OP: 「MY LIBERATION」 by nano
「光と闇と」 (Hikari to yami to)
“Light and Darkness”
Confession time, I’ve already seen the first four episodes of Chain Chronicle. Well, most of us probably have given the first movie was subbed back in December and represents the initial third of Chain Chronicle’s TV adaptation. This was a show I honestly had some optimism for considering the impressive animation and pleasant character designs noted in the preview. While the movie’s plot left me more confused than impressed, it didn’t dim the hopes that this adaptation would improve upon things and offer a better, tighter production. Unfortunately that opinion turned out to be too optimistic.
The opener here is basically the first ~20 minutes of the movie scene for scene, interspaced of course with the usual OP and ED. There are no major changes to report, which personally leaves me quite disappointed. The reason for this is Chain Chronicle’s story. At its core this show is your generic high fantasy, with the world (Yggdra) under threat of annihilation by an evil power (the Black King) and his assorted minions. Arrayed against this deadly menace is a band of brave souls, led—of course—by an unassuming hero (Yuri; Ishida Akira) who possesses the charisma and courage needed to rally the forces of good. Now at face value there’s nothing wrong here, plenty of other series have made this concept work well with less. The problem rather is where this story begins. Introducing our merry band, explaining the Volunteer Army and the situation behind this climactic battle is nowhere to be found; instead we immediately jump from failed assault to aftermath and new character introductions. This opener—like the movie—honestly felt like the first episode of a series sequel rather than a brand new show, throwing around names and relationships obviously requiring some pre-existing knowledge to properly understand. I hoped the TV version would fill in some of the blanks for us unfamiliar with the game plot, but that seemingly was not meant to be.
Not helping either is the stark generality of the characters themselves. We have the brave princess with her ensemble of knights, the mage with an understanding of the world, and the usual assortment of hunter, healer/priestess, and demi-human examples (ogre, dwarf, elf). Then there’s Aram, who besides trying out for the next Assassin’s Creed, is obviously the true hero of this story, complete with tragic backstory (guaranteed) and mysterious ability which will—without a doubt—save the day. None of the characters particularly stand out barring Aram, which definitely adds to the confusion here given that they are all we (i.e. those unfamiliar with the game) immediately have to go on. Compared to that ridiculous apple buyer though, these guys are A list stars.
To be fair to Chain Chronicle, however, this is only the first episode, and the latter parts of the movie—which I am assuming with also be adapted as is into the next three episodes—improved once characters were (somewhat) fleshed out and certain things were explained. Once I got past the initial confusion over the story and considered this one at face value, Chain Chronicle became a decent bit of fantasy entertainment. I’ll certainly be watching Chain Chronicle all the way through, but considering the adaptation format and the likelihood the remaining movies will be subbed before their respective episodes air, I’m not sure if I’ll continue blogging this one yet. After all, there’s plenty of fantasy anime this season and only so much time.
ED: 「True Destiny」 by Nao Touyama