For the 25th Anniversary of its original airing, Sorcerous Stabber Orphen has returned to the airwaves, but is it anywhere near what we remember?
It’s been a long time since I’ve watched Orphen. It was a late-90s fantasy anime that was part of that decades anime boom in the United States. It also had a launch title video game on the Playstation 2, but nostalgia can cloud anyone’s judgement. We all fall victim to it. It’s a helluva drug.
But given 2 decades I’m able to look at this new treatment for Orphen with a fresh perspective and while it may be pretty early to say, Orphen isn’t as good as I remember it.
Maybe it’s the time I’ve spent as an anime fan. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen other quality anime in the decades between, but there’s nothing in the first episode to really hook you if you’ve seen shows like Demon Slayer, or The Rising of The Shield Hero or Re:Zero. Orphen seems moderately pedestrian by comparison with all of those based on the first episode.
Orphen is actually Krylancelo, a drop-out of his world’s most prestigious school for sorcerers, the Tower of Fangs. On a fateful night, his treasured friend Azalie, casts a spell and transforms herself into a monstrous dragon for an as yet unknown reason. Krylancelo leaves the Tower, takes up the name Orphen, and roams the country attempting to find a way to restore his friend.
But largely, the episode fails to make me care about any of that in the slightest. It has large amounts of slapstick comedy, which is fine but perhaps it’s the manner in which the show tries to manufacture laughs that fall flat. Couple that with a serious lack of impactful storytelling, and the episode had lost me well before the mildly exciting last 5 minutes.
Not exactly a good way to start the 25th anniversary right. Hoping that things pick up and get more interesting later.