The World is Still Beautiful – Anime Review
Synopsis: Nike, the fourth princess of the Rain Dukedom and one who holds the power to call forth the rain, travels to the Sun Kingdom to marry Sun King Livius for her country, despite her own reluctance. She soon discovers that the King, who conquered the world in only three years after his ascendance to the throne, is still a child!! Furthermore, for trivial reasons, he has demanded that Nike call forth the rain…!? (Official The Anime Network Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: At first glance, The World is Still beautiful sounds like yet another predictable shoujo anime based on its synopsis. And while arguments can be made for how it does indeed follow a lot of the tropes, The World is Still Beautiful is a lot more comedic than the average shoujo, featuring comedy more often than romance. Nike, our leading lady is tomboyish, energetic and definitely no damsel in distress. The show plays her as strong, yet sweet, making for a memorable female lead. Yes, there are cliches galore throughout the show but it puts them into play in a most enjoyable way. The well known shoujo trope of a proud, tsundere male warming up to the efforts of a goody two shoes and innocent female is given a fresh and fun comedic breath of life. The laughs keep coming throughout, sometimes even unintentionally thanks to a very ‘Engrish’ filled opening theme song.
Tom: While that one song does present plenty of unintentional hilarity, setting that aside the story for The World is Still Beautiful is quite heartwarming. This is particularly realized in the way Nike and Livius interact, the events that bring them together, and the threats that try to tear them apart. There’s an undercurrent of tenderness to the budding love these two share that keeps things feeling compelling. Both Nike and Livius are likable, engaging characters that compliment each other with conflicting and bickering personalities as the two gradually grow to understand the other. Never to delve too far into the melodrama, the series boasts plenty of humorous alludes to break up things as it delves into the more harrowing aspects of Nike’s and Livius’ budding romance. This is all aided by a solid standard quality of animation that easily backs any and all tonal shifts throughout the twelve episodes. Nothing feels out of place or forced, providing a near constant quality throughout the entire run.
Linny: This show is a great pick for those of you who aren’t particularly fond of romance but enjoy a good comedic tale. The romance between our protagonists feels a lot more natural and believable than ‘one woos the other, even though they seem to barely have any reason to be so obsessed with the other besides maybe looks.’ Nike and Livius also feel like strong and compelling leads as we get to know them, both driven by ambition and/or love in ways that make sense and are relatable to some degree. Also, despite the presence of a supernatural element, the show doesn’t abuse it as a magic fix all, keeping its use restrained and stopping Nike from turning into some generic magical girl character.
Tom: Despite the heaps of praise, understand that The World is Still Beautiful isn’t perfect. At times the series seems to rehash ideas found in the plethora of other shoujo anime, and only gets away with it due to how solid the execution is. It’s not always terribly original, and will disappoint audiences on that level, but thanks to its near uniform quality manages to provide a solid, if trope laden, journey that satisfies.
Linny: There’s also the potentially unsettling issue of our male lead, Levi, looking and being much younger than Nike. In keeping their physiques realistic, the show ends up making any remotely sexual or romantic physical contact have the potential to upset certain audiences. Beyond this age gap and the cliches that plague it, The World is Still Beautiful manages to be a solidly entertaining and funny story and is sure to charm those who like their romances with only a dash of romance but a truckload of comedy and a bit of intrigue.
Tom: The age gap is one of the show’s more awkward elements, but thankfully avoids dealing with the more sexual aspects of Nike and Livius’ relationship, which might’ve further pulled this touchy subject out into the open. The show keeps their romance innocent in that regard. The World is Still Beautiful is a wonderful romantic comedy and is likely to satisfy audiences seeking the delicate balance between romance, comedy and perilous troubles of a relationship fraught with adversaries.