07-Ghost is a josei battle anime that I dropped years ago, but decided to revisit for a challenge for AniList. It is, for a variety of reasons, not great. As a disclaimer, I am unfamiliar with the manga that it’s based on, which has been licensed for the US release.

My underlying frustration with 07-Ghost as an anime is based around how badly the work handles its world-building. It’s as if the setting was designed with the mindset of quantity of world-building instead of quality, with the quantity that we get being slap-dash, but just convoluted enough to make explaining the story kind of hard.

By way of an attempted explanation – 07-Ghost follows Teito Klein. He is one of the last survivors of a nation called the Raggs Kingdom. The country and its people had been exterminated as an act of genocide by one of their neighbors, the Bardburg Empire, with Teito being the heir to the throne. Teito, an amnesiac at the start of the series, is attending the Barsburg empire’s military academy due to his ability to use Zaiphon, this world’s form of magic.

The day before his graduation exam, Teito regains enough of his memory to know that a high ranking government official, Chief of Staff Ayanami, killed Teito’s father. Teito tries to kill Ayanami, fails and flees. In his flight, he is badly wounded and ends up at a nearby temple complex. There, he starts studying to be a battle priest, while slowly learning that seven of the church’s priests have the powers of the titular 07-Ghosts.

And that’s where things go off the rails in a frustrating manner. For example, the Titular Ghosts, who are a variety of angels or demi-gods with a variety of portfolios, including love and relationships, all look like the classical interpretation of the grim reaper – long flowing black robes, big scythe, skull for a head.

However, their role in the setting doesn’t fit with that image. Each part of the image of the Grim Reaper symbolically represents something – the scythe represents the harvesting of lives or souls in death, with the skull itself representing death, and the flowing robes being somewhat representative of a funeral shroud. None of that applies to the titular Ghosts.

The titular 7 Ghosts.
You pray to one of these guys to fall in love.

Similarly, the landscape of the setting also makes little sense, with the land outside the temple grounds seemingly a desert wasteland not because of any narrative reason, but because it’s easier to draw.

The characterization is also incredibly spotty – with the characters (particularly the priests who possess the power of the Ghosts), having character traits that have less to do with the beings from which they draw their power, their location in the setting, or the general story, and more based around what would make for better 4-Koma omake pages or doujinshi.

Just skip this show.

That said, in case you do decide to watch it, it is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Amazon Prime. It has also received physical releases that are available through Amazon and RightStuf. Buying anything through those links helps to support the site.

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