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Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「天鏡のアルデラミン」 (Tenkyou no Alderamin) by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets

「嵐の邂逅」 (Arashi no Kaikou)
“A Stormy Encounter”

I love a good fantasy, whether it be books or live-action or anime – I love something otherworldly, yet with clear inspirations and connections to our reality. Political fantasies are my ultimate favourite, but I’m content with a good war-torn story as well. That’s the kind of show I expect out of Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin, even if it’s originally a light novel and they don’t tend to produce the best results (though there are always the welcomed exceptions). I went into this looking for something that could get me excited about the world these characters inhabit, and part of me is excited to see what awaits – but not thanks to what was presented in this episode. For the most part, I was rather disappointed with how we were introduced to our main characters. In fact, the parts that intrigued me most were the scenic shots, the mentions of political warfare going on in the background, the details of the enemy warships. Everything else felt like a poorly produced first draft that should have been re-written and heavily edited upon second reading.

Having all the important characters come together on a voyage to take a military exam should make for an interesting scenario, but it falls flat when we actually meet the characters. While some have complained about their designs, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them; perhaps they can be a little stiff at times, but I’m much more worried about their personalities than their appearances. I’ll start off with Sorouku Ikta (Okamoto Nobuhiko) who has achieved the remarkable feat of making me thoroughly dislike every part of his character. I can’t decide what annoys me more: the sexual harassment when he’s around the opposite sex or the fact that he’s such an epic badass who knows what he’s doing all the time and everyone else is dumb in comparison. Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but this episode made it seem like he’s going to sit on his golden throne and prove why he’s the best at every oppertunity, and I’m not here for that sort of lead character, even if the world and ongoing war intrigue me. I’m sure most people will like a main character with attitude like him, but I felt myself becoming more annoyed by him with each passing scene.

In comparison, Isgem Yatrisino (Taneda Risa) was much more reserved, even if she is your typical red-haired anime chick with a sword. We don’t learn much about her in this premiere, but I prefer that mysterious air to arrogance and annoyance. She’s probably one of my favourites of the group, with the Princess of the Katjvarna Empire, Chamille Kitora Katjvanmaninik (Minase Inori), landing the top spot. Her being my early favourite is not because she’s a blond-haired loli with attitude, but because I love narratives that focus on princesses trapped in awful situations, whether it be on the battlefield or fighting a war with their own words. She’s presented as childish – as she should be – but she is also aware of her situation and clearly has an agenda of her own since she snuck onto the ship in the first place. Other than that, the other three characters fall into their respective archetypes: the soft-spoken medic, the pretty boy, and the (not funny in the slightest) comic relief sidekick. Perhaps they will make a lasting impression in future episodes, but for now they didn’t really stick out to me.

I don’t want to make it seem like I hated this episode, because I didn’t. In fact, I’m sure I will keep watching this if only to see how the military warfare will pan out, especially since they’re starting out in enemy territory. What’s disappointing to me is that most of the characters haven’t made a positive impression in this opener. Perhaps this could have done with a two-part premiere like Re:Zero or Rewrite, but not every title has such luxury. I suspect Alderamin will both entertain and annoy me, but I’m willing to put up with that if it manages to deliver a worthwhile fantasy show at the end of it all. We’re so used to “alternate world” fantasies that something straightforward and traditional like this feels like a rarity, and I do hope it proves itself better than its many alternate world counterparts.

July 10, 2016 at 5:25 pm
23 comments »
  • July 10, 2016 at 5:50 pmLarcek

    even though already visible on the summer preview before, i just can’t seem to like the art style of the anime, having read the mange before. Show Spoiler ▼

    still, i’ll stay for the story.

  • July 10, 2016 at 8:21 pmThe Walker

    I happened to really like the characters and character design of the anime thus far. It reminds me of a fusion of Legend of the Legendary Heroes and Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta. Although Koiuta really started to fall apart after a while, I like both of those shows and hope that this series only continues to get better.

  • July 10, 2016 at 8:53 pmzztop

    LN readers say the story’s focus is on military strategy and warefare, which should come into play soon.

    • July 10, 2016 at 9:06 pmdaikama

      @zztop: There’s not a lot translated (effectively 2 volumes), but even with just that much, can easily confirm military tactics/strategy are a big part of the story.

  • July 10, 2016 at 9:02 pmDarthtabby

    Yeah, the first episode didn’t leave me with a great impression of the characters either. Lecherous male lead, serious warrior girl, useless guy, ditzy medic, lackadaisical pretty boy, loli princess. Hopefully they’ll improve. I do find the setting with its combination of magic and technology appealing.

  • July 10, 2016 at 9:04 pmdaikama

    Rushed. That’s the foremost impression I have with this – rushed. Had no clue about this series until mentioned in summer previews, but the short story is I got bored/curious and ended up reading the manga… which I thought was the source. It’s not, but I liked it enough to then read the LN to extent translated. Personally, I like this series and plan to follow it. It’s seinen, which I like, and the bulk of the cast young adults (18+) and even some adults (Hime – 12, is a notable exception). There’s also the war setting, and a lot of emphasis on tactics. The story does go beyond just war, but don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll leave it at that.

    Back to the anime. We covered about 1/3 of vol. 01, but IMO this isn’t a highly compressible story. Yeah, some of it can be trimmed down, but not as much as the anime did without negative effects. I’ll put it this way. I very well may still have this on a “3 Episode Rule” and be somewhat intrigued, but I don’t think I’d like the series to the same degree if I hadn’t read the LN (and/or manga) first. Ep. 01 was not an impressive start, and I do agree with Samu that a double episode/slower, more inclusive pace would have helped things. FYI – IMO the manga does a pretty good job with adaptation. I’d rank as follows LN > Manga > Anime at this point.

    Honestly, I don’t think that ranking will change by the time the anime finishes, Been there done that with rushed adaptations, and 3 episodes per LN volume (if correct) is too fast. NOT saying this will be a bad anime. NO reason for those who liked Ep. 01 to stop watching. I just have some reservations here based upon past experience. Hopefully, I’ll be proven wrong. Along with the pacing, there was one anime change “for reasons” which I thought was bad and irked me (manga followed LN so why the change is beyond me), but for the most part what was kept was OK IMO.

    As for the main characters, there’s not a ton of depth right off the bat (though again anime short-changed what was there), but there is some added as the story progresses. For example, IMO there’s more to Matthew than just “comic relief” butt monkey. Yeah, he does play that at times, but there’s more to his character (including purpose in the story) beyond that. I’m hoping he comes into his own as the story progresses. There are hints of that in vol. 02 (TL ends with beginning of vol. 03 right now).

    Samu makes a good point when he mentions “by comparison” with Ikta. It’s not that any of them are idiots or incompetent at their jobs (albeit some are more elite/smart than others), but the rest of the main cast simply is not as smart/knowledgeable as Ikta. He’s a genius – that’s his “thing”. As for the character designs, well, it’s not Berserk levels thankfully, but while I don’t think the manga & LN designs are great, probably rank the anime’s a bit lower. :/ Good enough I guess, but a missed chance to upgrade IMO.

    TL:DR = LN reader so I’m in. OK start, but could have been better if not so rushed, and I’m a bit worried about potential adaptation woes going forward.

    • July 10, 2016 at 11:03 pmAnon

      >Back to the anime. We covered about 1/3 of vol. 01

      No, it’s only 56 pages of volume 1, the first chapter is too long for the anime, it’s a understable rush.
      Also Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 10, 2016 at 11:09 pmAnon

        Forget to say vol.1 have 344 pages, so first episode covered 1/6, not 1/3.

      • July 10, 2016 at 11:24 pmdaikama

        @Anon: I went by the English TL I have and it worked out to 30% by page count (so between 1/4 & 1/3, but closer to 1/3) covered in Ep. 01 -> thus “about 1/3″ as I wrote. As for pacing, like I said it’s a “guesstimate” on my part. Could be right, could be wrong, but hopefully I am wrong because I’d rather have 4 eps/LN volume than 3 ep/LN volume pacing.

        As for “understandable”, maybe they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do a “double length” intro as Samu suggested, but is what is is. Rushed is rushed, and IMO they cut too much from the introduction.

      • July 10, 2016 at 11:47 pmAnon

        Then there is something wrong with your english TL.

        And it is **at least** 4 episodes for volume 1, the future episode title speaks for all, you don’t have to guess.

      • July 11, 2016 at 1:07 amdaikama

        @Anon: OK, I went back and checked (again using English TL). Ep. 01 skipped the prologue, covered chapter 1, “The Empire at Twilight”, and got part way into chapter 2, “All Quiet on the Eastern Front”. By page count and word count from start to finish (including prologue and epilogue), that’s slightly over 28% into volume 01. Remove the prologue & epilogue (though IMO the skipped prologue does count), then by both it’s slightly over 26%. Fair enough – closer to 1/4 through than 1/3 if you want.

        However, saying “1/6 covered” is also inaccurate IMO. Going by volume sections alone isn’t an accurate representation when those sections are not equal in length. Yes, 6 sections – prologue, 4 chapters & epilogue, but obviously the prologue and epilogue are much shorter than chapters. If I read the prologue & epilogue only, that’s not the same as reading 1/3 of the LN.

        Furthermore, Ep. 01 DID get into chapter 2. Chapter 1 was “covered” in the first 13 minutes of Ep. 01 – really 11 total minutes (give or take a few seconds) because I don’t what that first 20 second or so of intro are from (anime only?), and then we go into the OP (which could have been skipped like some shows do). Chapter 2 material starts with Hime regaining consciousness in the cave (right about 13 min. mark).

        Looking at this again, I agree that volume 01 pacing is likely to be 4 episodes, perhaps 5 since according to one site this is a 13 episodes run (I initially thought it was 12 episodes). So my mistake there. 5 episodes would be good because volume 01 is pretty long. Then again, have to wonder why they couldn’t have included more of chapter 1 if they do take 5 episodes for volume 01. At any rate, 4 or 5 episodes is better than 3, and I this cour covers 3 rather than 4 LN volumes.

        However, I stand by my comment that Ep. 01 was rushed and that they detrimentally cut too much out of it. Maybe they do some back-filling later. Hopefully that’s the case along with being more inclusive in general going forward. Hopefully. Sorry, I’ve been burned too many times by adaptations which end up cutting/compressing source material too much so I remain leery at this point. Only 1 episode, but not a strong start. Again, I hope I’m wrong in this case because I certainly would like a good adaptation of this series.

      • July 11, 2016 at 1:12 amdaikama

        Bah, clicked “submit” instead of preview. Last line, 4th paragraph in above post should read – “At any rate, 4 or 5 episodes is better than 3, and I hope this cour covers 3 rather than 4 LN volumes.”

  • July 10, 2016 at 9:44 pmPancakes

    I’m surprised few have noticed how similar in premise this is to Legend of the Legendary Heroes, especially regarding Ikta. LotLH’s Ryner was slothful, a commoner, a womanizer (IIRC), possessed a powerful ability, and only joined the military to get a decent job. Ikta is all of the same things, except replace uber magic eyes with supposedly tactical brilliance. I will laugh if Ikta also ends up in prison at some point.

    Alderamin has my curiosity currently, but nothing I’ve seen so far screams uniquely interesting. Will probably start to get a better idea once some actual fighting commences however. Also I cannot help but think Matthew’s voice does not fit his appearance at all.

    • July 10, 2016 at 10:10 pmdaikama

      @Pancakes: I watched Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu (LoLH), but honestly having read the LN for this, it never struck me as “LoLH v2″. Don’t think this is a spoiler – for one thing, if your expecting a lot of magic/spell slinging in this, up to what I’ve read you’ll be disappointed. This doesn’t seem to be a magic heavy series as far as I can tell. Got chibi spirits, but that’s about it. Only read two volumes though so subject to change.

      But yeah, there are some common aspects I suppose – including Ikta & Ryner (don’t recall Ryner being much of a womanizer). You can find similarities between characters in a lot of series/shows. I mean, wasn’t there like 3 LN magic + HS shows a couple seasons ago with all three having red-head tsundere FL – two of which were princesses.

    • July 10, 2016 at 10:38 pmPancakes

      Personally for me the similarity comes almost exclusively from Ikta and how close he is to Ryner trait-wise. It’s one thing to employ the same archetypes (i.e. tsundere), another to have arguably fleshed out characters with the same traits. This isn’t to take away from Alderamin, however, it’s more tongue in cheek musings on my part regarding the characters :P

      Based on this episode I’m not expecting lots of magic or a heavy focus on grand strategy/end of the world prophecies here, something more akin to the general plot of a series like Argevollen.

      • July 10, 2016 at 10:50 pmMagewolf

        The first comparison I thought of was to The Irresponsible Captain Tylor. Of course Ikta does not seem as well meaning and pleasant as Tylor.

      • July 10, 2016 at 10:54 pmdaikama

        @Pancakes: Eh, IDK. I mean “lazy” is a trait just like tsundere IMO. Honestly, those two FL characters were pretty darn similar IMO (and both like other FL who came before them), but probably not worth exploring this further since it’s a minor point.

        As for Argevollen comparison, sort of – particularly in the beginning though I would not rule out grand strategy. JMO and all, but the series (hopefully anime as well) is better than Argevollen though admittedly I do not have a high opinion of Argevollen.

  • July 10, 2016 at 11:22 pmTed

    Ikta = Yang wenli ?

    Will this be similar to legend of galactic hero?

    • July 11, 2016 at 9:48 amEnan84

      I would love if this show would be similar to legend of galactic hero.

  • July 11, 2016 at 9:45 amEnan84

    I was very satisfied with this episode and a bit exited for the show. While the character design was decent enough for me I think the rest of the animation is really pretty. Actually I liked the characters: Ikta and Yatrisino seem to be competent and strong-willed. The former leaning to the egoistical side of strong-willed. With so few room for exposition you have to expect the characters to be archetypical. I hope the gain more depth as the story goes on. What worries me a bit it that the exposition feet often heavy-handed and forced. (“Look! A character trait, see? SEE?”)

  • July 11, 2016 at 2:01 pmBamboo Blade Cat

    I wasn’t even going to watch this, the blurb didn’t seem all that interesting and the art didn’t interest me, but I gave it watch any way, and I was pleasantly surprised!

    • July 11, 2016 at 2:39 pmKhalid

      Same here, I don’t even remember seeing this show in the summer preview, decided to check it out of pure curiosity and ended up hooked. Surely not the most striking premiere but the setting is interesting and I want to see how MC is going to become a relevant player in the war game.

      • July 11, 2016 at 10:39 pmBamboo Blade Cat

        I’ve been finding a lot of the highly to moderately anticipated anime only gets that rating because it’s got a good pedigree as opposed to actually being good, at least in the case of the fantasy/sci-fi/action stuff. The comedies and slice-of-life has been pretty spot on. I think this show got a good rating.