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Madan no Ou to Vanadis – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「銀閃の風」 (Ginsen no Kaze) by Suzuki Konomi

「戦場の風姫」 (Senjou no Fuuki)
“Wind Princess of the Battlefield”

Confident and unabashed—that’s how I would describe Madan no Ou to Vanadis. Whether it be the action, the character’s personalities, or even the (occasional, and light) fanservice, it’s suffused with a confident air of people who live simple, dangerous, and sometimes short lives—but do so without regret. A solid start to an interesting fantasy series.

Fantasy Western Europe

The setting of Madan no Ou to Vanadis is Western Europe, loosely. As I said in the preview for this series, “it’s medieval Europe, and countries are attacking each other for all the stupid reasons medieval European countries were always fighting (glory, pride, resources, grudges, boredom).” Which I like, because there’s an unapologetic facet to the wars they fight. They’re not atrocities, they’re just something that happens, something to be dealt with, not stopped. That’s horrifying to live, but interesting to watch. You can see this in the first battle scene where the titular Vanadis Elenora “Ellen” Viltaria (Tomatsu Haruka) appears—it doesn’t feel horrific as she mows down the Brune soldiers, it’s just what’s happening. It’s her job. This was enhanced by the blood splatter, which blessedly wasn’t there. Compared to Terra Formars, which was all but ruined by its blackout censorship, I prefer how this series went about it, even if it’s less “realistic”. Realism is overrated.

Confident Characters

I like how confident all of the characters are. Count Tigrevurmund “Tigre” Vorn (Ishikawa Kaito) is the best example, because we’re so used to cowardly male leads, and he’s not. Getting the same seiyuu who did Tsumugu and Ledo was wise, for he fits the role well. Tigre uses a bow because it’s a good weapon and he’s good with it, no matter what idiot nobles say. He even stands firm when the enemy commander is riding over to run him through. Only a naked Vanadis or talk of love are able to fluster him, though hearing that the enemy commander fell in love with you would confuse me too, even if it was a misunderstanding.

But it’s not just him. All the main and secondary character exhibit this kind of confidence. Ellen has it in spades, and the power to back it up. Limalisha “Lim” (Iguchi Yuka) does as well, as do Tigre’s attendants. It’s nice to see people who aren’t floundering, who know who they are and what they do—and true, it’s born from a violent world where they’re strictly limited in their choices in life, but it is fiction. I’d hate to live there, but I’m enjoying stopping by once a week.

Adaptation Grade

After having read some of the manga to preview this show, I can speak (to a limited degree) on how well this is being adapted so far. (Though that’s an adaptation of the original light novels, so take this with a grain of salt.) The answer: pretty well. There have been some suboptimal choices so far, some pacing and reordering problems. For instance, the pace of the opening fight between Tigre and Ellen was wrong. Hitting the horses should have been quick, causing the other horses to panic giving him a shot at the Vanadis while her horse threw her. It was her leaping the dying animals on her mount that made me go “Whoa … she’s sort of a badass.” Here it just looked like Tigre wanted to kill a couple of horses. It was also too slow, lacking urgency.

That’s by far the worst of them though, and it wasn’t bad. A better example is when Tigre was shooting the crappy bow at Ellen’s request. Having him say that he’d gotten a feeling for the bow after the second shot ruins what’s going to come next … though only if you know what’s coming next. So it doesn’t ruin it, but it would have been better if he explained how he was able to do that (with a thought, like he did before) either right before he shot or afterwards. So it was suboptimal, but not by much. If I were to grade adaptation faithfulness based on my limited experience with the source, I’d give it a solid B so far. There are some odd bits, but it shouldn’t detract from the anime-only viewer’s enjoyment of the series.

Fanservice That Reveals Character, Not Just Character’s Bodies

I’m not sure how I feel about the unnecessary skin-barring fantasy outfits that Ellen and Lim were sporting. They feel unnecessary, because these ladies would look great no matter what they were wearing. But if that’s all I have to put up with, that’s fine, and aside from the occasional (very occasional) suggestive camera focus, that’s about it … and most of those can be put down to where Tigre was looking anyway. He’s a young man, after all.

But the scene of Ellen bathing is another matter entirely. That’s fanservice in an only-sort-of-partially-fanservice show—this isn’t looking like a true fanservice show, though it appears to be fine with using it on occasion, almost entirely from the Vanadis—done right. To trot out one of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut quotes, from his rules for writing a [short] story:

4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.

Most fanservice does neither. It’s there for titillation alone, and while I’ll tolerate a certain amount of that—stories are meant to be entertaining, and different people take their entertainment from different things—I can’t call it good writing. But this actually revealed character. It revealed how, though Ellen was indeed embarrassed, as a maiden might be, she kept her composure because she’s a war maiden, a Vanadis, and she can’t go around acting like a modest maiden. That’s the confidence I was talking about, and also an admirable pride in who and what she is. I can’t help liking her even more for that, and for her, not just her body.

Looking Ahead – Attack on Alsace

The biggest question I have is whether (or how) Tigre will agree to stay with Ellen. He turned down her offer of being a Count (his current title) under her, and now his village is under attack by a fellow Bruneman lord. I’m hoping that Ellen rides out with him, saves his town, and claims it for Zhcted and her duchy.

I don’t know if I’ll be blogging this series—I enjoyed the first episode, but I’m already blogging Log Horizon on Saturdays, and they’re my second least favorite blogging day anyway, so the air date may nix the possibility here—but I’ll definitely be watching it. Feel free to check in with me on twitter if you want to talk about the show, and I’m sure it will be included on the monthly impressions as well.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Confident characters fighting an unabashed war. A solid fantasy series, & the first episode started things off well #madan_anime 01

Random thoughts:

  • I guess the fingers in his mouth was an appropriately surreal way to snap him out of the flashback. Mostly it just made me laugh though!
  • At first I wasn’t sure why they decided to intersperse the flashbacks among what was happening now, but it worked well. They got to the cliffhanger ending without it feeling rushed—in fact, the needed a little more speed in that first battle. But overall, it worked well. Director/writer/series composition/everything to everyone Satou Tatsuo has done a good job so far.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Five movies on a plane, Remarkably lost, What comes first: world, narrative, or characters?, and Comments re-enabled.

Full-length images: 16, 38.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「Schwarzer Bogen」 by Harada Hitomi

October 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm
84 comments »
  • October 5, 2014 at 3:08 pmMoonsolol

    I was hyped for this, not too disappointed. I love Ellen’s character design.

    OP song is great, Suzuki Konomi makes great songs themed for the targeted anime.

  • October 5, 2014 at 3:15 pmTechim

    http://randomc.net/image/Madan%20no%20Ou%20to%20Vanadis/Madan%20no%20Ou%20to%20Vanadis%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2039.jpg
    I like the chemistry between this two main characters..
    The guy has talent, knows how to use it, and isn’t dense.
    While the girl is smart, is strong, isn’t tsundere-ish shy and is rather straightforward.
    A rare combo for anime in general I guess.

    I haven’t read the source material, but hey, with the focus on war and politics,
    this is giving me Maoyuu Maou Yusha vibes, just with proper pacing.

    My only complaint so far…their full names are a mouthful to say every time..
    I hope they calls themselves by their short names next episode onwards.

    Fanservice That Reveals Character, Not Just Character’s Bodies

    Stilts-senpai, Grisaia anime should be right in your comfy zone then.
    Just watched it and its a rather decent adaptation (I read the VN).
    There’s some elements of ecchi though..
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • October 5, 2014 at 4:01 pmStilts

      I think Grisaia is on my watch list (it feels like everything is), so I’ll check that one out soon.

    • October 6, 2014 at 7:52 amnewhope

      Madan is actually based off a old Slavic tale about a king and his 7 wives and is based losely on eastern Europe which is why the the names are a mouthfall.

  • October 5, 2014 at 3:16 pmoliviaven

    Whoa, that’s a lot of materials they covered for one episode.

  • October 5, 2014 at 3:28 pmPancakes

    Western Europe in feudal setting maybe, but by the looks of things this is set in Poland and Belarus, with Brune being a stand in for the Teutonic Order/Brandenburg and Zhcted looking like some sort of Commonwealth/Muscovy hybrid; the battle from the maps shown too appears to have taken place around Koenigsberg/Kaliningrad.

    Going to need a few more episodes to make a call on this, it has an interesting setting, but there are some strange things here like the ridiculous names and the girls outfits that jar with the feudal trappings. Looking better than Cross Ange so far though :P

    • October 5, 2014 at 6:11 pmdaikama

      @Pancakes: Regarding the RL counterparts for Brune and Zhcted, Brune = France and 99% sure Zhcted = Germany.

      RE: “ridiculous names”: O.o Really, ’cause I’ve certainly seen worse names in anime/LN/manga. To each his/her own I guess.

      • October 5, 2014 at 6:31 pmStilts

        I was assuming France and Germany as well, if only because I don’t think most people, much less most Japanese people, know where the hell Belarus is. Probably not Poland either.

      • October 6, 2014 at 3:08 amMistic

        Given that Alsace is the name of Tigre’s county and it seems to be near the border, I’m pretty sure France-Germany was the model for the setting. Now you have to tell me that Brune has a king and Zhcted an emperor to sell the deal.

      • October 6, 2014 at 2:59 pmCeimur

        There’s also Britannia (England) area too.

        Show Spoiler ▼

    • October 5, 2014 at 7:06 pmPancakes

      No idea personally what either state is based off of, I was just going off what the map shows. Brune lies neatly in the area of historical Brandenburg march/Prussia, while Zhcted (if I’m reading the map right) looks to be smack in the middle of historical Lithuania/Commonwealth. They’re probably meant to be France and Germany analogues as you both mention, but the geography screams “does not compute” to me unfortunately :P

      @daikama

      Agreed there are worse names elsewhere, but you have to admit some of them here are pretty bad too. Probably just like simplicity too much.

  • October 5, 2014 at 3:38 pmAndré

    I thought this would be a soft hentai anime… It’s actually pretty good with the right amount of ecchi.

    • October 5, 2014 at 4:02 pmStilts

      I didn’t think it was going to be a fanservice show (having intro’d it gave me the advantage there), but I agree, it has just the right amount of service to avoid detracting from the plot. Okay, maybe a touch too much (those outfits), but I can let that slide.

  • October 5, 2014 at 3:47 pmMentar

    One more Light Novel series that I like, and this one does the job so much better. At least all characters are done very well, I immediately feel at home. I hope that they manage to properly depict the second Vanadis, too, then I’m booked for the season.

    • October 5, 2014 at 11:41 pmSilver

      I have such a funny feeling about this. I’m a novel reader that also read the manga adaptations. They removed so much in this episode that it frustrates me… yet I’m also enjoying it a lot. So, I think they did a pretty great job! Still wished they kept a certain part though haha.

      • October 6, 2014 at 12:09 amSilver

        Scratch that. Rewatched it and it’s very enjoyable.

        Well, depends on how you look at it, for novel readers, you can simply just watch the anime and read the manga as a complement to the novels. What the novel does not provide, the anime and manga can provide (the audio and visual).

  • October 5, 2014 at 4:30 pmLitho

    I ended up watching this after Shingeki no Bahamut. Nothing else to say.

    You’ll understand after you watch Bahamut.

    • October 5, 2014 at 8:05 pmFelix

      I didnt watch this, because i know is not going to be near as good, as shingeki, what a great first episode, i hope it can keep deliviring, and it will definitely be in my top 3 of the season.

    • October 6, 2014 at 6:29 pmcelebrinen

      I watched it the other way round but I agree with your sentiment. Bahamut was crazy awesome to watch and Vanadis can’t compare visually.
      Having said that I’d hit on both the female MC’s so I’ll watch both for now.

  • October 5, 2014 at 4:46 pmzztop

    What does the 魔弾の王 in the main title translate to?

    • October 5, 2014 at 6:03 pmdaikama

      @zztop: 魔弾の王 = Either “King of the Magic Bullet” or “Magic Bullet King”. IDK WTF Crunchy Roll was thinking with “Lord Marksmanship”.

      • October 5, 2014 at 8:54 pminfo600

        Probably the fact that this MC uses a bow instead of a sniper rifle…idk any other reason. Blame it on the localization.

  • October 5, 2014 at 4:52 pmDvalinn

    This show was more entertaining than I thought it would be. They actually seem to be telling a plot between the skimpy clothing and big boobs, and actually manage to have it be of importance to the plot. The characters have potential, in any case.

    Kind of hoping this’ll go the way of something like Oda Nobuna, which was a successful combination of harem/fanservice elements and more serious battles. If they manage to, I’m in for the rest of the season. Three episode-rule will determine it once again.

    • October 5, 2014 at 5:06 pmMizuho

      King of the Magic Bullet, if translated literally. Crunchyroll opted to call it Lord Marksman.

  • October 5, 2014 at 5:04 pmdragon

    The manga is a bad adaptation they added a ton of fanservice and skiped alot of the plot, for this their was alot of rushing 5 out of 6 chapters of V1 of the LN in 1 eps, how they did this is by removing all world building and the lore as well as a large amounts of the characters interactions as well most of the character development.Another bad adaptation to add to the list along side the manga :(

  • October 5, 2014 at 5:14 pmBeedle

    Wait, Lim is voiced by Iguchi Yuka? I thought the voice sounded familiar but I never would have guessed Tsukihi-chan!

  • October 5, 2014 at 5:22 pmzeroyuki92

    I fully support you (or if you can’t, probably someone else) to cover this series, Stilts. Out of the batch of LN announcement some times ago, this and No Game No Life are my “this-going-to-be-good” picks (at least according to LN standard) and I think this first episode proves that it could be right.

    Interesting setting, good atmosphere and well treated characters, I think they are enough to warrant a coverage. I heard there will also be good war strategies and some more interesting moments too, so I think there are a lot of potential in this. Go, Stilts, cover it, cover it! :3

    • October 5, 2014 at 5:53 pmStilts

      Ahaha, well we’ll see. Like I said, the airtime will likely kill the chance for this one, and I have a few other ones I’m looking at blogging as well. Also, I’m the only write watching this, so there isn’t liable to be anyone else to swoop in and cover it.

      We’ll see, we’ll see. Some shows will have to go badly for it to rocket to the top of my list, but it was certainly a good first episode. If not for the double Saturday shows it would be a stronger contender.

      • October 5, 2014 at 8:55 pminfo600

        If nothing else, just grab it from Cherrie when she does the monthly summary.

  • October 5, 2014 at 5:44 pmotaku998

    While i have zero expectation for this adaption to be good after hearing it’s just 12(13 ? ) eps, deep down i still wished for it to be a good one. Unfortunately, wish wasn’t granted.

    They squeezed too much into one ep as expected. Character interactions/World building was cut, details showing how Tigre work hard for the sake of his hometown even when imprisoned etc. Pacing is indeed a problem too, it was like watching a slideshow since there were no proper build up between scenes. The battles had no urgency in it like said. There are more to be said, but yea overall this is my opinion on the first ep, others might feel it fine.

    I will probably give it another ep, but so far it has been nothing but disappointment. A pity since i like the arts and music.

  • October 5, 2014 at 5:51 pmIshkander

    I genuinely thought this was the worst show that aired this season so far. This guy is a soldier and the first thing he does while captured is try to save the person who captured him and killed his countrymen, then somehow with an indirect shot from a bow hit a guy running in the foot. If he had used magic or something to do it that would have been fine or cool, but the guy was on a crenelated wall he literally couldn’t have seen the assassins foot.

    • October 5, 2014 at 5:57 pmStilts

      War was a little different in the past. It wasn’t a matter of hated enemies, you just went out and had a jolly scrap with the country next door. And for the soldiers, as opposed to the lords who sent them to fight and die, you mostly just didn’t want to die and didn’t want your friends and family to die—killing enemy soldiers might be necessary to do that, but it wasn’t necessarily the goal on a per-soldier basis.

      I would advise that you don’t watch this series though. If the improbable aiming skills bothered you—and sure, that wasn’t very realistic—then get out now before it bothers you more! Because I don’t think that’s going to stop, lol

      • October 5, 2014 at 9:03 pmIshkander

        Ya, no arguments here I wont stick around just so I can be mad on the Internet and say more negative things, I decided that since this was the first ep it was was a good place to post my opinion.

      • October 6, 2014 at 12:14 amHalfDemonInuyasha

        There’s also the possible ideal of some sort of honor between sides (usually). Even as late as WWI, there was still SOME semblance of honor, at least among the airplane pilots.

        Like it was usually frowned upon to…

        Shoot an enemy plane down and, if the pilot survived the crash, to then shoot the pilot after he’s on the ground.

        While the enemy pilot is going down, to chase the plane down and keep shooting it.

        To fight, much less shoot down/kill, an enemy pilot whose guns are jammed.

        …and so on.

  • October 5, 2014 at 5:54 pmmac65

    Not bad, I enjoyed it. I don’t have the liability of having read the LN first,
    but it did feel a little rushed. But there was something about it the drew
    me into the characters. 3 ep rule is in effect…

  • October 5, 2014 at 5:58 pmdaikama

    First, some disclosure. Read all the LNs and I like this series quite a bit. Very much looking forward to vol. 10. I’ve read most of the manga (of what’s translated), and yeah IMO LN > manga though the manga’s not bad.

    “Director/writer/series composition/everything to everyone Satou Tatsuo has done a good job so far…

    Gonna have to disagree for the most part about the Satou Tatsuo’s performance. If you factor in a one-cour run, I’d say this adaptation was OK (see below why). On an absolute basis, IMO it’s bad. Pacing (i.e. amount of material “covered” per ep.) was ridiculous with highly conspicuous material cuts resulting in a LOT of world-building, character depth/introduction, etc. omitted. Ep.01 covered 74% of LN vol. 01 (based upon English TL word count). LN volume 01 isn’t long (shortest volume in the series) but it’s not that short (for reference Log Horizon volume 01 is 21% longer). Based on character list/OP, the adaptation is set to cover at least 5 LN volumes in 13 episodes – possibly 6-7 LN volumes depending upon how one character is handled. Assuming “only” 5 LN volumes covered, that’s 2.6 episodes per LN volume pacing. :<

    Something has to give and IMO it did. It wasn’t just world-building, character depth/introduction, etc., but also relationship building as well – particularly between Tigre and Elen. LN volume 01 spends a lot of time laying the foundation for their relationship (not to mention all the character depth/introduction stuff). The vast majority of that was cut. The omission of important relationship building scenes remind of central problem with Tokyo ESP’s adaptation. :< To be fair, it's only EP 01, so hopefully things will improve on this front. Still, I can already see where some anime-only viewers may have issues with upcoming events.

    The material cuts would have been more palatable if not for (IMO) detrimental and nonsensical anime only changes/additions. Once again, I’m left wondering why in the hell these things were done! One example: Rurick’s a pretty a cool guy in the LN, but WTF was with the VERY over-the-top, bad histrionic delivery during his introduction!? Sorry, but I found that jarring and utterly character inconsistent – just terrible really. NOT happy that the anime is mucking around with the characters because… why exactly? In the LN, Rurick spoke “seriously” because if not for Tigre, he would have been executed. Also, Tigre did not comment about Rurick’s good looks nor did the maids squeee over Tigre for his bow skills for that matter.

    But the scene of Ellen bathing is another matter entirely. That’s fanservice in an only-sort-of-partially-fanservice show—

    TBH I can’t tell if you’re saying it was pure fanservice w/o anything else or not. I can tell you that there was a LOT of meaningful conversation between Tigre and Elen cut from that scene (technically ALL of it). Also, WTF with the utterly ill-placed and potentially misleading anime-only line of “I want you” during that scene? Not like that couldn’t be misconstrued given the situation. >_> While Elen may be attracted to Tigre on some level, first and foremost, right now she wants Tigre for his bow skills since it can give her a tactical advantage by snipping enemy commanders from normally impossible distances (stated in the LN). That’s immediately followed by yet another anime altered scene (Tigre in bed) because… why again? No need IMO to hyper-focus, accelerate and/or “amp up” the story’s relationships. I like the fact that relationships in this series naturally develop over time. (Sorry Stilts, realism does have its merits in fiction, and I’d rather less WTF moments/scenarios than more.) FYI, LN version = Tigre is awake in bed because he’s worried about his future since the clock is running out on his ransom. ALL he says/thinks is “Like I thought…I’m afraid.” before Rurick knocks on his door.

    If I hadn’t read the LN’s (or perhaps just the manga), I’d probably be more favorably inclined towards this adaptation, but not by that much. Certainly watchable/entertaining enough though I do think I’d still notice the highly compressed storytelling, etc. As noted, I’d like the adaptation more withOUT the unnecessary (and IMO detrimental) anime-only additions/changes. Remove them and I would agree that the adaptation was “pretty good” considering the one-cour time limitations. Then again, is it worth sacrificing so much material and all that entails rather than focus on a fully inclusive, “best possible” story telling for the time allotted? Perhaps end with LN vol. 03 just like Blade Dance did. While the ending point may not have been fully satisfying, having read the LNs, I thought Blade Dance was a good, reasonably inclusive and faithful adaptation with the storytelling benefitting from sufficient time given. Which is truly more important – the ending point or the quality of the story told?

    In conclusion, Ep. 01 wasn’t as bad as I feared, but it could have been better for the above reasons. IMO the source material is a lot better than this. Perhaps some prefer omitting the “boring detail stuff” from the presentation, but not me. I think such detail adds richness and depth to stories which is a hallmark of well told tales. My guess is that it will turn out to be decent, perhaps pretty good “popcorn entertainment” type show, but nothing on the level of completeness and quality as say Log Horizon’s first season adaptation let alone the source material. Consider Log Horizon Season 1 reduced to 16 episodes rather than 25 (factoring in the difference in LN volume lengths AND assuming Vanadis “only” covers 5 LN volumes) and you’ll get the idea.

    ————————————

    FYI for anime-only viewers: “Alsin” = approximate 1 meter in length; “Chet” = approximately 10 centimeters; and “Koku” = approximately 2 hours.

    • October 5, 2014 at 6:11 pmotaku998

      They intended to cover Vol 1 in 75 min, from vol 2 to vol 6, 50 min per. So ugh , prepare for tears my friend.

      • October 5, 2014 at 6:30 pmdaikama

        @otaku998: Damn… so they are going to included LN vol.6. :< That's a pretty long LN volume, but also ending with that volume (i.e. not including at least some of vol. 07) = FUBAR adaptation as far as I'm concerned. SO DISAPPOINTED. Bloody 6 LN volumes in 13 episodes!? WTF!? I feel sorry for the LN author. Hopefully at least it will boost LN sales because this adaptation is screaming "go buy the LNS!" Hopefully at least it can do that much. :<

        BTW, wondering where you got that info (not doubting you, just curious). I've been wondering how much they were going to butcher “adapt”.

      • October 5, 2014 at 6:35 pmotaku998

        It’s Blu-ray version info.

        And i really doubt a horrible adaption can boost the LN sales. I don’t think the LN is popular to begin with too.

      • October 5, 2014 at 7:05 pmdaikama

        @otaku998: So, they actually stated which LN volumes would be covered hun… I knew there were 6 BDs, but that’s it. Can’t read Kanji.

        —”And i really doubt a horrible adaption can boost the LN sales.”

        True – totally agree with you. Make a GOOD adaptation and increased interest in the series will naturally occur. Hell, by adapting less (e.g. stop at LN volume 03) and doing a proper job of adaptation, I’d bet LN sales would increase substantially more than what they will get with this hack job. FWIW, I’m trying to find a silver lining here – if there is one. Tokyo ESP got a sub-par adaptation yet at least from RC commentary, there’s seems to be some additional interest in the source material post anime.

        “I don’t think the LN is popular to begin with too.”

        No clue if that’s the case or not. Shame if so. I really do like this series. I can only hope that there’s sufficient support for it to continue to the author’s desired ending point (which I hope isn’t soon. :D).

      • October 5, 2014 at 7:17 pmotaku998

        From what the author said, vol 10 will be just the conclusion for the current arc. So i doubt it will be ending anytime soon, a lot questions need to be answered.

        I like the LN myself too, thus the disappointment with the adaption.

    • October 5, 2014 at 6:38 pmStilts

      That does sound like a lot was cut, but not knowing what it was, all I can say is that the story was still coherent. Maybe the cuts will start becoming important later on—if there were so numerous, it’s likely they will. But from a mostly anime-only point of view, it was still fine.

      And I was saying the bathing scene was good, because it revealed character. Read the rest of the paragraph ya goof :P

      This is the way I think about it (the cuts): most of the time I can tell when information is missing. Bad adaptations have holes in the narrative, and they’re easy to see. With this one I didn’t sense them, it just felt like there were things they hadn’t told us yet. Now, if they never tell us those things, we could be in for a world of trouble, but it’s okay so far.

      ~2 episodes per LN volume is way too fast though. The fastest I’ve seen be somewhat coherent was three episodes per for parts of Date A Live, and four per is almost always better. So we’ll see how that goes, I suppose.

      • October 5, 2014 at 8:18 pmdaikama

        @Stilts: “That does sound like a lot was cut…”

        LOL, that’s an understatement. I know you’re a big Log Horizon so I’ll use that for comparison. Covering 74% of an LN volume = taking the first FIVE episodes of LH Season 1 and compressing them into TWO episodes after factoring in difference in LN volume length (based upon Eng. TL word count) AND rounding up to a full episode. Now Vanadis might backtrack to include some omitted stuff in EP 02 since not much is left to cover in vol. 01. Might. Regardless, surely you can see that a shit load of material was omitted so far. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if HALF (or more) of the vol. 01 gets chopped off.

        …All I can say is that the story was still coherent.

        Agree it was coherent which is indeed very important, but that in and of itself doesn’t make for a good story as you know. In terms of depth, in so many ways this adaptation is paper thin. Again, using LH as an example, you could easily streamline the presentation. Sacrifice funny/SOL character building moments and just focus on some MMORPG battles with minimal required exposition while going from point A to point B. Pretty sure you could turn the first five episodes into three if not two by doing that.

        Another example, you could take out 95% of the stuff regarding Rayneshia. All she really needs to do is be introduced then go to Akihabara and rally the troops (Adventurers). In Vanadis EP 01, Titta’s role was obliterated in terms of material cuts. There’s even a small sub-chapter (right term?) from her perspective alone. Also cut, the introduction to the story featuring just her and Tigre. What do you know about her other than generic/cliche’ “worried maid” from EP 01? Actually, did they even give her name? She’s not a minor character in the LNs. Again, maybe they’ll backtrack and add some of that stuff for her (and Bertrand, and Mashas… >_>), but I doubt it will be much.

        My point here is that if you DID “just” compress the first five LH S1 episodes into three eps. it’s NOT going to be nearly as good – right? THAT is my problem (and no I’m not being all pedantic here. At least I’m not using CliffsNotes for an example of coherency. :P). Well, that and unnecessary, detrimental anime changes/additions which can NOT be blamed upon time constraints.

        Now, if they never tell us those things, we could be in for a world of trouble, but it’s okay so far.

        When exactly are you going to make up for all this cut material when you have FIVE more volumes of stuff going on to somehow include? Events/battles, exposition/world building, and numerous additional characters yet to go. There are SIX more Vanadis to introduce not to mention a host of other characters. Something HAS to give. No way around it.

        And I was saying the bathing scene was good, because it revealed character. Read the rest of the paragraph ya goof :P

        OK, my bad LOL. Glad you got something from that scene apart from fanservice (which I may add I did NOT mind :P)

    • October 5, 2014 at 9:02 pmN

      They never said anything about covering up to volume 6. Just that there were 6 Blu-Ray/DVD sets coming out. Or am I misremembering something?

      • October 5, 2014 at 11:51 pmMentar

        The OP showed a character which first arrives in volume 6.

    • October 5, 2014 at 9:05 pmN

      The first DVD/Blu-Ray would be 75 mins long because it would include episodes 1-3. All subsequent sets would only have two episodes (and hence 50 mins), so I suggest you don’t panic so much. That was my understanding from the official website.

      • October 6, 2014 at 1:06 amdaikama

        @N: Already posted quite a bit so I’ll try to make this short. I agree with what you say about the BD #1 including 3 eps and the rest two. That makes sense. Unfortunately I can’t read Kanji so I don’t know what’s actually stated for the BD descriptions. Thus, FWIW I took otaku998′s confirmation of vol. 06 included at face value. And I mean confirmation.

        The reason I and other LN readers have suspected at least 6 volumes will be “covered” is because of the character list on the official site and now the OP. There is a character who does not show up in the LNs until volume 6. Period. So either there’s going to be some anime-only cameo appearance in some anime-only added material, the character is only featured in the OP (which would make zero sense), or the adaptation is going to include at least some part of volume 06. Actually, it could be as much as part of volume 07 given how volume 06 ends. While the anime may stop at volume 05 (can’t see stopping before then) and it’s only EP 01, we sure are on a 2 episodes per LN volume pace (faster actually). Oh, and lastly it’s not “panic”, but frustration, irritation and disappointment at yet another adaptation for a series I like failing to be close, let alone equal or almost unthinkably anymore superior, to the level of the source material.

      • October 6, 2014 at 2:58 amotaku998

        Well i wasn’t too sure about how far they will adapt, but it does write vol 1 – 75 min and blahblah. I would be glad if my eyes were making mistake there and that they actually plan to adapt less than 6 vols (and if i was really wrong then my apologize too)

      • October 6, 2014 at 3:51 amRockmanshii

        I think there’s a misunderstanding there, regardless of whether volume 6 will be covered or not.
        What N tried to explain is that the official site says the length of the bluray volumes, not that the LN volumes will be adapted in these lengths.
        Bluray volume 1 is 75 minutes long. Bluray volumes 2-6 are 50 minutes long.

    • October 6, 2014 at 1:38 amRockmanshii

      I’m reading the novel as well and I pretty much share your opinion. I’m not that pessimistic though.
      What I disagree with you with: it’s true they cut out a lot of world building and will probably cut out even more in the future as it’s only 13 episodes, a real shame. But like Stilts said they at least managed to do a good job with the characters’s building. Even though they cut out a lot they still did a good job. Seeing Tigre avoid trampling that dead soldier’s hand in the beginning made me pretty happy.

      There’s also very distinctive world building elements from the LNs they haven’t cut out, like Ellen and Tigre referencing the different gods worshipped in their respective countries, those global sky shots of Leitmeritz and Brune, actually showing the maids in Ellen’s castle when they could have just cut them out completely, or showing close ups of every dishes Tigre and Rurick ate in the soldier’s cafeteria(one of the many great points about the LN is the emphasis on food)

      Rurick is my favorite male character(besides Tigre) so I agree it was kinda weird seeing acting like that. However it’s also true that because Tigre saved his life, he’s become a Tigre fanboy and will be one of his best supports in the future, so I guess they just wanted to explicitly show that. As for the maids, iirc they actually did squee over Tigre in the LN, not for his bow skill, but by seeing him skin animals and stuff in the kitchen and being so helpful. They cut out how Tigre helped around in the castle, but they still managed to convey the same feelings in a shorter time: almost everyone in the castle from the soldiers to the maids, starts to appreciate Tigre.
      As I said at first, I agree with you 13 episodes is way too short, but we should wait and see how it turns out first before giving up.

  • October 5, 2014 at 6:04 pmion52

    Believe me people, this show has a lot of plot. What kind? Guess, you can’t go wrong.

  • October 5, 2014 at 6:11 pmCroos

    • October 5, 2014 at 6:42 pmRedjuice Fan

      I like this picture a lot. I dont know its the pose or her beauty, but its just captivating.

      • October 5, 2014 at 6:50 pmCroos

        Indeed.

    • October 5, 2014 at 10:47 pmewok40k

      It is an immense joy to see girl that waled upon in a naked bathing situation, not only doesn’t start kyaa!-ing, throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the perpetrator and generally follow stereotypes, look him coolly in the eyes and say “I want YOU”.
      Because the mutual respect for skilled warriors has a lot of UST underneath it.
      This series has definitely made it past the “first episode test” for me. Woe to my weekend free time, with all other saturday shows…

      • October 6, 2014 at 7:57 amnewhope

        Sadly they cut the part where limalisha walks in on a naked Tigre washing and later Ellen asking her how big Tigre is, pretty funny moment.

    • October 6, 2014 at 1:13 amdbm

      If you rotate that image 180 degrees, you will see in the reflection that Elen is in fact quite embarrassed and dismayed when Tigre first sees her.

  • October 5, 2014 at 8:04 pmMurasaki

    I don’t know about you guys, but I am LOVING Madan Ou so far. Blast it, my weakness for magical fantasy settings!

    I know it’s completely different on so many fundamental levels, but the first episode gave me Maoyuu vibes -both say SCREW REALISM! to their heroes- and I adore Maoyuu unabashedly. Totally helps that I have a girl crush on the awesomely kick-ass Ellen, voiced by the lovely Haruka Tomatsu. If this is not coincidence, then it must be hitzusen!

    I haven’t read the VN in fear of experiencing a vast depth of disappointment like I did last season (Mahouka, Mahouka, Mahouka), but this seems like a great start so far; I have high expectations! This might end up being my favourite right after Log Horizon 2, so production team, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do it right and make Madan Ou another NGNL.

  • October 5, 2014 at 8:09 pmSeraph

    From someone who hasn’t read LN yet, although I probably will, it didn’t seem too rushed, although the first flashback was a bit surprising and like Sidonia flashbacks with Kunato/first girl who dies, it took a moment to register.

    I would be super happy if you did consider doing a regular review of this though, Stilts.

  • October 5, 2014 at 8:22 pmOwaranai

    So glad you decided to blog on MadanOu Stilts. It’s personally one of my favorite LNs by far with a balanced mix of just about everything – Action, drama, fantasy, ecchi, harem and the like.

    I fell in love with the OP and ED for the series immediately, and loved how they brought out the atmosphere and feeling of medieval Europe as depicted in the novel itself. Artwork was good too, and the colors used were pretty suited to each scene.

    Having strong characters is always a plus point but not guaranteed nowadays, and I’m glad they brought that out in Tigre and Elen. I agree on the fact that these two characters exuded a confidence not often seen when characters are first introduced. After the bad aftertaste of having OP and near-perfect MCs from certain LN adaptations earlier, it’s also nice to see Tigre is flawed – somewhat brash on certain topics, yet is tempered with a quiet calm in situations that called for it.

    My biggest, biggest issue though, is with the pacing at the start. Being a LN reader makes me somewhat biased to that, but I think even a viewer who hasn’t read them would find something strange with how the episode went on.

    the pacing got a little better near the end of the episode, but I have to agree with daikama on how many meaningful parts were cut out that would have served to give the characters a lot more depth and insight into their intentions and motives for doing certain things. This connects with my biggest gripe on how they apparently planned to rush the series into 13 episodes when I was hoping for at least a 2-cour series or 24-26 episodes to flesh out the characters, the lore that was painstakingly brought in by the author and improve the story as a whole. As of now, while I enjoy the episode and think it’s silly to call it the “worst” show this season based on some unmet expectations, it’s possible the series might not have brought out the full potential of MadanOu as an entertaining story.

    That said, the episode was enjoyable and I really hope you guys can find time to blog this one.

  • October 5, 2014 at 8:52 pmJus_Cuz

    I can definitely get behind this kind of anime, MC is good, the love interest quite lovable, the breasts to fanservice ratio is spot on, actual combat and blood present, yeah, I’ll watch this anime.

  • October 5, 2014 at 9:05 pmMick

    I had read all the Vanadis LN volume and I think anime adaption is already a good adaption even though the pacing speed is super fast… the cut material can be OVA since it effect more toward character development ( Tigre X Ellen ). This anime can still be fail if they manage to mess up with the war episode so let wait for another week.

  • October 5, 2014 at 9:06 pmGinobi47

    As a fan of the Light Novels, I must say the adaptation of Madan no Ou to Vanadis is quite good. Character designs are top notched, voice acting is A grade and overall pace is decent.

    The only thing im worried about is the fairly big skipped content. They arent important so to say, but this first episode skipped out 3-4 parts of a 6 part chapter 1. I dont know how many episodes the adaptation is, but i do hope they pull it off somehow.

    All in all, i am in the hype train right now

  • October 5, 2014 at 9:48 pmCrimsonSilverKing

    Well I didn’t feel it was at all rushed and it seem beautifully made so far. At least the characters design is so vivid in colors :) I have read the novel and by definition of squeezing all that chapters into 1 ep. it is rushed but good thing it didn’t feel that way to me. It is well animated so far :)
    Hope it continue that way!

    Such beautiful character designs. Good thing my expectation was not as high after watching Mahouka. So that probably helps!

  • October 5, 2014 at 11:13 pmCroos

    I’ll just put this OMAKE [HERE] <(._.<).

    • October 5, 2014 at 11:51 pmOwaranai

      Thanks Croo. That was a fun little segment. :)

    • October 6, 2014 at 3:18 amotaku998

      Oo, i missed this, thanks bro.

  • October 5, 2014 at 11:23 pmChar

    I was expecting epicness on the level of “War of the Arrows” but I guess this will do.

    P.S. If Vigurnswew-whatever does curved shots this will be my fave anime of the season lol.

  • October 5, 2014 at 11:36 pmMgMaster

    Another show that exceeded the above average expectations I had for it. As you said Stilts,the confidence of the characters is very much welcomed. Ellen kind of reminds me of a less naughtier version of Rias Gremory. A kind & confident leader,respected by her subjects who show’s special interest in our protagonist and seek’s to add him to her army.

    Coming in as an anime-only viewer,it didn’t really feel like it was rushed and I hear there are plenty of good stopping points to end this 1-cour season so I’m quite hopeful for this.

  • October 6, 2014 at 6:01 amCeimur

    Why the F*CK does the title mean Lord Marksman when the kanji read as Magic, Bullet, and King?

    It should be The King of the Magic Bullet ’cause he

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • October 6, 2014 at 6:25 amTechim

    http://randomc.net/image/Madan%20no%20Ou%20to%20Vanadis/Madan%20no%20Ou%20to%20Vanadis%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2038.jpg
    I spot animation error here…
    Her actual facial expression and that in the water’s reflection don’t match.
    Or is there the concept of Outer and Inner Vanadis in this series,
    like that of Outer and Inner Moka from Rosario Vampire?

    (I haven’t read the source material)

    • October 6, 2014 at 7:54 amCroos

      Nope. Its not an animation error.

      While the screen is hovering up, her facial expression change.
      Thus if you combine the frames going up the result would be that the picture that you displayed.

  • October 6, 2014 at 8:00 amnewhope

    As a light novel reader even though it was very rushed I still enjoyed it alot they got the characters just right, really nice to see some of my favorite characters come to life.

  • October 6, 2014 at 8:00 amGermanguy

    This Anime is a good Candidate on my Watch List for this Season

  • October 6, 2014 at 9:11 amsyncmaster69df

  • October 6, 2014 at 10:16 amtheirs

    Really enjoyed this introductory episode. Interesting characters and a plot with potential.

    As an anime only viewer, I don’t have any problems with the pacing and actually thought they could’ve made it faster. If this turns out good, I might read the manga or LN later on. As a general rule I rarely do it the other way round, that tends to lead to disappointment for me. Can’t say anything about the fanservice, since I’m immune to it already.

    Oh, thanks for that full length of Ellen, didn’t notice her expression change until I saw that.

  • October 6, 2014 at 4:38 pmyuya

    hmmm hmmm i wonder if they will include the battle with Roland arc
    it too good for not add in the last arc of season

  • October 6, 2014 at 5:45 pmDorian

    Though the pacing seems really fast in comparison to the novel, and boy did they burn it up, I still loved the episode. It was weird.

    I just hope that this doesn’t end up becoming similar to Mahouka in that the pacing is off and character tidbits go out the door or I’ll scream bloody murder at another novel series getting screwed in the name for a cheap profit.

  • October 7, 2014 at 6:30 amMiaminights

    Pleasantly surprised by the first ep. Confident characters, who would have thought they exist in anime!!! The Plot could get complex what with all the warring states and Vanadis, curious to see how they handle it.

  • October 7, 2014 at 7:40 amSoliloquy

    This anime is pretty good. While I’m not really a fan of medieval or fantasy setting, at least I appreciate the characters. I like the chemistry between the two main characters.

  • October 10, 2014 at 9:57 amplatinum

    I have to jump on the anime-only viewer side and say that I really had no problems with this first episode. In fact I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. :) (I was honestly surprised when the episode ended. I had thought we only hit the halfway mark!)

    I think that the characters are what I really like above all else. Tigre is a strong male protagonist and Ellen is awesome as far as I can tell. She’s probably the first female lead in a LONG time that hasn’t had the oh so traditional (bleh :P) ‘AHHH YOU SAW ME NAKED MUST HIT YOU’ freak out, and that instantly made me like her that much more. Plus she just seems damn interesting.

    Good on you show, you’ve got my interest. ;)

  • October 25, 2014 at 8:43 amGermanguy

    I like this Anime, a Anime where doing a CPR is not a Joke, but taken it seriously to save someones Live. Yes, i will follow you, Madan no Ou to Vanadis. Please entertain me in the future

    • October 25, 2014 at 8:48 amGermanguy

      but yeah, they still use the Opai jokes. But they not overdoing it

  • December 13, 2014 at 7:29 amGermanguy

    EP11:

    I am still watching it, and i must say this Episode was good

    Because here the Two War maidens must work together in Team-play

    First they found out, that their best Attacks would not work on the Target. If this where Accel World, the War Maidens would fall to their knees and Cry why their best Attack would not work and get killed. But lucky it is not. And so they switched to team-play.

    In Short:
    Here their Main road was blocked, but they found a side-roads to take down the enemy. That’s it how to supposed work, and not Crybabies that can not use the Main road and not seeing the Side-roads