Okay, before I get into my first take on this one, I need to clear the air about something. Yes, I am aware that Noblesse has an OVA called Noblesse: Awakening. And yes, I am aware that this show is based off a WEBTOON comic. And yes, I’ve seen and been told COUNTLESS times that in order to “get” this particular show, I need to watch that OVA and read the WEBTOON. I’m here to say, that I did NONE of that and I’m not ashamed.
That being said…I did NOT like this show. Episode 01 feels like an Episode 02 to me…and not a particularly good Episode 02 at that. NOTHING is explained; What the heck is the Union EXACTLY? What was with that complete and utter blitzkrieg in the opening? How did the red-haired character get hurt? Why was his memory wiped? What’s the deal with this school? What’s the deal with the dude that has red eyes? Why does the green-eyed blonde guy call him “master”? Heck—who are these characters in the first place? NONE of this is explained and I’ve watched this show twice since it premiered. And if I’m being honest, this show just feels so boring that I really don’t care. I had no interest in the story or the characters as presented. This show just throws a lot at you for the first episode, and just assumes that you were a good little boy or girl and watched the OVA to get clarity. Well, guess what, show? I ain’t the one. I’m not going to do your job for you. I don’t WANT to.
When it comes to anime, dear readers, I am unashamedly selfish. Anime is a blessed hobby for me; a way to escape the struggles of the real world and immerse myself in a different narrative. I should not, nor will I do extra work that the show itself should be doing. If you want me to understand a story narrative or why something is a certain way with a character or characters, put it in the show or write it in such a way that it’s a mystery and will make me want come back next week. Don’t try to tell me that I have to go hither and yon and do all this extra viewing and reading. To me, that’s just lazy writing. I’ve criticized other shows and movies for doing this exact same thing; the most recent example is the latest Digimon movie, Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna (Which I’ll probably be covering at a later date). In that movie, one of the main characters is completely out of the action, and it is not fully explained why this character is not around. However, there is a small six-minute movie on the Toei Animation YouTube page that explains why this character is not in the action. In my opinion, that’s STUPID. This little six minute clip could’ve (and should’ve) been put IN THE MOVIE to explain what’s going on. Who would think to go on YouTube to find this specific clip in order to find clarity about this character? But I digress…
Long story short, if you’re willing to put in the extra work and watch the OVA and read the Webtoon to better understand what’s going on, then maybe…MAYBE you’ll get something out of Noblesse, and I hope you enjoy it, but for anyone like me who just wants to jump in and watch a show from Episode 01 without doing prep work, then don’t waste your time. There are plenty other better shows out there that don’t require doing homework to enjoy.
Noblesse can be streamed on Crunchyroll. The OVA, Noblesse: Awakening can also be streamed on Crunchyroll. Read our thoughts on all the new fall anime series, in additional comments from our other writers, on our fall 2020 anime first impression master post.