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Namu Amida Butsu!: Rendai Utena anime cover

Score: 6.12/10

Namu Amida Butsu!: Rendai Utena

Eng Title : NAMUAMIDABUTSU! -UTENA-

Alt Title : Namuamida Butsu! Rendai Utena

JP Title : なむあみだ仏っ! -蓮台 UTENA-

Year : 2019

Genre : Fantasy

Season : Spring 2019

Status : Complete

Rating :

Episodes : 12/12

Duration : 23 min. per ep.

Studios : Asahi Production

Synopsis

Long before superheroes, there were legends. One of them begins with Shaka Nyorai, whose bravery and enlightenment once saved humanity forever. But forever is fleeting because Mara, the personification of Earthly desires, forges a corrupt coalition with the devil to again visit wrath and vengeance upon humankind. To counter Mara's cruel attack, Taishakuten and Bonten, divine beings, must join forces with the Thirteen Buddhas. Can the allied powers of light defeat the vicious onslaught and save humankind in their darkest hour? (Source: sentai filmworks)

Anime adaptations of mobile games tend to fall in the less impressive end of the seasonal harvest for understandable reasons. Whether they’re based around ships as girls, swords as boys, or whatever other conceit, the appeal of the source material tends to lean heavily on “there are a million characters and you get to pick your own favorites.” In light of that appeal, adaptations of these games often concern themselves less with crafting a satisfying narrative and more with making sure all of the original game’s fan favorites are represented. It’s a natural recipe for disappointment to those not familiar with the source material, but fortunately, Namuamibutsu does a commendable job of enhancing its source for TV. This show may be kinda aimless and clearly filled with far too many characters, but it has one major thing going for it: it’s pretty darn funny.

Instead of anthropomorphic swords or guns, Namuamibutsu’s gimmick is that all of its characters are actually Buddhist deities, who dispel earthly vices in order to preserve the mortal world. Or at least, that’s their job description—in practice, they mostly lounge around a random mortal temple. This episode focuses on the arrival of Taishakuten and Bonten, two committed vice-hunters who find themselves having difficulty adjusting to this lackadaisical life.

The two main jokes of this episode are “stalwart Buddhist warriors versus the modern world” and “stalwart Buddhist warriors versus the slice-of-life genre,” and the show iterates on both those gags to terrific effect. Early scenes are stuffed with simple but effective concepts like “our leads discover modern washing machines” and “our leads discover the microwave,” with our heroes’ bafflement and frustration coming across like a gently meta protest at being stuck in a slice-of-life show. Some jokes lean on simple but effective culture shock beats, like being dazzled by a grocery store’s selection of milk, and gags that other shows would likely turn into too-loud slapstick are rushed through with confidence, letting the deadpan tone enhance the comedy. If this episode actually has a plot, it’s “Lord Shaka Norai sucks at cooking because he’s so holy that everything tastes great to him, please make him stop.”

Namuamibutsu also looks pretty good, boasting generally above-average production values, some evocative lighting effects, and a wide array of distinctive character designs. It seems like the show will go in a more focused and dramatically urgent direction from here, but personally, I wouldn’t mind if it keeps messing around with slice-of-life shenanigans. A strong sense of comedic timing and structure is a priceless asset, and regardless of its other qualities, Namuamibutsu gets that just right. You can also free Namu Amida Butsu!: Rendai Utena anime watch online and free anime download.

At first glance Namu Amida Butsu!: Rendai Utena seems like your typical slice of life anime with hot guys going about doing whatever it is they’re doing. And you’re right. At its core, Namuami (which is what I’m calling it instead of the title name because that is too long) is a slice of life anime in a similar vein to Touken Ranbu Hanamura. The question is: is it good? I would say it’s a decent show if you go into it with low expectations. I liked it enough but if someone comes and says why they didn’t like it, I might agree with them even if I liked the show. Going into Namuami, I had low expectations for it not because I thought it would be bad (just average), and it’s a good thing I did that otherwise I would’ve been very disappointed. The complaints I have is that Namuami feels too stiff for a slice of life anime. There is a story revolving around Mara and the vices and while that’s fine and adds something to the show, the times when the Buddhas are living their day-to-day life, it feels very lacking. It does improve after episode 6 and things start to pick up and that stiffness goes away slightly. The characters themselves are a mixed bag. Only a handful are given and development and growth in all 12 episodes while some don’t get any or are just there for show. Some of them have little or no personality that makes them unique in their own way. For example, one of them is a protein loving exercise guy who is kind of clingy to his older brother and another one tells bad puns. Those are not personalities. Telling bad puns that aren’t even funny is not a personality trait. The few that do have personalities are decent characters. Especially with one of the characters. They’re not all bad but some are just boring and devoid of any personality. Finally, the conflict between Mara and the vices felt rushed. As quickly as it came, it was resolved quickly. It ends somewhat satisfying though it’s one of those ambiguous endings but I have a feeling that a 2nd season won’t be happening. While it may seem like don’t particularly like Namuami, I did enjoy my time watching it. Going into it with low expectations made me like the show more. Yes, it’s not perfect and some of the complaints are valid, but it’s not a bad anime in the slightest like some people say it is. It’s above average in presentation, characters, and plot but it’s not as bad. It won’t win any awards and it will probably be forgotten in a year or two, but at its heart, Namuami is a decent slice of life anime about the 13 Buddhas. If you do plan on watching it, I recommend going into it with little or no expectations, and if you liked Touken Ranbu Hanamura. Namuami may be average at best, but it’s still fun to watch.

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