Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii [75/100]

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When was the last time we had a memorable shojo anime?  Some I can think of off the top of my head are Nana and Nodame Cantabile.  The summer season has got a few that are somewhat decent– Ao Haru Ride which is filled with drama that goes back and forth each episode of a competition between Futaba and Yuki over Ko, and then there is Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun an anime that is trying way too hard at being funny and the romance just gets sidelined.  I almost feel sorry for Sakura’s failed attempts at getting her point across to Nozaki.  Those are the only two that stick out of the summer season and they aren’t even that good.  Back in the Spring season we had this show and Kawai Complex, while that show was a lot prettier to look at and more humorous it lacked in authentic romance.  Soredemo rocks at the dramatic love scenes!  The writers pulled off a fairly simple and tasteful love story between Livius and Nike.  There were no panty or breast shots of Nike, and she did not suffer at all from a tsundere, which is very prevalent in shojo series with a character sways to the extremes of love and hatred towards the boy she likes.  Come to think of it the best at this trope has got to be Kyoko Mogami of Skip Beat!.  Nike grew pretty realistic with her affections towards Livius as this series progressed, nice work here!

The author, Daii Shina does a good job at setting up a romantic atmosphere for its characters, but the problem is however a lot of the details remain sidelined.  What’s going on with neighboring countries and how are they affected by the situation that one of the most powerful men in all the land is getting married.  Soredemo might have achieved a decent love story between a king and princess but the big picture left me not very impressed with little to no structure around the surrounding areas that this story is set in.  This feels a little rushed in a few places as it’s only got 12 episodes to work with in adapting an ongoing manga.  Wonder if there will be another season of this, as this ending left it completely open.

Now onto the director of this show- Hajime Kamegaki.   This is a guy who directed the aggressive skating series Air Gear, which got to hand it to the animation team at Satelight for creating some very cool looking OVAs.  He’s known for directing anime that aren’t too heavy and typically aren’t obscure in terms of story and animation.  I’d probably rank this not as high as some of his other works due to how formulaic it is the situations Livius gets thrown into are all fairly similar.  He wasn’t given as much freedom as he had on Air Gear with this series, and it really shows with the villains.

Now with the voices by far my favorite has got to be Nike’s Rena Maeda.  She provided a very good balance between her courageous acts and heartfelt scenes with Livius and without a doubt the most realistic character of the entire show.  I am curious how well she will do in Kiseijuu this fall.

So Nike controls the rain with her singing and it has been passed down from generation to generation, where it is her destiny to marry the Sun King Livius.  At the start this romance series keeps up at being faithful to the manga in developing the bond between the two main characters, and this is the big part of the show that made it so engaging to me.  Neil was a nice balance between Livius controlling behavior and Nike’s temper– he’s a butler that provides calm resolutions to Livius’s problems throughout this show.  Bard, a womanizer just adds more depth to how much Nike loves Livius, and vice-versa.  The big problem that this series suffers from is its villains. Lani Aristes wanted to take control of the throne and the soon-to-be marriage with Nike only fueled this a lot more.  But the result is he’s forgiven and completely leaves the scene after 6 episodes. We break this with Bard’s introduction and possibility of him being a villain but once again the story treats him as wanting to protect Livius just as Nike does.  Same thing with Nike’s home with Kitora and Tohara.  As interesting as these characters were the story arrives at the same conclusion, and we are left with a formulaic anime that doesn’t even have other kingdoms introduced and fighting for land. That would have made this show a lot more well-grounded in the time that it is set in.

I hope with this new Fall season ahead we will actually get some series that use the shojo genre in various ways that take risks– looking at you Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 75/100

If you like this you might also enjoy:

– Lovely Complex

– Kaichou wa Maid-sama

– Onegai Teacher

 

 

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