Back Arrow is bursting at the seams with exuberance and I enjoyed that a lot.
Back Arrow (Bakku Arō) 2021
For me, it’s wildly over the top and dead sincere at the same time, leaping between those two contrasting extremes. In that way I guess you could say that there’s a mix of aspects from shows like TTGL and Gun x Sword, among others.
A while back, Lita and I did a ‘first reactions‘ kinda collab and I’m happy to say my response to the show remained quite favourable indeed.
Now, in other reviews I’ve definitely criticised stuff that hops between extremes (or wildly contrasting tones) but obviously I don’t always have a problem with it. I thought Back Arrow shifted in such a way that I was expecting things to be a bit off-the-wall from the beginning, and so it didn’t bother me.
All the shounen tropes and clichés (and bizarre humour) are out in full force in Back Arrow (the choir! the wine bottles!), declarations shouted with clenched fists, escalating battles and a huge finish.
It was hard to believe in a way, but as the last few episodes unveiled new and more gigantic surprises in terms of that escalation, I was swept up in the sense of fun – all the amps go up to 11 here.
In terms of fav characters, Shu stands out for me, since he forges his own path, though I will say that his key betrayal actually seems poorly handled in respect to another character, considering the supposed importance of a certain flashback. That’s probably pretty vague if you haven’t seen Back Arrow but I was hoping to avoid spoilers.
So I’ve written a few paragraphs now without mentioning the plot but it includes some of the big stakes I’m looking for: save the world and know thyself, along with a big enough cast that a few folks get to live out different aspects of each.
I can see how this show might fail to meet the needs of some audiences – some of the key anime that Back Arrow is channelling across its 24 episodes were now released generations ago.
And to be honest, there is a strangely childish part of me that really enjoys the fact that Back Arrow seems to be almost a cult show already.
That’s actually a bad thing, though – I want Back Arrow to be more popular so that more shows like it get made.