Kemono no Souja Erin

Kemono no Souja Erin (獣の奏者エリン, The Beast Player) is one of the most under rated anime currently broadcasting. Heck, there’s only one group subbing it – Static-Subs (SS). I’ve been getting their releases from day one of the broadcast but it wasn’t until this weekend that I found some time to sit down and watch the series.

I was so hooked I marathon-ed the entire 15 episodes available in one and a half days.

Erin lives in a world where the empire, ruled by the descendants of a God-king, keeps the peace using beast known as touda. Touda are giant, purple colored crocodiles, and are ridden into war by the elite warriors of the empire. None can stand against them, and thus the empire thrives. This leads to the touda enjoying an extremely high status within the empire, especially the Kiba – the biggest and strongest of the toudas. Entire villages are dedicated to the breeding of toudas, with dedicated ‘beastinarians’ attending to their care. Harming a touda means death.


a Kiba, elite amongst the touda

Erin lives in one such village, the Ake, with her mother Soyon who is the villages top beastinarian. Despite this status, Soyon is an outcast of sorts. She belongs to a race of people known as the Arryo – the ‘People of the Mist’ – who have a reputation as shady, sorcerous people. The Arryo also have distinctive green hair and eyes, a trait Erin inherits even though she’s only half Arryo.




more Erin cos she’s so cute



The first few episodes of Erin have a ‘slice of life’ (or rather, problem of the week) feel, as Erin grows up and learns about the touda from Soyon. You’ll immediately realize that Erin is very bright, picking up knowledge and solving the problems faced in each episode. You’ll also notice that Soyon is a tired, sad woman who seems to carry an enormous burden, with only Erin as the bright spark in her life.


mother and child

Things get really interesting after half a dozen episodes. To reveal anymore would be spoiling it. Suffice to say that Erin is fated to play a role in the future of her world, and there is indication that the story will take a turn towards the epic. Frodo inherits ring and embarks to Mordor kind of epic.

Erin is produced by Production I.G., but don’t expect awesome 3D art. The look of the show is very unique, and much of the scenery is breathtaking, but there are some scenes that have very iffy animation. One of the first scenes showing toudas running across the battlefield was… funny, to say the least.


some art from the show


scenery like this one gives the show a unique look


not so bad in a screen shot. animated they’re plain darn weird

Character design is on the cartoonish side. Think children’s anime. I never liked the pug/huge nosed type characters, and you’ll find them in abundance over here. Thankfully the main characters are well designed. Erin is cute as a button, and Soyon is the inheritor of I.G.’s ‘strong female’ mantle – seeing her reminds me of Motoko (GITS) and Balsa (Seirei no Moribito).


comic relieve characters. hate that nose


Jone, an important character later on. again that nose

One department in which Erin definitely shines is the music. The opening is by Sukima Switch, and the ending is by Cossami, who also provide the insert songs. I’ve never heard of Cossami, but after a few episode I became a fan. Their music features a stripped down, acoustic feel – very pleasant on the ears, and very well employed by I.G. in scenes involving Erin and Soyon. The background music in Erin features harps, pipes and acoustic guitars, and again makes for very easy listening. Its one of the OSTs I definitely want in my collection.

Erin is set for 50 episodes, a suitable number for an epic tale (it also suffers from the usual fate of long animes – there’s already one recap episode so far). So far 21 episodes have been broadcast, with 15 episodes subbed by SS. Being SS, sub and video quality is top notch. Couldn’t have asked for a better group to be the only ones subbing Erin.

It really is a shame to see such an amazing series not recieving much attention. My readership isn’t amazing, but hopefully I’ll at least get a few people to watch this show. Really guys, go watch Erin.


1 Response to “Kemono no Souja Erin”

  1. 1 Kittyjohl August 22, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    I just saw this anime on a channel in Narita and it seems pretty interesting. Thanks for the review on it!

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