BornWild • Versus S1V1 Independent Viewer Reviews
“BornWild • Versus” is a series that has its story set in the not so far future, but definitely deals with futuristic themes throughout its many episodes, it offers anything that you would expect a sci-fi story to offer and more.
Speaking of genres, “BornWild • Versus” would be placed in my opinion as a “Sci-Fi Action” story, with a lot of other elements combined with it that give it many subgenres, this helps in the variety of content that one can expect from the many episodes it has; for example: It dives into politics, and is not afraid to have a humoristic tone throughout some of the serious moments.
“BornWild • Versus” also offers a unique art style and take on its story’s presentation, having it done as some sort of animated comic or visual novel, with full-on voice acting for each character, and even includes sound effects and soundtracks.
Briefly put, that’s what “BornWild • Versus” pretty much is, even though my words don’t really do it justice, this should at least help from an idea about what it is you can expect from it while going in.
I’m glad I had a look at this piece of work, and got the chance to review it and speak my honest opinion about it, as it was truly a fun and enjoyable experience overall.
This review would mostly be about “Volume 1” which represents half the first season, and in my opinion, is more than enough to help me put my thoughts about it into words in this review.
2-1-First Impressions :
Going through the many episodes “BornWild • Versus” had to offer was nothing short of a delight, it gave me quite an enjoyable time and got me hooked and invested in it pretty early on, probably sooner than I expected it would
It left quite a few impressions on me which I will be talking about in this section, as this could guide the audience to see if this is something for them or not, and to adjust their expectations accordingly.
Here are some of my first impressions:
-The series’ presentation is definitely unusual when compared to pieces of work of its kind, and in my opinion, that helps in making it stand out that much more.
-The art style can be a hit or miss for many, but when it looks good it really draws you in, no pun intended.
-Having that good of a quality when it comes to voice acting was quite the surprise for me, it was by far what intrigued me the most, and what really got me hooked to the plot and the premise of “BornWild • Versus” very early on.
-The story offered a lot of variety and diversity when it comes to its cast; each character had his own personality that differentiated him from the rest, and no character comes to mind when I try to think of someone that has really caused the plot to be dragged down, on the contrary, characters are what helped carry the plot forward and hold everything together.
-Every Sci-Fi element’s existence in the “BornWild • Versus” was given a logical justification, which writers tend to forget to do sometimes when it comes to this genre, instead they just expect people to chalk it up to the genre itself.
-“BornWild • Versus” has some of the best humor I’ve seen in a while, and the characters play it off perfectly, so, if the objective here is to have fun, you surely will not be disappointed.
2-2-More About The Review:
I will be using this section to further explain some of my first impressions and the overall impact of what I mentioned so far, or let’s just say: “what made it click for me”, this would obviously help anyone interested in the series that’s thinking whether they should pick “BornWild • Versus” up and give it a shot or not, or just for those who want to have a rough idea on what it’s all about.
Let’s start with what I consider to be the strongest and main selling point of the series to me, and that being the characters coupled with the voice acting.
“BornWild • Versus” has an AMAZING cast”
The series really shines in that aspect, its duo lead is charismatic and quite interesting personality-wise, I just kept anticipating what they’re about to do next and their voice actors did a great job at delivering their lines, the humor was there, the sarcasm and snarkiness, it just worked seamlessly and sounded really natural and smooth
Next up, the sound effects and soundtracks which were a very welcome addition. Sure, it’s not always perfect, but it does help with the immersion, it felt like I was watching a fully animated story rather than what it is, a hybrid of a graphic/visual novel with occasional animations.
Because of all of these inclusions, the action was much easier to follow, and as a result, more immersive and fun, and of course, less messy.
I was surprised to see the series having some moderate levels of gore every now and then, but with the art style it has adopted, I don’t really see it as being a turn off for those who are not into that kind of stuff.
“BornWild • Versus” can be STUNNING”
It’s true, the 3D-Rendered art style it uses may not be for everyone, but you can’t argue that when it looks good, it really shows what it can be and how much potential it has. All of that coupled with my favorite detail which was how dialogue is handled sometimes, by having a background on the screen, a character with his details shown, and a bar that indicates the vocals, sounds and volume, just like what you would expect from a Visual Novel game, and you got yourself quite an immersive experience.
“BornWild • Versus” does a lot of things right, and only a few things in it would be subject to nitpicking, it’s an enjoyable professional piece of work that I would have no problem revisiting every now and then whatsoever.
The characters were far from boring with each and every line, especially the iconic Duo who are definitely the ones stealing the spotlight from what I got to see, I would honestly think that I can never get enough of “BornWild • Versus” when it comes to the voice acting, the actors really went above and beyond to deliver such high quality content to go with the story, and it definitely was what helped build up the immersion for this world and plot.
Although I failed to talk more about the Sci-Fi elements it had in detail, I can say that “Superpowers” and “Abilities” do make an appearance, and they’re even justified in a Sci-Fi manner as well, which usually is something that Sci-Fi writers sometimes tend to overlook and just expect their audience to chalk it up to the genre itself.
In short, I would definitely recommend giving “BornWild • Versus” a shot, I don’t honestly see how you can go wrong with this one, it’s simply just “Fun” that’s waiting to be had, and what’s better is that it’s consistently fun.
Axel-Guillaume Eloa’s “BornWild • Versus” is an animated webcomic that includes a unique art style, powerful voice-acting, and a multitude of action. From the diverse set of lovable characters to the beautiful animation that comes to life during fighting scenes, this webcomic has it all. From the very first episode, viewers are launched into a sci-fi world in which international tensions are high and stability is low. Our protagonists, Alexander “Dragon” Drayzaii and Lushian “Weed” Nicolier, work for the Common Army of Europe (UNECA) in an attempt to help maintain the peace.
Upon watching the series for the first time, viewers are immediately immersed into the year of 2053 where natural resources fundamental to human life have grown scarce. This has led to the frequent warring between nations and the development of corrupt organizations which work only to serve themselves. However, Dragon and Weed, with their remarkable talents in combat due to their prior work with the military and “Professional Assassins” institution, work to stop such groups.
Although there are a large number of characters we meet throughout the series, “BornWild • Versus” contains four main characters. Alexander “Dragon” Drayzai and Lushian “Weed” Nicolier, as previously discussed, both have considerable training in combat and embark on dangerous missions for UNECA. Dragon is a frequent flirt who is disliked by many for his antics and slothfulness. In contrast, Weed is very thorough in his work with a crisp, cool appearance and masterful control over his image. Another significant character in the webcomic is Amanda Hidejiro who comes from a line of brilliant scientists who were well-respected by all. Specifically, her grandfather is one of the most famous figures in the realm of biotechnology. Finally, Selena “Lucibel” Denarg is an outspoken, ill-tempered woman who is far more likeable than one would expect.
Each character brings a unique quality to the webcomic series which together make it so entertaining. While the more composed characters like Weed are crucial to the storyline, it is also fun that less organized and more hectic characters like Dragon and Lucibel are included. They keep the otherwise somber and dark story more manageable with an apt amount of comic relief.
The art and animation within “BornWild • Versus” lay the foundation for the series. Unlike most comics nowadays, each character is easily distinguishable and possesses a specific style that greatly complements his or her personality. For instance, Dragon’s laziness becomes apparent from the moment we first see him with his arms behind his head as if he is sitting on a recliner watching television. Furthermore, the differences in attire between characters tend to reveal even more information about them.
In addition to character design, the dynamic backgrounds and vehicles in each scene create a very aesthetic and pleasurable experience for viewers. From the first few moments of the webcomic, the beauty of the animation is demonstrated in an intense battle between two nations in which a helicopter is gunned down by a tank and two armored soldiers. This is the primary aspect of “BornWild • Versus” that sets it apart from other webcomic series.
In addition to the beautiful art and animation, the foley artists also did a tremendous job in setting the tone of each scene. Sound design is the most neglected area of webcomics as producers choose instead to focus on the voice-acting and visuals. Although both of these elements mentioned are also important, the sound effects in webcomics are critical in immersing viewers in the fantasy world. The foley work in “BornWild • Versus” was some of the most realistic I have ever heard. Ultimately, between the lovable characters, incredible sound design, and beautiful artwork, this webcomic series provides a top quality experience for all of its viewers.
s y n o p s i s
Set on Earth in the year 2053, a fragile peace is maintained by international alliances after decades of war, with nations having clashed due to the growing scarcity of resources. BornWild･Versus follows the adventures of two Common Army of Europe (UNECA) soldiers, Alexander “Dragon” Drayzaai and Lushian “Weed” Nicolier, who are renowned for their special capabilities and high mission success rates.
During the events of Volume 1 (the first half of Season 1), Dragon and Weed are sent on a dangerous mission by their superiors to recover several kidnapped scientists. Along their journey, they battle through several obstacles in order to slowly uncover the truth behind the scientists’ kidnapping. Upon reaching the end of their qualms, they discover an ancient and shadowy syndicate simply named The Organisation that plan on recruiting them for their goal of sustaining humanity’s survival. The final episode promptly sets the stage for the events of Volume 2 (the second half of Season 1) with The Organisation promising them a continued pursuit against their old foe, the White Mask, whose affiliations pose a threat to them and most importantly…humanity.
p l o t / s t o r y
The story of BornWild･Versus, whilst not particularly innovative in its setting, is well constructed – constantly holding the viewer in suspense with every episode. Much of the latter half of the volume has striking cliff-hangers that leaves the viewers wanting to discover and learn more. So far, the sexual content of BornWild･Versus is an aspect of the series which I found to be largely unnecessary however, and it unfortunately detracts somewhat from the essence of the plot.
Much of the suspense lies with Dragon and Weed’s unknown history and special capabilities, which is steadily revealed to the viewer with every episode. Unfamiliar terms such as “suggestive”, “mind anchors”, and “GenTech” (among others) are explained to the audience through a well-placed combination of either expositional text at the top of the screen, dialogue, or shown by use of imagery of which the viewer can deduce.
Their unresolved conflict with the White Mask is undoubtedly one of the more interesting aspects that will keep the viewer invested in the second half of Season 1, though this could have been aided more by a view of the story from the White Mask’s perspective – perhaps to show how their actions will threaten Dragon and Weed in the future.
Plot/Story Rating: 7/10
a r t / a n i m a t i o n
Not much can be said for BornWild･Versus in terms of animation, considering it is a picture series – a digital graphic novel, if you will. Focus is entirely on the art style of the series.
Though rather generic and seldom reaching exceptionalism, what BornWild･Versus does get right is a constant, gradual climb in quality. Everything from lighting, shadowing, and posing of character models, textures of furniture, buildings, etc. steadily improve, making for a more satisfying viewing experience. Some of my favourite panels (the latter six taken entirely from Episode 5) are shown above.
The posing of character models present the most dynamics during fight scenes (helped in part by the blurring of limbs to present fast movement), though they still appear as rather stiff and rigid for the most part – something I hope to see improve with later volumes/seasons.
Art/Animation Rating: 6/10
c h a r a c t e r s
Lushian “Weed” Nicolier is a thoroughly enjoyable character from start to end, largely in thanks to the fantastic voice acting by Matthew Koser. Weed is largely characterised by his cool wit, wry humour, and sharp intellect in the midst of his work. A professional badass, some might say.
Whilst Alexander “Dragon” Drayzaai easily falls into the professional badass category alike to his partner, his personality is far more questionable on the likable front. A cheeky and flirtatious individual, Dragon constantly tests the patience of those around him, though his competence on the battlefield affirms to the viewer on whether his story is worth following.
Dragon and Weed’s relationship is easily one of the more striking parts of BornWild･Versus. In spite of their clashing personalities, they work extraordinarily well as a team and follow each other’s directives without hesitancy – though not without the odd (but entertaining) case of sarcastic banter. The lively combination of chatter and action certainly makes for enjoyable fight scenes.
The dialogue of BornWild･Versus is highly consistent with its characters, and is one of the more gratifying aspects of this series. Characters and their personalities are clearly defined with every line spoken, and is generally well-delivered by their respective voice actors on practically all fronts, main characters and background characters alike.
Characters Rating: 7/10
a u d i o / s o u n d t r a c k
BornWild･Versus enjoys a thrilling cyber-electronic soundtrack, much befitting the setting of the series it belongs to. Narration from the very first scene in Episode 0 was complemented by a beguiling trap and bass-heavy track, as were many of the action scenes. If there’s anything to critique when it comes to the soundtrack of BornWild･Versus, it’s that I want to hear much more.
The sound design overall is generally well done, and (alike to the art/animation) seems to improve gradually as the volume goes on. Earlier episodes suffered mostly from awkward spaces of silence between lines or scenes and clumsy audio layering, though this was dramatically improved from Episode 2 onwards. The silence was replaced with appropriate background noise – such as the whirring of air conditioning units, footsteps and chattering of people, rustling of trees, and wind in the air – and voices from our focus characters were no longer hopelessly drowned out by gunfire. These improvements made for a far more dynamic scene that the viewer could easily get immersed into.
Audio/Soundtrack Rating: 8/10
c o n c l u s i o n
From a first glance, BornWild･Versus is hardly a revolutionary piece of storytelling…but the charm is that it doesn’t have to be. What BornWild･Versus does, it does competently – a sign that it has the backing of a team that cares greatly for its outcome. A great story, in my opinion, is carried 70% of the way by the writing alone, and BornWild･Versus fortunately has this on their portfolio.
Almost all of our main characters, however, are largely one-dimensional in personality. This is mostly in part to the fact this is merely the first volume out of many; I hope to see these characters develop and grow. One thing is quite certain, and it’s that BornWild･Versus has captured a new viewer who is excited to see how this story might progress.
Overall Rating of BornWild･Versus Season 1: Volume 1 7/10
BornWild Versus is an adult audio-picture series that takes place in the distant future, where we follow the adventures of two soldiers (Weed and Dragon) who get tangled up with a mysterious and powerful secret organisation where war and the advancement of science and technology are the centre of focus for many people.
The story plays out as if you are playing a visual novel, minus the ability of choosing a route and a self-insert MC. This is a welcoming experience for those who do not want to spend countless hours choosing the perfect route and can instead just kick back, relax, and enjoy the story play out on its own. I like the concept of an audio-picture series as it is new and hasn’t been done widely in the market at the moment. To see a company taking up the challenge to bring this concept to life is applaudable and I believe much improvement can be made to bring it to its fullest potential.
The first 9 episodes were basically set up in order for the bigger plot or conspiracy to take place after a cliffhanger that was seen on episode 8. The first 9 episodes were an introduction to how the world that our two protagonists live in functions, other cast members, and the main plot points that will be focused on moving forward.
When I first read that this would be an audio-picture series, I thought the story would be drawn out like a comic with voice acting and some music playing. I was a bit surprised that it had used a lot of 3D elements to make its characters and scenes. It wasn’t what I was expecting. It uses simple character design while giving the main and supporting characters distinct physical characteristics to be able to differentiate one from the other.
The setting and background are also minimalist, but it is not an empty field as props and the environment are designed to fit the scene that the characters are in. As this is a sci-fi series, thought was put into including technological advancement and equipment that make up the premise which is an element I appreciate.
What was impressive was that the voice acting was very decent. I could hear the characters’ emotions and personality, therefore, props should be given to the voice actors for making an effort to portray their characters. However, there were a couple instances where I could not understand a character due to their heavy accent. The use of background music and sound effects were not consistent throughout the series and this made some scenes feel a bit hollow and draggy.
From here onwards, this review will be separated into a few categories which are plot, characters, visual, sounds, and recommendation:
As a sci-fi series, it is expected that there will be a lot of new jargon thrown around in the series in order to make the story more interesting. But in order to make it work, explanations are needed for the audience to understand it properly. In this series, terms such as ‘Shield’, ‘Initiated’, and ‘Suggestion’ are often used, and while there was a heads-up display to explain the meaning behind those terms when it was first introduced, it was tiny and it almost blended in with the background. Viewers may miss it or may not pay heed to whatever was written.
When it comes to the pacing, it can be a bit draggy from time to time, especially in certain scenes involving characters having a conversation and certain fight scenes. There were moments in the series where there were no background music or sound effects to accompany these scenes, which caused the scenes to be dull.
There were times when characters were not doing anything or were doing something to move the plot along but I did not understand as an audience as only pictures were shown. Despite this drawback, it was sparse and in-between which helped to not confuse the audience from the main plot at hand.
There are many diverse characters in the series where their personality fits the sci-fi war situation and aren’t over-the-top. All of the characters have a purpose in this series which is a plus point because through their interactions with the main characters (Weed and Dragon), it allows the story to progress smoothly.
There are characters that didn’t make a long appearance but were introduced in the story and they seem to hold importance as they have a relationship with the main characters. Hopefully we will get to see them more often and understand their relevance to the story such as the Lieutenant General in the beginning who sent Weed and Dragon on their mission.
There were times when a scene was supposed to be funny, and the delivery by the voice actors were good enough to convey the joke. However, due to the lack of facial expression, and the unsatisfactory execution of the scene be it from pictures or music/sound, it almost fell flat.
As much as I appreciated the amount of effort put into the series in order to make it visually stunning, there were certain elements missing, mainly their facial expression when characters conversed. Most of the cast of characters lacked facial emotion and the only way you can see and feel their emotion is through their voice. In addition to that, some of the characters are poorly designed during certain scenes and this translates into the character not looking realistic and a bit janky.
In this series, there were a lot of times where during conversations between characters, their avatars would appear and the transitions between the characters seemed a bit too fast and unnecessary. It would have been preferable if the avatars appeared side by side when they were conversing.
Not only that, the constant and long use of black transition (fade-in/fade-out) between scenes is monotonous and feels unnecessary. Perhaps a change in the method of transition or shortening the scene where it feels unexciting would be ideal to allow a quicker progression through the story.
Overall, it is good that filler and background sound were included in the series to contribute to the atmospheric feeling of the scene. I like the use of electronic battle music during fight scenes as it helped me get hype and give me a sense of action despite the scenes being mostly shown in pictures.
Improvements can still be made to how it is applied as there were times where music or sound effects could be added or should be adjusted. As mentioned before, during long periods of character conversations, it would be nice to sometimes have some background sound or music to make the scene feel less empty and make it more interesting to hold the audience’s attention.
The use of background music was inconsistent as some scenes would have background music while some don’t. Scenes where it would be better to have music do not have them. During some fight or chase scenes, there would only be sound effects (example, shooting guns) and no music, which makes the scene feel too dragged out and more importantly, there is no tension during those fight scenes.
The same applies to sound effects as there would be no sound effects for a certain event, but the same sound effect needed is present in another scene. For example, there was no filler of running sounds in episode 0 after the helicopter explosion but it was present later on in the episode.
For the voice acting, it was hard to make out a few of the supporting/minor characters’ dialogue due to their thick accent and the loudness of the background music drowns out the character’s conversation.
To make it a better experience, it is recommended to include subtitles as there were times I could not understand what the characters were saying due to their accent/audio quality/background sound was too loud. To improve visual appeal, maybe you could use comic text boxes next to the character that talks.
Bornwild.versus is an audio picture series or visual novel series to be precise that is rated for 17+ audience. It is being produced by OG-ZONE. It has a somewhat stop motion style animation that is similar to the anime “the way of the house husband”. The short briefing of the story is the world that our protagonists are living in is in the distant future where humans have overpopulated earth to such a capacity that there is shortage of food, water and survival minerals. Some have gone on a journey to space to look for a better place and some have stayed behind on earth. Those who stayed behind went to war for their survival. Some nations lost the war but some rose and as a peace treaty agreed on an alliance but when it comes to extinction of your country, alliances are broken and people get backstabbed. Today the countries are living in somewhat of a peaceful manner and that’s where our story begins.
Bornwild.versus has a unique visual style. Unique as in it does not work half the times. They have the story down. The plot is really good but there are still plot holes that need to be filled and I hope they do that. Back to the point the visual to me is slow and clunky. When I was watching the series, I felt like there are pauses on some parts where it should not be and that extra 1-2 second pause was making the story progress slower. That was making the action seem rather boring. If you wish to watch Bornwild.versus, you would have to have a specific mindset that I am here for the story and not the visuals as even though OG-ZONE are doing there best, the visuals are still not there yet and the animations seem clunky. I am sure as the series progresses the visual will get better.
Now, once I got used to the visual, I was fully hooked to the show’s storyline. Our main protagonists are Lushian Nicolier AKA Weed and Alexander Drayzaai AKA Dragon. Both raised in this chaotic world and childhood friends work for the UNECA. Think of the UNECA as a super military organization. They are presented as the best of the best and they are the one’s selected to do this impossible mission. As of now in the series they go to the mission kill some enemies and save some people that’s the small hint of it.
If I had to rate Bornwild.versus out of ten I would say it’s a 6/10 for me. The clunky visuals and random pauses really ruined some experience for me.
If you wish to see this series for yourself I would advice you not to read any further and go watch the show because SPOILER ALERT!!! We are going to dive into the series now. You have been warned.
Now on ep0 we are introduced to our protagonists and I felt like we as the viewers needed a little more description about both Weed and Dragon. In my view if we knew a bit more about them, we could have established a connection to the main characters and that could have helped the viewers dive into the plot better. We are also introduced about the world rules or how this world works that set the stage for the story to begin. Well, Weed and Dragon are given a mission and they leave for the mission that’s how ep0 or prologue ends. Let’s move on.
On ep1 they go to the mission and during the mission they meet our 3rd major character Amanda Hidejiro. Now Amanda during the course of ep2,3,4 has a lot of plot holes in her storyline. She knows something about what’s happening but she won’t tell them. Even though they save her and Dragon is seriously injured Amanda won’t help our two main characters save her by giving them the information. That gives us the viewers a sense of how important that information could be. We also get a hint of what the information might be about when she injects Dragon and it heals his wounds. She might be working on a healing serum that fastens the healing process. But the truth is still yet to unfold. I am eager to know in which direction the story would go. They rescue Amanda and transport her back safely.
On ep5 They transport Amanda to her organization. There the story unfolds as our main characters are being harshly interrogated and checked if they know anything about the project that the organization is working on. The story shifts when our protagonists need to escape the organization to save themselves. This escape ark continues towards ep6,7 and 8 where they meet Enrique. Enrique is still somewhat of a character whose true nature is shown though we know he works for the organization. Finally, on ep8 we meet a new character and potentially a main character named Selena Denarg AKA Lucibel. She is shown briefly and she fights our protagonists. That’s where the story is at the moment.
Now my thoughts on the series are that, the series has potential. It has a unique story and a unique way of showing that story to the viewer. The production house is not utilizing the unique art style to its advantage and that’s the reason the series looks kinda bad. With badass characters like Weed AKA Silver fox like how many code names does this guy need, Weed is still somewhat of an unknown character. On the other hand, Dragon raises lots of questions like why does he not have a shield? Or why is he so strong? Who is Dragon? I assume you OG-ZONE will answer all these questions in the future and that’s when the series will start to make more sense. Its still a new show and its underrated. So I can see not many people being attracted to it. But if you’re a fan of visual novels and a good story then Bornwild.Versus might be for you.