Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy season 1 review – highly sexualized anime with dated views

June 30, 2022 (Last updated: August 1, 2023)
Adam Lock 14
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Reviews
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Generic anime that tries to entertain with highly sexualized fan service and some problematic, sexist views.

This review of the Netflix anime series Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy season 1 does not contain any major spoilers.

Netflix continues to grow its library of anime content with Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy, a new series based on the eighties manga of the same name. Highly influenced by Dungeons and Dragons and heavy metal, this fantasy epic quickly became one of the most successful manga series of all time. So it isn’t surprising that Netflix has gotten its grubby mitts on the popular source material, but what is shocking though is how they haven’t updated the classic for a modern audience. This series contains countless examples of shameless fan service that verges on soft pornography and some decidedly misogynistic tendencies that just can’t be ignored.

If we are to put the highly sexualized aspects of the show to one side (for now), this thirteen-part anime works like any other standard show from the genre, with grand magical fights, scantily clad women, and a whole host of demonic monsters to defeat. This particular series is set in a dystopian future, where the Kingdom of Meta-llicana is at war. Just to note, yes that is a reference to the rock band Metallica and no it won’t be the last musical nod. To protect themselves, a Great Priest named Geo sealed a reincarnated sorcerer within the body of a child, ready for this day. They must unleash this evil wizard in order to save themselves from annihilation, although they cannot control the demon once it has been released.

The ageless wizard known as Dark Schneider is the sorcerer hidden within Lucien, an innocent and harmless boy. To unleash this beast, Lucien’s guardian Yoko (there are those musical references again) must kiss the boy, on the lips no less. And they insist that the kiss must come from a virgin (this show is obsessed with virgins, by the way.) The kiss releases Dark Schneider from his dormant slumber. He arrives as a ripped, naked god, with unmatched powers. The wizard is reluctant to partake in the carnage and only helps as a favor to Yoko because she looked after Lucien all those years. After effortlessly decimating all of his adversaries, he vows to take over the world, killing anyone in his path.

As the series progresses, Dark Schneider battles an array of monsters and competes for the hearts of many half-naked females. Here the show enters the troubling territory, with some dated and problematic views on women and relationships, not to mention numerous highly sexualized sequences that provide the show with its eighteen rating. Take for example a scene involving a magical slime that only melts Yoko’s clothing, then the look of anger on Dark Schneider’s face when he discovers that his virgin lover was seen naked by another man first. It’s just one of many scenes that lowers the show’s respectability, promoting sexism and warped opinions on female behavior.

The target audience will more than likely lap this up regardless. The show has a great musical theme tune, gory violence, and some dazzling imagery, but overall it’s quite generic. If you are looking for some action-packed adult animation fun, I’d recommend The Legend of Vox Machina instead, which I reviewed earlier this year.

What did you think of the Netflix series Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy season 1? Comment below.

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14 thoughts on “Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy season 1 review – highly sexualized anime with dated views

  • June 30, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    You would recommend the travesty that is that Legend of Vox Machina over Bastard? I haven’t even watched it yet but I know it’s going to run circles around that pile of garbage. To the author, did you start watching anime and reading manga last year? That’s a serious question because you’re way out if your element here Donny.

  • June 30, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    Clearly you never read the manga cause it you have the audacity to compare Legend of Vox Machina! The first episode was amazing and the real fans wanted Bastard! to be authentic. Please stop trying to be politically correct with an anime that is super dark and rated R. That’s how the FANS want it!

  • June 30, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    Umm it’s a echhi action anime by the trailer u would of known that lol another snow flake that dark Schneider exposes

  • July 1, 2022 at 2:19 am

    Imagine, “dated views” in a series thats basically set in medieval times. What a crazy thing!

  • July 1, 2022 at 7:58 am

    I believe the Author missed the mark on his review. This remake makes me feel nostalgia all over again, absolutely love it so far!

  • July 3, 2022 at 12:36 am

    Bastard is awesome and the author of this article is so PC

  • July 4, 2022 at 6:26 am

    imagine believing that you are the future and the things you don’t like are “outdated”

  • July 7, 2022 at 11:13 am

    This show is based on the 1988 manga of the same name. Of course it’s dated lol it was always intended to be that way. This is an anime series you are not supposed to take seriously at all XD if you’re looking for an anime to take seriously, look elsewhere. This anime is intentionally ridiculous lol comically so, I would add. I understand the author doesn’t like it, and it is very niche, but to recommend an anime which is completely outside of this genre… you couldn’t think of a single ecchi anime to suggest which has violence, gore, sex and crude humor to recommend? What about Castlevania? Granted it’s a Much more serious anime than Bast*rd!! But at least it has similar themes.

  • July 7, 2022 at 11:55 am

    Just finished watching B*stard. Meh. It’s not funny. It’s not dark. The action sequences are awful. Fan service is great but not enough to make up for the completely boring and generic story. It’s a mediocre anime that you can put on your list to for when you’ve ran out of things to watch. It’s funny to see all the commenters above get all 4chan on the author of this article. Weirdly personal attacks for a difference of opinion.

  • July 9, 2022 at 12:27 am

    I like the overall plot, characters, and animation but the dialog has to be the dumbest I have ever seen.

  • July 9, 2022 at 8:37 am

    I for one absolutely love it. It’s like miroku and inuyasha fused into an amazing snack. Music is great, animation is amazing, and I love dark Schneiders personality (?????)

  • July 21, 2022 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for your insightful review Adam. Your rejection of anything not adhering to “modern” PC norms made one thing abundantly clear to me: this is not a review of an anime, but a meta-review of ready-steady-cut.

    As such your review made it abundantly clear that the gentlemanly non-sexist takes on this site are not for me, and I certainly won’t frequent it in the future. I happen to prefer free thinking individuals to blindless conformity to “modern” trends.

  • September 12, 2022 at 1:04 am

    It’s fun until it gets disrespectful toward women. Incredibly outdated for a fantasy aka not based on real life show that takes place far into the future. Respecting women is not PC. It’s called being a good person. The fetishizing of soft core rape, and sexual molestation is crude, and creepy. If you like that, you are creepy, gross, or maybe you’re even Griffith. Ugh…. at least if I saw virgin men being raped and molested then I could call the show an equal predatory anime. But it’s a one sided show made solely for virgin men who want to get off. Watch 1 episode of this to verify this then enjoy Castlevania or Berserk. Thank you for the sensible review.

  • April 22, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    Dumb review. Nuff said. Just watch the show for the sake of enjoyment.

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