English Dub Season Review: Scar on the Praeter Season One

Preview (Spoilers below):

In an alternate reality of a world not unlike our own, there has been a rebellion in Tokyo’s special Akatsuki district. Because of this uprising, the city government collapses and the civilians are forced to fend for themselves. Since there is no longer a government presence in the area, it becomes a hotbed of criminal activity.

But just because there aren’t official government agents doesn’t mean people can cause whatever chaos they want. The vigilante superheroes known as Scard work to protect distraction from strangers and unwanted violence. They have special powers granted by their so-called “divine tattoos” – and Yamato Kai is one of them. He got his tattoo from the former Akatsuki hero he nearly died defending.

He teams up with the hero’s friends and together they fight to try and extend the life of the Fallen Hall. But will they be able to use their powers wisely when there are so many shadowy figures out there who want to take power in Akatsuki for themselves?

Our opinion :

Scar on the Praeter isn’t exactly your average anime. Coming from the minds behind Hand Shakers and K, it’s a story of conflict and struggle between generic superheroes with special powers and weird tattoos. In other words, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from Studio GoHands. The general consensus seems to be that this show is actually a small improvement over Hand Shakers, but that still doesn’t mean it’s a good show.

What stands out most about Scar on the Praeter is the animation. (It’s definitely not the characters or the story or the music or the…you know what I mean.) GoHands has become known for this specific look over the last decade or so, and the best way to describe it is that it’s very strong visually: off-putting designs, funky effects and lots of 3D.

While Hand Shakers was derided as one of the worst shows ever animated, I wouldn’t go that far for Scar on the Praeter. In fact, I’ve never been a big critic of that kind of style. I would much rather have a show go big and crazy than just phone it in with bland, forgettable animation. It may not be good, but at least it leaves an impression!

What doesn’t leave an impression is the rest of the show. From the boring story to the bland and forgettable characters, there’s nothing worthwhile. Throughout the series, you will say to yourself, “Why am I wasting my time when there is nothing to invest in?”. The main character does generic things, like heroically sacrificing himself for a guy he just met. Annoyed sidekicks do annoyed sidekick things like complain about their hero being late but still make them breakfast. And all the while, the show adds a lot of awkward twists and competing arrangements that only blur the plot and leave everything feeling too much but also too little at the same time.

The Funimation English dub is usable. There are some solid performances throughout, like Ryan Colt Levy’s upbeat delivery as the lead hero. Where it gets worse is the writing, though that’s probably just a consequence of the original Japanese scripts. It’s the kind of show where the characters say things to cheer each other up like “Show me your fangs!”. Poetry, that’s not it.

Scar on the Praeter can be a fun watch for those who really love urban action anime or those who have a history with some of the studio’s past work. But for the rest of us, Scar on the Praeter is unlikely to leave a lasting mark.