Rokka -Braves of the Six Flowers- – Anime Review
Synopsis: Legend says, when the Evil God awakens from the deepest of darkness, the god of fate will summon Six Braves and grant them with the power to save the world. Adlet, who claims to be the strongest on the face of this earth, is chosen as one of the “Brave Six Flowers,” and sets out on a battle to prevent the resurrection of the Evil God. However, it turns out that there are Seven Braves who gathered at the promised land… (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Rokka Braves of the Six Flowers starts a visual treat with its vivid colour palette and mythological imagery. Fans of mythological action anime will enjoy the beginning of the series as we are shown a plethora of interesting fights and beautifully depicted folklore. The show’s take on mystical powers and the fact that no two powers are the same, or predictable, makes for a great mystery in and of itself. All of these things are brought together beautifully by the show’s central mystery, who is the traitor amongst the group, and come together as a very promising beginning to the series.
Tom: There’s some great animation throughout Rokka’s run, with action pieces acting as some of the most eye-catching segments. The show hinges on its twist and the mystery, with some suspenseful sequences also acting as highlights of the entire run. It’s initial set up and concept is intriguing, enough to draw viewers in. The same can be said for the setting, the world itself screaming for additional world building and exploration. There’s so much promise. Unfortunately promise doesn’t always indicate pay off and that’s where Rokka crumbles like a sack of potatoes.
Linny: Rokka fails at delivering on all its promised potential. For all the mysteries it introduces, it either under, or over, explains most of them. Some points are harped on incessantly, while others are explained in a manner that only causes more confusion by raising more questions. Rokka attempts to make mystery its main draw and as great as the set up of the mystery itself is, the show undoes all its hard work due to shoddy explanations. Nevertheless, Rokka offers beautiful character designs that act as another draw themselves. Just looking at a promotional preview is sure to draw curiosity of the viewer. But there in lies the show’s other major weakness. Excluding the protagonist Adlet, the other characters are never given proper build up befitting of their eye-catching designs, at least not in a thought out manner. I guess the point is to make the viewer attached to the protagonist first and foremost but it gets frustrating when the show tries to make us sympathize with anyone else. Heck, even Adlet himself isn’t developed properly. When Rokka tries to introduce a love angle for him, it comes out of the blue and feels forced. As the series progresses, so much happens for the sole sake of “because its convenient and needs to happen”. There’s a lot that isn’t set up properly and likely to cause certain viewers a fair amount of irritation.
Tom: The anime’s primary issue is the way in which they’re adapting the story. It’s based off the Light Novel of the same name, meaning Rokka is mostly translating a story from one medium to another. Typically most Light Novel adaptations adapt anywhere from two to six volumes within a twelve or thirteen episode season (Six is often too much and the material feels condensed and rushed, where as two usually holds up under scrutiny.) Rokka however opted to adapt a single volume over it’s entire run. One, single volume. The problem becomes how stretched out everything feels, as we’ve now given a full twelve episode order to just one, short book (Rokka is no longer than most other Light Novels, meaning it’s generally a quick read.) Things would’ve moved so much faster if we’d condensed the first volume into six episodes, or perhaps even three, leaving the back half of the season open for another volume or two. Unfortunately, that still wouldn’t fix the story’s primary problem: the reveal of the big “twist.” Just who is that seventh brave? Who is the fake? Alas, even adapting multiple volumes wouldn’t address this, seeing as the Light Novel series doesn’t give up that mystery for a long time, if ever, always finding a way to extend that plot point (and now, at this point, the entire series seems on an indefinite hiatus, making a true conclusion feel forever off.) Sure, you learn periodically that this person is a traitor, or this other guy has an ulterior motive, but that constant “who is the fake?” never goes away. Rokka is flawed at its very core thanks the material it’s adapted from, extending a short, but sweet mystery, far past its expiration date.
Linny: Rokka could prove to be a frustrating experience as one is forced to sit through an extremely tumultuous journey; to be first intrigued, then bored by how it takes an entire season to discover the fake, and then for the show to reset that mystery all the way back to step one. If the journey uncovering the first fake had been more enjoyable, maybe viewers wouldn’t mind the idea of sitting through the next round. Unfortunately, it isn’t an amazing journey, and most viewers will not appreciate finding out that we’ve technically made ZERO progress after an entire season. As the premise for a single season, it works. It has flaws but if limited to twelve episodes, it would be strong enough to carry a single cour. But the need to reset and reuse the exact same premise feels uninspired, lazy and makes the need for a second season far less appealing.
Tom: Rokka isn’t aided by several other lingering issues, such as periodic dips in visual quality, especially in the final episode as exposition sequences continually suffer from crumbling animation that frequently produces off models. Also, Adlet becomes increasingly annoying as every episode he repeats, at least once if not far more often, that he is “the strongest man in the world.” A phrase that loses relevance with each repetition. Ultimately with Rokka’s Light Novel on an indefinite hiatus (America has one more release before it catches up with the series, which last had anything published in Japan over three years ago), so there’s as of yet no answer as to who amongst the braves is the final traitor (although the series does strongly hint at the answer.) I don’t feel Rokka is awful, but it remains bogged down by so much flawed execution and poor pacing that it ruins much of what could’ve been enjoyable and isn’t at all helped by a mystery stretched far beyond its level to intrigue.
Linny: Rokka -Brave of the Six Flowers- is at its best when it is all colourful battles with the different saints displaying their skills and powers. It’s exciting to not only observe the battle itself but discover each new saint showing off their unique powers. Sadly, as the show progresses, it became the only thing enjoyable, and with the shoddy animation kicking in, even that becomes a struggle to appreciate. The big final reveal basically resetting its plot is the final straw. Given that it never received a second season, even those who might enjoy the show should probably hesitate to pick up what is basically an incomplete and repetitive tale. It had lots of potential and could still be a viable watch for fans intrigued by the art style and premise alone but its shoddy execution ultimately dooms Rokka to a small following at best.
Rokka -Braves of the Six Flowers- is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.