First Impressions: To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts

Dr. Steve here! Are you looking for a fun and clean anime series for the whole family? Something warm and feel-good to help you briefly forget life’s troubles? Then To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts is… not what you want! In an alternate universe clearly inspired by the US Civil War, the North is losing and decides to pull out all the stops. They unleash a band of modified humans, “Incarnates”, that can transform into monsters. Swift victories lead to rejoicing, which quickly gives way to despair as the heroes begin to lose control of themselves. The close-knit companions try to solve the problem in diverse ways, leading to a series of bloody betrayals that promise to give Game of Thrones a run for its money. And that’s just the set-up!

Aren’t friends wonderful?

This is one series I’m definitely going to keep an eye on. In the first place, it’s not easy to convincingly set up a number of deep relationships among the characters and get us to sympathize with them all in just a few minutes. Yet this episode had to do that so that we would feel the impact of what comes next, and it succeeds. The graphics look decent, and the plot promising. The episode’s weakest moments came when it fell back a couple times into cliches, like an over-done villain laugh. I could see the show squandering its potential, perhaps, if it fails to develop a strong plot and instead opts for more episodic, “monster of the week” action; or if drops character and relationship development for cardboard tropes. But this first episode filled me with enough hope that we’ll get something better, like the heartbreaking chimera incident in Fullmetal Alchemist but repeated every week. Yes, I can hardly wait for the next installment of what I am planning to call “Crushing Catharsis: The Series” or “The Day the Pokemon Turned Evil”.

To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts is streaming on Crunchyroll.


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