Madan no Ou to Vanadis ep 1-4 first impressions

It's not this

It’s not this

Tries to be a fantasy epic and a breast parade, but delivers on one better than the other.

06 09

If you haven’t guessed by which got the short stick, it’s the war fantasy aspects. Not only is the fantasy here derivative, but there’s barely any world-building 4 episodes in. I can’t think of anything that made this setting stand out beyond the basic medieval hierarchy, magic weapons, and dragons replacing tanks. The war drama aspects lack tension despite blood and attempted rape being present because victory is practically handed to our protagonists. War strategies are summed up through rushed narration and CG chess pieces, all while battles are decided by one overpowered (albeit good-looking) strike. And you honestly wouldn’t care if it was explored in-depth, because the enemies are so shallow and pathetic they feel like the left-overs of Sword Art Online.

10 07

It doesn’t help that the pacing feels extremely rushed. Granted it’s not as bad as Mahouka, but the plotting here barely avoids the status of highlight reel. If plot points don’t connect through blatant narration, it simply jumps into it with the next scene. If the story needs a reason to have certain characters stay connected, it literally bends the story at the drop of a hat even when a bit of time can make the change feel natural. And much like how they rush past the world-building or strategies, too much happens off-screen to care about what’s happening on-screen.

16 00

Having said that, I think this show works great as far as a harem goes. Sure the naughty moments get gratuitous at times, but these moments are rare. For the most part fanservice is restrained, only getting to extremes when someone’s life is in danger. Most of the sex appeal comes from the characters and their designs rather than camera angles or fetish scenarios. And I think it works because all of them are quite likeable, especially the War Maidens. They’re confident, competent, caring, loyal to their cause, and strong without coming off as masculine. None of them are truly deep characters, but there’s something to be said about a harem where the harem candidates are the most valuable pieces in battle.

Madan no Ou to Vanadis - 01 - Large 39 02

Speaking of likeability, both Ellenora and Tigrevurmud fit the roles of warriors in love surprisingly well. The shift from enemy to comrade between these two feels natural because both share the same values and have mutual respect for each other. This could be seen as stereotypical traits of heroes, but it’s the admiration between these two and the humble tone toward justice they share that had me rooting for them. Tigre is brave and protective without being clingy or reckless. He shows respect towards the women around him and doesn’t preach about morals to those aside from him. Ellenora is confident and bold, but she knows when to hold back her demands and listen to those around her. She’s a tough girl with an intimidating presence, but even she has her feminine moments. Even her naked reveal in the bath brings attention to how War Maidens must stand proud regardless of whatever weakness they may have. There’s not many fanservice sequences that expand on the women past titillation, and Ellenora manages to do just that.

15

This snake had PRIORITIES 0_0

As much as I’ve emphasized its faults, I want to make it clear that I really enjoy this show. The war drama and fantasy aspects may be derivative, but they’re certainly decent compared to other fantasy harems. If they managed to seamlessly mesh the naughty and serious aspects, this could have been amazing. As it stands though, it’s entertaining to watch and stars two admirable protagonists.

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About theweirdman

I'm a long time follower of anime, and will continue to do so for years to come

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