I expected something short, but it turned out to be around 10 hours long, and quite satisfying as a Dies Irae fan.
Point form “thoughts” because I am really lazy
- Bey is the main character, and Masada wasn’t joking when he said there’s that kind of yankee manga ノリ surrounding it. The general atmosphere and character dynamics remind me of Paradise Lost, albeit Ikabey is a lot more polished. The former is very “raw” with an edgy protagonist; even the slice-of-life interactions involve most parties being incredibly vicious to each other. It’s not something you see much in recent works, and not what I expected to see again especially since Senshinkan with its honor student protagonist and what is essentially a harem situation played straight by the time Bansenjin rolls along. Ikabey manages to recapture that “everyone insults each other” atmosphere in ParaLost thanks to placing the characters who are not written as 王道 protagonists in mind as the focus.
- The heroine Claudia is a qt and maji tenshi, so the Bey/Claudia dynamic is reminiscent of Ryle/Ril. Claudia has the kind of brilliance as a heroine that Senshinkan’s heroines aside from Nanten lack, and manages to do so while being a very 王道 heroine. I guess at the end the Dies Irae cast is much stronger and Masada has such a good grasp on them that he manages to write an appropriate romance for Bey of all people. Ikabey’s concept sounded ridiculous but everything worked out nicely.
- The climax reminds me of the Nobuaki/Nanten scene from Bansenjin, but this time as the actual climax. I really liked how it was handled this time around, with the key scene taking place after the grand battle rather than before, and the way it plays out is incredibly satisfying.
- The link to Kajiri Kamui Kagura is strong. Ikabey definitely wants to make you reread it, especially with how things turn out in the end.
- Beatrice gets so much screentime to make fun of Bey. She is truly the beacon of the nichijou scenes, just like that bar scene in Amantes Amentes.
- Mercurius gets a surprising amount of screentime too. As usual, his voice is like music to my ears.
Oh yeah remember how Masada said that Ikabey was a good place to jump in from for newcomers? That’s as legit as him saying that you don’t need to read Dies to read KKK. But I have to say, Ikabey is a great place to kickoff a reread of the series.