「雪海の王女」 (Yuki Umi no Ojo)
“Princess of the Snow Sea”
What do you mean by movie?! With a tentative title such as Ooyukiumi no Kaina Movie, I have to believe that the people at Polygon Pictures are either planning on releasing a cut-down version of the TV anime or maybe planning on releasing a whole continuation. However, it’s hard to believe the latter since those things wouldn’t really be announced, until after the show has finished airing and a studio has garnered the popularity of the project. Think Kimetsu no Yaiba, that movie happened only after UFO Table realized they had something outstanding on their hands and therefore decided to continue adapting the manga into anime and film form. So what gives? Why has a movie for Ooyukiumi no Kaina already been announced, with the official site mirroring what both MAL and Anilist have taken as fact?
And well that’s actually my one gripe with today’s episode and for that reason, I’ll be unable to continue watching this week by week. The pacing is simply – that of a movie! I can totally see myself immersed in this world for 2 ½ hours or something like that. My brain is comparing it to the pacing of Avatar (the blue aliens) for some reason, the opening scene (of this episode) didn’t do enough to pull us through and the show expected us to know the plot in detail, that’s not bad if the first episode did enough to hold your attention, and you were salivating waiting for this second one, however, storytelling wise – there wasn’t a cliffhanger that was impactful or a revelation that might have stuck with us. This is a slow show – by all means, don’t get me wrong – I love it exactly for that. In fact, I’m ecstatic to return next week, however, that might be a solo endeavor.
I adore the pacing – it’s slow, methodical, and with just enough revelation’s about the environment the characters are in to keep me hooked, like how Kaina and Ririha are actually going to walk all the way down to the Snow Sea, and I’m here for it. But yet, I just don’t think this is a good fit for TV. It’s not TV-worthy storytelling, it’s doing its own thing – sure, but is it enough to keep viewers hooked and coming back? Unfortunately, I think not. Not unless you’re a fan of Nihei-sensei, and know his previous works. You might understand that the setting is a character all in itself, it’s a breathing living thing. And this time it actually is. It’s a thing that’s dying as well. Plants have a life too. There’s one unanswered question, what are the green floaty things?
This episode convinced me – this was conceived as a film rather than a TV Show, and putting it on the air is sort of naive since it’s not exactly effective at keeping viewers coming back, and might make the story DOA. Piggybacking on the niche is never a good strategy, however, a movie appeals to the masses. I might actually have to come back to this one – you know once it’s all over.
The episode itself was fine – not much happened. Ririha gets rescued and Kaina uses a separate breathing mask to bring oxygen to her as the air above the canopy is very thin, since you know they’re next to space and all. Kaina takes Ririha back to the village and there’s some exposition about how people live on the snow sea. While interesting, it also delves deeper into the lore of the pirates – who for the love of me can’t remember their names. I’ll get it eventually! The elders make some clothes for her and Kaina gives a tour of the village, while outside she chases a floater and ends up in the cave of the monster we saw last week. They barely make it out alive as Kaina saves her, and all of that just seemed like a B-Plot for them to finally set out into descending towards the Snow Sea. This isn’t Made in Abyss – the proper procedures in order for us to care about the characters are not in place, so having them be in danger feels meaningless at this point and might only serve to plot out its worldbuilding. I could almost swear they would talk about some curse as they traveled up through the roots of the tree. How long do you think this descent will last? I’ll take all bets now, please!
The call of the journey happened, Ririha being Kaina’s ticket. Kaina decided to accept it and now it’s only a matter of time before he fully embraces it or rejects the idea of traveling with his new companion. Their relationship is already gaining my heart though, and finally a good relationship between two normal people. You know, non of the anime shenanigans going on here. This might be just a straight-up romance, with interesting lore surrounding the composition of the planet, and how exactly that affects the people who live on it.
And so with that – we put a pause on Ooyukiumi no Kaina I’ll keep watching but only because I know that I can personally withstand this kind of slower-paced story week by week. However, I wouldn’t dare bore you with the details.
Full-length images: 36.