The Hatenkou Yuugi anime is based on a manga of the same name, Hatenkou Yuugi has been published in Japan since November of 1999 to present day. The Hatenkou Yuugi manga is published in the USA by Tokyopop under the name Dazzle, currently Tokyopop has released 8 out of the 10 volumes available in Japan. I have read only the first volume of Dazzle so I’ll only review the anime based on it’s content only and not compare it to the manga.
The anime starts out with the main female lead, Rahzel, a 14 year old girl talking with her father, he asks her if going on a journey and training ones self might be good, she says yes and the next thing she knows is she’s been kicked out of the house to begin her journey. While sitting on a bench Rahzel decides to be cheerful about the situation, but she thinks it would be nice to have a traveling partner. She spots a good looking guy who happens to be holding a gun on someone and her interruption allows the guy to escape, the gunman’s name is Alzeid, so she decides on the spot that he’ll be her traveling companion and that she’ll make his life more interesting and exciting.
Rahzel learns quite quickly that traveling can be very expensive so they need to get jobs where they can earn money quickly. Alzeid normally earns his money by “liberating” it from others by force or by cheating at gambling, while Rahzel feels that money needs to be earned the old fashioned way by earning it. So they end up taking a job to exorcise a ghost from some nearby woods, at first Rahzel thinks this will be easy but Alzeid isn’t so sure. After they meet the ghost they find out that she won’t leave quietly until she meets her lost love, so Rahzel thinks that if they can find her lost love she’ll depart quietly. They eventually find out that the person that hired them was the ghosts lost love and that he never really intended to return her love, but they still agree to finish the job.
Later Rahzel is about to be attacked by men send by her employer, but their stopped by an acquaintance of Alzeid who gives her a lot of back ground information on her traveling companion. So, later Rahzel and Alzeid confront the ghost and Alzeid tells her to handle it by herself, Rahzel who’s a magic user battles the ghost but in the end she convinces the ghost that an unfaithful and lying guy isn’t worth all the trouble and grief. At last, the ghost confront her lost love and scares the hell out of him, then she leaves for the other side. At the end of the episode Rahzel, Alzeid and his old friend kind of form a traveling group and they move on towards the next adventure. That’s all for this episode, below are some screen shots.
Initially I didn’t have much interest in the Hatenkou Yuugi anime, but after watching the first episode I feel that this show can fill a need I have for a certain type of anime. While I love to watch anime filled with complex stories and complex characters I also have a need to watch an occasional anime series that I’ll classify as good, fun, lite entertainment, I’m not talking about a dumbed down anime, I’m talking about an anime that I can relax to after a hard day’s work that doesn’t require a lot of brain power to enjoy. This anime is basically a buddy travel tale where two or more differing personality types come together for fun and adventure, each of the travel partners learns or gains something from the others and in the end they are better people after traveling with each other, think of anime like Inu Yasha and Samurai Shampoo.
Rahzel, the female lead is a energetic and spunky girl, but she is inexperienced in the ways of the world which Alzeid figures out right away, she tends to make statements and pronouncements about things like love and betrayal without ever have experienced them, in her travels with the group she will mature greatly. Alzeid is a young man consumed by the need to take revenge for the murder of his parents, he views the world with a cold and cynical nature, his relationship with Rahzel will eventually help him regain some of the joys of life. Alzeid’s friend Baroqueheat is a playful, fun loving, and flirty kind of guy, he seems like the kind of guy that’s just hanging out with the others for the pure fun of it, and when he hears Rahzel talk about love and passion he knows she’s never experienced it so he teases her about it telling her things like her can light her body on fire, in the end Rahzel’s passion and Alzeid’s seriousness will temper his personality. Overall I think that Hatenkou Yuugi will be a very fun series to watch.