OP Sequence

OP: 「BEAUTIFUL WORLD」 by 小池ジョアンナ (Joanna Koike)

「晴れの大国」 (Hare no Taikoku)
“The Sun Kingdom”

Spunky, independent princess, check.

She also happens to be penniless, luckless, and plain to the point that the very idea of her royal lineage is downright laughable. But Nike Remercier (Maeda Rina) also happens to be the future bride to the infamous Sun King, and she’s not without her own secrets. Thus begins the journey of a girl sent to a foreign country for a political marriage in exchange for keeping her family’s dukedom independent (after losing a game of jan-ken-pon, of course).

Fans of Shiina Dai’s manga know that this premiere was an anime original, and that it set out to establish the world and protagonist in more detail than the opening chapter did. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to your personal philosophy on adaptation choices, but it’s at least obvious that Studio Pierrot has a good deal of free reign with the material. There’s more comedy, a bit more exposition, and even some breaking of the fourth wall, leading to a more carefree atmosphere. Personally, I don’t mind in the least and found the episode pretty enjoyable; world building is necessary in any medium, and one of my few qualms with the manga itself is that there’s not too much of that going on in the beginning. At the very least, it’s nice to see the kingdom firsthand, as well as Nike’s interactions with others.

In fact, we learn a lot about Nike from the beginning. Not only is she unlucky enough to be sent off instead of her (much sexier) sisters, but her supposedly devoted crew is sadder at missing a chance to drink and carouse than at seeing their youngest princess part ways with them so soon. She’s stubborn and thrifty (she sends the ship and men back early because the Rain dukedom needs them more than she), as well as clumsy and naive. But her naivety doesn’t spring from stupidity so much as good intentions, and when her luggage is stolen and her friend kidnapped, she doesn’t blink an eye at the thought of revenge. She understands that she’s in a strange position and encourages laughter at her expense, but she also reserves some pride in her identity and fights back when she feels it impinged. Despite the rumors and her misgivings about her future husband, she still leaps forth at all speed in order to get things done with a smile, and that’s what Nike is all about.

I found it amusing that the series understands it needs more equal viewership; not only is there female fanservice (something very sparse, if at all present, in the original), but the bandit duo even claims that if they do certain things to their pretty captive, they’ll have “more servicey scenes” to “appeal to the male audience”. I wasn’t overly fond of the line, which implies that rape/sexual harrassment is on the same level as fanservice, but it does show some of the semi-anxiety on the part of the studio that this is a very shoujo premise. It’s hard to sell a King who looks like Livius to everyone equally, and the studio knows it, so they’re broadening the appeal through the art style and atmosphere. I just hope it doesn’t hurt the overall story in the long run.

In summary, this was a pretty nice premiere; the art was a bit average, but the music could be quite lovely, especially those Celtic tunes playing in the background. The humor was hit and miss sometimes but could be very funny, and Nike lived up to her reputation as a heroine. If you look forward to romance, intrigue, humor, and some good fantasy and magic dished up on top, you might want to try Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii for yourself.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「PROMISE」 by 前田玲奈 (Rena Maeda)

Preview

40 Comments

    1. Her “nice but tough” personality and decent amount of magic power combined make for a very fun and likeable princess… can’t wait for the Livius to show his colors. He seems like young prodigy at politics and warfare, but what about his personality? This might be a very complicated but fun relationship…
      As a male viewer I am amused at comments of the small-time thugs about fanservice… Does anime industry really have so low opinion of me?
      BTW, they definitely were some of the dumbest bandits since those:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGMbavcesig

      ewok40k
  1. loved it!

    it was pretty good. although I only read couple chapters of the manga and this episode seems somewhat unrelated (only until the end which is the beginning of 1st chapter), it was good – enjoying, funny, flowing and all. a great comedy combination with a great MC, Nike, and I can’t wait for us to meet the king much more seriously. the end kinda gave me vibes for outbreak company, the reasons are obvious, but this is quite different.
    sure, there is still more to say about the world, the kingdoms and all. but this is just the beginning, we’ll see how they deal with it (also with those who oppose in the background as we’ve seen in the bar).

    thedarktower
  2. Fan of manga, but doesn’t mind the change. Extra world building is good if it’s 2 core. My worry is that this is only 12 episodes, in that case this episode is a bit of a waste of airtime.

    Can’t wait to see more of Livi. So.

    Ori
  3. Not bad for an opener, definitely screams Outbreak Company in terms of the concept (which is not bad at all). Plot-wise I enjoyed how we already have foreshadowing and can easily anticipate what’s to come (regicide and maternal quarreling anyone?). Combined with the spunky princess and humour (I don’t care now bad, I still loled at the fourth wall fan service remark) it’s got me interested to say the least.

    How well both the king and princess are developed and how well they interact is going to determine this show’s overall performance.

    Pancakes
  4. Soredemo’s director, Kamegaki Hajime,is quite established, having worked in anime since the 70s.
    Apparently he also directed the animes of Fushigi Yugi and Ceres, both by Watase Yuu.

    zztop
  5. I was pretty repulsed by the episode’s meta tendencies. The art was less than I’d imagined. As for the content itself, it was a bit of a slogfest tbh. The MC was decent but even she seemed underwhelmed by it all.

    Eh, not my kind of Shoujo.

    koge
  6. The setup felt rushed to me–a more natural approach would’ve been to dedicate the entire episode to developing our princess as a character and then using the next episode as the proper introduction of our princess into the capitol to meet our prince.

    However, it still was a good introduction–we have a firm establishment as to what kind of character Nike is, all while constructing the world that is new to her as well as to the audience. Oh, and on top of that the development of the corruption within the Sun Kingdom that will most likely act as the main antagonizing force of the series.

    Zanibas
    1. Zanibas, I’m just curious, but I’d like to hear where you think this show might go. I felt that it may take a serious turn later on with some of the underlying ideas they were giving us in this first episode with the corrupt soldiers plotting against the princess and whatnot. I just got that feeling, but what my head tells me is that it’ll probably be more lighthearted than serious all the way through. What do you think?

      dytianquin
      1. I believe so too, especially considering how they handled their first ‘dark’ event. It could’ve turned really REALLY ugly (I was ready to turn my head), but thankfully the whole event was diffused with light-heartedness in the end.

        I think if I were to compare it to how serious things will get, I’d compare it to the levels that Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. It could get serious at times, but it never really crossed that “threshold” of the truly dark and serious.

        Zanibas
  7. I really enjoy the manga and was looking forward to the anime.
    The animation is great, good job on that! Since it’s ‘only’ a shoujo, I was afraid they might not do something satisfactory… Hopefully they will keep such quality in the whole series.
    The number of episodes is unknown at the moment, hopefully we will get as many as possible 😉 But I don’t expect to see more than 26 though.
    Surprised by the 1st episode since it didn’t follow the manga, but not bothered either, I’m ok with that level of fillers, and it was interesting to see her ‘adventures’ before her arrival, things we didn’t see in the manga since she directly appeared in the castle in chapter 01.
    I’m really looking forward to the LivixNike moments too, those 2 have such an amazing chemistry!
    Definitely watching to the end!

    cutesherry
  8. Wow…i’m already sold for Nike…totally love her character! She seriously reminded me of Chihaya, all those genki and naive personality, yet has her moment of calm as well.

    I like the character design of this anime…reminiscing the old school style esp in terms of expression 😀 though i’m may a bit gonna disliking the Livi(such a shame Nike has to bear with him)…i mean, he’s young man! I dont like cocky brats lol XDD(but correct me if am wrong with this early assumption esp the manga readers)

    anyways, looking forward for next week! ^^ more sexy sisters and Nike please~

    onion warrior
  9. I thought that line was actually a slight jab at anime that DO use rape-y scenes for fanservice, considering that we all knew the two creeps were about to get their asses handed to them. Nice premiere, and I’m curious to see the actual manga material now.

    Gan_HOPE326
  10. This show was fun. It’s hard not to like Nike, the jokes were funny and the show doesn’t seem to take itself all that seriously so far. All of that made for a highly entertaining viewing experience.

    Yup, I’m going to give this a chance. Don’t let me down, show.

    Dvalinn
  11. Hmmm,this might be one of the VERY few (I think 2nd or 3rd) shoujo anime I’ll watch. Good enough premiere,with a likable female lead. I also like her voice actress even though this is probably the 1st time I heard her.

    I’m want to like this show but I’m not sold on it yet and I believe the deciding factor for me might just be the episode,or the one after that. I have this issue with shoujo anime(well,more issues actually but this seems to be the one leftover for this show in particular),namely that the male characters annoy me as they seem to fall into stereotypes as much as females ones do in weak harem shows(and being a guy,I have even less patience with them,not to say that certain stereotype female characters don’t annoy me as well). So yea,gonna have to see how our young king is.

    MgMaster
    1. It’s even harder if the first anime of the genre you watched was Ouran…. which was actually a full-on comedy, and was actually SPOOFING shoujo cliches, so you kinda expect more from anime that go for the straight route. However, Nike was the reason why I spent time out of my busy life to check out this pilot, and I adore here already! I just hope this romance isn’t something I’ll hate, because getting me invented to a romance in fiction is VERY hard to do!

      starss
  12. I enjoyed this, for one of the first first episodes I watched this season.
    Especially the rather proactive female protagonist is muuuuuch more likeable than the damsel-in-distress-archetype of too many a shôjo manga…let’s see how this will develop.
    Soundtrack seems to be above-average too, oh well…Yamashita Kôsuke, no surprise here.

    P.S.: The geopolitical entity is called a *duchy*, not a dukedom 🙂

    Morricane
  13. I haven’t seen this type of anime for a loooooong time, I have a feeling this will be a good one, I can’t wait to see more! It gave me a little breeze from shows like Scrapped Princess, now I just feel like watching Scrapped Princies TuT oh the damm nostalgia there gives me so much shivers! Though this anime is very different, I can’t wait to really find out more! Many thanks for your review, M.

    Mi-Chan
  14. I’m still quite on the fence on this one. The female lead is likeable, but I still have to see how they will treat the male lead and how the female lead will develop in relation to/alongside him, for me to actually be sold on watching this. Giving this the 3-episode rule.

    lalunafelis

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