Tales of Wedding Rings – Episode 1

By: Cy Catwell January 7, 20240 Comments
Satou prepares to cut down a foul demon with his newfound power.

Content Warning: Fanservice

What’s it about? Lfie is mostly good for Satou, especially since he’s got his childhood friend, Himeko, at his side. Then one day, she announces she moving. Only…she kind of forgets to tell him that she’s moving to an entirely differently world.

My review of Tales of Wedding Rings is a bit different than most: I’m going in knowing the basic plot, and am actually genuinely excited for it. The concept of an isekai that involves to and from intrigues me, and it’s not because I just read—and summarily sobbed—over Seanan McGuire’s most recent entry in the Wayward Children series. (Okay, it kind of is. But whatever.)

Still, do my expectations of a story centered around two people drawn to and from different worlds meet expectations? As always, read on to find out. (And make sure to watch that banger of an opening, Anifam!)

Satou sees a mysterious young girl come to his world via a teleportation ring.

Episode 1 starts off with a mysterious blonde girl being transported to our world from your typical European-inspired fantasy realm. It seems she’s to fulfill a prophecy, but the nature of it is has yet to be revealed. What is revealed, post-opening credits, however, is that Nonaka Himeno, the prophesized girl, has made a life on earth with protagonist Satou, our kind-of everyman and her childhood friend.

But unfortunately, Himeko won’t be sticking around: she’s planning on moving far, far away. Only far, far away really is far, far, far away. Like, another world away. Oh yeah, and she’s getting married.

Thus begins an adventure between two childhood friends: one who’s duty bound to her fate; the other, a guy who actually feels earnest in his pursuit of true love.

Himeko kisses Satou to gift him the power of her ring.

Tales of Wedding Rings looks really good: it’s a solid match for the manga design, transporting the characters from black and white to vivid color. Staple Entertainment, a studio I don’t have too much familiarity with, does a good job of hooking viewers in as well: once more, it’s nice to get a taste of our world before we get thrust into all the magical foibles that come with the genre.

That’s not to say this series isn’t without its more distracting moments, ranging from Hime plucking a piece of rice off Satou’s cheek to the way she very phallically eats a choco-banana, which…sigh. It feels so incredibly unnecessary. Basically, there’s a lot of fanservice, though from my understanding, this wears off in the manga the longer the story goes on. Whether or not that’ll be the case for the anime remains to be seen. I certainly hope it’ll change, because those moments detract from what feels like genuinely good foundation building: I really want to see how things develop between Satou and Hime. I really want to see them grow from their situation into a genuinely lovely couple.

Still, it’s hard to ignore this fanservice and may be what decides whether you’ll watch this show or not. It also might not be helpful to mention that there’s definitely a harem element here which…I won’t say is or isn’t feminist™, but likely has the potential to be decidedly detrimental to the writing of the female cast. That said, I still really like the potential romance here, especially when you see the attraction outside of the more sexualized moments. Let me tell you, my boy Satou is down bad, and I suspect as the series continues, we’ll only find out just how into Hime he genuinely is, especially since his romantic confession kind of doesn’t go the way anyone would anticipate.

Satou and Hime's ring fingers begin to glow with power.

Episode 1 leaves us on a cliffhanger: will Satou be cable of rising to the occasion as a hero and the Ring King or will he be be just a guy? The plot seems to be angling for him being capable of much more, and honestly, I’m already pretty invested: I want to see Satou’s rise to glory, want to see him succeed.

In the end, I really liked Tales of Wedding Rings, inclusive of its pitfalls. That said, my hope is that the fanservice will give way to what feels like a genuinely interesting, if ultimately kind of silly, plot set in another world. I think if the show can avoid tripping over itself, it’ll turn out to be kind of a dark horse this season. I’ll give it the grace of this only being the premiere: almost every premiere has something that can be dinged. Hopefully, by the time one of us does a three episode check, we’ll be able to say it’s changed and become a more full-bodied experience, though the ending sequences kind of hints that this show is always going to have a heavy dollop of fanservice to it.

Safe to say I’m in it for the long haul: Tales of Wedding Rings has captured my attention enough that I even want to try the manga, just to see how things are going to go. Then again, I might just let myself come along for the ride: sometimes it’s nice to have something to anticipate week to week. 

About the Author : Cy Catwell

Cy Catwell is a Queer Blerd journalist and JP-EN translation & localization editor with a passion for idols, citypop, visual novels, and the iyashikei/healing anime genre.

You can follow their work as a professional Blerd at Backlit Pixels, get snapshots of their out of office life on Instagram at @pixelatedrhapsody, and follow them on their Twitter at @pixelatedlenses.

Read more articles from Cy Catwell

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