Sword Gai: the Animation
By: Caroline Frost · May 31, 2018
An orphan becomes the host of a sentient demonic sword, and must fight to protect those he cares about while he battles his own demons.
Why are humans so drawn to weapons? Why are weapons so beautiful?
Yes, SwordGai is just as boring as the summary makes it sound. I honestly bored myself writing this simple sentence, and I'll be honest, I'm writing this review based only on the four episodes I managed to force myself through.
To be short: Sword Gai: the Animation is messy as heck. I've noticed that most of the Asian stuff Netflix picks up tends to be bad (exceptions such as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood notwithstanding), and this anime just went to comfort me in that belief.
The plot is all over the place. The entire first episode is dedicated to backstory, which, for a 12-episode anime, is enormous. Sword Gai introduces a bunch of characters you couldn't care less about, and whose story could very well have fit in a nice flashback later on. Instead, we get murder, suicide, and pregnant women getting possessed. Nice. The rest after that features tons of different plotlines that barely tie in together, a bad guy who's apparently spent the past 15 years indiscriminately murdering everybody he comes across for no reason whatsoever, and a mysterious organization that's far too good to be true. (I mean, look at their council. There's no way those guys don't have an agenda.)
The characters of Sword Gai themselves are all over the place: there are so many of them and you have no clue how they're going to come together in any other way than the regular, cliché good guys fight bad guys. Worse, they fit pretty much all the anime tropes you can think of. Wealthy crybaby? Check. Tortured hero? Check. Good guy™? Yup. Female military commander whose only use is to flaunt her uniform? Double check. Emo protag? You got it. Useless love interest? Yes, yes, of course. Can you feel the boredom yet?
The main characters don't help. The girl-keeps-dude-calm-and-free-from-demon-influence is a trope that's been done over and over and over again. She has zero personality except “Gai! Gai!,” while he treats her as coldly as his personality type requires it.
Let's not talk of the way the MC's adopted dad decided to make him an arm out of a demon sword known to drive its users insane with bloodlust just because that way Gai might "become his masterpiece." And the idiot he's saying that to interprets it as a declaration of love. It's called using people, moron.
And to add insult to injury, there's sexual assault, too, because it wouldn't be fun if our dashing(ly cliché) hero couldn't save his girl and look fabulous doing it.
Oh, but there were some pretty visuals, and the animation itself is pretty good. That's got to count for something, right?
Overall, Sword Gai: The Animation is a boring mess.
Title: Sword Gai: The Animation
Studio: DLE Inc., LandQ Studios, Production I.G
Number of Episodes: 12
Genres: Action, Supernatural, Fantasy