Jouran: Princess of Blood and Snow – First Impressions
I wasn’t planning on doing a “First Impressions” article for Jouran at first but considering how little people are watching this anime, I had to do this. I really feel like Jouran would probably go ignored this season and will only be left with a few watchers and I don’t want this.
Jouran is a really good anime. I agree it has only been 3 episodes so it’s very early to say but, this is one of the anime I fell in love with from the very first episode. Well without any further ado then,
1. Plot and Setting
The plot itself is rather simple, there is a secret organization called Nue that does the dirty work of the government. Their job is to protect the Shogun from the shadows and eliminate all possibilities of any rebellion. The protagonist Yuki works in Nue so that someday, she may get her revenge. Yuki’s backstory is rather clichéd. All of her village and her family are murdered because of their special abilities and she desires revenge on people who did it.
So the story and the backstory are not that good. So what makes Jouran a good anime? I’ll tell you my friend; it is the awesome setting and characters. They absolutely nailed the sci–fi theme and preserved the aesthetic of the Meiji era extremely well. This balance works out wonders and also explains why there is a huge gap between the rich and poor society in Jouran’s world. It borrows a lot of good things from different anime and movies. They really kept an open heart during the production. Taking inspiration from wherever they could to make Jouran better. All this is supported really well by:
Animations and Soundtracks
The animations are chef’s kiss good. The fights look so smooth. The blue flames upon Yuki’s transformation, the way her Kimono changes color from black to white upon transforming is very well done. Yuki herself is very good as a character you really feel for her. The characters in Jouran are really good. Everyone works for Nue because of their own agenda and not just to protect the Shogun but that is beside the point. Most of the major stuff occurs during the night so; the animations really shine during the fights.
As for the soundtracks, Raise a Suillen or RAS did a crazy good job on the Opening and Ending themes. The opening is already my most favorite opening of all time. Not only the song but, animations in the opening are crazy good too. Aside from that, the overall sound design is very good too. The soundtracks are very reminiscent of the era and have a lot of traditional instruments like Shamisens in them with the right amount of modern feel to them.
All of the above-mentioned things come together to form a masterpiece that will easily be in my “best anime of spring 2021” list maybe even in the best anime of the year list. Jouran is a really good anime and it is something new. Many anime feature a similar setting to Jouran like Gintama but, there is just something about Jouran that makes it different than all those anime. I really don’t want such a good anime to go ignored.