「雨の公女」 (Ame no Kimijo)
“Princess of Rain”
Now that’s how you get out of a cage.
Watching Soraseka fills me with a sort of nostalgia; not just for anime, but for that genre of shoujo manga you don’t find much of these days. I feel like a child again, discovering those old-fashioned stories and epics we now consider classics or obsolete, and I get a real sense of joy when I’m watching this adaptation. Despite the fact that it’s not my favorite of the new season, it’s still the only series to get me to rewatch an episode so far.
That being said, now that we’re finally in manga territory, I feel more at ease with how this series is taking off. It’s always a bit unnerving to see a story that you like being adapted, but by the same token, it’s good to see that adaptation does not necessarily equal decay. In fact, there’s a lot that Pierrot is doing for Soreseka, especially in the world building and characterization departments. Essentially the same happens in this episode as in the first chapter of the manga, but there’s somewhat more life in it all when it’s animated. We see more of the world as a whole, and we learn from the characters’ various expressions. There’s a bit more nuance to the faction politics than in the manga, and even just seeing a bit of the servants in the palace gives the episode more color, so to speak. Livius and Nike are faithfully adapted, but even so, their relationship feels so nice on screen, whether serious or otherwise.
In fact, the one thing I didn’t like too much was Nike’s song; not because it was bad but because I suppose I expected something more mystical and, well, magical. People don’t normally get goosebumps from listening to a pop song (at least not in my experience), and it just doesn’t seem like it could summon something like the rain. That’s not to say it wasn’t nice (well, the Engrish not so much), just out of place. Other than that, everything else was quite good. Livius borders on trope sometimes, as the bratty but competent king, but his relationship with Nike is always lovely to watch progress. Nike’s rain can only be summoned once she’s developed a link with the one who wishes it summoned, and that she can save Livius’ life at the end only goes to show that something has sparked, if only the tiniest and possibly fraternal spark. It’s rather ironic that it’s Nike who shows Livius “that the world is still beautiful” rather than the other way around, but it’s certainly fitting nonetheless.
I don’t think Soreseka is the kind of anime that could make a big mark in this day and age, but it definitely has a charm that has all but essentially gone extinct in the last decade. It’s for that reason, and also because it’s rather damn good in it’s own right, that I’d like to see it succeed. I’m happy to say that so far, it’s doing very well.