Type: Ah yeah, Rave Master Time!
Synopsis: A bunch of years ago, a young boy is watching Toonami because his family is lucky enough to have cable that year. After watching Dragon Ball Z and Runouni Kenshin for a while, a new shounen appear. A show called, “Rave Master.” Welcome to the tale of a kinda cute, kinda poppy band of heroes traveling the word with a carrot nose dog! Three, two, one, time for Ravevalution!
Pros: Sorry, not sorry. But damn, is that American intro song both amazing and horrible at the same time. So Rave Master was a story by Hiro Mashima, the creator of the more popular Fairy Tail. Rave Master follows three heroes in one trying to save the word from the evil dark stones using a magic sword and the power of friendship. It’s all very cliche and it totally makes sense that an American company would license this during the shonen boom of the early 2000’s. The reason why I’m really excited to talk about Rave Master is because this is one of my shows. It came around the time I was entering puberty, so a story of a plucky good guy fighting against evil really spoke to me. And having a cute girl in a mini-skirt didn’t hurt either (Ellie was one of my earliest anime crushes). Now, the story makes no sense. Its a weird mishmash of fantasy/urban genres. The pacing is all over the place, some characters come and go for no reason, and arcs are stretched over multiple episodes to pad out the story. But it has a certain charm to it. Maybe you had to be there. The characters play well off each other, and Hiro Mashima has always been good at getting characters into funny situations. The heroic but naive Haru goes well with the bubbly Ellie. They’re eventually joined by the cool Musica, stoic Let, and rowdy Julia. Other characters come and go, but this is your core group. In fact, elements from this cast and other supporting characters would later be reincarnated into Fairy Tail, by the author’s own admission. He even reuses the Rave Sword in the alternate reality arc of Fair Tail! This was also the first manga I ever read from start to finish, so it’s kinds always stuck with me throughout the years.
Cons: So why do I like Rave Master so much? First, I really liked Haru as a main character. Unlike other shonen protagonists, he isn’t motivated by power or pride. He’s an altruistic hero. I’ve always gravitated to more heroic types than anti-heroes or cocky warriors. If you want to understand the difference, go read or watch the Rave Master/Fairy Tail crossover to compare both of Hiro’s main characters. Second, I like the aesthetic of the Rave Master world. The whole world is loosely based on a music motif, so most of the characters are dressed like they’re going to a concert. Be it heavy metal, smooth jazz, or classical. Hiro really could make some money as a t-shirt artist. Third, it was my first introduction to the sexier side of anime. In a weird way, it kinda contributed to my sexual awakening? I didn’t get any of the sex jokes on the Simpsons, nor did the models on Ads trigger anything. But for some reason I knew that Ellie in a bikini was something I could get behind. Forth, I never got to finish it. Rave Master was moved to very early morning hours because of low ratings. I never got to see the end, so it became something I had to finish. Fifth, I finished the series through the manga, and I have to say, the manga does have some good moments. They are few and far between, but they’re there. I still consider the “death” of Shiba and Seig as one of the best bittersweet ends for a character. So yeah, I know that the Rave Master story is not a great. The anime is even worse. But like that one goofy friend of yours, you can’t help but smiling when you think about it.
Watch it?: I mean no, but respect that some people did. (3/5)
Was Ruby the next Rave Master!?
Best Episode: Fairy Tail x Rave OVA (one of my favorite things to do when reading Fairy Tail was catching the Rave Master references and cameos).