OP Sequence

OP: 「Bright Way」by Aya Uchida

「盃の誓い」 (Sakazuki no chikai)
“The Oath of the Chalice”

Having received the comedic parody which is Isekai Maou and the slight alternate world twist in Shichisei no Subaru, things just wouldn’t be complete without our conventional—i.e. harem based—isekai series of the season, so here to properly fill out the ranks is summer’s “true” alternate world in Hyakuren no Haou to Seikayu no Valkyria (or HnH because I’m not writing that mouthful every time). With girls, deus ex machinae, and everything in between being the name of the game here you know exactly how this one is going to play out, but somehow I imagine it won’t matter too much. With cutie pies like these there isn’t going to be much to complain about.

As is true for most similar series HnH doesn’t stray far from the isekai path. We have our head honcho Yuuto (Sakai Kodai) who wound up in some alternate world (personal Yuuto musing aside) at the behest of another summoning experiment gone wrong, his adorable cast of children/sisters bound to his every word, and the setup for the usual isekai shenanigans in saving the group and potentially the world once events start playing out. Complementing things as well is the necessary power up device in Yuuto’s smartphone and what you just know is the childhood friend who Yuuto somehow still retains full contact with, because one never goes wrong with more girls. Really if you aren’t imagining Isekai wa Smartphone already you’re not trying hard enough. Beyond the Norse mythos theme and scenery which screams God of War 4 Jötunheim to me (yes I kind of loved that game) it’s nothing particularly unique, although then again anyone who knew what was coming could’ve has easily foreseen it. HnH was always going to fully embrace the isekai tropes lock, stock, and barrel, and do so without a care in the world.

Once beyond initial impressions and genre clichés however, HnH winds up not being that bad. Much like Knight’s and Magic there’s an element of ingenuity lying under the surface here, generated in part from Yuuto’s intelligence and hints towards a tactical mindset. Barring any crazy smartphone shenanigans yet to be revealed (hopefully not), the kid shows a shrewd use of knowledge, giving his Wolf Clan iron weapons when other opponents clearly lack such material, military knowledge several centuries removed from the world, and an understanding of how to use fear and intimidation to get what you desire. Well, in most cases. It’s the sort of thing necessary to help give HnH the staying power similar series wind up lacking, although whether the show can retain this focus going forward is a big question mark. With the harem mechanics in play and yet more girls set to appear (not to mention the usual shenanigans from ambitious rivals) there’s a lot of places where HnH can fall back into isekai cruise control, but should it properly utilize its solar powered toolbox it can easily wind up being one incredibly fun ride.

While I’m not sure if I’ll cover HnH for the duration, I’ll definitely be back next week to see how things develop. Not only are we owed an answer for how our harem master wound up in Yggdrasil in the first place, but you know damn well you want more of those glorious head pats and awkward pseudo-tsundere scenes too (Ingrid (Kawase Maki) is perfection, sue me). HnH may be generic and playing to everything we know well about isekai, but there’s plenty of room for it to turn into something entertaining. We just have to see if it’s willing to rise (heh) to the occasion.

Random Tidbits
It’s kind of funny Yuuto mentions the phalanx as being invented by both Greeks and Nobunaga when the latter never did. The Greeks during Alexander’s reign specifically invented the technique, of which numerous other countries either adopted or later independently discovered (in a form) themselves. The closest Japan came to developing a phalanx followed the first Mongol invasion, where Chinese troops in Mongol service used a similar formation to help defeat and crush the initial Japanese attacks (due in part to a lack of Japanese experience with large field maneuvers). Japan’s answer to this issue was to restructure its forces, resulting in phalanx-like military unit easily capable of dealing with Mongol forces during the second Mongol invasion.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「世界中が恋をする夜」(Sekaichuu ga Koi wo suru Yoru) by petit milady

18 Comments

  1. Geh I’ll probably pass on this one for now. My tolerance for typical isekai just isn’t as high as it used to be. While this series does gain some points for having a potentially interesting MC, the generic harem shenanigans have turned me off. Seeing all the girls react so… well generically to the MC bored me out of my mind. When I watch generic shounen harem romcoms like this one I want to see some interesting or at the very least entertaining character dynamics.

    Hmm for comparison, there was another generic romcom shounen series called Rokudenashi Majutsu etc etc awhile back. It wasn’t isekai, but they both had a competent MC in a fantasy setting, aka targeting the same audience. In that series the world building was much more compelling despite being super generic. I just can’t bring myself to care about Valkyria’s overly contrived and simplistic “Clans” and “Families” social structure.

    Flamestrike
    1. “kind of funny Yuuto mentions the phalanx as being invented by both Greeks and Nobunaga when the latter never did.”

      Perhaps it’s like Checkov in Star Trek, where the Russians invented everything first.

      Dexa
  2. I’m not sure how to say this, but while the previous Isekai wa Smartphone
    was a gag from the get-go (not necessarily horrible, but a gag none the less),
    this one is a gag that’s trying to be serious – a formula for a train wreck.

    Honestly, Isekai Maou holds more hope at least in direction the story can take —
    this one feels really plastic and predictable. I’ll probably watch a couple more
    just to see if my instinct is correct…

    mac65
  3. Hyakuren’s sub-genre is nation-building via strategic warfare (based on source LN reviews). Personally I’m more into nation-building on the administrative/macroeconomic scale, like those presented in titles like Genjitsushugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki/How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom (I wouldn’t mind an anime of that, especially since that title is at 7 volumes now).

    Considering Hyakuren’s novels are still ongoing with a hefty 16 volumes at the moment, I’m wondering how much content the anime will cover – especially since this looks more like a 1-cour series.

    zztop
  4. Ugh if only it wasn’t such an extreme focus on the whole harem bs then I might have been able to enjoy this.. But maybe that was just the worst in the first episode but I kind of doubt that’s the case, I guess they aren’t really targeting me as a viewer anyway since I’m not much for harem anime. Especially when it seems to be something that have to be part of almost every single situation…

    RaidSoft
      1. I meant to say “presentation” but mistakenly typed “pacing” instead, although now I think pacing issue isn’t completely wrong either. I actually have high hope for this series due to its many “break the mold” elements, such as
        Show Spoiler ▼

        But the quality of this first episode disappoints me.

        SMinstrel
  5. Someone said this is the best of the 4 (or 5?) isekai airing in this summer but heck, isekai maou looked like better that this and yep even that “sao rip off” (or so they sa in reddit) beat this weak episode 1.

    Jeffers
  6. Killed the video after 5 minutes. I’m guessing it’s based on some web/light novel. Garbage-in-garbage-out, I suppose. Why does crap like this keep getting made?!

    Litho
    1. Audience demand more or less, it’s a popular genre at the moment which means guaranteed profit. We’re going to be seeing a lot more of these series before Japan’s collective interests move onto other genre pastures.

  7. Since they are supposedly going for a Norse world setting it would have been nice if they could have made more use of it in the architecture and weapons and shields. For the moment the Norse setting is just name dropped for flavor rather i feel. I can see that as an anime setting the Norse mythology with its supernatural warrior women(Valkyries) makes sense but I feel they could have made more use of it. Maybe it will improve in later episodes.

    Destynova
    1. I imagine we’ll get more of the setting later on (the girls are all einherjar for example, something not yet identified in show), but exactly how much is unclear. So far at least the Norse elements are seemingly present just to help differentiate HnH from its peers rather than as an attempt to create a unique and interesting world.

  8. I like the idea of world-traveller using knowledge hacks to win in the new world…
    phalanx, new flour grinding techniques, even if it is done by accessing wiki
    (would prefer a smart kid using his own hard-earned historical acumen, but will settle for smartphone with mysterious range extension)

    ewok40k
    1. The smartphone is actually a normal phone with solar-powered charger, no mysterious power attached to it. It’s the Show Spoiler ▼

      that connects both worlds, hence the reason our MC have to rush to the temple (that hold the mirror) to make phone call.

      SMinstrel

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