By Dustin Cabeal
There’s a much longer conversation to have about Japanese animation and its enjoyment of using World War II German in stories. That place isn’t here, but I don’t personally like when stories create alternate worlds in which World War II Germany isn’t the bad guy. I don’t buy it. I don’t care if it’s a story and fantasy and whatever excuse that you want to make to justify it to yourself, but for me, it’s dangerous and irresponsible. Don’t rewrite the history books for the sake of fantasy.
That said, everything else about this anime is pretty damn amazing. I don’t for the life of me understand why it had to be a World War II setting or be in Europe considering its fantasy and no landmarks or historical battles seem to be referenced.
The gist is that Germany is being invaded on all sides because they’re so awesome and powerful. Yeah… yeah… There’s mages and magic in this battle, so that’s the big game changer. The story doesn’t explain who all can use magic, and it seems like in a war you’d want as many magic users as possible, but as we see in this first episode, two men get put in the back of the line for disobeying orders.
I’m going to proceed with spoilers since the third episode is already out and maybe even the fourth by the time this is posted. Our commander is a short blonde woman that looks like a little girl. She has one of the most annoying voices ever, and I’m sure it’s a well-established voice actor, but on a personal level can’t stand hearing her voice. She’s a bad ass and can do more than anyone else and blah, blah, blah. She’s vicious as we see an aerial battle in which she wipes out the enemy in a brutal fashion. The episode ends revealing that her nickname is the devil or something similar and that the two men she seemingly saved/punished by sending them to the back of the battle line were killed and that it was her intention to have them killed by being there all along.
Storywise, again, I don’t support anything that romanticizes Germany during World War II. Otherwise, the story doesn’t tell you much but instead relies on the visuals as it follows two characters. The other character who works under the devil is a charming character that is easy to root for, and I’m sure that’s the intention going forward.
The art is fantastic. It’s so fucking beautiful that it sucks that I can’t in my moral fiber support this anime because I loved the visuals. I love seeing characters fly around like this in the sky. The aerial battles looked amazing, the magic was unique and fit the setting of war. Ahh… I loved the visuals for this so damn much. The designs aren’t even something I usually like, but by the end of the episode, I loved the giantness of the character’s eyes. The coloring was stunning as well and put to shame a vast majority of anime and movies. It was tremendous.
I won’t support episode two. Maybe I’ll get it on the down low and see if they change their tune about how they’re portraying Germany, but if not, I can’t in good conscience support something that wants to rewrite history for fantasy. I’m damn near living that in the real world with a President that can’t even acknowledge how many people attended his inauguration. It’s dangerous to play with this time of fantasy so no matter how beautiful it is unless there’s something coming that will change my outlook on the story itself; I can’t support this anime. I, also, can’t score it because that too would condone some aspect of it.