「剣姫と妖精」 (Kenki to Yousei)
“The Sword Princess and the Elf”

Initial Expectations

Animated by the same studio in JC Staff and featuring an overpowered female character from the mainline series as its heroine, I kid you not when I say Sword Oratoria is potentially the next Railgun. My expectations are relatively high, although tempered for the first few episodes. After all, Railgun took some sweet time before getting its engines revving.

Compared to Danmachi, Sword Oratoria seems like it will feature higher level action and focus on expanding upon the characters within the Loki Familia. Since they are already seem really powerful, there is also no need for the spinoff to cover repetitive grinding and training arcs, which is a bonus for me.

Ais is a character from DanMachi who would greatly benefit from having her own spinoff, as the original series left a lot of room for her character to be fleshed out. Hopefully, having the story focus on Ais and her familia will reward us with the Misaka Mikoto tier character development that made Railgun such a brilliant series to watch.

Episode Impressions

Before we get started, my episode impressions will focus on the Loki Familia as a whole, as well as the action scattered between events. Excluding Hestia’s cameo, we briefly dive straight into the action with a Formors horde encounter, only for it to be a bait and switch as we flash back to the main focus of the episode: The Elven Mage Lefiya.

At Level 3, she is hanging out with higher level members of the Loki Familia to gain combat experience and level up in a safe environment. However, her inability to properly back up her fellow clansman in a reliable manner causes her to feel glum. Although I can sympathise with the idea of anxiety affecting your everyday life, Lefiya’s pitiful struggling started nearing Ikari Shinji levels of frustrating. While I can understand that her character is important for demonstrating the awesomeness of Ais, I felt like JC Staff went too far in emphasising Lefiya’s incompetence to create a dynamic contrast with Ais’ heroic capabilities. It’s not like she doesn’t complete the fire spell in the Light Novel and helps with wiping out some of the corrosive giant caterpillars *grumble*. Having said that, the shield comes to Lefiya’s rescue and it worked out well in the end because Riveria’s powerful magic was probably my personal highlight of this episode. Watching her chanting the epic line ‘I am Alf’ in order to nuke corrosive giant caterpillars was awesome. Episode saved from frustration in my eyes by the skin of its teeth. Lefiya having such a patient and wise teacher who can only help her grow is so important.

The Amazoness twins are so fun and entertaining both in terms of their individual characters and their mutual interactions. I know Tiona’s flat is justice and she has the killer kawaii smile that makes Minotaurs wet themselves, but Tione’s wholesomeness comes close to rivalling some of my recent photoshopping hidden in posts. Seeing Tione fluctuate between angry, dere dere and berserk is a rollercoaster and a half in its own respect. Plus her fanservice metrics were over 9000.

Speaking of Tione’s crush Finn, my guess would be that Finn is vaguely aware of Tione’s feelings towards him, but chooses to ignore them to maintain the professionalism expected out of a Familia captain. Also, his chiding of Ais can be seen as his gruff way of looking out for her, as he seems incredibly mindful of her shortcomings.

I can’t say Ais stole the show whenever she appeared on the screen, but she definitely looked super cool when turning up with her sword in tow, especially when utilising her wind magic ‘Ariel’. You know shit is about to go down. Her decisiveness and grace in combat was definitely a sight to behold, and her pouting face alone would have been all the reason I needed to watch this episode. Not to mention, Bete’s snide reaction to Bell running away from Ais somewhat redeemed his grating personality in my eyes, since it subsequently elicited the pout from Ais. Credit must be given where it’s due.

In my opinion, for such a quiet and introverted character, it would certainly help expand Ais’ character if we could hear her internal monologue. Using it specifically on side characters like Lefiya rather than her was a truly wasteful thing to do.

Concluding Thoughts

The mystery of Uranus strikes me as something that might be very important later down the line, so I look forwards to seeing how his guild operations are incorporated into the story. Other than that, even with all the action and insights to the Loki Familia that we got, I can’t say that Sword Oratoria’s first episode was too exciting. However, a price has to be paid in pacing in order to establish that the story runs concurrently with the mainline Danmachi, evident in Bell’s cameo Minotaur encounter towards the end of the episode. With that out of the way, hopefully Sword Oratoria now has greater freedom to do as it wishes, and I am left enthusiastic by the raw potential it offers.

Even if you are not familiar with the original Danmachi, Sword Oratoria is something you can pick up if you like comedy, throwbacks to ancient mythology, and action. The fanservice could be hit and miss depending on your mileage, but if you are put off by Lefiya’s character, I highly suspect she won’t continue to be the focus of the show as it continues to progress.

The focus on Lefiya meant that quality time could not be spent elaborating on Ais’ character, although some of Ais’ personal issues are indeed alluded to. Not that I can empathise with those issues because they seem far removed from ordinary meaning, but it should be interesting nevertheless. I look forwards to seeing them explored in the near future, and hope that the spotlight can truly shine on Ais from now on

Stay tuned to follow at least three episodes worth of coverage for Sword Oratoria!

ED Sequence

ED: 「day by day」by Kano


  1. Have you read the novel or not? I can’t see how anyone who’s read the novel could think is going to be any good. Cutting out the plot was their smallest offense. When I was watching this, I actually thought Lefiya might not be so annoying, but it turned out to be much WORSE. Novel Lefiya may have been a whiny brat who couldn’t stop having confidence issues, but she could at least be counted on to fire a goddamn spell. This one couldn’t even do that. I can’t even defend how she could even be a level 3.

    Then there was a serious OOC with Finn. The calm, responsible leader of the Loki familia jeopardized the lives of his men against unknown monsters spewing acid that could melt their weapons just to give Lefiya confidence when he had a more reliable spellcaster on hand.

    This is no railgun. This is a train wreck.

    1. In all fairness, I write my initial expectations before I watch the first episode. Otherwise, they wouldn’t really be initial expectations XD

      But yes, I feel like JC Staff butchered the source material to some extent. In the novel, she completes the spell and fires it off to assist the Loki Familia. So none of this ‘COMPLETE THE FUCKING INCANTATION’ shenanigans going on.

      Had JC Staff decided to have Lefiya successfully complete her spellcasting like in the novels, that would have the knock on effect of making Finn’s decision seem rational. When one wants to level up a low level character in an MMORPG, it makes sense to join a guild then stick around the strong people doing high level quests to leech experience. So it wasn’t as irrational as you’ve made it out to be.

      On the other hand, I have to say, my excitement stems from my expectations for the later parts. Even Railgun didn’t exactly start out amazingly in my opinion, so I will probably reserve my Judgement on this adaption until it’s about halfway through. It’s far too early to jump the gun.

      1. No it wouldn’t. Finn’s decision wasn’t rational no matter how you cut it. They were fighting for their lives. Some people were almost melted. IT made no sense regardless of the outcome. If Lefiya can’t even cast a spell when she’s being protected, then how could she have fired in her noob days?

      2. I wouldn’t agree that the Loki Familia were really fighting for their lives here. The higher level members kind of just wiped out all those corrosive colossal caterpillars at the end of the day. The only ones who struggled were the lower level members who suffered no lasting damage. From the outset, JC Staff are trying to show us that the Loki Familia are largely very adept and proficient at combat, in addition to possessing a diverse range of skills.

        As for why Lefiya can’t fire off fire spells the second time round, I think you misunderstood. The beginning of the episode actually took place during the minotaur fight that happened towards the end, after the event with the corrosive colossal caterpillars.

        Also, even if that was an issue, there is a pretty neat justification to Lefiya’s problems that I found browsing while reddit earlier. Hope it helps! 🙂

      3. Even the elites had difficulty fighting monsters that could melt their weapons. They couldn’t really do anything without Riveria’s magic that nuked them all in one shot. It’s just contrived that no one died waiting for Lefiya who was dicking around.

        The anime failed to explain the intricacies of their weapons like Bete’s shoes, Ais’ sword which didn’t melt, and Tiona’s Urga. Also, that tentacle scene was completely out of place.

      4. No. You’ve misunderstood. Everything was in chronological order. The fight at the beginning was against fomorians. Look at the horns. Also, I was talking about her wussing out in the fight against the caterpillars and Riveria had to step in.

        I’ve read the novels and I’ve never heard about this. While large scale magic does require focus, Show Spoiler ▼

      5. I find your lack of faith disturbing! Starwars Memes aside, have some patience. This is just the first episode and they’re bound to go into detail on the intricacies of Bete’s shoes, Tione’s ability and Ais’ sword in later episodes. I’m not too concerned that they didn’t try to cover everything in this episode. After all, there’s only so much you can do with 20 minutes.

        The monsters could melt their weapons (apart from Ais sword), but whether it was because of magic/armour/physical endurance, the acid only burnt people at most. Even that Level 4 guy only received minor acid burns that were healed straight back up. So it’s not too far fetched or contrived that no one died.

        And I mean, that’s the role of a mage I guess. To do the nuking. I’d say it was pretty much a stalemate until then, and that they weren’t completely useless without the offensive magic. It wasn’t like the Loki Familia were getting overwhelmed prior to Riveria casting her spell.

        As for the clarification on chronology of the episode, I do stand corrected. Also, while I have read some of Sword Oratoria, I have not read too far into the novels. Maybe my optimism is unfounded considering my limited experience, but it is the stance I choose to take for the meantime.

        I also want to emphasise that I don’t think a mental block necessarily lifts upon the first instance of success. Mental health issues like anxiety aren’t so one dimensional and straightforwards like that. Somedays you perform, and others you just don’t. So in hindsight while I can empathise with Lefiya being somewhat frustrating to watch, the accusations you’ve made against the anime depiction are quite unfair on her character, and disingenuous to people in real life who have suffered from anxiety.

      6. That acid easily melted Tiona’s Urga made from the toughest known substance. Tone’s level 5 so she could get off with burns as long as she didn’t touch it for too long. Raul didn’t get hit directly and as long as they could get their armor off before it got on them they could get by with a few burns like Raul. Point is with each second that passed the likelihood of taking a direct hit of acid increased. Not to mention there were almost a hundred of them.

        Lefiya shouldn’t have a mental block. She’s a level 3 and a mage’s job is easy. Just focus on casting the spell under the protection of allies. If she couldn’t even cast her spell under the protection of the 2 strongest members of her familia, then how did she ever get to level 3 under less pressing situations? It makes no sense.

      7. That acid easily melted Tiona’s Urga made from the toughest known substance.

        If Tiona’s Urga is made of the toughest substance, then what about Ais’ sword? If that’s not as tough as Tiona’s Urga, then why didn’t that melt? Magic has the potential to factor in a lot more, in addition to endurance and innate resistances as seen with Tione.

        Tone’s level 5 so she could get off with burns as long as she didn’t touch it for too long.

        More to do with her ability that hasn’t been revealed yet I think, than the fact she is Level 5.

        Lefiya shouldn’t have a mental block.

        That’s akin to saying ‘X shouldn’t have depression’. Can a person can selectively choose when they are depressed or not? Then I will rephrase that to fit the context. Do you think a person with anxiety can selectively control when they are going to have mental blocks?

        She’s a level 3 and a mage’s job is easy.

        A Level 5 with high endurance could barely stave off the corroding effect. I don’t think Lefiya has it easy. Being a level 3 mage who lacks the endurances of stronger fighters, one splash of acid and she’s basically dead.

        how did she ever get to level 3 under less pressing situations

        There’s fighting a minotaur to achieve a lower level up, which Lefiya doesn’t seem to struggle with as you can see towards the end of the episode. Then there’s fighting against caterpillars that can completely disintegrate you with one splash of corrosive substance which Level 5 adventurers are having a hard time against. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that her circumstances to get to level 3 were less pressing, irrespective of how much protection she got from her guild allies.

    2. Few comment on the discussion. First, as I mentioned below, if Lefiya successfully completes her casting in the novels, then that was a bad adaptation change, and it would justify Finn’s decision. Second, overall this fight didn’t have all that much tension. Main, high level characters seemed more annoyed than really worried (plus a comedy moment with Tiona’s weapon dissolving). Once Aiz and then Riveria stepped in, it was quickly resolved, and yeah, you didn’t see much real damage overall. Third, a deep seated mental block is not going away after a single instance of success. A successful attempt certainly is important, but it’s one time. Continued, sustained success is a whole other level.

  2. Oratoria’s LNs basically flesh out Danmachi’s universe further – you get to see what the OP adventurers handle, as well as bigger stake adventures.
    I’ve been told Oratoria’s plot sometimes crosses with Danmachi’s, to provide an alternate perspectives to Danmachi’s events.

    The LN art is by Kiyotaka Haimura, artist for the Index LN franchise.
    Currently 8 volumes are out.

    1. Don’t worry zztop, I’ve dabbled a bit into the Sword Oratoria light novels, but not too far.

      Didn’t realise that the LN art was by Kiyotaka Haimura! Another interesting things to note is that Bete’s VA is the same as Accelerator’s. The mix of these two facts is probably the reason why Bete gives off this furry Accelerator vibe.

    2. The two stories crossing over is pretty clear. Timeline is the same, just different POV (Aiz’s). Now how much crossover remains to be seen, but I don’t think it will be too much. The few times Aiz & Bell bump into each other and a bit of training. More than just Aiz’s POV though. Seem to expand some on hinted plot lines from the first season.” (or am I mixing up LN with S1?)

      @Zaiden: Read a good chunk of the LN post S1, but not that far (4 or 4 1/2 volumes maybe). I think that’s pretty much what S1 covered. LN just adds some details.

    1. Same outfit she was wearing two years ago in DanMachi. (I know, because I wound up watching DanMachi again after this as a palate cleanser, because I wasn’t happy with this first ep.)

  3. Watched S1 and read the LN right after that (can’t remember if I finished volume 05 or not). Haven’t read Sword Oratoria LN though. I thought this was a pretty good start, and I do remember most, if not all of Aiz’s party (Lefiya and the dwarf dude are fuzzy. Seem familiar). Anyway, I liked Aiz quite a bit from S1/LN. She’s not the most extroverted, demonstrative character and we didn’t get a ton of detail on her, but I thought her character did have at least some depth (the quiet ones can still have that). Got a pretty good sense of who she is even if we don’t know her goals/backstory is just yet.

    Anyway, I did have some issues starting with Lefiya. From what I recall of DanMachi, just getting to level 2 let alone level 3 is a pretty big deal. Not all adventurers make it to level 2. Loki’s family is pretty hax with all the level 5 & even level 6 members. Point here is that I totally agree with Zaiden on how the anime overplayed Lefiya’s doubts and struggles. If she completes the fire spell in the LN, than that’s a bad adaptation move, and yeah, it was frustrating to watch. Frankly, I started to wonder how she made it this far the way the anime presented it. Not only that, but just from RPG game standpoint, I didn’t think the tactics were all that good. Tanks not doing their job, squishy mages insufficiently protected baring last minute saving (maybe to showcase Aiz?).

    The rest of the battle was OK (the fire spell AOE was pretty cool), but not nearly at the level of S1 Ep. 08 Minotaur fight (which was quite good IMO). Frankly, I thought there was a bit of cheat going on with Tione. I mean the caterpillar blood/acid disolves metal (and I bet that’s a very expensive HQ weapon), but sure, just shove your hand & arm inside. What could possibli go wrong? Apparently, not much. O.o Yeah, she got somewhat injured, but didn’t look like much at all to me. Not a huge deal & maybe the LN explains that.

    Agree that the Amazon twins are fun (not sure about the DFC = justice though), and maybe not stealing the show, but I did enjoy seeing Aiz again. Bete’s still mostly an ass, but that’s his character. The rest are OK, including Finn.

    As for whether or not you need to watch S1, maybe not required, but a good idea. A lot of this is pretty standard RPG stuff, but there are nuances to the overall story/world that it would help to know. Certainly I think would enhance enjoyment.

    Not without issue, but good enough. Like DanMachi, like Aiz and I don’t see this imploding. I’m in.

    “In my opinion, for such a quiet and introverted character, it would certainly help expand Ais’ character if we could hear her internal monologue.”

    Agree in concept, but need to use that judiciously. She is a quiet, reserved and calm in the face of danger character, but you can pick up a lot from what she does/acts. Having a bunch of internal dialog would make her too “chatty”, but yes, some internal dialog could very well be beneficial.

    1. For Ais, it definitely is a case of actions speaking louder than words.

      The stuff with Tione will be explained. It’s not immediately apparent, but it’s to do with her ability.

      Of course they shouldn’t overdo internal monologues for Ais if they were to have it. I was kind of thinking the sort of internal monologue we’ve gotten from Kotarou in this season’s Tsuki ga Kirei.

      1. @Zaiden: Agree on Aiz, you get a lot from mannerism, demeanor, facial expression, etc. Not watching Tsuki ga Kirei, but I get the idea from other anime characters. IIRC, Aiz has some internal dialog in DanMachi LN which was included in anime S1 when she trained Bell.

        Appreciate the info on Tione. Glad to know that will be explained.

  4. It really feels like they’re rushing through the content. It’s understandable when you only have 12 episodes to work with, but damn. There really isn’t a sense of urgency like there was in written form.

    1. Either it’s 12 episodes of rushing to fit in content, or 24 episodes with probably 8 of those episodes being filler. I think JC Staff opted for the former, and are making sacrifices in places so that the important parts don’t get rushed through.

      1. @Zaiden: Railgun S2 did take that approach – adapt xyz amount of material in the proper time it takes to adapt said material, and then worry about filling the rest of the season (i.e. anime original stuff). I thought that was a laudable approach to take, and respect director, producers, etc. for doing so. Much better than rushing through source, cutting meaningful material, etc. IMO.

      2. @daikama. True, but I wouldn’t say anything meaningful is being rushed through yet. Not to mention, a 24 episode series is also going to cost more to produce, and the fact it’s an adaption rather than a studio original cuts the profit margins even more.

        What you said reminded me that I hadn’t checked out the director yet. While I have watched a few shows that they have directed, I can’t say that any of them were special. So I’m keeping my expectations even more tempered than before.

        Although Danmachi is popular, it still has a long way to go before it can rival Raildex, which is also a thought to consider when thinking about the ability to pull out a 26 episode. JC Staff are also producing another show this season, which probably affects the budget and resources they can allocate to Sword Oratoria.

      3. @Zaiden: IMO always good to temper expectations. Less likely to be disappointed that way. Personally, I’m not coming into this with super high expectations anyway. I liked DanMachi, but I didn’t love it. Like anything else there’s some bad/issues to go with the good (anime or LN).

        As for this show in particular, glad to know that they are not rushing things so far. Rather get less, but done right (INB4 they didn’t get this 100% right – I know). Only thing to me so far which is really worrisome was the bad change with Lefiya (yes, just cast the damn spell). That’s not a good sign, especially off the bat. Still, didn’t they get there rest pretty much right based off LN or am I missing something?

        I’ll be honest here. Maybe I’d be more disappointed (maybe) if I had read the LN, and Ep. 01 has some issues. Perhaps I was a bit generous with “pretty good” vs. “OK” since I like DanMachi, but I really didn’t find it as bad as apparently a number of viewers did. I wasn’t expecting glowing comments, but not quite this harsh/numerous. JMO, but watched as “bad” (or worse) this season. Maybe this won’t be as good as Railgun (and to be fair, I may very well find the Sword Oratoria LN not as good as Index LN. I do like Index LNs), but this could turn out to be at least “good enough” if not better. IDK. Just didn’t get any hints of “train wreck” levels from Ep.01. *shrugs*

  5. Ok, this one was way too weird. Leaving aside the LN, one would think that SO would be centered in Aiz and the epic party that the original DanMachi made us believe it was. This first episode just showed that without Aiz, the party is average at best. While it’s not a foolish idea to take an inexperienced mage into a party for experience, the main idea is to defend that mage so he/she can do the job. Twice this party just failed to do a basic thing, and only Aiz being the proverbial deus-ex machina make everybody remember that they are experienced adenturers, not jobbers just for the sake of the script.
    Character like, Leyfia looks more apt for Bell’s party, the twin amazons are as feisty as I expected, captain Finn is an avil, and I remember why I really hated Bate in the original DanMachi. I hope we have an episode when someone just tell him “you are a son of a (literal) bitch!”
    This need to improve. Right now is way below Virgin Blood and Granblue Fantasy.

  6. The question is will Ais have more spoken lines here as in Danmachi or not. I not sure if she is supposed to be the protagonist or not, but sure is she has less screen time then anyone else, and even when she is the focus she never talks.

    1. btw this kind of Power leveling i use it in my party JRPgs

      an Veteran that keeps the Party alive to power leveling the new low lvl members, to progress the Story

  7. That tower has a Doctor Who Tardis like feel. It looks small(Width) on the outside but humongous on the inside. The first season gave me more questions than answers. Like why the monsters are mostly confined to the inside of the tower(Unless captured and taken out). Why this tower even exists to begin with? Why the Gods are mostly not allowed inside(But go in anyway). Why that woman cares, forgot her name but it gave me the impression she was probably inside the tower at a higher floor watching Bells journey.

    The tower needs something sinister lurking in its lowest depths. I know that would probably cross Tower of Druaga territory but they’re just going inside to kill monsters and leaving. I’d love a proper bad guy.

    1. It has just been one episode and the perspective of a powerful female protagonist is not really generic in my books.

      Hidden OP + harem = not generic? Bell pretty much ticks off all the generic LN tropes for protagonists, as interesting as his adventures in Danmachi are.

  8. So much disappointment from this episode. I had to go back and watch Danmachi. Every episode was better than this. Wow.

    I get that adaptations can be hard, but this one should be a freaking slam dunk. How did they screw up something this simple? My head a-splode.

    I’m hoping episode 2 is not the start of the Danmachi anime franchise train going over the cliff, because that would ruin the chances of a real Danmachi season 2. -_-

    And no, this is NO Railgun. Railgun was good from the first episode. I will not be blinded by the amazon twins, no matter how cute they are, or even by Aiz. They cannot hide the bad writing in the episode, and more than 1000 caterpillars spewing purple “whatever,” THAT bad writing scares me more.

    Hate to say it, but it’s on the 3-ep list for me. I’m not going to subject myself to a season of bad Danmachi spinoff when there are so many good shows out there this season, and I would hate to watch a franchise I like get slowly bled to death by bad production. It needs to get better fast.

    1. Nothing that happens in the anime will effect the original series getting a second season. They did go through five novels worth of material, and with eleven volumes now out. There’s nothing stopping them from announcing a season 2.

  9. I’ve only watched through the first anime, so I’m unsure of how well the materials been adapted. I’m liking the first episode alot because of more Tione and Tiona, and how fun their personalities are. Admittedly, the fact that they became my best girls for Danmachi as quickly as their first appearance in the anime does cloud my judgement on whether this first episode was fulfilling or if I just wanted to see them in action more now that it’s from Aiz’s POV.

    1. I don’t think this first episode was bad, as you can tell from the reaction of people who haven’t read the LN.

      Many LN readers seem to be having exorbitantly high expectations for Sword Oratoria, perhaps rightly so, but I would wait an episode or two before labelling Sword Oratoria’s anime adaption a flop.

  10. I’m hoping to see much more Ais, Riveria, and the twins. They really left an impression from the first series, so I hope we’ll get to know them a lot better. Also glad to see that this isn’t the Loki Familia just…doing things while it’s otherwise the first series from a different viewpoint, but actually looking like their own adventures and (mostly) competence and experience as opposed to hax power-ups like Bell.

  11. So I just finished this series recently.

    I’m having a hard time believing that all of this happened without Bell being drawn into(Or at least being made aware of) it.

    I mean.. Show Spoiler ▼


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