Another day, another Shonen anime. At this point, you’ve got to have something extremely different to stand out from all the stellar releases coming out every season. There is just so much content being put out nowadays, with near-endless variety to choose from. So, where does Plunderer stand here?
I’m a little tired of the same story of ‘strong protagonist, git gud’ that we’ve been seeing oversaturate the anime market. Fantasy is such a diverse genre and can go several different directions, so I don’t know why we keep going for old tropes that have definitely lost their charm. Often, these fantasy anime will have a harem subplot. They might also have ecchi visuals, filled with fanservice. Or even worse, they might have both.
Plunderer is an adaptation of the manga by the same name created by Suu Minazuki. It was adapted into an anime by Studio Geek Toys and aired sometime in 2020. Described as an action fantasy, it had an interesting enough premise that got people intrigued.
But did it deliver? Well, I sat down to see and Lord, do I have a lot to say about this one.
Plunderer: The Basic Premise
Welcome to Alcia, where numbers rule your fate. The law of the kingdom is a phenomenon known as Count: numbers engraved onto a person’s body that represent an important aspect of their life. These numeric inklings are what establish individuals in Alcia’s society, what determines your power and social standing. However, if that number ever goes down to 0, you are sent to a hellscape known as the Abyss, whispered to be a fate worse than death itself.
It is here that we are introduced to Hina, an Alcia dweller whose Count represents how far she has traveled. She has had her fair share of trauma, after having to see her mother get thrown down into the Abyss when her Count ran out. However, this builds a resolve in her where she wants to fulfill her mother’s last wishes. And so, she begins a long journey in search of the legendary ‘Aces’ – war heroes from a siege that took place over three hundred years ago and identified by a white star next to their Count.
It is on this journey where Hina ends up running into Licht Bach, a shadowy cloaked man with Count in the negative, and Nana, a tavern owner. And strangely enough, she’s having a good time. That is until she gets scapegoated into a fight with a military soldier. Of course, Licht intervenes and rescues Hina. But then he reveals that he has another count, the white star, the identifying mark of a Legendary Ace.
Plunderer is the story of Hina, Lich, and the other residents of Alcia, the mysteries they have to unravel to discover the truth of the Count, the Abyss, and the legendary Aces.
Plunderer: Story Breakdown
When I do these reviews, I often try to focus on the spectrum of a story, rather than whether it’s good or bad. Anime is subjective. So, what might not work for me, might just be someone else’s favorite anime of all time. Shonen can be formulaic sometimes, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a fun watch. It doesn’t have to be ground-breaking to be entertaining. But when it’s neither, well.
Even I have to draw the line somewhere.
Plunderer commits its biggest sin right away: it lays down an intriguing premise and fails in delivering it. The concept of Count and its role as pseudo-capital is such an intriguing plot point. Then you have the strange Abyss, which no one has come back from and so, technically, remains heresy. And yet, none of it gets a satisfying enough explanation. Hell, none of it gets explored, period.
The plot itself has horrible pacing, with ill-timed gags taking over any serious moments of revelation. And don’t even get me started on the plot holes that lay waste to whatever lore they built before. There is no depth to the story, all of it is replaced with awful fanservice that borderlines on sexual harassment.
The characters are vapid, at best. And Lich is a creep. He is unlikable, brash, and devoid of any personality. So, the anime tries hard to make him look good, with his traumatic backstory and countless mentions of how special he is. But that doesn’t make up for his antics.
When your main character is that bad, what hope do you have of keeping your viewer invested? Especially with a story so poorly executed.
Is Watching Plunderer Worth It?
This is a flop, I won’t even bother sugar-coating it.
I’m not a prude by any means, but this is an awful self-insert ecchi fantasy. It’s borderline offensive how bad this anime is, especially when you add in the wonky animation that renders fight scenes unenjoyable. Honestly, it doesn’t even deserve a hate-watch. Major pass!
Have you tried watching Plunderer? If so, what are your views on the current standard of shounen-romance troped? Let me know in the commend section below!