Zettai Bouei Leviathan is an anime series released virtually concurrently with the mobile game it was based on. The series was written by Zappa Go and Ide Yasunori and was created by Gonzo, which has been behind some really good stuff like Bakuretsu Tenshi and the Lunar games. It’s also been behind some real rubbish like the Brave Story film and Gantz. The only way to find out where this one falls is to check it out.
Our story opens with a fairy named Syrup looking for strong people to join her Aquafall Defense force to protect the world from invading alien bug creatures. Naturally, she seeks out the silliest trio of girls she can find, Leviathan, Bahamut and Jormungandr. Okay, she doesn’t try to recruit them because they’re silly people, that’s just a happy coincidence. The problem is that neither Bahamut nor Leviathan is interested in the position. The series mainly revolves around the misadventures of the three girls while Syrup tries to get them to join her in protecting the world. The series mainly revolves around two things comedic moments and action sequences. So, how well does the comedy work? Well, the series certainly has some really funny moments. In general the comedy is quite effective, actually, but there are also some jokes that fall flat and some that are just predictable and not all that amusing as a result. Putting the humourous elements aside, the story is rather mediocre and predictable and, unfortunately, the series does try for some serious story moments.
The characters aren’t very well developed. The four main characters do have somewhat fleshed out personalities, but they aren’t particularly deep ones. That being said, they are functional for comedic purposes. They interact well with one another which does lead to some good moments where one plays off of another. The familial relationships are decently handled, for what little you get of them.
The art is pretty mixed. On the positive side, the character designs are really nice, in spite of Bahamut’s cap of +10 tomfoolery. The action sequences are also put together pretty well, for the most part, and have good intensity. Onto the negatives. The transformation sequences are fan-servicey, which you should never be able to say about a series that features characters who are designed to look roughly twelve. The series also makes use of fan-service in several other scenes because… the art design team was obsessed with Nowi. The backgrounds are also kind of lazy and the side character designs vary quite a bit. Jormungandr’s family suffers from recycled designs with minor differences, for example. They also incorporate more traditionally CG designs for Fire Drake and Yurlungur, which are interesting but also look completely off when contrasted with the rest of the art in the series. It would be like taking Vincent as he appears in Advent Children and randomly throwing him into an episode of A-Channel. The styles simply don’t work together.
The voice acting is pretty good. The main cast consists of Kitamura Eri, Taketatsu Ayana, Hayami Saori,and Hanazawa Kana, all of whom are good voice actresses who occasionally end up cast in something really terrible that requires them to pretend they aren’t. While this isn’t a series that requires them to be at their best, it is a series that allows them to show their skills. The music is okay.
The ho-yay factor is a 3/10. There are moments where you can envision them going that route, but nothing substantial.
So, how is Zettai Bouei Leviathan when taken as a whole? Well, the comedic elements are mostly effective and the characters are fun, the voice acting is good and there are some real positive aspects to the art. However, the fan-service is pretty bad, there are some other assorted art issues and the attempts at being more serious outright fail. That being said, if you’re looking for a light-hearted fantasy story with some good action sequences you’ll probably like it. My final rating is going to be a 6/10. It’s decent, but nothing spectacular. Next week I’ll look at the Bubblegum Crisis OVA, because why not?