「Ring of tales①」

It’s a shame that one of the better stories this season is being rushed.

Interestingly enough, that’s not entirely Pierrot’s fault. Soreseka is actually adapting episodes at exactly the pace of one manga chapter a time; if it feels like a lot is happening, it’s partly because Dai Shiina actually writes a lot of events in the space of thirty or forty pages per chapter. She’s a bit skimpy on the details as a result (she’s put forward Livi’s age as both 12 and 15 at different points, for example) and sometimes the thread of the narrative can get a bit confusing or rushed. It doesn’t help that Pierrot is trying to cram all of that in the space of 20 odd minutes a week either, and the anime original stuff, while actually very good for character building, puts the pressure on even thicker. I hadn’t felt the rush much if at all until this week, but it would have been very hard not to notice this time.

For those of you asking last week if Livi and Nike are married yet or not, the answer is both yes and no. They are married in name and what I suppose you would call by law (think civil marriages), but they haven’t gone through a ceremonial process (think a church wedding). This is why Livi often calls Nike his wife or his queen despite the fact that the Sun Kingdom’s religion doesn’t consider them married yet. They’re pretty much married in every way except religious.

Unfortunately, as King and soon-to-be-recognized Queen, the religious acceptance of their union is very important. As most historians could tell you, the Church was a powerful institution closely linked to the monarchy as early as the late Roman Empire and as late as the Modern period. In some cases, like in medieval Italy, the Pope was actually considered a ruler in his own right, and all monarchs were in some shape or form regulated by the Papacy until the Protestant Reformation (and even after for some kings). Historically, it’s not too hard to see how the Cult of the Sun God would want to curb Livi’s power, especially so if they deem him unfit for the throne. The refusal to acknowledge Nike as Queen is just one way for the priests to get at him and deny him his way, and Rani Aristes seems to have a particularly nasty hatred for the boy king. Ethnic conflict certainly seems to be a factor, but it seems to me more to be about a power struggle between church and state, similar to something like the Investiture Conflict.

Either way, this places Nike in a difficult situation, because accepting the ritual to retrieve the ring from the underground temple means that she admits she is an inferior bride and requires testing. But fortunately, it isn’t in her nature to do nothing and watch someone she cares for struggle (thank goodness for that). Less luckily, the whole second part of the episode having to do with this political intrigue was rushed far too quickly. It was noticeable enough in the first half, but even more so as Nike accepts the trial and journeys underground. Honestly, even though the mangaka wrote this in one chapter or so, I feel like it would have been adapted much better in at least an episode and a half, if not two, and it’s a shame to see the story running through everything so quickly. I guess what matters more, though, is that Nike and Livi are still working in terms of interaction together, and that more than satisfies me.

Also, may Hylia have mercy on the poor girl’s internal organs.




  1. Surprisingly, this show hit all the right buttons for me ;3

    Although can’t say it’s my favorite (that honor goes to Mushishi) but it is probably my 2nd or 3rd most anticipated anime every week.

    Having said that, as I am totally unaware of its source material, I don’t feel the story is being rushed. Moreover, as someone who likes drawn out plots (E7, Xamd, DnB, etc) the “leisurely pace” is actually relaxing. I could say that this show is my “feel good” show for Spring 2014, albeit it isn’t all “feel good”, but I have a feeling that despite its darker motifs, in the end this show is how love conquers all :3 and how time and the touch of a woman heals all wounds.

    The only weird thing for me is… of course the ED (LOL). For obvious reasons. It’d be interesting if this show gets a Western release, will they keep it as is or will they do something about it?

  2. Probably the best description for Livi and Nike’s circumstances would be betrothal,
    or trial marriage. So, marriage would only be a requirement in the event of the
    conception of a child
    . They could sleep together and interact like they were formally
    married, and if their differences could not be resolved, dissolve their union if there
    was no conception of a child. A well-known example is in the Bible with Joseph and Mary.

    I like the series; it’s predictable but endearing nonetheless (I mean, we know she’ll come out
    unscathed, right?) This feels like a “healing Anime” with Nike trying to soften Levi’s heart,
    but I don’t see too much political intrigue here, and I’m not sure where things will go after
    this conflict with the church is resolved.

    But it’s pleasant to watch Nike’s very feminine strength play out…

    1. Yea,it you stop & think about it this might be for the best considering it’s a 1-cour. At the same time,maybe 2-cours would’ve been good for this series as well,provided there’s enough material.

  3. I’m a bit ambivalent about how they chose to rush things(something tells me that this would work better as a light novel instead), but I actually prefer this and I guess the people who complain about the pacing are too used to shows that take 3 seasons worth of episodes before the main couple even recognize their feelings for each other. 😛

  4. I agree it’s a little bit rushed – but not too much. There’s time to understand everything but I wish I had just half a second more to enjoy their interactions and expressions more at some parts. When reading the manga I could go at any pace I wanted to so I liked it better, but I enjoyed the anime original bits too much to say I prefer the manga. Let’s just enjoy both 🙂
    I felt the part with the tree swaying was a bit off – maybe because there isn’t wind like there where I live…

  5. Oh wow they really kicked up the budget for the score in this episode didn’t they? For a while i kind of thought it was average but for this particular episode it really felt like I was watching a Disney movie. Just gotta love that romantic orchestral main theme that plays during the beginning of the episode with a few variations throughout the episode.

    That said I think the rushing became really apparent in this particular episode. Some scenes had almost absouletly no transition between them. First this thing is happening and then another thing happens 2 seconds after. Though it’s a little jarring I found myself immersed in this episode regardless. I think it’s obvious Nike will make it out with her wind power or something to that effect so i don’t really think the preview spoiling her surviving is a big issue.

  6. Gee whiz, these episodes going by at such a fast pace, and now I hear the anime skipped two whole arcs!? What are they doing!?

    Livi looks like he’s finally letting down his defenses in the preview. :3

    1. I guess it helps (maybe, even an advantage as well) when reading the manga goes after watching the episodes. 🙁 There really are anime counterparts which are shortened (or hastened) due airing/technical purposes. 🙁 Sometimes (even though it breaks my heart) to just accept the changes/differences.

      Pickled Cucumber
  7. Not rushed, just quick. I admit to being a bit surprised at how quickly she made the decision to take the trial, but the emotional trajectory still works. I often think animes move too slowly. The finishing touches of careful transitions, etc., often seem like unnecessary trickery, to me. I know this isn’t real life, that I’m watching an anime on a screen.

    And we pretty well know for certain that she gets through this, from what we see in the preview. Despite the fact this is on TV very late at night, it has the feeling of being aimed at a younger teen audience. The danger is not too dangerous. Anyway, this is one of my favorite shows of the season, too.

  8. I dunno, I found the brisk pace to be nice. The pacing for the series is a bit quicker than most, but I’m not sure I’d call it rushed. If anything, this series is jam packed with content each episode and I’m a fan of how much content we get in one episode.

    This is slowly becoming my favorite series of the season, and while its probably only going to be one-cour, I’m excited to see more.

    Nice review, and good context on the European history there! =D

    1. If you had a waist that looked like that, it meant the corset was deforming your internal organs inside. There’s a reason why women were sicklier (and it even increased pregnancy problems and miscarriages later in life). Nike never looks like that in normal clothes, poor girl.

      Read more here.

      Mini history lesson= lots of those old victorian corsets were made to be as tight as possible. Whale bone was a common part of the corset and it was supposed to shape your body, not hold it in place for a while. It was really dangerous and was pretty much the western equivalent of the eastern practice of binding and shaping girls’ feet.

    2. I’m surprised she didn’t faint due to lack of oxygen waring a corset that tight (and #1 reason why woman suffered from fainting spells). Having worn obi’s, ace bandaged (NEVER AGAIN), and modern corsets laughing in them becomes painful while in one because you really can’t expand your lungs. >_<

  9. It does feel a bit speedy, how quickly she falls in love with Livi. That said, waiting 12 episodes for them to hold hands would probably piss me off more. One of my favorites this season :D!

    The Shizard
    1. The important thing to remember about their relationship and why they’re falling in love so fast is that they WANT to make it work. Nike was chosen without her consent to marry him, but unlike other shoujo heroines who would resist, she came in with the mindset of learning to deal with the situation and make the best of it. She still doesn’t let Livi get away with everything he wants, but she accepts the marriage and he does as well. Mindset is important.

  10. As someone who hasn’t read the source material, I’ve had no issue with the pacing so far. Sure, it’s quick, but appropriately so. The progression of their relationship is sound.

  11. I finally got around to watching this show, and I gotta say, Nike’s voice reminds me of Hayashibara Megumi. It’s not exact, but it’s nice to know that there someone else who can do a Lina Inverse, if necessary.


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