This anime had everything to turn into an interesting series. We have the mysterious man, who has forgotten his past. We have the loyal friend, who is willing to make sacrifices to help the people around him. We have the villain, who wants to destroy things that are precious to the main character. But somehow I was expecting something different, I think. Because to me this anime ended up being boring and very tiring.

A man who is badly injured is taken to the house of an old lady to be treated for his wounds. When he wakes up, he has no memory of what happened to him before, and the lady and her two granddaughters name the man Hakuoro. Hakuoro decides to help the people of the village, and he leads a rebellion against the emperor.

26 episodes
Action, comedy

When I first read about Utawarerumono, I thought the premise looked interesting. The masked man without memories definitely sounded intruiging. However, I noticed soon enough that this anime would not live up to my expectations. Instead of producing a good and solid story, the plotline was a failure. It was predictable and even got repetitive, as every episode seemed to start with a battle. Also, I was disappointed in a few of the turns that the anime took; instead of focusing on searching for Hakuoro’s past (as was indicated in the first episode), they instead started focusing on the rebellion against the emperor, which, I thought, was less interesting.

The art was okay. I didn’t particularly like it, but it wasn’t too bad either. The colour scheme was not very original, and neither were the character designs. One aspect that I did like in the character designs is the fact that their clothes had a ‘tribal’ feel to them. After doing some research, I found out that the clothes (and even other elements of the anime) were inspired on the Ainu, indigenous groups of people that live(d) in Japan and Russia. But still, taking everything in account, I’d say that the art is actually quite average, and could therefore have been better.

I think that the majority of the characters in Utawarerumono doesn’t have a lot of depth or development. Even though some characters change sides, it’s usually very easy to determine who is good and who is bad from their looks only. This is not something that should be possible in an anime like this, and I was very much disappointed with it. Another thing that terribly annoyed me was the fact that all the girls in this anime were so stereotypical: we had the shy girl, the tsundere, the smart girl, and so on. So, all in all the characters were not very original.

I liked the opening theme (Musou Uta by Suara) very much. It fits the show very well. I remember some nice musical moments, but I don’t recall a particular recurring theme, and that is usually a sign that the music was either not very recurrent or very prominent. The voice actors were well chosen, and I especially liked Hakuoro’s voice, because I think it suited him very well.

I know that there are a lot of people who like this anime, but personally I thought it was boring and as you already might have deduced from my review I was utterly disappointed with this anime. This series did not live up to its potential, and they might have made so much more out of this concept. The only reason why I actually didn’t drop this series is because I never drop a series (because I keep thinking “next episode will definitely be better!”) If you want to give it a try, though, definitely give it a try (as you may like it a lot more than I did); after all this review is very subjective, and I wouldn’t want to scare anyone from watching the actual anime just because I didn’t like it…