A Quick Look Into Noblesse

Where: Crunchyroll
When: Wednesdays at 8:00 a.m. CDT
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Synopsis: Raizel awakens from his 820-year slumber. He holds the special title of Noblesse, a pure-blooded Noble and protector of all other Nobles. In an attempt to protect Raizel, his servant Frankenstein enrolls him at Ye Ran High School, where Raizel learns the simple and quotidian routines of the human world through his classmates. However, the Union, a secret society plotting to take over the world, dispatches modified humans and gradually encroaches on Raizel’s life, causing him to wield his mighty power to protect those around him.

I’ll begin by saying I really like Noblesse, however, it receives very low ratings on many popular sites. I would say not to allow that to deter you from actually giving it a try. From what I have read, most people are upset at the pacing. I’d have to agree that the show is taking its time to develop the plot, but I don’t think that necessarily makes it undeserving of consideration.

It is worth noting that there is an OVA for Noblesse that isn’t listed with the actual show. The name of the OVA is Noblesse: Awakening and has a separate listing on Crunchyroll. I would not recommend skipping the OVA as it does have integral information to the storyline in the show because it actually addresses the awakening of Raziel, the Noblesse. Without it, you might be a bit lost. I am not sure why Crunchyroll hasn’t merged the two show pages, but my understanding from a bit of research is the OVA was released back in 2016 with the show just now being released. Really, the OVA should be an Episode 0.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS. DO NOT READ PAST THIS POINT IF YOU DON’T WANT ANY PART OF THE SHOW DISCLOSED TO YOU.

I like the story concept.
The thought of an 800-year old noble vampire waking up and trying to navigate modern life tickles me. I feel Noblesse is doing a great job on not being so in-your-face about it. The potential for that is very ripe in this show, and so far, it has been very nuanced and a bit comical when they do address it. One of my favorite scenes thus far happens in Episode 1 when Raizel asks for a cell phone. He is absolutely marveled by modern-day youth and tells his servant that he lacks what others have. Episode 3 also brings us a very chuckle-inducing moment when Raizel tries to use a vacuum.

The ties that bond us.
I think creating strong bonds quickly in anime is always a challenge. I believe this is why many are having trouble with the pacing of the show. The OVA and first two episodes have been focused on laying down the building blocks of a bigger story while trying to make the bonds between the characters strong enough to be believable. The focal point of the first two episodes have really focused on character development of all of the side characters that support Raziel. Some people are not about the backstory and I can see trying to move past the first couple of episodes hard for some.

Those pesky underground organizations.
We are in week three and still know very little about the organization that wants to capture Raziel. We are introduced to the “Union” in the OVA. The OVA is centered around the Union’s attempts to open Raziel’s casket and seize him for their nefarious purposes. We learn that Union is developing advanced/mutated humans and from that, we can deduce that Raziel is needed to advance their plans somehow. We meet a couple of modified humans and we learn that they are basically mistreated and tortured slaves for the organization. At the end of the OVA, M-21 is the lone Union survivor and is offered refuge with Raziel. He is offered a job at the school and a chance at a normal life while in hiding from the Union.

Obligatory Frenemies.
We are introduced to Seira and Regis. They are two noble vampires that have come to also find, and assumingly, protect the Noblesse. Regis has a hatred for modified humans, and therefore does not get along with M-21. It quickly turns into to constant childish bickering that is pretty funny to me.

Pacing.
For some, slow pacing is a show killer, and I totally get that. It has taken an OVA and two episodes for the larger plot to finally begin peeking its head from around the corner. If you have a shorter attention span, Noblesse will not be for you. It’s a bit of a slow burner so far.

Final Thoughts

This week’s episode was pretty good. It had a lot of humor in the beginning and quickly turned darker as the Union finally catches up with M-21. I see a lot of potential. That’s the thing, right? You have to watch the whole thing before passing judgment. Noblesse has passed my three-episode test, so I will stick it through to the last episode.

Have you watched Noblesse? What are your thoughts? Share in the comments below!

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