「帰還」 (Kikan)
“Return”

Well, I dare say the biggest surprise for Seijo no Maryoku’s finale is that there was no real surprise. Sei did saintly things. Sei did embarrassed saintly things. Oh yes, Sei even found time to do embarrassingly cute saintly things. Does it sound like a problem? Better not, because I loved every damn minute of it. There may be something to be said for a lack of advancement on the part of that bubbling Albert crush (just on the other side of boil now methinks), but hey, have to leave something to dig into the source material over. Even for laidback series like this need something to look forward to and Seijo no Maryoku certainly left the options wide open. Now onto those impressions!

Final Impressions

To be quite frank, Seijo no Maryoku wasn’t a show I expected to blog. I knew from the start I was going to follow it (isekai is an addiction you don’t escape), but it never really screamed out as more than seasonal filler. Lo and behold such expectations quickly getting shredded as underneath the unassuming visage was a series far more appealing than meets the eye.

What arguably sold me on Seijo no Maryoku was its focus. Much like the thematically similar Shiraryuki-hime, Seijo no Maryoku is a fantasy-focused story which couches its developments with major romantic overtones – but a story which keeps those overtones from excessively dominating. You know at the start for example that Sei will be pulled hard given the pretty boy palette on display courtesy of Johan, Kyle, and Albert (among others), yet the show never actually delves deep into what could’ve been one nasty love free-for-all. Instead as soon as Albert comes into focus he immediately assumes romantic primacy with Sei – and Seijo no Maryoku never once looks back. As a result we get a romance story without any major drama, a story able to focus more on the cute and whimsical and play up the warmth and healing often lost when romantic competition enters the picture. One can consider such a strategy boring of course (especially if you come to romance for the drama), but it’s a strategy certain to leave a smile on your face when in need of some simple relaxation.

Helping this aspect as well is how Seijo no Maryoku handles its drama when it does inevitably pop up. Case in point being Aira’s role and Kyle’s scheming involving her. At any time this central plot-line could’ve been wrung hard, blown up, or otherwise milked to death to maximize potential conflict and chaos (and oh did plenty exist). Instead? Surprisingly reasonable motivations and an even more surprising resolution with rational (mostly) character actions. Indeed Seijo no Maryoku’s handling of its characters is probably its most significant feature as not once did a particular character feel too superficial, out of place, or possessing contradictory motivations and/or personalities. Plenty certainly received less development than others (as is always the case), but all had their place and filled their roles well. Given how strongly the strength of romance can often hinge on the handling of key characters, having Seijo no Maryoku successfully keep the thoughts and actions of its players logical did wonders for the overall story.

Taken as a whole, Seijo no Maryoku is easily one series which any fan of romance or more down-to-earth fantasy will find plenty to enjoy. It may lack in overt action and dispense with much of the expected drama, but through strong characters and well-handled narrative it consistently provided a good weekly dose of the warm and fuzzies. I’m unsure we’ll ever see more of it in anime form (woe be the curse of the average LN adaptations), but Seijo no Maryoku is certainly one isekai series I wouldn’t getting more of should the right opportunity arise.

15 Comments

  1. This isn’t the kind of series that’s going to blow you away with it’s writing or direction or animation. It’s likely not going to win any awards.

    What it is, however, is relaxing. No matter what was happening at the time, this series always managed to put me in a good mood. It was one of the few series that I always watched the day it came out.

    I’m not sure if it will get a sequel or not, but I’d love to see it happen.

    hjerry
    1. Without a doubt, shows like this don’t have to be incredible or blow you away, they just have to execute their stories right. This one easily accomplished that and as a result became one very fun and relaxing ride.

  2. I loved this Anime. Sure it has an Otome Core base, but well. While watching it it gave me calm, smile and good Vibes (for not sound to strange) and i enjoyed it. We are happy that the Story Director took a different appearance to Aira. I hope for an 2nd Season, because the Origin of this Dark Miasma is still a secret. But my experience of watched Anime and with the Mix of Western Movies and such, i guess that the Miasma could be an fallen Saint before her, where she felled into Despair because of her “Commander Hawk” got killed or Betrayed of the Peoples

    Aira can still play the Battle Mage/Paladin/Fighter Trump (No, not the ex-President) Card. Jude could become a good friend to her, it must not end up in Love. Just “besties” to use a Slime reference of Milim for Rimuru

    But this is just my speculation based on cliche routines, so forgive me for my White Horse of Wishes. Lets see if the Prayers for a 2nd Season is heard

    Worldwidedepp
    1. Possible 2nd Season, Plain of View from Aira:

      Episode 1-3 could take care of how she came into this World and how the Prince took care of her and how the Story overlap with Sei. Perhaps with Episode 3 they could take care in how the Prince play the Spoiled Brat.

      Episode 4-6 could tell her Story in the Academy in how she learn her Magic Tricks and first contact with Jude

      Episode 7-9 could cover her Story where the Grand Magus took an interesting on her and thought her the Magic she used in this Season Finale

      Episode 10-12 could then unify Sei’s and Aira’s Fate together as “Sword and Shield” Maiden.

      Notice: This is just born out from my White Horse of well wishes

      Worldwidedepp
  3. Thanks for blogging the series! Definitely one of the better series this season, with a vibe that was very much different from the rest.

    Having it on Tuesdays was an extra, as it set itself as a relaxing guilty pleasure in a work week.

    tsirrus
    1. Thanks for enjoying the coverage! I certainly think it was one of better shows this season (especially isekai-wise), and doubly so for being a total surprise. I didn’t expect anything catastrophic, but I also wasn’t anticipating a solid fantasy romance.

  4. I find Aria’s reaction to Sei and Albert to be rather cute and strangely realistic. I think that also explains how the show handled most of the cast.

    The show is very enjoyable and I also agree that its focus is one of the reasons why. It also makes this show rather hard to recommend to others. Not that they probably won’t like it, but on how to word it correctly to express on why it’s good. I think it’s easier to recommend it to my female friends instead of the male ones.

    theirs
    1. The rational actions and motivations of the characters are probably what sold me the most on it. For everything this series lacked with explosive action or melodrama it made up with soft power and realistic developments. A very quiet story as a result, but one which hooks you hard once you’re interested.

      Agreed on the recommendation aspect as well, unless you’re already a romance or fantasy fan you must be willing to sit through and give the first few episodes a chance to find out what’s good. It makes females the natural audience as it ticks off their boxes faster than it does for any male viewer.

      1. “Rational actions and motivations” are what got me on this too. For all the (accurate) talk in the comments here about this anime not being an award-winning level of great, I believe any show/writer/etc can learn a lot from how characters were handled here.

        Thanks for covering this! I enjoyed both the show and your thoughts.

        James
  5. Even though they are very different, I enjoyed this way more than Sentouin Hakenshimasu which almost put me to sleep each week.

    I’ve been begging for romance shows for years that don’t feel the need to ruin it with useless drama and just allows viewers to enjoy the cuteness. While this show doesn’t truly focus on the romance so it may still not quite be what I am asking for, it is a definite step in the right direction.

    Avalon

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