What’s it about? Amamiya Yuuhi is an anti-social college student who’s content to live out his life in obscurity until he meets a talking lizard in his bed. He’s promptly informed that he’s destined to help the Princess of Anima, Asahina Samidare to save the world from a powerful mage, but to his surprise, she wants to save the world so that she can destroy it herself.
I remember seeing the excitement on my twitter timeline when the anime adaptation was announced. I’ve also heard good things about Mizukami Satoshi’s other work, Planet With, which made me curious if this premiere would live up to the hype. Well….unfortunately, this episode left me feeling cold and it was rough around the edges. The animation isn’t unwatchable (I’ve seen worse), but it felt stiff and awkward. For example, there was this weird flashback sequence that reminded me of old 90s sitcoms, except it just felt out of place and I have to wonder if this is going to be a recurring issue in the series. It’s a darn shame since fans of the original manga were enthusiastic to see their favorite characters finally come to life on screen.
In terms of writing, this episode was more interested in exposition rather than having the characters do anything beyond meeting each other and learning about their destinies. I don’t think that necessarily a bad thing, especially if this is going to be a slow burn and wants to establish certain plot points early on, but I hope it picks up the pace in the next few episodes because I can definitely see there is a good story waiting to be told. The attempts of humor wasn’t great and it honestly just felt forced. It doesn’t help that the jokes were at the expense of Yuuhi’s professor either getting her skirt blown up or just beating Yuuhi up for talking to her little sister. I’m crossing my fingers that she makes less of an appearance in later episodes since she really didn’t add anything at all.
What did make me laugh is that floating hammer in space! I’m not gonna lie, but the moment I saw it, I immediately thought of Yzma’s silly plans to kill Kuzco in Emperor’s New Groove and I just found myself saying “AND THEN I’LL SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER!” every time I saw that hammer. Listen, Yzma and Kronk are great so if I made you think about them today then I consider that a win in my books.
Yuuhi isn’t an interesting protagonist, but I did enjoy seeing him question why he should start a “hero’s journey.” Why should he bear the heavy burden of saving the world? He didn’t ask for any of this, so why should he listen to some talking lizard with a deep voice? Despite Yuuhi’s nonchalant nature there is an eerie change to his demeanor when the lizard mentions that he has to work with other knights to protect the Princess. There’s clearly more to Yuuhi’s character, but as of now he’s sort of stale and boring, but his eager dedication to destroy the world with Samidare does make me question why he wants to do that.
Speaking of the Princess, I liked her! She ain’t the type to wait around to be rescued and isn’t afraid to throw that first punch. I can respect her “I’ll take this in strides” attitude and I’m interested in figuring out why she wants to destroy the world. Why not let the Mage destroy it since the end result will be the same? For real though, I just love how much confidence she has and she just brings a much needed life to this premiere. I mean she won over Yuuhi’s loyalty in the end, which shows she has what it takes to inspire people to follow her.
I didn’t love or hate this premiere. It has so much potential and I do believe manga readers when they say this will get better. I just hope that the anime adaptation captures what made the manga so great and I’m willing to watch a couple of more episodes just to see if it will deliver.