Original Run: July 23, 2021 - September 28, 2021 Number of Episodes: 11 Genre: Action, Fantasy Based on the Series Created By: Amahara and Cool-kyou Shinja
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace. Reader discretion is advised.***
Monstrous and bloodthirsty demons once set fire to the world and nearly brought humanity to extinction. But in the final hour, battle gods, the Idaten, decimated the demonic forces. And in their last act, the wisest and most powerful Idaten sealed the scourge away, thus beginning an era of peace.
Eight hundred years have now passed.
Remembering those days of long ago is the Idaten Rin (voiced by Akemi Okamura), who has been training the “new” generation of deities in case the demons’ seal ever breaks. Joining her ranks are:
Nearly all the Idaten have only ever known tranquility. How will they react should a new threat arise?
Well, I’ll be damned. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. If you want to know what a summer 2021 surprise is, then The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace (The Idaten Deities) will give you a pretty good idea.
But before we continue, let me make one thing clear: Looks can be deserving.
While this show’s visuals may fall in line with a high-energy comedy, I assure you, that is very much not the case. Sure, The Idaten Deities could get funny, silly, and generally slapsticky, but if you go into this series expecting a bit of light-hearted fun, oh boy, are you in for a shock.
This is not a child-friendly anime. There are multiple scenes of intense violence, stylized war crimes, undeniable sexual assault, and many other elements that are forcing me to realize, “Holy s@#$, am I really about to recommend this show?”
Don’t go saying I didn’t warn you.
All that aside, if I had to describe The Idaten Deities in the simplest terms possible, I would go with: Satisfaction incarnate. And I’m sticking with that while still fully acknowledging how this show just stopped once it hit episode eleven. But more on that later.
Nevertheless, oh wow, that fight between Rin and the demon Nickel (voiced by Sumire Uesaka) was immensely entertaining.
Have you ever seen someone’s hyperinflated bravado get curb-stomped out of them? Additionally, have you ever watched a collection of high-and-mighty bad guys realize in one sickening moment how utterly outclassed they were?
Well, thanks to The Idaten Deities, I have.
What other anime call severe and debilitating injuries, this series calls paper cuts. When someone takes a hit in this show, they freaking take a hit. And adding that extra oomph to every punch, kick, torn limb, disembowelment, bone shatter, and mutilation was the animation.
The Idaten Deities was beautiful to look at.
Then again, this show’s visual excellence was no real stunner. After all, the character designs in this series were adaptations of the original artwork of one Cool-kyou Shinja. And if that – rather unique – name doesn’t mean anything to you, Cool-kyou Shinja is also the creator of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
Granted, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid had the polish of Kyoto Animation backing it up. And yet, MAPPA, the studio behind The Idaten Deities, is no pushover when it comes to animation, having also given us:
- Jujutsu Kaisen
- Dororo (2019)
- Yuri on Ice
Regardless, The Idaten Deities is easily one of the best-looking shows to come out of 2021.
More than anything, though, it was this show’s characters who left the biggest impact. Many in this series were absolutely fascinating. But before we get to that, can we appreciate the incredible talent here? The Idaten Deities was a collection of prominent voice performers.
- Ms. Akemi Okamura (Rin), a.k.a. Nami from One Piece
- Ms. Megumi Ogata (Ysley), a.k.a. Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Ms. Yui Horie (Paula), a.k.a., Tsubasa Hanakawa from the Monogatari series
- The legendary Ms. Romi Park (Hayato), a.k.a., Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist
And that’s just to name a few.
As for the characters themselves, I’m going to attempt putting people in groups because if we were to talk about the cast individually, we would be here all day. Although I’ll mention a few standouts, most everyone in this series can fit into two categories: Idaten or Demon.
For the titular Idaten, they were not all-loving, all-knowing deities. Despite having the power to save the planet from annihilation, the goings-on of the human world was no concern of theirs. When necessary, they would step in, but only when a threat went beyond mortal comprehension. Therefore, the Idaten wouldn’t lift a finger to prevent the worst of humanity’s evils, but the Idaten did prefer it if life continued.
This show gave a great analogy. Most people might enjoy the local forest, but what happens there rarely enters people’s minds during day-to-day existence. Whatever hardships might occur in the forest are merely examples of nature taking its course. While this general indifference may take prominence, humans will fight tooth and nail to save that same forest should it start to burn out of control.
The Idaten had a similar view toward humanity.
For instance, Rin was loyal to the mission of the Idaten – eliminate the demons. Ultimately, the eradication of this foe would lead to prosperity for human civilization. However, if demons had managed to infiltrate human society, Rin had no qualms about sacrificing an entire city to get the job done.
Likewise, Ysley had his own way of fighting demons. For an Idaten, he was on the weaker side, and if a real fight required physical strength to win, he wasn’t much use. But unlike his fellow Idaten, Ysley was phenomenally intelligent, having spent his immortal life accumulating knowledge instead of muscles.
While that might sound commendable, Ysley was an Idaten through and through. Thus, concepts such as ethics were never a consideration when he pursued his learning.
To sum the Idaten up, their ends typically resulted in long-term good. But the means they took to get there disqualified them from being angelic heroes.
Then there were the Demons, and they very much fit that description. While a person could converse with an Idaten without worrying too much about personal safety, the same was not true for the Demons. If one of these characters deemed someone unnecessary, that person didn’t live long.
Also, it was because of the Demons that The Idaten Deities was sometimes overly extreme, even for someone like me who has become quite desensitized.
While this series’s artwork may have been an adaptation of Cool-kyou Shina’s character designs, the story itself was from the mind of Amahara. In case you don’t know, Amahara was also the creator of Interspecies Reviewers. While that show is technically fine, it is also un-recommendable since it is basically porn that somehow made it to network television.
Once I learned Amahara was behind The Idaten Deities, a lot of things suddenly made sense. The extremes in this show were not unprecedented. While this series may have been more subtle when compared to Interspecies Reviewers, when up against any other anime, it’s not tame.
Nowhere was this more apparent than with the Demon Miku (voiced by Mariya Ise).
For the record, Miku is the first antagonist in a long time that had me think, “Okay, you are intimidating.” At the core of her character, Miku was a survivalist and would do anything – ANYTHING – to save her skin. But more than that, though, her insightfulness was what made her dangerous.
With a simple slip of the tongue, Miku could piece together enough working knowledge to formulate a plan so detailed and accurate that the other Demons considered her to be a monster.
It will be interesting to see how the Idaten can counter her whenever season two comes.
Of course, that is assuming season two is coming at all. As of this review going live (November 2021), I know no news concerning The Idaten Deities 2. And that worries me; that worries me to no end.
I’m going to keep this section short since this review is getting pretty long as it is. Unfortunately, there was one glaring flaw with The Idaten Deities. Okay, “one” glaring flaw might not be accurate, especially if this show’s graphicness is too much for you (and I don’t blame you if it is).
Still, in terms of narrative, the final two episodes were a pacing disaster. And I say “the final two episodes” and not “the ending” because this was no ending. The Idaten Deities simply stopped.
While this issue is solvable with a second season, it doesn’t change how stupidly fast this series became.
Up until the Idaten invaded the Demon-held Zoble Empire, everything had gone quite smoothly. In the immediate aftermath, the story picked up its pace, and it became difficult to keep track of how much time was passing.
This increase wasn’t too much of a problem. After all, our characters were immortal beings. A few years mean little to them.
No, trouble began to form when this show reached episode ten. Given how much development was happening at this point, the sickening truth hits you like a ton of bricks:
There is no possible way for The Idaten Deities, which has been nothing but satisfaction, will wrap things up in a satisfying way. Low and behold, this show went all-in with that notion.
I have seen too many good shows stop at massive cliffhangers. In recent years, many series that have done this offer a promise of a continuation, which helps ease the hit. And for the shows that don’t, they are usually popular enough that a continuation is almost inevitable.
As far as I know, The Idaten Deities, as good as it may be, has no such safety net. It is entirely possible for this show to become a one-and-done deal.
Should that come to pass, it would be the biggest disservice to one of the biggest surprises of 2021.
Please let there be a season two; there is still so much more for this series to do.
Worries aside, this show had my full attention from the moment it began. With a stellar combination of outstanding animation, interesting characters, a gripping story, and over-the-top-ness, this is an anime worth remembering.
The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace has earned a recommendation.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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