Shadow Skill – TV Series – 26 Episodes
Shadow Skill is a very good series. While it doesn’t enjoy the same status of many anime, it has something of a following in smaller circles. The story line is simple, following the progression of a Protégé, Gau Ban, under the tutelage of the 49th Sevaar, Elle Ragu. This particular series focuses somewhat on the Gau’s training, but has a stronger focus on the character relations, seeing Gau as somewhat naïve to the ways of the world and understanding the fine points of love and affection, knowing a fairly simple and straight forward way of seeing the world. This is revealed to stem from his “big sister” Elle. Still, a lot of the series focuses on Gau coming to understand what it means to be a Sevaar opposed to a Vaar, one who fights to be a shield, to be one who is simply “fear and death”, striving to reach the peak of their skill. It also very nicely shows the struggle and morale quandaries that Gau faces striving to match his hero, Scarface. He fights and deals with a great number of challenges, just like his sister, Elle. She does more with the challenges of having attained the rank of Sevaar, as well as her incredible ability to collect debt. While a more common theme simply to keep the story moving, it also works to create a more interesting character overall, giving her a more accident-prone disposition, and making her more relatable. Another advantage is the series is easy to divide between its story segments and its fight scenes. While the two sometimes intertwine, the story won’t dominate the fight. Even the story elements usually will have a second fight in them. The longest segments that really break the fights are much more toward the end of the anime, where Gau truly is in need of understanding and a need for knowledge that comes only from crossing fist.
The quality of the animation certainly isn’t lacking. It’s not incredible, like Blood: The Last Vampire or Comedy, but for a TV show, it certainly shows a good amount of time being invested into the animation. The style actually differs slightly depending on if its just story or in a fight scene. There is a bit of fan-service in the style as well, but not overly dominating usually. It’s amazing what they manage and quite respectable. Sometimes the series makes good use of the animation to make for some very nice imagery in metaphor, not always subtle, but there regardless.
Lastly, there’s the music. While the opening theme never changed, that’s hardly a bad thing. The music does vary a bit over the course of the series at least. Making it so there’s usually something new to listen to, but there are also themes that are reoccurring to make it simple to simply know what’s going on by tuning in at any given moment. It adds very well to the scene usually, adding to the drama or the general mood of what was happening at that time.