Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc and the Alchemist Knight – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Montmorency, the son of a noble family, immerses himself in the studies of sorcery and alchemy at a royal knight training school in Paris, surrounded by many other knight candidates. His life is hectic, but fulfilling… until France suffers a crushing defeat at the Battle of Agincourt, changing his fate along with that of the entire nation. With the fall of Paris, the knight training school is shut down, and Montmorency loses everything. Now a wanted man and a wandering alchemist, he flees to a certain village where he meets a mysterious young woman named Jeanne… (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Ulysses is a premiere that suffers from numerous problems. The basic story is as above,with the first episode spent depicting Montmorency’s early life, with his little harem and efforts to become an alchemist. But this is realized with hamfisted and unmemorable dialogue that often strays into on the nose exposition that makes you feel more like the story is being told to you rather than you experiencing things first hand. None of that is aided by absolutely abysmal direction that crafts numerous scenes that either clumsily get the point across, waste time, or fall entirely flat. Several scenes are also outright confusing thanks to mediocre animation and bizarre audio choices.
Linny: Ulysses is one of the most confusing and underwhelming premieres this season.There are several scenes that go on far too long, taking simple plot points and dragging them out. Most of the episode is dedicated either to Montmorency attempting to coerce secrets from a suspected alchemist, or getting up to adventures with his ‘friends’, all of which surprisingly add very little to the story or characters. The episode also makes strange directorial choices such as a scene where Montmorency is shown falling off a wall. The scene plays in silence and ends with an abrupt cut to the next scene making for a jarring transition.
Tom: The episode’s primary focus on Mont and his interest in the Alchemist, or his adventures with his friends, would be fine if the episode didn’t drag on at length with certain sequences.We spend a long time watching Mont and Co. fight off a band of English raiders just so we can learn that one of the girl’s is a skilled fighter and Mont believes the seemingly worthless rock he carries with him is a philosopher’s stone. It’s a lot of wasted time just to get those ideas across. It doesn’t help that earlier in the episode we rushed through introductions for anyone but Mont, making his little harem feel distant and uninteresting. But perhaps the cap stone on the whole thing is the confusing as hell ending. The episode is so bad at visualizing the twist that sends the story in a whole new direction that rather than rising from your seat in stunned shock, you’re leaning back with a contorted brow, fighting back a horrid headache as you try to make sense of it all. Ulysses is a Light Novel adaptation, one I suspect is rushed, but either way stands as another easy pass for the Fall season.
Linny: Ulysses has been tagged as ecchi by some anime sources but for the most part the first episode is extremely chaste. Yes two of the girls have rather ample bosoms but they’re never the point of focus. It isn’t until we get to the credits and see all the ridiculously ample bosomed women and an EXTREMELY risque talk up for the next episode that you realize this may not be a show to watch with younger audiences or in public spaces. The very choppy, haphazard and inefficient story telling is also likely to alienate more audiences than not, thus making Ulysses another easy skip for the season.
Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc and the Alchemist Knight is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.