Ga-Rei Zero ranks among the most violent anime shows, but it also has one of the most remarkable, heartbreak dramas I’ve ever seen.
Ga-Rei Zero is a 12-episode prequel to a manga that hasn’t been published in the America. However, the devastating destruction in the first episode will certainly draw people’s attention to the apocalyptic vision of the series.
It introduces four soldiers in orange jump suits who are part of the ministry of their environment. Their job consists of destroying gigantic demonic spirits with holy water, spiritual motorcycles and whatever other random weapons that are available. The first episode seems like a simple demon-destroying episode until a samurai girl literally slaughters them.
Although this is incredibly disconcerting, the artistic level of detail is so beautiful that people have to keep watching. The second episode introduces people to the main character, Kaguya Tsuchimiya, a young high school girl with a special spiritual sword for slicing demons. Her mission takes a jaw-dropping turn when she discovers that her best friend on her squad, Yomi, is the source of the demonic power.
The episode ends with a fade to black and the sound of Yomi’s sword cutting into skin. It might look like a failed effort on Kaguya’s part, but this only scratches the surface of the series. The next 10 episodes cover the long, deep history of Kaguya’s friendship with Yomi.
Ga-Rei Zero is ultimately a break-up story between two girls who were best friends at one time. The immense amount of graphic detail and loving emotion after episode two is beautiful. Kaguya and Yomi are dedicated teammates who desperately try their best to live a normal life in spite of their family problems.
Much of the agonizing despair involves Yomi’s difficult conflict over the right to her family’s inheritance, because she is an adopted child. Certainly everything could have worked out if a mysterious force in the background hadn’t turned the family members against each other. However, the tragic turn of events is awesome and surreal to watch. People have to stay glued to their seats to watch the devastating conclusion.
Admittedly, I would have liked this series more if a manga company published the original manga in America. This series, The Enchanted Beast of Ga-Rei, focuses more on the touching relationship between Kaguya and her new boyfriend, Kensuke. The emotional romance helps to balance out all the massive destruction in the anime series.
Hopefully if the series gains a wide enough audience, someone might consider publishing the manga in the U.S. Although I’m not betting on that happening anytime soon, it still is worth mentioning. The anime is just too graphically incredible to ignore.
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