First Look: Orient

Manga Adaptation by A.C.G.T.
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

In a fantastical version of the Sengoku Period, the people of Hinomoto live under the yoke of monstrous oni masters. Only the magical warriors known as Bushi are able to stand against the demonic threat.

Iro’s verdict: Unimpressive

This is a shonen battle manga where the protagonist teams up with his friends to fight the baddies. All the aspects of Orient related to that are pretty much bog standard. This won’t be winning any narrative awards, but at least it isn’t morally detestable like any given isekai show. However, the premiere reminded me how spoiled we’ve been regarding well-made manga adaptations: shows like Jujutsu Kaisen, Ranking of Kings, and even Demon Slayer are dripping with money and talent, while Orient looks like mediocre season padding. If it can’t even bring it together for the big triumphant attack at the end of the first episode, how is the rest of the show supposed to fare? If anything at all did interest you about Orient, I urge you to simply track down the manga version where Shinobu Ohtaka’s art can really shine in its original form.

Gee’s verdict: Baseline

The last few years has seen a sort of renaissance for shonen anime adaptations. Whether they deserve it or not, many of the more high profile ones have received high budget adaptations, often staffed with generational talent and considerable resources, lending a form of prestige to the works. Orient then, is your reminder of what your average shonen anime adaptation looks and sounds like. It’s not that Orient is offensively bad or anything, but it’s about as generic as you can get by just about every metric. It sounds like this adaptation really isn’t doing a great job of putting a spotlight on its source material so this is one of those situations where you probably wan to go straight to the source.

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