Rave Master began as a manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima, the same author of Fairy Tail and Edens Zero.
By: Nicole S. Castro on March 17, 2022 at 12:34 PHT
Just in case you're feeling nostalgic for 2000s anime AND in need of an action-packed adventure to escape from the realities of life, well, say no more.
Introducing Rave Master (Alternative title: The Groove Adventure Rave), one of the most well-loved shounen anime from the early 2000s.
And, in a good way, we're not surprised. Rave Master began as a manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima, the same author of two other hit shounen manga/anime: Fairy Tail and Edens Zero!
Just look at the protagonists of each series (Haru Glory, Natsu Dragneel, and Shiki Granbell). You can tell they all have similar vibes of "fiery, passionate shounen manga protagonist with the wild hair and equally wild adventures." All three protagonists are also backed up by a powerful team of friends who help them in tough battles. We love it. It's a signature style.
About Rave Master
Now, back to Rave Master.
As mentioned, Rave Master began as a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from July 21, 1999 to July 10, 2005, and published as 35 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The manga series was licensed for English release in North America by Tokyopop.
Rave Master was adapted into a 51-episode TV anime by Studio Deen, which aired in Japan on TBS from Oct. 13, 2001 until Sept. 28, 2002.
International viewers watched the series via Cartoon Network (Toonami), while fans in the Philippines saw it on local TV when it first aired on Aug. 18, 2003 on the now-defunct Studio 23.
Okay, before we review the plot, sing with us. The video below features the first opening theme, Butterfly Kiss by Chihiro Yonekura (Season 1).
(Seriously, sing with us). Here are the lyrics.
Okay, one more time. Here's the season 2 opening theme, Higher and Higher by Kumoko. This anime has great music and we are compelled to sing! (click here for lyrics).
The series follows protagonist Haru Glory (CV: Tomokazu Seki), a teenager on a quest with the snowman/dog-like creature known as Plue (CV: Yukiji/Akiko Suzuki).
Haru and Plue are out to find the five pieces of the sacred stone Rave in order to save the world and defeat the criminal group Demon Card, who uses evil artifacts called dark brings that are capable of mass destruction. Along the way, Haru and Plue meet an amnesiac girl named Elie (CV: Ayako Kawasumi), who has a strong but unexplained connection to the Rave stones. Elie joins them on their quest to find out who she is.
As the trio continue traveling, they form powerful allies such as the silver-manipulating thief Hamrio Musica (CV: Showtaro Morikubo), the blue blob-like sentinoid and cartographer Griffon Kato (CV: Katsuya Shiga), and the penguin-like sentinoid Ruby (CV: Yukiji/Akiko Suzuki), who is capable of wind magic.
Review: Sentinoids are non-human creatures with human-level intellect. They may resemble humans in terms of appearance or not at all. They can also be artificially created via experiments.
(Can we just say that Rave Master has a lot of adorable, weirdly memorable creatures thanks to these sentinoids?)
Note: As clarification, Plue is not one of the sentinoids but is instead a unique creature who acts as the bearer of the Rave Stone. Aside from being able to detect the Rave stones, Plue is also known for his indestructible horn/nose which Elie often uses as a projectile.
(You may have forgotten the overall plot of Rave Master, but we bet you never forgot about adorable Plue).
In the series Fairy Tail, Plue is revised as Nikora (CV: Saori Goto), a celestial spirit who serves as a pet for Lucy Heartfilia.
Okay, enough Plue. Back to the plot.
So Haru, Plue, Elie, and the rest of their allies continue to travel in search of the Rave stones. Eventually, Elie regains her memories and discovers she is in fact Resha Valentine, the 15-year-old dancing maiden of Symphonia who created the five mystical Rave Stones and faked her death 50 years prior to the main storyline. Elie/Resha wields the power of Etherion, an extremely destructive magic that transcends space and time. She uses the power of Etherion to defeat Endless, a monstrous entity born from negative emotions and the true origin of all dark brings.
Since the anime ended before the original manga, the anime's story stops with Haru having two more Rave stones to find. In the manga, Haru locates all five Rave stones, transforms his sword Ten Commandments into its nine other forms, with the last form being Ravelt, forged especially for him by Galein Musica. At the end of the manga, Haru and Elie marry and have a son named Levin Glory. Levin is the protagonist of the spin-off mini manga Rave 0077: Home Alone with Levin, also by Hiro Mashima.
While there's no shortage of shounen anime with extensive worldbuilding and magical powers, Rave Master proves it's a great series for still being an entertaining show decades later. Go bring back your inner child/teen with this adventure. It's a five stars from us.
Digest by AniradioPlus
NICOLE S. CASTRO
Nicole is based in the Philippines and works as a freelance Japanese Translator/Interpreter and copywriter (English). She is a JLPT N2 passer who watches anime to "study" for N1. She has a long career history on LinkedIn (with primary focus on media and translation), but her anime watchlist is much, much longer.