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Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「Divine Spell」 by TRUE

「姉妹」 (Shimai)
“Sisters”

Normally for these intro posts I recommend that you read the preview on the show as well, but perhaps I’ll take it off the required reading list this time for Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars. Actually, you should read it anyway, because our previews are great (/selfplug), but whereas all the preliminary research put into the previews are ideal sources of information before jumping into a new series, the preliminary research for Regalia didn’t turn up much at all. Not for lack of trying—would I ever give anything less than 100% for you, dear readers? (don’t answer that)—but because Regalia keeps its cards very close to its chest, in general. Even after this introductory episode, I can’t honestly say I know all that much about it. There is a semi-fictional kingdom on some semi-fictional landmass, there is a pair of not-actually-sisters, and there are robots. The robots fight. The question of why they fight seems completely unimportant to Regalia at this point; in fact, the main matchup of the episode happens for literally no good reason, featuring a completely throwaway villain (also, the only man with a full speaking role). On one hand, it could be Regalia trying to be enigmatic (behold, oblique-soap-opera-dialogue scenes), or perhaps Regalia is pioneering the absurdist-mecha-theatre, where there is no narrative and life is meaningless. The more boring third option is unstable pacing. Regalia is nominally of a fantasy setting (fantasy, sci-fi, same difference), one which it hasn’t really established yet, so we don’t really have a status quo to compare this episode’s events to. Perhaps the empress of the country and her mecha-sister killing some unpleasant guy horrifically while destroying the local economy is just all in a day’s work here. Who knows what’s normal? Maybe explosions visible from space are just the way to start the day.

It’s mostly (mostly) alright for the story to take a secondary role for now, because it’s obvious that Regalia is trying to impress with visuals first and foremost. The animation was perfectly crisp in all the robot-action scenes (enjoy the hand-drawn mecha while they still exist), but its general aesthetic, I think, is designed to be cool above all other considerations. Take the summoning sequences—needlessly long, utterly impractical, but hey, imagery! Is it going to have the break out of its chains every time? Don’t think about it, it’s cool! If there’s anything that exemplifies design over mechanics, it’s a robot in a poncho. Perhaps that’s why, even after all that edgy darkness voodoo she still gets immediately thrashed. It’s not just in the robots; Regalia splashes imagery everywhere. Why this dreamscape? Why the Rubick’s cube, which looks neither very sacred, nor much like a star? Why the… liquorice sticks? Perhaps Regalia will explain it all later, or perhaps it doesn’t intend to and is content with, ‘look, pretty!’. It certainly is pretty enough, so maybe that will do?

It does seem, though, that Regalia does have some sort of plot in the works, including more potential robot/pilot sister pairings, so we should give it the benefit of the doubt for now. Even if the story doesn’t amount to much in the end, even if the names are all a bit silly, with a dearth of new mecha series this season, Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars looks, at the least, to be a good source of robot-on-robot action (and even girl-on-robot, oh my). Even if it’s all aesthetics right now, that may be enough to earn this show a few more episodes of your time.

July 8, 2016 at 8:38 am
18 comments »
  • July 8, 2016 at 9:19 amkiryuu

    First thing that came to mind really watching this episode was Asura Cryin’. So we shall see.

  • July 8, 2016 at 9:31 ambassgs435

    As an absolute fan of Fafner in the Azure, I can’t complain about this show not explaining stuff right away, since Fafner itself didn’t explain almost anything during it’s entire 1st half(over 12 episodes)
    I’m not saying that Regalia’s going to be as good as Fafner, but I’m willing to give it time

    • July 10, 2016 at 10:59 amTitanAnteus

      Lol what kind of comparison is that? Fafner had a similar looking world where our perceptions of that world were shattered episode one, when one of the lead characters was told that a world outside of the island didn’t exist.

      This isn’t the same. This is much more disjointed. It wants to do CGDCT and is trying to mix that with fantasy mecha and a serious sub-plot. It keeps jumping all over the place in themes and tone.

      I wouldn’t watch this unless you’re one of those people that’ll watch anything as long as it’s got prospective yuri in it.

      • July 11, 2016 at 4:50 ambassgs435

        A comparison born of watching too much Fafner recently
        Also, I’ll watch anything with 2D mechs on it

  • July 8, 2016 at 9:31 amJeffers

    Im giving this a 3 episode rule… Since episode 1 didnt give me that much info to understand the plot. All I get is that lolis here can transform to a robot.

  • July 8, 2016 at 9:59 amomeganx

    Am I the only catching the strong sexual tensions “siblings-but-not-real-siblings-we-just-want-to-play-with-that-demographic” vibe?

  • July 8, 2016 at 11:57 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    Looks like it has potential (but then again, so did Comet Lucifer x_x) so I’ll probably watch a couple more episodes to see if we get any world building to explain WTF is going on.

  • July 8, 2016 at 1:56 pmSeedStriker

    Better start than the last 4 Gundam TV series, which isn’t much to top, TBH. Still, it’s the only (seemingly) interesting /m/ show of the season (leaving aside Macross Delta)

    • July 11, 2016 at 2:07 amOsy

      “Better start than the last 4 Gundam TV series, which isn’t much to top, TBH.”

      You mean better start than Gundam 00, AGE, Build Fighters/TRY and Iron-Blooded Orphans?
      I’ll give you Gundam AGE, but better than the other three? Hell to the NO!
      But I’ll still give this series a shot since I’m a mecha fan.

  • July 8, 2016 at 7:49 pmfragb85

    Super Robots and yuri are unusual at this day and age, but I’m not complaining. This episode strikes as one that tries to sell itself with the characters and the mecha battles. The relationship between the two main characters are the main focus if this episode so its probably going to be one of the main themes of the series. The reveal that the main character also runs her own country was quite an interesting twist. The mecha battles are really good, and the movement is both flashy and fluid. I also really like Magna Alecto’s design. Its the long, impractical, billowing scarf, I’ve always been a sucker for that accessory on a character (or a robot).

    I’m sold for now, but the possibility that it can still crash and burn is still there.

  • July 8, 2016 at 10:00 pms_w

    All I could think of when I saw the docks destroyed was, “MY PACKAGE! YOU BASTARDS DESTROYED MY PACKAGE!”

    Cursed-robo-loli-baba and her empress-adopted-imouto-pilot feel a bit like someone just pulled tropes out of a jar. Cutout villain was very cutout. Episode 1 villains have the worst gigs.

    Then again, it’s different from the usual, “Boring guy with no redeeming values is suddenly intensely popular for no reason anyone could ever fathom, oh, and he’s denser than a neutron star, too!” animes that are always set in the second year of some high school somewhere, so points for trying something a little different.

    We’ll see if it makes any sense or goes anywhere. 3 ep rule for this. If it doesn’t start getting coherent soon, well, I can use the extra 24 min to practice my lawn darts.

  • July 8, 2016 at 10:06 pmNamaewoinai

    It looks good, pretty good, well at least from the start…But i hope this won’t fail so bad, cuz i was thinking that this show may easily get some flaws within the next episodes. We don’t want this show go south do we? (as in you know, like any other mech-shows) Also Yuri-in-a-mecha-show!…BAH…i already seem those…

    And One More thing:
    http://randomc.net/image/Regalia%20The%20Three%20Sacred%20Stars/Regalia%20The%20Three%20Sacred%20Stars%20-%20OP%20-%20Large%2002.jpg
    I Kinda like this girl…However when I discover that she is a Head of State (Empress) of an Empire, i fear she may face some terrible consequence, you know like this one…but hey she is far more better that this…uh…Lady!!

    • July 9, 2016 at 4:23 amNamaewoinai

      And That consequence may result to a questionable and unpleasant plot, That somehow kinda scares me…Still Good Luck for Them!

  • July 9, 2016 at 9:30 amLonghaul

    The title of the show makes me think of The Day of Sagittarius III, convoluted because it sounds cooler.

    • July 9, 2016 at 10:08 amPasserby

      To be fair, there probably will be three stars, sacred or otherwise, and we’ve perhaps seen two of them.

      • July 9, 2016 at 11:58 pmLonghaul

        If you are referring to the case with the 2 items and an empty spot, I got the same vibe.

      • July 10, 2016 at 12:18 amLonghaul

        My bad, it should have been obvious to me that was what you meant when you said as much in your review.

  • July 10, 2016 at 7:43 amGoodwill Wright

    Getting a bit of a Godannar vibe here. Especially that poncho mech reminding my of Ken’s Gainar.

    I will watch this just for hand drawn mechs.