Every now and then it’s good to enjoy a seinen-like show, and back in the 90s there was no shortage of manly men doing manly things and crying manly tears from time to time. While “Weiss Kreuz” (sometimes stylized as Weiß Kreuz) might not be quite as manly as “Hokuto no Ken” or “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, it’s a satisfying watch and here’s why…
So this anime came out in 1998 and is based on the manga of the same name. The manga was actually written by Japanese voice actor (seiyuu) Koyasu Takehito and from here he went on to get it made into an anime and played one of the main characters in the show. Even if you think you don’t know who Koyasu is, chances are you’ve heard him in numerous shows over the years – he’s got a versatile voice than can vary from playing the cute or odd characters (Ryouji ‘Ranka’ Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club) to the cool type (Takahashi Ryosuke from the Initial D series; Luck Gandor from Baccano!) to the downright devious type (Shinsuke Takasugi from Gintama; Dio from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure). The show itself was animated by Magic Bus and while it may seem like a bit of an unknown studio, they were actually heavily involved in making one of my favourite shows – Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
Moving on, Weiss Kreuz is about four guys who run a flower shop (how sweet) but this is actually a cover for their real job – vigilantes that inflict harsh justice on those criminals who manage to escape the law – especially those who feel they are above it because they have power, wealth and influence. If they thought they were going to get away with it, then they were sorely mistaken. Of course, they don’t just decide on these things at random but work together with a man named Persia and a lady named Manx who give them their missions and the necessary information to get the job done. Each of the boys has a weapon of choice, including a thin cable (sort of like fishing line), a retractable claw, darts/arrows and a katana, which they use to cut down the enemy and, in so doing, save others who would have potentially become victims to these peoples’ plots. Each of the guys has their own backstory about how they came to become a part of Weiss and what motivates them to continue with these missions.
So why should you be watching this?
This is actually one of the animes that was big in the 90s, but not because it had amazing animation value or deep philosophical storytelling, but because it featured many of the best seiyuu talents around at the time and was the source of much shipping – before shipping was as big of a thing as it is now. So in terms of just increasing your 90s Japanese pop culture, this is a good show to add to the cause. Bishounens fighting crime? Sounds good to me!
There’s something about angsty guys of the 90s that fits a show of this nature so well. Dark past, stormy present, unsure future and a brooding nature are all a perfect match for a show that has drama in spades. From potential love interests to hidden family secrets and love children etc. these boys are swimming in that drama but rather than it being overdone, it sort of maintains a nice balance as each of the boys deals with their various situations and provides some extra story rather than the whole thing being mission-based.
This is the main driver of the story as the boys take on various missions. This also keeps the show fresh since the capabilities of each of their foes are different so they have to figure out how to tackle their opponent. Admittedly, the action is pretty predictable since they have their weapons of choice, but there are some pretty interesting villains who use some really out there methods to carry out their tyranny.
There are two notable arcs to the show and while it may seem like they’re separate, it’s more like a continuation. I appreciated the fact that they didn’t drag out any one arc for the entirety of the show and while keeping it in the same vein they still managed to switch it up a gear where the guys go up against teams that could easily rival theirs in terms of ability.
For me, music always plays a big part in creating the feel of a show and this anime has some choice pieces here and there that just give it a great feel. The OST has some regular tracks to accompany the action etc. but the theme songs for each of the boys is on point with this Spanish guitar-inspired sound. Additionally, the four seiyuus voicing the characters formed their own unit, released a couple of albums under the name Weiss Kreuz and had some of these tracks featured as the opening, ending and insert songs (unsurprisingly).
Now I wouldn’t say that this anime belongs in the “must see” category of classics but it’s a decent show with good entertainment value. The animation is fair enough and there’s enough of a storyline going on that you don’t feel like the plot is aimless. There’s also the action elements combined with a good dose of drama and angst. While it is rather light on the humour, this does fit the feel of the show since these guys aren’t just off smelling the roses, but are getting their hands dirty and executing people. It’s 25 episodes of solid entertainment with classic villains and dark heroes. It may seem a bit cliché but it works and is something I would recommend you give a watch if you’re in the mood for some light 90s
bishounen seinen action!
Image credits: Magic Bus / Ufotable
End: Weiss Kreuz Anime Review