This series is strange. On one hand it’s about two warring countries, but on the other hand it has pigs with wings. Seriously, as much as I appreciate that Alicia is very alert for possible spies, this needs to end somewhere. While seeing Welkim as some spy was at least a bit believable… but that pig? I mean, come on.
But still, I’m starting to see where the creators are trying to go with this series. They’re really trying to go with the contrast between the light and innocent Alicia when she’s not fighting and the ambitious woman that she turns into when the fighting actually starts. As innocent as she may look, as annoying as she may be at times with all her complaining against Welkim and Faldio, she did go through military training and it shows that she knows how to handle herself in a combat situation. She just lacks experience. And that’s why the character-development in this series is going to be so important.
Because this particular formula of having young girls fight in war has been abused plenty of times throughout anime. Just think of the countless shounen series that have teenagers fighting against hordes of formidable and trained bad guys. For this series, it’s all going to depend on the execution if the creators want to avoid this pitfall, and I must say that the start so far has been pretty solid. The realism definitely helps: when Alicia got shot in this episode, I definitely cared about her and I’m really suspecting that this is going to be a series in which people die when they’re killed.
Alicia is definitely a character that you need to warm up to. I hope that that happens fast, though. This episode was pretty good, but some of her banter with Faldio was just annoying.
Now, let me hijack the rest of this post for something completely different: I was quite surprised to see that many people who found the episode ratings helpful. I decided to remove them mainly because it was getting really tedious to write a short episode synopsis every time, so that one isn’t going to come back.
This is also a good opportunity to change the episode rating system a bit. The numbers out of ten were nice and all, but they had a few bad points: they were in the same format that I used for the monthly summaries, and yet meant something completely different, and I just kept rating about 90% of all episodes as 7,5/10 or 8/10. What I also didn’t like was how they were always at the top of every post, possibly taking away some attention from the more important parts, which is why I think that from now on, the ratings are going to move to the bottom of the post.
I think I’m also going to swap the x/10-format with simple stars (or some other symbol). Though instead of simply mapping the out of ten-ratings to five stars like 6/10 = 3 stars, 8/10 = 4 stars, et cetera, I’m going for something a bit different. Compare it to the star-rating for hotels and restaurants: an episode has to earn its stars. So, the rating scale would be something like this:
(no stars) – probably going to be denoted by a simple ‘-’. Basically an episode that left me unimpressed.
* (one star) – The equivalent of my current 7,5/10 rating: a pretty good episode
** (two stars) – The equivalent of my current 8/10 rating: excellent episode
*** (three stars) – The equivalent of my current 8,5/10 rating: an awesome episode.
**** – (four stars) – The equivalent of my current 9/10 rating: a fantastic episode which really shows the episode at its utter best
***** – (five stars) – The equivalent of my current 9,5/10 rating: an incredible episode, the best of the best, and probably an episode that only appears once or twice a year or so.
In theory, there also can be six stars, but in all the three and a half years I’ve been blogging I only encountered one episode that deserved such a rating (Simounr 16, to be exact).
In any case, for this episode, the rating would be something like this:
Episode Rating: *