Review: Noblesse: Awakening

It seems I have fallen behind news and updates, so I didn’t know that Noblesse was green-lit to be adapated to an OVA. I haven’t kept up with it consistently but seems like I’ve gotten beyond the OVA’s premise. This Korean webtoon was introduced to me a couple years ago, and was highly recommended if I wanted a good read an acquaintance said. I think this will catch some of the non-webtoon readers’ attention.

I anticipate that the plot is the reason that will draw the audience to this story. Although we’re yet to stray away from high school setting, it isn’t so bad considering our main character, Cadis Etrama Di Raizel, is not your average student. Apparently, he is the “Noblesse”–a title given to the strongest Noble. Nobles are a race with superhuman strength and long life; they protect humans in secret. Rai and his servant, Frankenstein, are two interesting characters whose pasts we haven’t learned about yet. All we know is that Rai has been asleep for 820 years so he needs some major adjustment to society, and a certain organization is on a hunt for him.

As I was watching it, I got a little confused whether they are vampires or not, but they are not one and the same. With a little more digging, there seems to be other races apart from Nobles. Given this was only a ~30-minute OVA, it will seem quite fast-paced to condense the plot enough to leave us wanting more information, which was why I wasn’t surprised that there aren’t a lot of explanation given to the audience except that short introduction in the beginning.

I think it was a good idea to acquaint non-webtoon readers with this OVA. I just hoped it was 2-3 parts though because of that pace. Personally, it isn’t that much of a problem especially webtoons consist of only a few pages each chapter, but it did skip a lot of details from the webtoon. I believe this OVA ended around chapter 78 of Volume 1.

Talking about its production details, I really liked the character designs and the soundtrack–that opening instrumental! The VA choices were quite good too. It doesn’t seem to consist of well-known cast members, but I thought they were a good match to the characters. However, I thought the animation was average at most. I was expecting a little more since I’d like to think Production I.G. can produce fluid action scenes. I also noticed the director didn’t seem to be that creative during the fights. They were probably trying to keep it PG rated or something, but those blood scenes were very uninspired. Combining that to that messy cinematography (definitely felt I was in a roller coaster at certain scenes), it’s passable but disappointing to say the least.

I suggest you give this one a try if you haven’t already yet, you might eventually pick up the webtoon out of curiosity!

Story: 2.75/5
Characters: 2.75/5
Animation/Art: 2.5/5
Sound/VA cast: 3.5/5
Enjoyment: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5

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