Hatenkou Yugi

Genre: Adventure
Length: 10 episodes
Rating: 12 for adult themes
Score: Good

A young girl named Rahzel is booted out of her house one day by her father with the instructions to “see the world”. And so her journey begins. She befriends a stoic young man named Alzeid seeking revenge for his father’s murder. Alzeid and Rahzel are like oil and water: him the pessimist and she the ever-optimist, but they find themselves strangely drawn to one another. This could be either the result of an underlying attraction — or their shared powers with magic. And so, the two reluctant allies travel from town to town, using their powers to help the helpless, while discovering their own respective places in the world.

This series feels like it’s fallen out of a role playing game, but it pulls it off exceptionally well. It starts from a fairly unlikely premise – young girl thrown out of wealthy household, meets up with delinquant mugger, goes off to see the world – but as the journey goes on, they learn more about what motivates each other and their respective strengths and weaknesses. Although Alzeid is definitely the “tough guy”, Rahzel isn’t exactly powerless herself, and delivers more than her fair share of beatings upon people who upset her along their way.

There are a few moments in the series where Rahzel’s naivety comes through and the viewer realises that despite her maturity in many ways, she’s still a young girl from a sheltered upbringing in others. Alzeid, by contrast, has been around the block a few times (with obvious military training) and has experienced the unpleasant world first-hand. There are some pretty hard-hitting points in the series where Rahzel’s naivety and Alzeid’s practicality clash.