Posted on 27 March 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Tytania



Tytania had some massive expectations working against it when it first aired. It’s supposed to be the spiritual successor to the Legend of Galactic Heroes, one of the rumoured best anime ever made (yeah, yeah, I’m going to watch that one some day). These are expectations it obviously couldn’t live up to, but if you watch it as a regular series, then it’s got quite a few charms.

Tytania is a Space Opera, but instead of going for the flashy overpowered mecha action scenes, it’s got a completely different focus, and instead becomes some sort of political thriller. It’s basically a man vs. empire type story and most of the series is dedicated to making it seem plausible why such a huge empire is able to fail such a seemingly simple task of capturing rebels. Corruption and inner-coutry politics for a large part of this series’ themes, and those who are looking for action are going to be disappointed.

What’s interesting about this show’s characters is that nearly every member of the cast is flawed. There are no mister or miss perfect here, everyone hast at least something of a vice or so, ranging from lazyness to incompetence, a temper or just plain insanity. This is exactly what makes this series so interesting to watch, seeing all of these flawed characters grow and develop (or refusing to develop) but it also makes for a bunch of really boring opening episodes. Seriously, in the first ten or so episodes hardly anything happens, and the show is just establishing the setting that it takes place in.

But what a fascinating setting it turns into. Series about politics always need a while to warm up a while, but when they do you, they create deep and multi-layered countries full of inner struggles where mots people care more about their own agenda than anything else, and in this series a lot of detail went into explaining how exactly the almighty Tytania Empire is going to fall apart.

The show does have its issues, though: the big focus is really the setting and characters, but the storyline is a bit buggy here and there, and one of the most grating flaws is tha the creators like to insert plotholes here and there to keep the story going. The animation is also… unorthodox to say the least. The CG spaceships really don’t look well, and characters are very often deformed when they speak. In exchange though: there is lots of movement in this series: characters’ chins move when they talk, and the show isn’t a collection of still frames, so the creators definitely get credits for trying. And either way, you have to admit that the characters look very stylish and charismatic.

It’s not the most solid season, let alone is it a question whether a second season is going to come along in order to animate the rest of the novels that this series is based on, but nevertheless it’s a fun watch for those who want something different from hand to hand (or mecha to mecha) combat. You should often take this show with a grain of sand, but it raises many good points and the characters are definitely fun to watch.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: We all know what’s going to happen: the end of Zalish.
Episode Rating: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Call me crazy, but this was actually the best ending I’ve seen this season. Okay, sure it cheated a bit with a second season still somewhere unannounced, but it did exactly what it has been building up to. It’s an awesome ending that really made me hungry for that second season. Hurry up and announce it!

And sure, Zalish may not have been the brightest one around, but he did die like a real man. I mean, come on: it took a small army just to take this monster of a guy down: he was drugged, confused, lost his guns and yet he kept fighting like some sort of angry bear or something. It’s a shame to see one of the most GAR characters in this series die like that, but it was an excellent death.

And ZOMG, Ajman actually did something. We finally get to look a bit into his head, and learn how the guy is incredibly afraid to lose Tytania. That’s going to work well with Idris, isn’t it? In any case, I’m not going to hype myself too much for that second season since it hasn’t been announced yet, and there’s no certainty that it’s even going to come, so I’m just going to enjoy it if it airs.

And really… why the heck is the narrator one of Ajman’s maids?

Posted on with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: Zalish gets into trouble.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Zalish = GAR)
Ah, who am I kidding? This show rocks. Just ignore my whining for the past few episodes: if it’s indeed true that we’ve only reached the halfway point of the original novels, then there’s plenty of chance that the creators are willing to animate the second half into some sort of second season. Especially after they went through the trouble of getting the director of LOGH back to the director’s seat.

And seriously, this episode rocked. This show really is at its best when two prominent characters face off against each other. The prison escape was nice and all, but it just didn’t have the flair of Alsas’ big scenes, and this episode reminded me why this series is so awesome. A lot of build-up went into this, but it was a lot of fun to see Fan take care of the very badly prepared Zalish, and seeing Zalish in his turn pwn everyone with his monstrous strength.

But yeah, this is really the fun of tactical warfare: being able to think outside of the box, and make excellent use of your surroundings and abilities in order to take care of your enemies. It’s really episodes like this one that make all the build-up worth it, and it shows so much promise for the second season, in which the amount of battles only is going to increase.

My only complaint here is the use of guns there… while I admit that it’s pretty impressive for Zalish to scare his enemies so much that they become too afraid to use their guns, it still feels a bit unrealistic there…

Posted on 20 March 2009 with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: Zalish moves in to destroy Fan and his allies.
Episode Rating: 7/10 (Enjoyable)
While I want to call this series a flop, I just have to admit that I was touched by the ship crashing down. That mechanic has been a very strange character, but seeing all of his work and pride destroyed like that definitely made impact.

But yeah, there is no way that the creators are going to come up with a satisfying conclusion. As things are looking now, the finale is only going to focus on Zalisch vs. Fan, but there are so many other threads that are still hanging open. what’s the whole point of having Ajman, Ariabart and Lydia in the series? Is Jouslain’s plan going to work? How about Idris and his scheming? There’s no bloody way that you can fit all of that into just two episodes.

Even taking into consideration that the big climax of this show has yet to happen, the middle part of this series was so much more interesting. The best parts about this show definitely were seeing the Alsas storyline, and seeing what a big mess the Tytania family has turned into through the centuries. Fan pretty much stopped being interesting after Lyra died. I kept hoping that he’d become more interesting, but in the end he just hogged up too much of the airtime. I understand how he’s vital to the plot, but his development just came to a grinding halt after he got revenge on his girlfriend in the end. It’s definitely original, but also gets too much in the way of what’s really important in this series.

It’s a shame, but yeah, I think that Artlant overestimated themselves in the past season by producing too many shows. Both Earl and Fairy and Tytania had lots of potential, but both in the end just turned half-hearted. It’s a shame, because in earlier years Artland established itself as a company that really took its time to get the best out of its series: Legend of Galactic Heroes was released over the span of seven years, with Mushishi ad Bokura ga Ita you could also see that a lot of time went into producing it, and making them as good as possible (and especially the huge amount of different EDs, up to the point where every single episode seemed to have a different one). It seems like they want to do a bit too much at the moment, which is a pretty darn shame, because the production department has already shown that they like to take a risk to try out something new every once in a while. But yeah, this risk turned out to be not such a good one. My hope right now is that they can at least make something interesting out of that climax, and that their next experiment will fare better.

Posted on with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: Fan is nearly captured by Tytania again, and is helped by a few new allies.
Episode Rating: 7/10 (Enjoyable)
I’m not too sure about this series right now. Here it is about to hit it major climax, and it first wastes an episode on character background that could have been done ages ago, and right now yet another episode is completely wasted when Fan goes out to flirt with a character completely unrelated to the story.

I mean, at this point I have no idea what the major climax of this series is going to be about, but in this case it’s a bad thing, since there has hardly been any build-up for it, other than Fan being on the run completely. There wouldn’t be some sort of second season announcement or something that I missed, would there?

So yeah, at the moment I’m disappointed in this series. With all the build-up, it promised to be something epic for its finale, but so far it hasn’t surpassed itself at all. The episodes centred around the different members of Tytania have been good, but Fan is really getting more and more useless with every passing episode.

Posted on 13 March 2009 with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: Idris’ past
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
Well, that’s a very strange place to start talking about people’s past. This episode really should have been shown much earlier in the series, and I can see really no reason to postpone it so long. This is supposed to be the start of the finale, the background should be done by now.

Still, it was a very welcome episode of course, that fully detailed Idris’ obsession with power, and where his ambitions come from: his dead father. I’m also surprised that Ajman only has been sitting on the throne for five years now. That just proves the point that the previous episode tried to make: Tytania is so caught up in inner struggles: everyone wants to be the one with the absolute power over such a large empire, and Idris as well. Jouslain is the only one who so far has managed to think beyond that.

And really, the mysteries around Lydia only continue to grow. The only thing she did in this episode was look sad because Balami (cursed Katakana that made me think that his name was spelled as BaRUami) would be away for a longer while due to Jouslain’s mission to clean up the mess that Zalish left.

Posted on with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: Now it’s Jouslain’s turn to go after Fan Hyulick (or however he wants us to spell his name).
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
While at first I thought that this was a relatively uneventful episode, but near the end, this series got a totally new dimension because of it. Tytania really has been a cat and mouse game with Zalish and Idris and their henchmen on one side and Fan Hyulick on the other. Jouslain? He’s just an observer. He doesn’t care at all about catching Hyulick, he only wants Tytania to thrive and takes the appropriate actions for it. He actually realizes that it’s not going to work to just kill off Hulick and get it over with. Eventually the empire will fall apart and Fan really is the perfect way to stabilize the empire by giving it a common enemy to fight at.

All his actions before probably were all done in order to get rid of the inner conflicts of the Tytania government, and something is telling me that his goal is to get rid of Zalish and Idris, in order to create a stable and unified Tytania, rather than one that’s ruled by a bunch of different people with all different ideas and ideals. that also explains why he hasn’t done anything against Ariabart: he has him on a leash right now. The guy is very weak and easy to manipulate, and for a Duke he hardly has any ideas or initiatives of his own.

Overall, the only real flaw of Tytania lies within the Fan Hyulick-storyline, in the way that the creators like to use Deus ex Machina in order to keep his plans smooth. Fortunately though, this flaw doesn’t get in the way of what makes this series good: the politics. It really has been awesome to see a series that’s fully dedicated to politics, and hardly anything else.

But seriously… there are only five episodes left… and still Lydia hasn’t done anything important.

Posted on 6 March 2009 with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: The plan to bust Fan out of prison begins.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
Ah, so no Uranibolg this time, but instead this episode focuses on the Fan vs Zalish storyline. The plan wasn’t the most flawless one, but it definitely had enough interesting points. I personally didn’t like how the long-haired guy whose name I forgot at the moment suddenly turned out to have huge 1337-hax0rs skill that were even capable to hack into a prison, but at the same time this again shows how incredibly bad the security of Tytania is: it’s been so long that they ran into someone with the capabilities to challenge them, so when someone skilled does try to hack their facilities they hardly have any countermeasures installed. The prisons as well: they work because everyone’s scared of Tytania, but in the meantime we see Tom and Dick who have been able to fool the system by making it believe that they are too weak for the gravity system.

In the meantime, the upper governments are also screwed up. Because Estrad was so far removed from the centre of Tytania, they never had much problems with them: it was a small planet in which hardly anything happened, so they usually had nothing to fear from Tytania and just lived their ordinary lives without much conflict. That’s why the president was cocky enough to simply deny Fan Hulic to Zalish, resulting in his entire capital blasted to the ground at the end of the episode.

What’s also good is that this episode showed that Fan’s allies can also accomplish their tasks without the help of Fan: it shows that they’re all a bunch of reliable people, rather than a bunch of people who follow Fan’s orders and hardly do anything for themselves. With six episodes left, the finale is about to begin now. I’m curious to see whether the creators can pull this one off.

Posted on with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: As it turns out: Idris also has a very annoying brother.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
Wha, this episode took me by surprise. This definitely was one of the hardest to understand episodes of this series yet, so I hope that I understood everything correctly. Zalish and Fan were completely absent in this episode, and it only focused on the tension between Idris on one side and Jouslain, Lydia and Baruami on the other side.

So because the rulers of Estrade failed at their coup, Idris takes over their duties and pretty much increases his own influence. Someone needs to take over his old duties and that someone becomes his younger brother: Radomorz. Like Zalish did with Alsas, Idris originally attempted to keep his brother as far away as possible because the guy is a total idiot, and indeed the minute he arrives he starts hitting on Lydia and picks a fight with Baruami. What follows is a very nice (and painful) kick from Lydia, Radomorz insulting Baruami’s father and Baruami hitting Radomorz in the face.

This creates a scandal because Radomorz’ rank is much higher. The original punishment for him was to send him to some far away post in the middle of nowhere, but because of Lydia’s testimony (ZOMG, she actually did something useful!) he simply is removed from his post and sent away to the main planet of Uraniborg.

But damn, Ajman scares me. The guy really is obsessed with Lydia for some strange reason: this is the first time where he spoke his mind so clearly, and he defended her letter with a surprising amount of enthusiasm, especially when he usually just sits in his chair and lets the dukes do the thinking. I know that with these noblepeople age doesn’t matter, but it remains wrong for a guy to start chasing a girl who’s more than forty years younger than him…

Still, I have to admit: that kick of Lydia definitely made up for all those episodes in which she didn’t do anything.

Posted on 20 February 2009 with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: Fan gets captured for real this time, and meets two punks with really weird haircuts.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
Okay, so next week there’s going to be another hiatus, and after that it’s finally time for this series to get fired off: double episodes until the end of its run! This episode built things up pretty nicely: the bomb is about to go off, and it’s promising to be a really interesting finale.

This episode really showed how Miranda and Fan managed to get so far in the first place: the bad organization of Tytania, and in a way it does make a lot of sense: Tytania is a mighty empire which has had a huge power and influence for centuries, and that’s the thing: when Tytania grew to its power, it would surely have been impossible to defeat it, but through the years, the corruption has increased more and more, and right now we’re at the point where the leaders are too used to being the supreme power: they have an incredible lack of experience in actual battles where they face a threat.

The biggest symbol of this of course is Ajman: the guy is the head of Tytania, but the bugger hasn’t done absolutely anything for himself. He’s just watching from a distance and tells others what to do. He lacks the experience to properly run a country, probably because he’s never had to face any challenges. History has shown the same thing: the only reason why the French revolution succeeded, for example, was because the French royalty at the time consisted out of a bunch of incompetent narcissistic idiots. Alexander The Great in his time conquered more than half of the known world, and yet this empire fell apart completely once he died. All of this is simply due to the lack of quality leadership.

this episode shows this really well: Zalish wants to get his hands on Fan Hulic, but the Estar administration refuses to let the Tytania control them completely, even though they’re part of the Tytanian territory. So of course Zalish rushes in with a city’s worth of soldiers in order to teach Estar a lesson, but this chaos is of course going to be perfect for Fan and the others in order to escape. I must say that I’m impressed: during the first ten episodes or so, I really thought that this series lacked substance, but right now it’s proving to be quite a thought-provoking series.

In fact, It also makes me wonder why all of the evil empires in anime don’t suffer from the same problem: internal strife and crappy organizations. For some reason, 90% of every evil empire (and this usually also goes for the good empires) are functioning like perfectly oiled machines with perhaps only a bunch of incompetent idiots who are tasked with the low-level jobs.

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