Crunchyroll debuted To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts for Premium account users on July 1st, and will roll the series out to free account holders on July 8th. The anime is based off of the manga series by Maybe, which was published in Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine. We where able to catch the premiere of the new series when it aired, here's the official Bleeding Cool review!
Patria was split in two after a civil war broke out over a new energy source, with the Northern Union struggling to survive against the superior military might of the southern forces. A massive battle has broken out, with soldiers of the southern army defending against the north, which is suffering massive losses.
A group of white uniformed soldiers arrive, and transform into massive or terrifying creatures. The defenses of the southern forces are smashed to bits, and we're introduced to the Incarnates, illegally modified soldiers that were designed to end the war.
I wish I could say the creatures were cooler than they are. A few are a little hackneyed, like the solider with a lance who turns into just about the goofiest centaur I've ever seen. There's a woman who turns into a feathered harpy with a sonic scream, and a few others that kind of sputter out.
The Incarnates are lead by Hank Henriette, who really wants to end the war so that he can propose to Elaine, his childhood sweetheart. She also created the Incarnates, so she seems committed to their well-being. Their other childhood friend is Hank's second in command, and his name is Cain Madhouse, which is by no means foreshadowing, wink. wink. WINK.
The Incarnates turn the tide of the war, and the people start to think of them as gods. Everything seems to be headed towards a reunification when tragedy strikes: One of the Incarnates goes berzerk, and starts killing southern prisoners and comrades alike, before destroying himself.
Hank makes the surviving Incarnates swear an oath, that if ever another Incarnate goes berzerk, the survivors will team up and take that monster down.
There's a lot of melodrama and some pretty goofy set-ups in To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts, and wouldn't you know it? Cain Madhouse is a villain? But there are some cool bits, too. Hank ends the episode hunting one of his former soldiers, and the battle is pretty neat.
The animation, though, isn't the best, with pretty middle of the road character designs and kind of choppy action. The music is decent, but nothing on screen is well served by the goofy as hell plotting. There's a bit of xenophobia playing out at the set-up of the series, with immigrants being responsible for the initial conflicts between the factions of Patria.
Still, the set up at the end of the premiere episode of To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts sets up a series with some potential, so we'll see where things go as the story evolves. Sure, it's an Assassin's Creed/Monster Hunter hybrid, but that could be cool under the right circumstances.
To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts simulcasts on Thursdays on Crunchyroll.