What’s it about ?
Adaptation of a series of fantasy light novels.
Tigrevurmud (sic) Vorn, our protagonist. Lord of the small province of Alsace (/facepalm), he leads a token battalion among the much wider forces of Brune. At least, that’s his backstory, as by the time the series starts he’s the last man standing, with patrols from the enemy country of Zhcted (gesundheit) scouring the battlefield for stragglers. But while he doesn’t have any illusions over his survival odds, he’s going to make the most of the few arrows he’s got left.
Eleonora Viltaria, one of the seven war maidens (“Vanadis”) of Zhcted, stumbled upon him ; she quickly overwhelms him, but she’s fallen in love with his bow skills, and so takes him prisoner. Officially she’s asking for ransom, but she deliberately set an unreasonable price to be sure she’ll get to keep him. Refreshingly, she’s NOT a tsundere ; she exudes power and self-confidence, and is charmingly frank about her motives and plans.
Her entourage, though, aren’t too happy with her latest conquest, as they suspect she wants more than merely his bow skills. Some of them are already trying to undermine him.
Zaian Thenardier (sigh) was Tigre’s “rival” among the Brune forces, i.e. a bully who kept provoking and insulting him. The episode closes on the announcement that he’s attacking Alsace, because mwahahahah he’s an evil little prick. It’s obvious where this is going : Eleonara “conquering” Alsace so as to protect it and keep Tigre under her thumb.
The OP & ED threaten to turn this series into a full-blown harem series, with several more scantily clad young woman about to join in.
As has become the norm from studio Satelight, this is much brighter and shinier series than you’d expect from the actual subject matter. The fanservice level is quite high, as the camera never lets you forget that Eleonora has boobs and legs.
I had very low expectations coming into this. I’ve come to dread adaptations of fantasy light novels in general, as they’re often the height of mediocrity ; the pervert camera is highly annoying ; and the laughable naming scheme is just distracting. It doesn’t help that the script makes the questionable choice of starting off with Eleonora’s claim of ownership over Tigre (which has no impact whatsoever out of context), and then delves into several nested flashbacks to explain it all. (There’s even a terrible infodump from the narrator.)
And still… there’s the nugget of a semi-interesting premise here. The core couple are surprisingly engaging characters, with more charisma, depth and maturity than the norm. (The supporting cast, not so much.) They’ve got great chemistry. I’m shocked to be thinking this might actually work and be quite watchable, if the harem elements don’t overwhelm it.
Against my better judgement, I’m giving it a second episode. Make the best of it.