Zettai Boei Leviatan
Animation: Gonzo Airing Date: April 6, 2013 – July 6, 2013
Production: Cospa, Gree MSRP: $6.95/mo. or free
Publisher: Sentai Filmworks, Crunchyroll Episodes: 13

Most fans immediately become sceptical when their favourite games and anime get a series or film adaptation, and the number of bad adaptations out there justifies their apprehension: Dragonball Evolution, Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros are some of the worst offenders, to name a few. Zettai Boei Leviatan (sometimes written as Zettai Bouei Leviathan) is a mobile RPG that was recently made into an anime series. Does this mean it is in the same category as those abominations mentioned before? Of course not, but does that mean it’s a masterpiece? Well, not really.

From left to right: Bahamut, Leviatan and Jorm
From left to right: Bahamut, Leviatan and Jorm

Leviatan tells the story of three girls named Leviatan, Bahamut, and Jörmungandr as they discover more about themselves and their abilities while being reluctantly on the Aquafall Defence Force. Syrop the fairy created this force in order to save the planet from dangerous creatures—creatures which came from a meteor that hit their world. The three protagonists can actually transform into dragons, and two of them are magic users, making  this a great set up for what could potentially be a great anime. However, this is not the path Leviatan follows.

Instead of being an adventure story with a bit of slice of life, it seems to be more in the slice of life genre with an adventure on the side. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but after that amazing set up, it can be a bit disappointing for those fans looking for more of a magical quest rather than the life and times of three girls and a fairy. The light-hearted nature of the story isn’t bad, though; in fact, it makes Leviatan pretty enjoyable to watch. There are moments where it could have been dark, but the writers have clearly chosen not to play into the drama, focusing on the comic relief instead. It’s the comedy that makes Leviatan as entertaining as it is.

A great deal of that comedy comes from the characters, which are pretty well-written. The only bad thing is that they do seem to fall into typical personalities. You have the calm-headed leader, Leviatan; the powerful, happy Jörmungandr; and the abrasive Bahamut. What makes this slightly worse is that the character design is very similar to the Powerpuff Girls. Jörmungandr’s prominent colour is green, Leviatan has a blue design, and Bahamut is in pink and red. I’m sure this wasn’t done intentionally, but it’s an interesting little thing to point out. This aside, Leviatan, Bahamut and Jörmungandr are pretty interesting themselves.

The girls in their transformed states
The girls in their transformed states

Titular character Leviatan is the main girl of the group and probably the most advanced in her magical abilities. She’s a good lead: she’s not too big-headed, she’s serious when she needs to be, and she definitely has her funny moments. It’s fair to say she develops the most of the girls, using her past to find herself. Bahamut is kind of a tsundere, but not in an over the top manner like so many animes nowadays portray (take Sakura from Naruto or Naru from Love Hina, for example). Mu-chan (Bahamut’s given nickname) comes across as a bit spoiled because her father is both rich and influential. Although she acts entitled at times, Bahamut’s innocence and personality make this trait less annoying. Out of the three, Jorm (Jörmungandr’s nickname) is the powerful non-magic user. She’s by far the most laid back, and she never loses her temper. Fortunately, this doesn’t make her bland. Jorm is depicted as a bit ditzy but very pure of heart, and it’s her ditziness that makes her comedy aspects stand out. Finally, there’s Syrop, the fairy that brings the girls together. She is definitely a comic relief character, and she plays the typical anime ‘big eater’. When looking at roles, Syrop certainly fits the ‘magician’ character archetype, the one who gives advice and guidance to others to help them in their quest. Again, this is subtly underplayed, which is something Leviatan does really well. It doesn’t rely too heavily on the typical tropes to portray its characters.

As previously mentioned, Leviatan was based on a phone game, and it shows quite a bit through the pacing of the series. Each episode presents its own situation which is usually concluded by the end, almost like each episode is a level of a game. Even during the final episode, whilst fighting the enemy, music is played over the battle to make it that much more epic.

Cirque-de-Syrop
Syrop shows off in front of the girls.

It’s not just the pacing that makes Leviatan seem more like a game; the art does, too. The characters are drawn in typical modern anime style (big eyes, digitally drawn, and hair that matches said eyes), but it’s really the CG aspects that make the show seem more video game-like. I’m not too keen on CGI in anime as I feel it looks out of place, but upon learning that Leviatan was based on a game, it felt more suited. The CG itself is done well: it looks like it just came out of a game. The clever thing here is that the only pieces done with computer graphics are elements that would have been featured in the game, such as the dragon spirits, items, and enemies. This is a nice, subtle throwback to the original game. As for the music, there’s not really much to be said. It was nothing special, but at the same time, it was nothing too bad. The exception in this case would be the opening song, “Hajimari no Resolution” by Kanno Yuki. I adore the song, and I think it sets the theme for the series: not too dramatic, but not cheesy either.

All in all, Zettai Boei Leviatan hasn’t left a lasting impression. I would have liked to see a bit more action and drama, but for what it is, Leviatan is a good anime. If you’re looking for something very light-hearted, give it a watch. If you like your anime darker, I would say give it a miss.

Art: ★★★★★★★★★☆
Music/Voice: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆
Characters: ★★★★★★★★★☆
Story: ★★★★★★½☆☆☆
Intangibles: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
Overall: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆