Pretty to look out but without much substance, Sirius the Jaeger feels like a lot of big ideas trapped in a very small show.
Right on the heels of Hero Mask and Baki comes the latest Netflix Original Anime, Sirius the Jaeger, all twelve episodes of which debuted on the streaming platform today. And twelve episodes, it turns out, aren’t really enough.
You can take that as a compliment or a criticism – and it’s both, really. I’d certainly like to see more of Sirius the Jaeger, on the one hand, but on the other that’s mostly because after devoting a fair amount of time to setting up a relatively large and complex story it didn’t have room to take it anywhere particularly satisfying.
Still, it certainly looks great. 1930s Tokyo is impressively rendered and stylishly explored with the aid of a clearly ample budget, and whether it’s static or in motion Sirius the Jaeger has a distinctive aesthetic and no small amount of visual flair. This can often offset any shortcomings in the narrative and character departments, and that’s the case here for a while, but a MacGuffin-driven plot and a motley crew of archetypal vampire hunters don’t bring much else to the table.
Oh, yeah, there are vampires. And werewolves, too – the show’s nominal standoffish hero, Yuliy, is one of those, and has sworn revenge on the toothy antagonists for typically personal reasons. Between him, the group’s monocled leader, Willard, and his gunslinging sexpot right-hand, Dorothea, the Jaegers of the title are visual stand-outs rather than fully-developed and well-rounded characters. And while the potential is there for them to be much more than that, there isn’t just isn’t enough series to go around.
Your mileage will vary, obviously. Those in the market for bloody action sequences, sweeping cinematography and impressive art and animation will find lots to like about Sirius the Jaeger, which is easily the prettiest of Netflix’s recent original releases. But anyone who requires more in the storytelling department will likely be left somewhat unsatisfied by the show’s crammed-together latter half, although the potential for a bigger, better season two is helpfully left on the table. That’d be worth biting into.