OP: 「Philosophy of Dear World」by ZAC
There’s Potential Here:
I admit, I caved in and watched the pre-air of this episode, but still I had to wait until its official airing before I could make this post. Let me say this: after this premiere I think there’s some serious potential with this one. This first episode may not have been the most action packed or even that interesting beyond its premise, but it certainly served as a very strong introduction to the characters, the setting, as well as the what we can expect from here on out.
Not many anime are set in France during the Hundred Years’ War, so when something like this comes around it certainly catches my attention. As you’d expect, conflict is heavy in this time, so I very much appreciated the depiction of war we got in this episode, as seen through the eyes of the innocents whose families are separated, as well as from the men fighting at on the front lines, as well as the witches watching on the sidelines. Maria (Kanemoto Hisako) is one of those witches (although she wasn’t among those watching). She’s a peace-loving girl who lives in a cosy little hut in the forest. She comes across as genuine and kind, putting on a old woman act for the visiting villagers, but her facade is quickly ruined by her Succubus, Artemis (Hikasa Yoko), whose outfit is made entirely of belts. That’s certainly a fashion statement if I’ve ever seen one.
Another character we get to meet is Joseph (Ono Kensho), who acts as both a delivery boy and a potential candidate for Maria’s heart. As this is war though, his peace is ruined once he’s asked to join the fights. From there the action is on point, the several reactions from the men fighting are believable, and the witches from the forest provide an amusing commentary. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but all sides of this conflict are set up very effectively in this first episode, and for that I give Junketsu no Maria credit. Some premieres this season have felt cluttered and messy, but this was a clean introduction to the characters and the world they inhabit.
Crude and Cute:
Maria’s virginity is highlighted several times, it’s in the English title, the episode itself is called “Perfect Virgin”, and Artemis even makes a point of teasing her about her inexperience. Going into this it seemed that there were differing expectations on just how crude this was going to be. I mean, we got sex jokes in the form of painful jaws (poor Maria, she couldn’t figure that one out…), and there was a fair amount of fanservice in the outfits (or lack of them), but as a whole I thought this was done as tastefully as it could considering the subject matter and demographic its aiming for.
Of course, as time goes on things may change. This could become a comedy that exploits Maria’s virginity, but for right now it’s being done with enough taste that it shouldn’t warrant much concern. Jospeh does seem the most likely to rid her of her virginity though, and since this is Seinen I wouldn’t be too surprised if that happens and we see it onscreen.
Overview – What’s Next?:
As I said, this was nothing groundbreaking, but I was very much satisfied with what we got here. I’m behind these characters and definitely interested in this witch-filled France. Also, Maria being able to summon a dragon was pretty cool. Production I.G also prove themselves yet again with their impressive visuals and fluid animation. I especially enjoyed the scene at the village when the sky gradually darkened as the sun was setting. There’s a lot going for this; I just hope it manages to deliver a tightly crafted story and doesn’t stray into something crass and tasteless.
Note: There are currently no plans on blogging this weekly