Bahamut gets angry.
The Rage of Bahamut anime is based on a mobile game that I know next to nothing about. Looking up a gameplay video didn’t help much either. It looked like the kind ‘game’ you’d get if you clicked one of those “play now my lord” ads. Some sort of hopelessly generic fantasy rpg where you repeatedly press one button until the picture of a slime vanishes in a flash of light and you get 5 gold and 10 experience.
It’s no small surprise then that the anime is actually pretty decent. It does a pretty good job at capturing the feel of a classic fun fantasy adventure. No isekai, no skill trees, no slave harems. There’s a few minor aspects that are probably based on the original gameplay, but they’re easy to accept. For example, the two main characters start out as bounty hunters, and hunting bounties involves weakening an enemy so you can use a spell to capture them like they’re in Pokemon, except they turn into cards that you can turn in for money. It stops being relevant after the first few episodes, although having it come back into play at the very end was a nice touch.
The setting is a mishmash of different mythologies. There’s angels and demons, Greek gods and dragons. Occasionally it focuses too much on the uninteresting lore, but what ultimately makes the show are the main characters. They’re entertaining and expressive. They’re not super complex, but they each have their own personal goals that get them tangled up in the plot. The show is best when it’s focusing on them, and the first episode really highlights the difference. It starts off with a flashback of how Bahamut was sealed long in the past. It’s well done, but not particularly exciting. But then it jumps right into the action with Kaisar chasing Favaro through the city on horseback, leaping across rooftops, crossing swords in mid-air. These kinds of scenes are the highlight of the series, and it has better-directed action than you’d expect. I would also contrast it with F/GO Babylonia, which was also a mobile game anime with great animation, but which had flat. uninteresting characters that gave me no reason to be invested in what was going on. Bahamut is much better in that regard.
Unfortunately, what it does lack is some good villains. There are some weak stretches in the series, and they’re pretty much all their fault. There’s too many of them, and they range from boring to irritating. You have a demon with some kind of master plan, but then the twist is that there is another demon with an even bigger master plan. And that happens multiple times. This starts getting worse towards the end as the plot ramps up, although it does still manage to pull together in the end and bring it back to the characters we actually care about.
Rage of Bahamut may not be anything great, but as far as fantasy anime go, you could do a lot worse.