Warlords of Sigrdrifa – 1st Episode Review
Synopsis: When the Pillars suddenly appear on Earth, threatening all life, it’s only the act of the god Odin that offers humanity salvation. Providing a means of fighting back, he gives Earth the Valkyries, young female pilots with supernatural powers and spirit fighter planes. These skilled troublemakers, all young, risk their lives in a long-running war—but the final battle is fast approaching! (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Warlords of Sigrdrifa throws audiences right in, offering a aerial battle between modern day fighter jets, and a giant fantasy metal snake monster to kick the story of. But even after we step past the spectacle, Warlords of Sigrdrifa seems disinterested in fleshing its setting out. The details we do get are sparse, with most of it conveyed by dialogue alone. We learn the world is threatened by the sudden appearance of mighty pillars that stretch far into the sky. With them come bizarre ‘beasts’ that provide such hearty defense no known weapon to man can defeat them. Near as quickly as we learn what threatens humankind do we learn of our salvation: The God Odin appears from nowhere, and offers to save man using The Valkyries. And with that prepper we dive right into the main offering of Warlords; Cute girls piloting classic aerial fighter crafts. It’s in this way that Warlords almost feels like a Gacha-game adaptation; A thin story to set the stage followed by a round of cute girls for audiences to become enamored with, with no tease that any of the introduction’s lingering questions or greater details might one day be addressed. Yet shockingly, Warlords of Sigrdrifa isn’t based off anything at all, but is instead an entirely original anime title that just happens to feel like a Gacha advertisement.
Linny: The show’s supposed narrative, these world-ending pillars, also feels completely passive. Despite talk of the pillars threatening civilization, we don’t actually ever see them, or their minions, attacking humanity. Anytime these things are onscreen, all they seem to do is defend themselves against the humans attacking it. Also, given that our heroine, Claudia, Odin’s own daughter supposedly, defeats every single one she encounters, they feel even less of a threat. Despite an hour long premiere, we know actually come away knowing very little about the Pillars. This vagueness feels intentional so as to enable the Pillars to become whatever the show or episode needs it to be without being bound by any pre-established rules or definition.
Tom: But maybe all that lack of detail, definition, etc. would be okay if the show’s action was in top form. But that simply isn’t the case. Surprisingly, so much of the aerial combat is exceedingly dull. Most of the time events are framed through mid-length shots that lack dynamic intensity, even when our heroines aircraft are being relentlessly chased by these alien enemies. It doesn’t help that the aircraft are all animated via CGI, and while that allows more details on the planes themselves, we lack the typical dynamic wind lines that would add a sense of how fast the craft is speeding through the air. This means that often the only animation comes from the planes, which simply don’t feel like they’re zooming through the air as if in life or death combat. In fact, every combat scene ends up feeling entirely sterile because of this.
Linny: What further hampers Warlords of Sigrdrifa is how predictable and bland its characters are. Our main lead, Claudia is a pretty basic rendition of the heroine with survivors guilt, traumatized from always being the sole survivor in battles against the Pillars and having to say goodbye to dear friends and comrades over and over again. It’s a tragic existence, yes but the show does little to sell that tragedy, instead relying on the bare minimum exposition. When we finally meet the rest of the leading cast, they quite easily and quickly fall into popular stereotypes. Azuzu is the hot headed baby, Miyako the cheerful and energetic one that gets along with everyone and Sonoka is the mother hen of the group, the one who offers guidance and sage-like advice when needed. They’re all designed to look cute in an undeniable attempt to garner more fans for the show in case all else fails to appeal.
Tom: I think truthfully Warlords of Sigrdrifa is a Cute Girls Doing Cute Things show in disguise. That seems to the be one aspect any ‘effort’ is being put into, particularly exemplified as the episode gets lost on a long stretch of such content when Claudia lands in Japan and meets her new, adorable, teammates. The aerial combat is dull, the overarching narrative feels barely serviced, and that really leaves only Claudia and her band of adorable misfits offering any kind of pull, and even that feels thin if you’re not someone who finds adorable anime girls all that compelling. I think all this together makes Warlords of Sigrdrifa an easy pass.
Linny: If you have little to no interest in the two main elements of Warlords of Sigrdrifa, the cute girly cast or the use of dated aircrafts to take down other worldly beings, then there isn’t much else to the show. Given that the visualization and animation itself can be boring to look at and is combined with stretches of bland storytelling, it’s hard to sing praises for a show with such niche appeal. The best viewer for Warlords of Sigrdrifa would likely be someone who enjoys shows that have girls that need to be protected emotionally while said girls protect humanity. If that someone is you, congrats, you may have found your anime of the season. Everyone else can keep looking.
Warlords of Sigrdrifa is available for streaming via Funimation.com.