You can stream it or skip it

Stream It or Skip It?

What if ancient civilizations left all their secrets for us to discover? SprigganARCAM is a swashbuckling action series that explores this world. They are trying to protect OOPArts, a set of artifacts, from anyone who would use them for evil. It’s a globetrotting adventure that’s got action, intrigue, and plenty of weirdness to go around. It’s another one of Netflix’s better anime offerings, and it expands upon the original movie from the late ’90s in several meaningful ways.


Opening ShotA close-up view of a perfectly spherical object, seemingly from an advanced ancient civilization. As a military unit watches the sphere closely, a major gazes incredulously at it and then it rises into air. It opens up to reveal what appears as a map, but it then shifts to something that seems to be a rescue operation.

The GistAn ancient civilization existed long before humanity was born. Their scientific and technological achievements were far more impressive than anything that modern man can achieve. These people kept the power they gained in secret and spread it around the globe using relics of that civilization. Satellites from around the globe revealed the exact locations of these artifacts as the world advanced after the death of the early Earthlings and the rise of the modern human empire.

Once they were visible, the powers of each nation began to fight for control over each relic. They are known as OOPArts (outofplace artifacts). Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean only those who would do good things with the relics can get their hands on them. That’s when an organization called ARCAM is formed, which works to seal away the ancient artifacts before they can fall into the wrong hands.

Spriggans are members of ARCAM. Yuu Ominae is one such agent and he lives a double life, as a high school student. Spriggan follows Ominae and the others at ARCAM as they work to retrieve these artifacts and keep them out of harm’s way.

Photo by Netflix

What shows will it remind you of? Spriggan has a lot in common with the other ’90s-style anime released around the same time this property’s original ’98 film. It is reminiscent of many series, such as s-CRY-edOr Read or dieBoth of these series are about shadowy organisations and protagonists trying to purge the world from those who would harm it. There’s a general humor that permeates all three series that make you want to seek them out, but plenty of action to sit up and pay attention to as well.

Our take: Spriggan doesn’t force its characters to exist in a fantasy world they appeared in when they died. It doesn’t introduce a harem of cute girls and one confused man who doesn’t understand they all want to date him. It is adept at combining evil people with organizations that want to destroy them. Then you have the teenagers’ lives who hang precariously in the balance. There’s a very human element to a story that didn’t actually need one – but it thrives from that very storyline. It’s because of this, SprigganThis is saved from being an incoherent mix of action and talk about ancient civilizations.

Sex and skin: None to speak of during this episode, but you will want to pace yourself if you’re not into violence. There’s plenty of that in full force here, and likely throughout the remainder of the series.

Parting ShotThe episode ends with a discussion about how the Fuji civilization might have ended up trapped beneath the lava that eventually killed them. If they were so advanced, wonders Director Yamamoto, why couldn’t they have controlled the volcanic activity? Yuu reminds him that while science can be amazing, there’s nothing that can stand up to the power of nature — not even gods, a line he delivers with a smirk. The camera zooms in to a simple portrait of lush greenery around a volcano.

Sleeper Star:Greg Chun, a veteran voice actor, brings his warm, comfortable voice to Director Yamamoto. He proves that he is capable of handling any role, supporting or protagonist. Yamamoto feels as comfortable with him as the rest.

Most Pilot-y Line: “Don’t worry. No one’s gonna lay a hand on you as long as I’m around.” The young Spriggan comforts 16-year-old professor Rie after saving her from an attempted kidnapping, which sets the tone for the rest of the series. We know that, no matter what kind of artifacts ARCAM uncovers, the real story is going to surround Yuu and this young woman, who’s clearly majorly important to him.

Our call:STREAM IT. Spriggan is a beautifully-animated throwback that’ll scratch that late-’90s itch you might be feeling after so many isekai have flooded the modern market. It is a combination of well-written characters and an unpredictable story that makes it easy for you to watch each episode in one location (there are only six). This anime is universally loved and will hopefully be a popular choice for many others.

Brittany Vincent has been writing about video games and tech for more than a decade. She has worked for publications such as G4, Popular Science and Variety. When she’s not writing or gaming, she’s collecting retro consoles and tech. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.

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