Alderamin on the Sky – Preview
Alderamin on the Sky:
Original Air Dates: July 8, 2016 to ???
Synopsis: The Katjvarna Empire is at war with its neighbor: The Kioka Republic. As tensions are mounting one womanizing, self-obsessed, arrogant young man, Ikta travels across the sea alongside Yatrisino, a level-headed heir to her noble family, Matthew, a wanna-be of royal blood whose family is hardly remembered and others. But when their ship is hit by a nasty storm, it forces their party to abandon ship.
As they attempt to disembark safely, Ikta is forced to save a young girl who, as it turns out, is the princess of their kingdom. When the group reaches a nearby shoreline, they discover they’ve drifted into enemy territory. Now can Ikta and the rest get the princess back across the border safely?
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Alderamin on the Sky looks decent much of the time, although near the beginning there’s a few places where the characters move about with stilted animation or their faces are slightly off model, but the anime picks up with its marvelous depictions of the ocean and later jungle segments where the landscape is rendered incredibly well. Alderamin’s big bonus is how well it weaves its fantasy tale, hurling terminology, bizarre names, and foreign words at the audience yet still manages to make sure none of it feels like an overburden. I walked away having a pretty simplistic, yet solid understanding of the world in which Alderamin takes place and that’s always a good first impression.
Linny: I on the other hand, felt a little disengaged as we are thrown into the lives of this group of people on the verge of taking a huge exam. The way the information is doled out, the character introductions, the events, all felt like I had missed an important flashback. Thankfully, the episode didn’t throw in so much as to be completely overwhelming and lose me completely and it does make up for it as the episode progressed, giving us more and more information as and when we need it.
Tom: Our lead, Ikta is perhaps a bit too much of an ass for my liking. He’s definitely bound to rub more liberal viewers the wrong way, particularly thanks to some controversial dialogue he has concerning his thoughts on a young girl where he alludes that he only sees her as a potential sex object once she ages up. In fact, a good chunk of his dialogue is dedicated to showing what a randy individual he is, and how seriously he takes pursuing women as he gets very mouthy towards a good looking guy he considers a threat. I think the sequence is meant to be humorous, but Alderamin’s deadpan approach makes the scene feel serious, bordering on offensive for less broadminded/forgiving viewers. Ikta is clearly meant to be a prickly individual, a character who’ll become endearing as he both impresses us and, hopefully, matures. The rest of the cast is introduced in a bare bones manner. We know the redhead, Yatrisino is level-headed, the token fat guy, Matthew is obsessed with becoming famous and well-known, etc. They’ve each got their shticks down, but we aren’t given much more. Considering we’ve got an ensemble cast it’s understandable and I imagine Alderamin’s characters will grow and be introduced further over the course of its run. However, it currently is listed as a thirteen episode series, meaning if we keep too focused on plot, these characters may never become as fleshed out as I’d prefer.
Linny: As a female viewer, it was hard not to immediately sneer in disgust at Ikta once he began spouting and acting out his sexist attitude towards women. I can only pray that he matures and redeems himself as the story goes on because otherwise, he just reminds me of some very unpleasant people from my past.
Tom: While Alderamin plays itself serious, there’s a couple smaller concepts that come off as unintentionally hilarious. Each character carries around with themselves a tiny sprite who holds magical powers. It’s their partner. However, one character apparently utilizes his sprite’s powers by loading him like ammo into his gun. It’s entirely absurd and broke the tension Alderamin had otherwise been building. I’m sure with some getting used to it’ll be fine, but it’s definitely an aspect that’s initially more funny than intended.
Linny: The story definitely has potential as despite my dislike of Ikta, he and everyone else seem like they are setting out on a classic adventure with lots of action and hopefully lots of character development as well. And like Tom points out, if worst comes to worst, the sight of a cute little sprite being loaded into a gun with a straight face is a source of morbid and tension breaking humour. Based on this first episode, I would say prepare for a weird juxtaposition of cute sprite weapons and political action and adventure.
Tom: Alderamin isn’t perfect, and I think it’s only off to an okay start, but it does appear to be one of the stronger Light Novel adaptations for the season. It’s less focused on fan service than it is on building its interesting and complex fantasy world. I’ll be interested to see how the series evolves over the season and with luck it’ll become a strong fantasy action/adventure before too long.
Linny: Alderamin has a flawed male lead but sometimes flawed characters make for good redemption stories. Here’s to hoping that Alderamin turns out to be such a tale as it has the potential to be a show that delivers political intrigue and adventures galore.
Alderamin on the Sky is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.