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Gen Urobuchi Makes His Edgy Return With Nitroplus’ Revenger

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Despite an undeniably promising reputation, Gen Urobuchi can be something of a controversial figure depending on one’s exposure to their career. His works are often praised for their world-building & how dark they can be, but he is not without some missteps, which makes the anticipation for his new series, Revenger, quite fascinating.


Back in September, Nitroplus & Shochiku announced Revenger with very little information besides a small teaser & a striking poster. On Friday, November 25, they unveiled more about the staff & cast behind the anime, revealing Urobuchi’s involvement & hying a release on January 5. Urobuchi is most prominently known within the anime sphere for works like Production I.G.’s Psycho-Pass & Shaft’s Madoka Magica, two series that arguably aren’t the same without him. But between the mixed reception to 2022’s Bubble & the critically panned Godzilla trilogy from Polygon Pictures, it’s safe to say that his style is not always a sure success.

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The Story of Revenger

Revenger is described – appropriately enough – as a revenge story following Kurima Raizo, a samurai who survives an assassination attack on his clan. Robbed of his life as a samurai, he joins an organization called Revenger, dedicated to taking revenge “on behalf of those who have no power.”

Sparse as the initial teasers were, the main PV unveiled recently paints the tale as an ensemble story of sorts, with five hitmen working together for a common goal. Their base of operations is a general store that serves as a front for their real business. Usui Yuen is the mysterious proprietor of the store & the leader of Revenger who looks to be the one that recruits Raizo.

The team might be the most fascinating part of the series going in. Nio, voiced by Hisako Kanemoto, is an &rogynous & deadly hitman killing people with a fiber wire kite string. The burly Teppa Murakami is a craftsman who is seen firing a giant compound bow that annihilates foes on impact. Finally, Souji is a drunk who throws cards as a weapon like Gambit from X-Men.

This well-rounded & deadly team has all the makings of a fun action ensemble, from unique tools & weapons to their designs & personalities. The sound design by Akiko Fujita (Bocchi the Rock) gives every gr& attack the littlest extra ounce of impact, compensating for art design that is too early to judge. The marketing seems to be banking on the aesthetics & the action to truly sell this story.

The Staff Behind Revenger

revenger_pv2screenshot

What jumps out most prominently about this project – apart from Urobuchi’s involvement – is its studio, Ajia-Do, which doesn’t have much of a reputation for stories such as this. Much of their resume includes family-friendly anime or some more recent slice-of-life shows. A notable exception is 2021’s Kemono Jihen, a supernatural mystery with lots of action.

And sure enough, Masaya Fujimori, the director of Kemono Jihen, is directing Revenger as well, which makes it a bit easier to gauge what kind of show to expect. The studio might lack a lot of similar shows, but it’s helmed by a director who has directed all of Ajia-Do’s most action-packed endeavors & even the first Fairy Tail movie.

The staff is all-around promising, with two of the three animation directors having worked with Fujimori on Kemono Jihen previously. The third animation director, Yuji Hosogoe, has worked on Saga of Tanya the Evil, Berserk, & Psycho-Pass, & is also credited as the character designer on Revenger.

Joining Urobuchi in the writer’s room is Renji Oki, another Nitroplus writer who co-wrote Bubble with Urobuchi last year. Nitroplus’ reputation in the Visual Novel community is storied, & the name carries a lot of weight, especially when it comes to high-concept fantasy & sci-fi. In the case of Revenger, it’s the promise of violence that draws the eye, but will the story keep audiences’ eyes glued to the screen?

Judging by the translation of Urobuchi’s statements on the series, it seems to be a story he is passionate about, regardless of the dem& for it in the current anime marketplace. He remarks about a lack of “twists & turns,” which likely refers less to Revenger‘s story per se & more to previous acclaimed works of his that have subverted audience expectations.

It’s too early to tell what precisely Urobuchi means by this; whether Revenger is a simpler story restrained from the gr&er ideas of his work, or if it is something else entirely. Either way, the hype leading up to Revenger‘s premiere & its ability to captivate audiences will be a determining factor in how Enormous a pull Urobuchi’s name holds in the future.

MORE: The Cult Classic That Got People Thinking Deeper About Animation

Source: Anime News Network, Comic Natalie

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