I’m really curious if I’d be this sad about the direction of the show if I didn’t know that the source material is by the same author as Record of Lodoss War, one of the old-school classics of fantasy anime. I went into this really hoping that it would follow at least somewhat along that same path. However, with the constant pacing problems actively hurting the character development, it has become apparent that this is just not the case.
At this point, I just need to accept that the pacing just isn’t going to get better. Things are given no time to breathe or to sink in. We know only the most basic, superficial details about the various characters. We have spent four episodes with these characters, but have had no time to really sit with almost any of them. Theo and Siluca are alright, which is probably for the best. If we’re going to get any fleshing out of characters, I’d prefer that they be the two main leads. We’re getting to see that even if Siluca is individually talented and Theo is inspirational enough to get the loyalty of his immediate followers, they’re both outclassed when it comes to the larger scale politics and planning. Although, how Siluca didn’t see all of this backfiring in her face is a wonder. Of course the Alliance isn’t going to just accept her offer. It would encourage chaos as lords begin jumping ship at the mere hint of gaining an advantage. Lassic has some decent characterization so far as a fun supporting character with his own goals, but that’s about it. Aside from them, the characters are too rushed and underdeveloped. Situations that feel like they should have weight just don’t. I blame a lot of this on the pacing. We went from Aishela getting injured (with a siege-weapon level crossbow that should have probably taken her whole arm off at least) to a “moving” “death” scene with Siluca crying over her to Priscilla stepping in to heal her and tell Siluca to get back to work in less than a minute. I timed it. 45 seconds for all of that, give or take depending on when you start or stop. A primary supporting character almost dying should have meant more than that, but that’s all we get. Add to that when we get the update on the siege, Siluca is told that Sir Neyman was killed. My only reaction to that was “Sir who?” Looking back, he’s been name-dropped a few times as a major commander under Theo, but I can’t even put a face to the character.
We also continue to have no explanation for a lot of the mechanics of this world. I know this is probably something I’ll just need to accept to, but it’s really starting to grate on me. Does Theo keep all of his crest now that he’s a knight? Does Lassic get the rest? If not, where is Lassic getting his new crest from? He lost his to Theo, so if he’s now the king of this territory, who gives him his crest now? Why didn’t the now-dead king use his crest in combat like Theo does? What happened to his when he was killed? What exactly can crests do? There’s still so much that just passes without explanation. I don’t necessarily want a dissertation on all of the mechanics, but at least some details would help.
I really hate having to feel this negatively about this show. I wanted to like it so much, but it just is grating on my in so many different ways. There are still good points, but almost all of them are paired with irritations. The action can be interesting, but is both over and under-emphasized somehow by not giving time to out-of-combat development and thus not giving the threats in combat any weight. The setup for the world is interesting, but nothing is explained about the larger situation. I genuinely want to learn more about the characters, but we just aren’t getting that. I wanted to like this show so much more than I do, but I am just going to have to take the show as it is.