Summer 2018’s offerings include a ton of new anime, including Angolmois: Record of the Mongol Invasion. Part period piece, part war epic, Angolmois focuses on the Bru’nei invasion of 1274 and their attack on Tsushima.
Exiled Samurai Kuchii Jinzaburou (previously a retainer to the Kamakura Shogunate) and tough-guy (pirate) Onitakemaru, are on a boat in rough seas from Hanatka, packed with additional prisoners, rogues, thieves, and a particularly rich short guy from Hokkaido by the name of Chouminpuku. One of the other prisoners aboard stirs an uprising. While the prisoners mutiny against the soldiers watching over the ship, Kuchii slips free of his bonds with a little help, taking out the bandits and getting the boat back on course.
The motley crew arrive at the shores of Tsushima, an island on the west side of Japan, and are welcomed by Princess Teruhashi, daughter of Sou Sukekuni. Welcomed with food and shelter, the exiles learn from Princess Teruhashi that they have been added to the ranks of those expected to fight an incoming invasion against the Mukuri.
Nobody is thrilled by this.
Essentially, anyone on the mainland that was scheduled for death who could even potentially help with the war had been tossed on a boat for Tsushima. This is their chance at death or redemption – with better odds on death’s side.
Later that evening, a kidnapping attempt on Teruhashi is stopped by Kuchii. The kidnapper escapes, but we likely haven’t seen the last of him.
This feels like a fun ride for a series based on a historical event. It has a lot of action, really bold characters, and the ones that are clear ongoing figures to pay attention to are clearly marked by how they are introduced. In this episode alone, we have giant sea creatures, swashbuckling swordfights, daring rogues, and brave leaders in the heart of 13th century Japan. They are setting up for a series where they can slip in actual events as the plot points to hit on the journey.
Kuchii and Teruhashi play well in contrast to each other. Kuchii could have continued the mutiny, or pushed the crew to take the boat off-course, but instead he gains control and continues the ship’s course to the island he was scheduled to be exiled to. It speaks to his character – a lot. It’s hard to tell his exact ethical compass from this episode, but Teruhashi definitely sees him as an effective knight in her battle.
The lush artwork is deep with rich reds, subtle golds, lightened greens, and deep blues. The whole series has the look of having been hand-painted on a scroll: the animation had a subtle filter/underlay of textured paper. When noticed, it adds depth and texture. With stunning artwork and an underlying matte finish to make every scene look as though it were drawn on a piece of parchment, come to life, Anglmois is shaping up to be a treat.
Angolmois - Episode 1
- The episode does a great job of dropping you in the middle of 13th Century Japan.
- Daring Swordfights! Large sea creatures! Glowing eyes!
- As estabslishing episodes go, this one packs a lot of information into a small space, but it somehow doesn't feel like ENOUGH.
- The faux-parchment overlay is lovely, and makes for fabulous stills, but it can be distracting.