Madan no Ou to Vanadis: Act 4

Fumble, foul, or failure?

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So, we open on an impressive ambush tactic.  Tigre castles his refugees and soldiers, so when the Muslin forces attack, they are met with swords instead of helpless villagers. Nice move.

Unfortunately, it only wins them the spearhead. Two thousand guys isn’t going to outfight 40,000, there’s just no way on an open field.

And…and…okay, this fight is just goofy. Tigre and Ludmila are having their mid-combat heart to heart, which is made all the sillier by the fact the Muslin soldiers are encircling them in some form of interpretative dance until it’s time for one to enter the foreground and get killed.

Well, wouldn’t you know, when you kill the most respected knight in the entire kingdom for backing Tigre, turns out the other knightly orders don’t respect you enough to remain in your control.  Three of Brune’s knightly orders arrive just in time to bail Tigre out of this jam.

This is where my historical perspective kind of kills the mood for me.  Barbarossa is just laughing off the fact 5,000 knights have arrived to kick his ass.

To put this in perspective, when the Roman Emperor sent for reinforcements to the Pope (the event that launched the Crusades) he was expecting about 300 knights.  That is to say, he thought he could beat the entire Seljuk Empire with just 300 of the mounted destroyers, even though his army had suffered it most horrific defeat a matter of years earlier. That’s how badass these guys were.

Barbarossa laughing off “Well what’s 5,000 against my 40,000 men?” is…ugh…it’s so unlikely I can’t form a proper simile to express it.

And we now understand why he’s losing.  Barbarossa thinks the mastermind is the Battle Maiden.  Oh, you poor, horribly un-genre-savvy fool. You have no idea what show you’re in, do you? Any normal universe, sure, she’d be the hero. But not here. Continue reading

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Madan no Ou to Vanadis: Act 3

AT&T sucks.

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Our blurb has nothing to do with anime today. Just expressing the past week of dealing with the internet.

Our cliffhanger was so many lies. The new priestess Battle Maiden almost instantly retreats.  Her “badass exchange” with Roland isn’t anything to really preen about either. (“Is this wall of light magic?” No shit, Roland.)

But it’s okay, honestly, as this plays into her archetype, as she was just buying time before vanishing like a ninja. Two things of story signifiance then happen (right?), we flashback that Roland is oh-so-obviously being misled about his King’s intentions. Seems the old guy’s been sick for a while, so his evil viziers are basically running the show. Coming on the heels of this is that a new minor lord has joined the fight on Tigre’s side, outflanking Roland and forcing him to pull back.

Seems our new lord, Mashas, met Sophia, the preistess Maiden, when she saved him from assassins.  They came here as a unit to tell us “the king’s off his rocker”.  Tigre is not recovering well from his wound. Follow this up with some harem nonsense.

Roland is having second thoughts. He’s clearly a cautious man, demonstrated by his tactics.  Studying the political landscape more thoroughly, he is told Tigre has no real affiliation to Zchted beyond their recent alliance. This raises his eyebrow, as does the information that Thernadier is moving troops against Tigre’s lands in his absence dealing with Roland. We all see where this going, but at least to mix it up, Roland is consistent with his position as a landless general in that he is more concerned of the presence of a foreign army in his kingdom than he gives a shit about the nobles’ game of thrones nonsense.

Tigre, meanwhile, has arisen from his bed, compelled by his weapon to find this…misty temple thing. The resident goddess possesses Titties, because sure. Even goddesses want Tigre’s dick.

Actually she’s presenting him with a test. Shoot Titties, gain unfathomable power.

Well rather than just NOT shoot her, Tigre has to kaio-ken his arrow to explode JUST as it reaches Titties, blowing away all of her clothes. Of course, of COURSE that’s what would happen. For whatever reason, Tigre passes her test.

Why? What did THAT show that just NOT shooting her would?  Unless she was specifically testing if he HAD that ability to control his power so delicately. But if it’s, as she says, just showing his resolve, how is shooting an arrow KNOWING it won’t kill Titties any different morally from just not shooting Titties? Continue reading

Madan no Ou to Vanadis: Act 2

Boobs are one hell of a drug.

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Catch up continues here on DDA.  And it opens with Wonder Woman mounting Green Arrow…

No, bad Doll, play nice. This is the series that at least pretends it has aspirations.

So after a bit of “how AWESOME is Tigre?” from the girls, we actually get consequences for what’s occurred so far.

Yes, you do have permission to take a breath. We might not be so lucky in the future.

Both Tigre and Ellen are on the Thernadier radar now.  And as bad guys would have it, they’re no longer considering Tigre “warm up” practice for the inexperienced men.  He’s now a legitimate military target, as is Zchted. To counter Ellen’s power as a battle maiden, Thernadier will be sending its own Battle Maiden. Escalation!

Unfortunately for the bad guys, they don’t have the self-awareness to realize they’re in a harem series. Sending anything with a vagina to take care of the protagonist is like trying to send a twelve year old girl into a mall alone to go to church.  If you’re lucky, she comes within sight of the target before being distracted by the cutest plushie in Build-a-Bear.

Ellen’s having a hearing with her king.  Yes king. This is unexpected. How is Tigre going to win a GUY over with the power of his dick? And not an attractive one, at that.  This is ruining all of my immersion. Continue reading

Madan no Ou to Vanadis: Episode 3

My Lord, the tide of battle seems to have turned against us!

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So we open recapping the off-screen battle (or mostly off-screen battle) from last time.  While the Thernadier’s lost 300 of their 3,000, Ellen’s forces have lost 100, so this basically keeps things at an even split, both forces losing about 10%.

Now for a moment that’s…almost surreal. We get a map-cut-away after seeing Geoffrey…I mean, Zion…going insane in his tent.  It’s like one of those battle documentaries that specialize in ancient fights.  Little divisions are laid out on the field, we’re told the strengths of the forces…I don’t expect this to go anywhere, but the juxtaposition of the military documentary and trite harem bullshit at least raises the eyebrow of curiosity from me.

Oh, speaking of trite harem shit, here’s Titties! Totally ruining the drama of the war room with her insecure vagina problems. Women, amirite, fellas?

Ellen splits her forces up, and we follow the main one, led by her and Tigre.  The fight’s okay.  The slightly-above-average combat is balanced by the not-even-total-war standards of the establishment shots.

Things go well for our heroes, but then Vernadier launches its dragon into the melee.  Ah, the fight we’ve actually been waiting for.

…Which Ellen ends in a single move…well..damn. Continue reading

Double Feature: Madan no Ou to Vanadis 1+2

Savor it while it’s…not rotten.

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Some quick observations about Madan no Ou to Vanadis:

I do like the OP. The animation feels rather genuine, as if someone actually cares about the product they’re putting out. (Or maybe it’s comforting because the last battle ballad we had here was in Blade and Soul)

So far, Vanadis has been holding its harem cards pretty close to its chest.  The cliche elements are still there, but they aren’t as obvious as in Inou-Battle, so that’s something.

The horses in this series are ENORMOUS. Jeez.

So we open on prologue. Skipping that.  We meet our hero, Tigre, most skilled archer in the land.  He’s the lord of this province, Alsace, and for whatever reason is fighting a battle against one of the Vanadis, Ellen, of Zchted.  I’m gonna be throwing around a lot of names here, because it’s…well we have to learn this Japanese overnight.  Alsace lies in the kingdom of Brune, and it’s really unclear why we’re having this little war yet, other than the penile compensation reasons.

Tigre is captured in the battle and brought to Zchted.  Yeah I just skipped a lot of opening exposition. It hurts my brain.  Ellen wants to take Tigre on as a hostage, it seems.

Now, I know that the protocol for such relationships is very different from the concept of a POW today, but I really find it odd during all this stuff that Tigre, not once, really considers that by teaching Zchted soldiers how to be better archers, he’s ultimately making them more efficient at killing his countrymen.

We have some harem anime antics involving Tigre catching Ellen bathing and her daring him to look, because all women secretly want to be watched while they bathe by strangers.  But one of Tigre’s retainers, Bertrand, arrives quite suddenly to tell us the bad guys are invading Alsace.  And they are ARE WE SUBTLE ENOUGH IN BEING EVIL bad guys, too! Because if there’s anything that tells engaging storytelling, it’s arbitrary black and white sides.

In a moment that actually works, as Tigre tries to sneak out to defend his homeland against the invaders, despite his “contract” of sorts as a prisoner, Ellen confronts him, and he begs her to allow him the use of her forces to defend his home (which, right now, is across international borders).  Ellen is so amused by his audacity, she consents.  And I admit it’s a pretty good moment for Ellen. And she quickly turns it around on Tigre that he must swear Alsace over to her banner.  So essentially, from her end, she’s setting out to conquer it before the BAD GUYS do, and for Tigre, he wrests an agreement from Ellen that the people of Alsace will remain relatively self-determinant, only the international border will now be crossing them. Continue reading