Story: 6.5/10 and Characters: 9/10
Misurugi Empire – a futuristic utopia-like world in which people don’t feel the need to start wars among each other anymore. They are all united and live with a high economic status, which all roots from a mysterious power called Mana. Almost all citizens are able to use some kind of magic, enabling them to live their life the way they do.
The ones who don’t have these powers however, are viewed as misfits, or more like dangerous monsters who don’t belong in this picture-perfect world. Normas, as they call them, have to live isolated from the rest of the word, on a little island in the middle of nowhere, where they are forced to protect humanity and fight the dragons that endanger the world’s safety.
On her crowning day, Angelise, the princess of Misurugi Empire, who was loved by all citizens, is discovered to be a Norma. Just like all the others, she thereby meets the fate of being forced to fight for the sake of the people who abandoned and also hate her, for the rest of her days.
Personally, I’m a big fan of these “drastic change of life” kind of stories. Especially how they portrayed the way Angelise’s life changed, or more like shattered right in front of her, makes it quite an interesting start.
However, despite how well this change might have been realized, the first few episodes of this show still felt like the start of a poorly written sci-fi drama. We follow the story of the fallen princess Angelise, as she gets forcefully pulled out of her life and dragged into this new one full of pain and mortification. On many occasions, we see her getting mentally and also physically abused. On top of that, she’s also held responsible not only for the death of her loved ones, but also of some of her later comrades. In short, life is hell for her.
It was a little hard for me to follow this kind of development at first, because all it had to offer was to see the former princess fall deeper and deeper. When then all of a sudden, this random Tusk guy appeared, it made me realize that the promised yuri might not happen after all. I dropped the series and only started watching again after a few months had passed.
So yeah, the first few episodes were not really to my liking, but what followed was pretty good to say the least.
The forced drama in the beginning helped clear the way for the really well-done character development of the main character Angelise, or Ange, as she refers to herself after her big fall. We witness how she slowly accepts her fate, while changing into a completely different person alongside it. While she was fiercely hated at first, she makes her way to the top, making even her strongest opposer realize that she might actually be a great addition to the team.
Character-wise, I loved the show. I might have hated them all in the beginning, but the further we got, the more I fell in love with so many of them. And by the end, I absolutely loved like at least half of the main cast. Be it Hilda, Momoka, or even Salia, there was simply no way you would not love them by the end of the show.
Story-wise however, there were many things that bothered me. Despite the plotholes, the story felt way too overstuffed. It often came across as if they tried to make the story better by just adding in as many things as possible; first going with dragons, girls in skimpy clothing, mechas, and yuri scenes. Then they must have been like “Oh, that’s not exciting enough, let’s also add in parallel universes, time jumps, wars, and to wrap it all up, a godlike figure who’s the cause of all of this!”
In the end, I have to admit, despite how overstuffed this might have felt, it was still kind of awesome. It was a more or less well-developed world – two of them actually – and the evil godlike creator was probably the perfect way to make it all work out eventually.
I also enjoyed how this show didn’t only have one of these “drastic change of life” moments that I love to see so much. It has multiple ones, spanning from Angelise’s downfall as a princess, to waking up in a different word and time, and finally, to getting back to your time just to find out that your friends have suddenly sided with the enemy.
Making a rating here was actually quite hard to do. On the one hand, the animation, especially during fighting scenes between the dragons and the Paramail mechas, looks really nice and fluid. However, they didn’t keep this quality for the rest of the show. In many scenes the faces in the background look distorted and sometimes just plain weird. Furthermore, they recycled specific sequences from previous episodes and simply added them again at another time quite a lot.
|Almost looks like I drew it. 😛|
This might actually happen a lot in other shows as well, but this time, it was just too obvious, and I’m not even talking about the numerous crotch and boob-shots.
Music and Sound: 9/10
Let me just point out that this show features three of my all-time favorite voice actresses, namely Nana Mizuki, Yui Horie, and Yukari Tamura. So yeah, with a cast like this, you can’t really go wrong in my eyes.
Also, how many of you actually noticed that Hilda and Ange are voiced by the same voice actresses as Nanoha and Fate from Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha? I actually fangirled a little at that.
With opening and ending themes performed by names like Eri Kitamura or Nana Mizuki, it’s also no surprise that this rating just needs to be as high as I made it. However, my favorite was definitely the second opening Shinjitsu no Mokushiroku by Yoko Takahashi:
Yuri: 6/10 – Romance between side characters + a lot of subtext
From the very beginning, this anime goes all out. We get full-blast ecchi, alongside quite a lot of steamy yuri scenes.
Most characters in the Norma base seem to have lesbian tendencies anyway, and many of them are quite open about it. Well, the main character Ange isn’t quite as gay as we’d like her to be, but she has some nice scenes with my favorite character Hilda, making them my OTP of this show.
Unfortunately, Hilda’s feelings are more or less left unrequited, because a certain “Souma-like” character (yes that’s actually a working adjective) named Tusk interferes with the yuri. Still, we get a lot of yuri from the side characters, making this a yuri success in my eyes.
Total Enjoyment: 8/10
If I could forget about the first few episodes, this would surely be a 9/10. If we now were to replace Tusk with a female character it might even be a 10/10.
Other than that, despite the many other bad aspects I listed above, I really enjoyed watching this show. At some point, I think I was actually addicted, if watching 8 episodes a day is a good indicator of that.
|I’ll just end it with this picture…. 😛|