Sands of Destruction
In a world where the seas are filled with sand, and beasts speak and act as human, humans have found themselves often displaced and repressed by the beastmen. Kyrie was an average guy just trying to get by with his cooking skills until he encounters a girl who heads the World Destruction Committee (with a member count of 1). While Morte is bent on destroying the world, Kyrie isn't sold on the concept but ends up being branded a by association (member count now 2). The two are joined by a beastman named Toppy who becomes a member by accident (count: 3).
Does Morte really want to destroy the world? She says so and even has an orb called the Destruct Code which will do it. Problem being that she doesn't know how to work it. As the orb leads them to more clues about its true nature, perhaps Kyrie can change her heart. If he survives the wrath World Salvation Committee that is.
I wanted to like the story, I wanted to love the characters, but I couldn't find any reason to. I don't hate Sands of Destruction, but I'm at a loss to say much that's good about it because it doesn't to do much.
The unusual characteristics fail to enhance the show in any meaningful way. The oceans are filled with sand, but this sand is interchangeable with water. It contains fish, with ships sailing on it, and there's even a submarine which can submerge into it. Likewise the concept of beastmen could be fulfilled by any attributes that cause humans to be different (hair/skin/fangs). Beastmen don't have any special abilities above what humans can do either. This is unfortunately par for the course with Sands of Destruction: having some good potential but failing to do much with it.
This becomes clear with the stories and characters, but is hard to realize in the beginning. The story starts with an adventure of the week format which I was fine with. Continuing with this formula would have been fine, except at the end it turns out there really is a bigger story and it's not too bad. I wondered why it hadn't spent more time expanding on that in the first place. The characters seem like they'll get developed much farther than they do. They're not unlikable (quite the opposite actually), just shallow considering how much of the story ties into their background. Background development is forced, with key things revealed by a cave which shows past memories - absurdly convenient that it fills in much of the plot. Most of my disappointment stems from the lack of relationships. Does Kyrie like Morte? Does that dragon girl from the World Salvation Committee like Kyrie? Anime tends to overdo this kind of thing by being too blatant, but in this case I found the subtle hints to be more frustrating. Still, the tame approach might be a welcome feature for some.
If you're wondering what in the hell this review is about since it's a bunch of "blah blah blah", I don't know either. I realize that the point of doing them is to give you enough information to decide, but I can't figure out why I'm alright with a show that is so unremarkable. For a tame "adventures of a band of wanderers" story, it's a way to kill time, but I don't think I'd go out of my way to watch Sands of Destruction. Which is too bad because some of the ideas are kind of bad ass. When a girl heads a committee for world destruction, you know she means business.
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