’s Raid: Successors of the Will – 1st Episode Review
Synopsis: A century has passed since King Kyle of the Orvelia kingdom destroyed the fierce demon lord Angmund, restoring peace to the lands. But serenity was not meant to last forever—with the news of new demon appearances reaching the ear of young squire Kasel, who bands together a group of companions that embark on a journey to locate the fabled holy sword to defeat the new enemies. (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Let’s get the obvious out of the way. King’s raid isn’t all that impressive up front. The cast doesn’t have the most inspired designs, the story beats are worn, and characters aren’t much more than bland archetypes, atleast for now. We’re presented with a kingdom ruled by an ailing king now finding themselves under threat from evil again. The story itself centers around two mains you may have often encountered before; a courageous and sincere orphan who’s apprenticing as a knight and an antagonistic dark elf seeking revenge for the atrocities committed against his people. King’s Raid isn’t all that subtle or polished with its storytelling either, at times painfully direct to the point of becoming laughable. For example, a group of usurpers loudly and unabashedly discusses their plans to overthrow the kingdom for the sake of exposition, when common sense would dictate this all be done much more discreetly.
Tom: It’s hard to disagree that King’s Raid is rough. It’s quite clear that the writing simply isn’t of the right quality to take these worn ideas and instill them with the nuance required to make the series’ potentially intriguing elements really sing. At least in this first episode. But I think there’s something here worth giving King’s Raid a chance to improve. Beneath the banal beginning are the makings of a truly interesting fantasy tale. The story boasts potential for troubled race relations between humans and dark elves culminating right as demonic forces reappear from long slumber. There’s opportunity for complex conflict, sending our noble, fledgling hero Kasel not only into conflict against the demonic forces but also pitting him against these dark elves seeking retribution. Even if the series never manages to make these more morally nuanced events manifest King’s Raid does at least display chops for some excellent action. The back half of the episode centers on Kasel’s childhood friend and mentor, Klaus, finding the demonic forces already marching towards the kingdom. This sequence alone helps to wake anyone up who might’ve found themselves dozing off.
Linny: The action packed latter half definitely helped to perk my flagging interest. Not only is the gruesome violence a snap change from the more mundane and conversation filled early half but it really brings to light the threat that not only the kingdom but now our hero must face head on. The violence is by no means excessive or gory but it is brutal and clear. Couple all that action with heavy hints of conspiracies and double faced agents among even the kings very men and you suddenly have a series that’s ripe with promise. Not only that but having two very opposing character types, a innocent righteous future knight and a jaded dark elf, as potential leads makes the show feel like it has more depth and variety to offer. The execution to make these elements truly shine isn’t quite there yet but the promise of what these could bring is definitely there.
Tom: I’ve been teetering back and forth on whether to recommend this show or not. I have some hope that the deeper we go the more it will improve, but the first episode isn’t even close to perfect. For now I don’t think I can recommend the series, but I will stick with it in the hopes that by the six episode mark King’s Raid promising, yet underdone elements will feel a bit more cooked and worthwhile.
Linny: Honestly, King’s Raid is at its best a serviceable anime based on this first episode alone. There’s a lot that needs fine tuning and polishing still for the show to be truly considered a must try for everyone but it definitely has a fair amount of potential. If you enjoy fantasy tales with potentially clashing leads and lots of action and conspiracy, you should definitely still try the show out. On the other hand, if these aren’t usually your cup of tea or you’ve tired of the tropes contained in them, you can easily give it a pass.
King’s Raid: Successors of the Will is available for streaming via Funimation.com