REVIEW: ‘Noblesse’ Episode 4 – “Spiderweb/Long Fall”

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Noblesse Episode 4

Noblesse Episode 4 continues the shows slow ascent back up the momentum mountain by giving some of the antagonists ample screen time. Noblesse is a Crunchyroll Original anime adaptation of the webtoon of the same name from Production I.G. The series focuses on vampire-like creatures called nobles, specifically Raizel, who has awakened after centuries of slumber to discover the human race has progressed a surprising amount. Raizel attends high school under the guidance of his servant, Frankenstein. At least…the show is supposed to be about Raizel and Frankenstein.

M-21 let himself be captured by The Union’s special forces team, DA-5, in order to keep them from discovering Raizel. Regis, at the end of last episode, stubbornly interprets this as him being a traitor. This puts Regis in extreme tsundere mode the rest of the episode. Ideally, it is supposed to be humorous, but instead, it just makes his character obnoxious. Regis communicates mostly through scoffs and brush offs. It makes the audience want to yell at the screen to just communicate and all these problems would easily be solved. Also, no, somehow Regis and Seira still haven’t figured out that Frankenstein and Raizel aren’t human. This didn’t make sense to begin with, but now it really is distracting, considering Regis seems to be able to sense every other non-human in this show. Although Seira seemed comfortable stating that her connection with Regis had been severed in front of Raizel and Frankenstein, so apparently they didn’t need to keep their identities secret?

Speaking of Raizel and Frankenstein, the show seems to have forgotten that they were billed as the main characters. This is the third episode in a row where they’ve been reduced to a couple of comic bits in the living room. Raziel had zero lines in this episode and just sat there with a teacup. It was funny for the first episode and a half, but now he is so incredibly forgettable it makes one wonder why characters are so attached to him. The real star of this episode is M-21. He realizes that the DA-5 doesn’t know he has defected, and he plays both sides’ obliviousness to his advantage in order to protect his friends. M-21 is the character with the most growth and clear motivations by far in this series, reaching all the way back to the OVA.

The DA-5 is a rather eclectic group of individuals. There are the obvious one-note villains like Shark, but others have the chance this episode to be given a little more depth. Hammer seems to be a tactical thinker, so it is regrettable that his character is still marred by fat-phobic tropes. Tao keeps hacking into the police department, not to search for anything, but because he wants to keep interacting with Manabu. The two form a bit of a brotherly kinship this episode that will be really interesting to follow given the cliffhanger. There is also Takio, who is against the torture of M-21. Turns out, he is a part of the special forces team against his will and is searching for his sister. The potential depth here is exciting, although it is a little unfortunate that the two relatively new characters are already a lot more interesting than most of the main cast. Also, it must be said that the one woman, Seira, has so little personality that you forget she is there.

At this point, with Noblesse Episode 4, audiences can get a sense that this is the extent of the animation for the show. The action sequences are just average, and overall the show’s appearance is a step down from the 2016 OVA. The fighting seems unnaturally stiff.

Noblesse Episode 4 pulls a smart move by giving some of the antagonists more depth. M-21 is the star of the show at this point, which is a bit to the writing’s detriment considering Raizel and Frankenstein were billed as the main characters. This is the first cliffhanger to really be gripping enough to pull viewers back next week, so look forward to it.

Noblesse is streaming now exclusively on Crunchyroll.


Noblesse Episode 4 - "Spiderweb/Long Fall"
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

Noblesse Episode 4 pulls a smart move by giving some of the antagonists more depth. M-21 is the star of the show at this point, which is a bit to the writing’s detriment considering Raizel and Frankenstein were billed as the main characters. This is the first cliffhanger to really be gripping enough to pull viewers back next week, so look forward to it.