Bastard!! -Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy review: Doesn’t belong in the 21st century

Bastard!! -Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy follows the Wizard Dark Schneider who has been resurrected to save the world. The anime series is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Long ago, the darkness of humanity took the form of the God of Destruction Anthrasax. It was defeated and sealed by a humanoid/dragon hybrid.

Today, only four seals stand between the resurrection of Anthrasax. When enemies invade the kingdom of Metallicana, Tia Yoko is forced to remember her father, Geo Yoko’s words.

He had told that as a last resort, she should break the seal on a dark wizard from the past that he had sealed in the boy named Lucien. The only way to do this is if the boy is kissed by a virgin maiden.

Upon resurrection, Dark Schneider defeats their enemies, but still has his evil personality from the past. However, he still retains Lucien’s personality as well, making him an odd mix.

The show follows his attempt to stop others from taking over the world, only because he wants to do that himself.

Positives

Bastard!! -Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy has a few great humorous scenes scattered across the 13 episodes.

The fact that the anime is self aware makes it unique. At some points, Dark Schneider refers to Shonen cliches such as him getting the power to beat his enemy only because he made him mad enough.

In another scene, he calls out a less important character for taking up too much screen time and that he would bore the viewers.

Negatives

Alas, the satirical nature is never fully explored and we only get a taste of it. The rest of the show is basically still stuck in 1980s when the manga was created.

The women in the show are there just to fawn over Dark Schneider. Starting from Tia Yoko, whom he claims to love, unable to resist her feeling for him when he’s literally threatening to kill her father.

Even the princess of Metallicana, Shiela, and his enemy Sean Ari, are smitten by him and he touches them as he pleases. One of the four divine kings, Arshes Nei, is his adopted daughter and former lover, which is messed up on its own.

The show is stuck between being a full-fledged comical satire and an adult anime wanting to please other sections of fans. Dark Schneider has his way with any woman he wants, often making no sense at all.

Even the explicit scenes don’t really serve any purpose, unlike other Netflix anime shows such as Castlevania, where they were happening for a reason.

It’s hard to understand why this particular manga was chosen to be adapted at a time when the idea of sexualising and objectifying women has been completely shunned.

Verdict

Just a couple of weeks after the incredible series Spriggan, Bastard!! -Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy isn’t a great addition to its anime slate.

Even though some of it has potential, the show never quite flourishes in any particular aspect. If you’re not looking for meaningless explicit sequences, this isn’t an anime that you should be binging.

Rating: 1.5/5


Also Read: Spriggan (2022) review: Intriguing concept and engaging narrative