Noob Reviews: Record of Ragnarok (Season 01)
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Record of Ragnarok?
Record of Ragnarok, also known as Shuumatsu No Valkyrie, was released only days ago as a Netflix original anime series based on the top-rated manga series of the same name, written by Shinya Umemura and Takumi Fukui.
As a rough idea about the story - every thousand years, the gods collectively come together and decide the fate of humanity. Shall they be allowed to live in peace, to thrive and develop? Or shall they be wiped from the Earth? Unfortunately, having seen how self-destructive and selfish humans have become in the last thousand years - this time, the vote is to annihilate the humans.
Luckily, Brunhilde, the oldest and most powerful of the Norse Valkyries, still sees a glimmer of hope for the humans and steps forth to propose an alternative to the humans’ annihilation before the gods can act. Instead of been put to death, Brunhilde suggests a competition in which thirteen of the human’s most notable figures from across the ages fight thirteen of the most powerful gods. Should seven of the thirteen matches be won by the humans, they will be left in peace for another thousand years. Should the gods win, the whole of humankind is to be slain to the last.
Eager for the sport and the chance to face humankind’s most deadly adversaries, the gods agree to a series of duels to the death. And to ensure they are given a fighting chance, the Valkyries will assist the humans by transforming themselves into a series of god slaying weaponry to ensure they are as evenly matched as possible with their foes.
What type of anime style is Record of Ragnarok?
Record of Ragnarok has been described as being true to form anime, created in Japan by Graphinica. And its art style is a more traditional hand-drawn style as opposed to the more heavily CGI based style, so many other Netflix anime and animated titles utilise.
How many episodes are there?
To date, there are twelve episodes in total, each with a runtime of twenty-four minutes.
Has a second season been confirmed?
At the moment, there has been no official comment from Netflix on whether or not Record of Ragnarok will be getting renewed for a second season.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Netflix Anime’s YouTube channel -
Alternatively, you can also find Record of Ragnarok on Netflix here.
Who are some of the voice actors and actresses that we might know?
For more of a cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think about Record of Ragnarok’s first season?
When first seeing the trailer for Record of Ragnarok, I was admittedly not that impressed as it looked very generic. The story was all too familiar, the character’s actions were predictable, and it just didn’t have anything that really popped off the screen and captured your attention. Luckily, because of this, I went into Record of Ragnarok with modest expectations and even then, it failed to meet them.
When it comes to the story for Record of Ragnarok, in short, there isn’t one really bar gods, and humans are fighting for the fate of humankind. That is about the long and short of it. The lack of story, though, is not the only aspect of the writing lacking. There is no character development, the introductions to characters are pointless and excessively long, and there is way too much filler content that offers very little to the main story or events going on around it. In all honesty, the first season is about four episodes too long, and even then, what remains would be of questionable quality.
Although Netflix has recently commissioned many new anime and animated series, I have to say that Record of Ragnarok was just an absolute embarrassment. Whether it be the offensive portrayal of some of the most iconic religious figures. So much so, the first season is banned in India for its depiction of Shiva. Its apparent backward stance on equality like the over-sexualisation of Aphrodite, whose main asset are her enormous breasts and no personality. Or the dull dialogue. Record of Ragnarok would be lucky to scrape a second season commission together without some substantial changes.
Regarding the characters, as mentioned above, they have no development and no real oomph to them. The voice acting is mediocre, and there is no real emotion to anything that happens from the majority of the cast. The only feeling you really get is from the youngest Valkyrie as she watches the fights with Brunhilde. Then it goes from no emotion to over the top eye-rolling 90s or early 2000s stereotypical anime with huge building eyes and high pitches squeals instead of words. There is just no structure, balance or natural sense of pace.
Choreography wise, the fights are no better than the rest of the story, they are pointlessly drawn out with absolute drivel for the back, and forth banter between warriors and each and every move is predictable. There is genuinely nothing unique going for any of the fight scenes apart from the fact they look good. The art style is absolutely gorgeous, and the backdrops are fantastic. However, on the flip side, some of the characters like Poseidon and Adam are too similar looking for my taste - as if the artists got bored of coming up with new models and simply reused old source material.
Overall I will have to be honest; it took me three days to watch twelve episodes. In theory, going off of my usual binge-watching of a Netflix series, it should have only taken about six hours, but I fell asleep twice out of boredom. I’ve been harsh before on some reviews (or harsh by my standards, I’m a softy, really), but Record of Ragnarok is one of the first reviews I have ever said do not watch. Save yourself, don’t let my sacrifice be in vain, find something else to watch like the Rurouni Kenshin series of films if you are into live-action or the other newly released animated series from Netflix - Trese. Both would all be a vast improvement and definitely more worthy of your time.
What rating would you give Record of Ragnarok (Season 01)?
I would rate Record of Ragnarok’s first season as an abysmal 2 out of 5 bananas.
From my personal point of view, Record of Ragnarok is one of Netflix’s biggest mistakes to date. With its overtly ‘sex sells’ approach, unsavoury characters and boredom inducing story. Record of Ragnarok is definitely an anime that I would not come back to watch even if a second season was commissioned.
With such a wealth of lore from across the globe. So many great animes. And so many creative minds out there. To say that Record of Ragnarok was the best adaptation of the manga the creators could come up with is an absolute shambles and a slap in the face to its fan base.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in the first season of Record of Ragnarok and would like to check it out yourself, to form your own opinion, you can find it on Netflix here.