「―２つの国の最終兵器―」 (Futatsu no Kuni no Saishuu Heiki)
“The Encounter of the Two Nations’ Ultimate Weapons”
The technologically advanced Empire has been waging a war with the Nebulis Sovereignty and its witches for centuries. Iska wields the Astral Swords – and was made the youngest Saint Disciple at the age of 15. However, when he releases a young detained witch from one of the highest security prisons as a gesture of sympathy, his actions are construed to be traitorous and he is incarcerated for a year. The Empire’s elders release him – but on only on the condition that he slays the Ice Calamity Witch, a formidable purebred who can singlehandedly wipe out armies and is widely considered to be the most powerful witch in the modern era. However, in their chance encounter, both Iska and the Ice Calamity Witch realise that their goals align – to bring peace to the world, albeit through differing means. This is the story of two idealistic, star-crossed lovers, seeking to bring about a revolution that can institute the rise of a new world order.
While the character designs were very eye-pleasing, I can’t say the animation or art style were that impressive – which is disappointing coming from a studio of Silver Link’s caliber. However, the fight scenes were rather pleasant to watch. Hopefully the normal scenes will improve. Only putting effort into the action scenes won’t cut it for me, as far as visual appeal is concerned. The episode also felt a bit rushed. That said, it still felt like most of the important details came across – and major events were covered nicely. Namely the first and second encounters between Iska and Alicia.
We have Iska, who seeks out peace, but also the forgiveness and redemption of his beloved Empire for committing a crime one year before the story begins. Then we have Alicia, a princess who desires to forge a world where individuals are free from persecution, united under the banner of the Nebulis Sovereignty. The Romeo and Juliet archetype is usually played for laughs in romantic comedy type series – notably Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet in recent times. So to see it being adapted within a sci-fi, fantasy epic is rather exciting to see. And so far, I’m feeling the chemistry between Iska and Alicia. Despite being enemies, Iska being a true gentleman saves Alicia from a nasty tumble when she lost her footing – literally and figuratively catching her in a princess carry.
They’re both aesthetically pleasing. Their emotions are in sync – given how they both subconsciously touched the chest area above their hearts, clearly expressing the way they’ve emotionally impacted each other. As well as the fact they both attended a play about star-crossed lovers, no doubt because they’ve become self aware about their feelings, alongside the fundamental issues of catching romantic sentiments towards an enemy. Most importantly, they share a common dream that they want to see realised – bringing peace to this godforsaken, war-torn world. That kind of common connection can definitely be enough to unite them past their differences. At least that’s what I sincerely believe in.
Kimisen’s world building has been rather enjoyable. It’s always fun to see the conceptualisation of science vs magic. And the Empire’s capital reminded me of Midgar from Final Fantasy VII, evoking gritty and dystopian sentiments. According to the Empire, the witches started the war by sending the most powerful witch in its history to raze down the capital with her blazing inferno. But of course, this is only the Empire’s account of the story – meaning it’s possible they might have twisted up or omitted details. So I’ll withold my judgement on the Nebulis Sovereignty until more information comes to light. For now, I’ll assume they did something to really piss off that witch.
Also, we discover that a reason why conflicts are still being waged could come down to stubborn pride, with Nene speculating that people aren’t really aware of the original reason behind the war. But no one wants to give up and admit defeat. I’m not quite convinced this is the real reason. The 8 elders come across as shady. They construct weapons facilities, that the witches destroy without killing members of the Empire. So surely these Empire elders have their own ulterior motives and they haven’t given the full scope of what these facilities entail. But again, it can only be speculation for the time being until further information comes out.
It looked like Sword Art Online. It looked like Fate/Stay Night. Seeing is believing, so I was expecting something along those lines. Kimisen is nothing like these two franchises, which isn’t bad by any means. While it does have some rather generic elements, I’m impressed that the series feels distinctly unique all the same. I’m invested in both characters, who live in a broken world that they’re trying to mend. And I want to see if they really can go the mile. Because possessing the willpower is one matter, but seeing it through to reality is another. In that sense, there’s a grand scale of narrative begging to be delivered and explored. And I will be excited to see whether Kimisen can proceed to break the mold. Or whether it will languish in the clutches of mediocrity. Because from what I can see, this series truly has potential to be something special.