Madan no Ou to Vanadis – 02

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Before picking up where it left off last week, Vanadis back-pedals a bit to give us a peek into House Thenardier. They’re pretty much empty villains, with eyes on the throne and no real interest in Alsace.

They simply want to burn Alsace to the ground and pillage it before another powerful house has the chance. It’s also a good chance for their heir to grind some easy experience and break in his new dragons…

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“I’m so evil I can’t control my emotions face, face”

Okay, so there are a few (unconventional) signs I use to predict whether an anime is going to be crap over time, and this episode just trotted out one of them. Again, this may seem strange, but when a character makes the above face, I know a show is trying too hard to make someone evil in the most starkly black-and-white way possible.

Characters like that exist to shock us but usually don’t, because they are also usually quite incompetent (yet hard to kill for stupid plot reasons) Such characters also give us no drama and no nuance because they are what they are: pure, irredeemably evil, which is very boring to watch.

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Flashing forward, that ‘look’ is part of a pointless scene where Zion Thenardier decides to go to Tigre’s house alone and then decides to torture/rape Titta, Tigre’s maid because…evil reasons.

Why he’s there alone or cares at all about Tigre is not meaningful. He’s the villain this week, and probably in the future because he’s non-fatally shot with an arrow before he can do anything rapey-er than rip up Titta’s clothes. It’s dull and predictable.

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As far as plot developments, we learn Eleonora’s sword’s name, and that she can control the wind by slashing it. We also learn that she and Limalisha had a bet over how Tigre would respond to being kept from his fiefdom, and that he chose an option neither expected.

Ultimately, the result is Tigre giving Alsace to Eleonora in exchange for troops and then a brief overnight ride to save his (or now her?) lands. They somehow avoid (or haven’t noticed) the two dragons overlooking the town for now but…next episode.

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Tigre also ends up with his family’s magic bow. It’s black. Probably powerful. Nothing exciting here.

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You’re going to hear this a few times over the next two weeks, if it wasn’t obvious already: this fall season is stacked with excellent shows and there are simply too many to watch. Unfortunately, given it’s decent-but-not-astounding opening, and now a stumbling, uneventful, second episode, I can’t imagine Vanadis will make the cut.

Should it? That’s up to you and Preston, who will get to review it next week. For now, tell me why I should stick with it and I’ll lurk in the comments below.

6_ogk

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14 thoughts on “Madan no Ou to Vanadis – 02”

  1. Hello – Just joined your newsletter and am looking forward to lots of great info and entertainment.

    Would like to know where you list the ‘audience rating’ for each anime. By audience rating I mean : ‘G’, ‘PG’, and so on. Specifically I am looking for anime targeted for a younger audience, currently 10 years old.

    I am already signed-up with MyAnimeList.com, and they do a wonderful job providing age ratings, however it is difficult to ‘search’ anime for ‘P’ or ‘PG’ rated anime.

    So, I’ve signed up with your newsletter as well as CrunchyRoll to see what is coming hot of the wire, but I would like the availability of just doing a search for anime with an appropriate rating for younger children.

    OK

    Thank you

    Stuart.Studio@icloud.com

    >

    1. That’s an interesting thought — we actually don’t list the equivalent US ratings for the shows we review. Partly because we have never thought it was necessary and partially because anime (even young anime) is produced for a different cultural paradigm. In short, nudity (a standard ‘adult’ issue in the USA) is fairly common, as is boob grabbing and panties. I don’t want to over simplify but non-dubbed/non-US licensed shows always run the risk of upsetting a conservative viewpoint.

      I guess I’ve never really thought about it because my parents were either ignorant or indifferent towards my childhood viewing habits. (boobs, gore, mecha on ninja action — i’d pretty much seen it all by 10 or eleven years old)

      Top of my head? World Trigger should be safe to watch. So should Magic Joker. Both are kid oriented but not my thing.

      hope that helps

  2. madan’s anime as a stand alone it might be decent but as an adaptation of the LN its terrible removing all world building, politics, economics and methodology. Also for the most part removing the character development and character interactions that take place in the source material leaving the bare bones or even less to keep the story moving and now to make it worse they give the worst, most generic character in the entire who only lasts less than 1 chapter two eps of screen time why? I have no idea what their thinking. Also the anime’s left a lot of questions that were not only answered in LN but in alot detail.

    1. weird… I was wondering about that, since Political intrigue seems to be a big part of the world≤ that Tigre and crew don’t seem to be involved in.

    2. I heard from reddit that many people whom have read the light novels have found the anime not up to par. I do agree that the anime series seems to be left wanting when it comes to world building, but the reason I have taken interest in the series is due to the main characters. If the original material does expand on the world building, then I think i will be adding it to my future list of things to read. I hope this series doesn’t become another Mahouka, completely disappointing the original material. Generally, I seem to enjoy anime series that have been adapted from light novels, as even though most of the time the adaptation isn’t as deep as the LN, the source material is usually good enough to take the hit. Both FS/N this season and No Game No Life followed their source materials quite closely and they are both largely successful with FS/N being most people’s top pick this season. An interesting fact is that the author of No Game No Life also did the screenplay for the anime adaptation which is why I believe it kept it’s quirky charm.

  3. Hello again Franklin,
    While I believe this series won’t be making anime of the season any time soon (especially with F/SN), i do believe this show will at least be worth watching/reviewing. To counter your argument about the “clearly evil” bad guy, while I also have flat villains as a major pet-peeve in anime, I do no think the character in question will be seen much in the future. He does not show up in the opening credits with his father, and my suspicion is that the series will be focusing on battles against the other war maidens seen in the opening.
    As for reason why I believe this series will be worth watching is mostly in the two main characters. Tigre seems to be a well grounded character whom is competent yet modest and seems to avoid the typical flaws of generic shounen heroes. As for Ellenora, I always enjoy watching series with confident and strong heroines that don’t fall victim to becoming the princess in distress (SAO2 has been quite the letdown). Also, the interactions between the two main characters so far leads me to believe that the creator is treating both characters as equals rather than one strong protagonist and a love interest.
    In the end, I wouldn’t be surprised if rabujoi decides to review this series or not. I think this season has quite a bit of review-worthy series. While the summer season had a few top picks (like GSNK and Terror in Resonance) and then several average series (like rail wars and Rurumo), this Fall season has F/SN, Psycho-Pass 2, and then several strong series with a lot of potential. I would personally place this series towards the top half of the pack and would like to see this series reviewed, but this season seems busy. Overall I would say this series is around the level of Bahamut and well above World Trigger (which i still plan on watching if I can manage)

    TLDR; I think this series has the potential to be around 7-8, but this season has several series around that point.

    1. To be clearer, the ‘look’ isn’t a trigger for me because it’s on a primary villain. It can be on anyone. In Terraformers, it was on the ‘evil announcer’ who has nothing to do with anything after the first 90 seconds of show. The ‘look’ is just a sign that the anime is, generally, open to trying too hard — or trying to make emotions to simple. Along with ‘grandma has crazy hair,’ the ‘look’ is a fairly accurate warning sign. At least, for my totally subjective opinion of a show.

      Why that is has a lengthy academic paper’s worth of blah blah blah but, to be brief, it ties back to Japanese theatre traditions and how those traditions do not make any sense to non-Japanese. (The emotions the portray just don’t translate)

      Over all though, you are right. This show will probably hit a mid 7/8 by the end. Probably. Even with a dragging ep here and there, that would be fine any other season but this fall? Ekk! I’m reviewing like 11 shows already :)

      I’ll keep an eye on it and Preston will def review it next week.

  4. Well to give you an idea of of the quality of adaptation when eps 1 came out someone left the following comment : Ughh, yet another harem fanservice nonsense with generic male lead.

    And here I hoped for something interesting, considering story synopsis while its pretty much yet another Haigure Yuusha no Aestetica…

    I feel ashamed to have watched this crap.

    Dropped~

    3 days after I recommended them to drop the anime and try the light novel :

    From what I read of first few novels, its basically more of SpicenWolf/MaoyuuMaouYuusha and ecchi/harem hybrid.

    A LOT of time is spent building up the world around them, various concepts, character interactions and discussing tactics for each fight(MC does not just stand in the middle of road shooting at people and there’s a lot of preparations involved for each fight). Vast parts of the novel describe the political setting, how it affects what is going on, etc.

    The anime adaptation strips all of that off and ups the fanservice/harem elements. This episode alone could have been FOUR episode

    For the same person to have such a different view of the adaptation compared to the source material is kind of telling

    1. Small question to someone who read the source material: I use bakatsuki for my translations, but Madan no Ou to Vanadis seems to only have their preview translation out. Did you use a different transcriber or can you read Jap?

      As for the anime adaptation, I still believe the anime series is around a 7-8 and I hope it doesn’t enter the level of Haigure Yuusha no Aestetica. I think that if the series did follow the original material like you said, it might be at a 9-10, but I don’t think the first 2 episodes have been bad enough to warrant a 4.

  5. I’m a novel reader but surprisingly I’m enjoying it a lot. They main thing is that I’m using the anime as a complement to the novels. So you know all the complexities of the story and the anime just provides the visual and audio.

    By the way, the novel is translated up to the latest volume so give it a try if you want. In any case, I still believe that the directory does a pretty good job considering how he’s forced to adapt 6-7 volumes that are dense with information into 13 episodes. He seems to do a decent enough job of keeping some of the more “core” part of the story. Unfortunately, the details are also extremely important and a lot had to be omitted.

  6. I’ve just watched this (finally got around to it), and I agree with most of your assessment. The only reason I might’ve considered giving it a 7 instead of a 6 is because I liked just how long Ellen laughed after Tigre asked her for troops.

    It’s also admirable that she stopped him from doing a typically shounen thing like run off and take on an army all by himself, but he picked up on her desire for him to use his head instead of just his heart.

    Unfortunately, yeah, whew, the bad guys are bad this week. Having a loathsome entitled prick like Zion bust into Tigre’s house just for the hell of it and then proceed to prey upon the show’s most innocent vulnerable character…and he wasn’t even drunk (except on power of course).

    I’m not going to say I didn’t cheer when Zion got a rape-stopping arrow to the hand; I did. But it was a bit obvious, and it seems to end with him getting away, which is keeping a villain around who has no business still being alive. Not looking forward to seeing him pop back up.

    I hope next week deals with clearing Zion’s army out of Alsace, followed by the implementation of Tigre’s deal with Ellen.

  7. I can’t wait to read you’re Akatsuki no Yona review this week. If you are going to write one I mean? Seems like you may have a similar frustration for both shows now!

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