Jyu Oh Sei anime review

Jyu Oh Sei anime review
Thor and his twin brother, Rai, are cast off to a forsaken planet by unknown masked men after witnessing the suspicious death of their parents. Given only a beam knife and a smelly satchel, they wander together in search of civilization on the primarily plant based world. They soon discover the plants have the advantage. Only the strong survive; the ones who throw away their humanity and become the beasts humans once were.

 

Faced with an Earth that is no longer able to support its inhabitants, humanity ventures into space, eventually setting up colonies in the Balkan system.  Consisting mostly of terra-formed planets, the system allows humans to settle advance their civilization.  Rai and Thor Klein are a pair of twins who enjoy all their home has to offer, and dream of growing up to be scientists like their parents and perhaps even traveling to Earth.  Their dreams are shattered one fateful afternoon when they come home to discover their parents have been murdered.  Without explanation, the boys are shipped off to Chimaera, an inhospitable planet overrun with carnivorous plants where only the most dangerous felons are sent to die.  Life on Chimaera is harsh and only the strongest survive, driven by the hope of eventually winning their freedom if they can defeat all others and become the Beast King.  For Thor, becoming the Beast King and leaving Chimaera is the only way to learn why his parents were killed and bring whoever was responsible to justice.

In a nearly uninhabitable environment, humans have carved out a life that's both brutal and ingenious.  Men and women fight to the death over the title of Beast King, and at the same time, work together to overcome the many challenges presented by living on a planet where being devoured by giant, man-eating plants is a very real possibility.  As an innocent child thrown into a world that would have had Darwin drooling in anticipation, Thor is torn between what he considers "human" and "decent" and the fact that humans are truly the most dangerous animal of all.  He can't scratch his way to the top by being polite, but the alternative is horrifying.
  One of the best parts of the series is watching as Thor struggles to find a balance. 

It's such a disappointment when a series could have been great.  Jyu-Oh-Sei is one of those unfortunate series.  With its tale of survival, and the politics that surround the actions of both the criminal inhabitants of Chimaera and their free counterparts on the other planets, the conflicts are fast and furious, and carry the story along well.  That is, at least until nearer to the end, when time seems to compress, and all those conflicts need to be resolved quickly.  If only there had been more time to explore some of the themes that pop up.  If only a little more time had been spent on revelations and explanations. 

After such a build-up in the first half, the second half feels rushed.  Some of the explanations suffer, and there are relationships that are completely glossed over.  Dropping a new character into the mix for emotional tension is all well and good, except when the new character doesn't get any time to develop, and the audience is never given a good reason why that character should be important in the first place.  The plot can say, "Look this person is important!" but if little is done to show why, then that makes it difficult to care when the other characters start angsting over the new guy.  With just eleven episodes, there would have been more impact if the relationships had been streamlined.  As it was, the addition of new characters so late in the game just muddied the story.

Jyu-Oh-Sei isn't a bad series, it just suffers from trying to scrunch too much story into too little time and looses a few important chunks in the process.  What it offers, though, is watchable and entertaining.  Several of the characters have interesting motives that develop over the course of the story.  The series raises questions about what it means to be human, and the Machiavellian question of whether the ends justify the means.  There's plenty to think about, several of the characters are particularly engaging, and there's a decent amount of action.  And for all that, it just doesn't work as well as it should, which is disappointing.  It's worth checking out, especially if you like Science Fiction and post-apocalyptic themes...just don't expect it to deliver great things.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Jyu Oh Sei. Watch it now:
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