Lord Marksman and Vanadis Season 1 Eps 1-2 (Anime Review)

With the Fall 2014 Anime season upon us, it is time to get cracking on a whole bunch of new shows. I used to watch a lot of anime in my college days, but then I fell off and only got back to them last year, and it has been a fun ride, with some really good stuff coming out in the last year and a half, and some bad stuff too. But it is definitely a great time to be watching anime I think, given that each season sees upwards of 50 new and/or returning anime series on television. And one of the newest is Lord Marksman and Vanadis aka Madan no Ō to Vanadīsu, based on a Japanese light novel series of the same name.

Despite being a rather odd title, Lord Marksman and Vanadis is a decent enough story about a young noble archer who is taken prisoner before a big battle, and then must confront some of his prejudices and rethink on his loyalties and his ties to his nation. Tigrevurmud Vorn is a decent enough protagonist, if a bit generic, and the female lead Ellenora Viltaria is the same, though she is thankfully quite a bit more of a badass. The first two episodes look very promising, but the animation sure can be quite basic at times and some of the camera angle choices make this an odd uncomfortable experience as well.

Lord Marksman and Vanadis Poster 0001

Lord Marskman and Vanadis follows the story of Brune noble Tigrevormud Vorn and the warrior maiden of Zhcted, Ellenora Viltaria, as they first meet on the fields of battle on opposing sides and then come to be allies. The first two episodes are quite a rushed job and the story moves very quickly, but thankfully there are indeed some good bits to the new show, enough to bring me back, though the animation can often be quite problematic.

Both Tigre and Ellen are interesting characters and they inhabit a very interesting setting, very faux-Medieval Europe, but with some good twists such as the presence of dragons and magical heirloom weapons. That’s what I liked best about the show. I saw both episodes last night, and I certainly had fun since the story was engaging enough that I wanted to see more and the interplay of both Tigre and Ellen with each other and the rest of the supporting cast that we get to see bodes well for the future of the series.

But at the same time, the characters are also quite generic and lack a certain personality, in so far as I can tell from these two episodes. The rushed nature of both episodes, with everything that happens over the course of them, doesn’t lend itself well to a nice even development and that is perhaps one of the most frustrating things about Lord Marksman and Vanadis. There’s a sense of too much happening too fast, and it can spoil the fun at times since hte characters just don’t get the right kind of breathing room they need. In the first two episodes we see Tigre mocked by fellow Brune noblemen on the eve of the battle against Ellen and her Zhcted forces, Tigre taken prisoner by Ellen, Ellen falling for Tigre, and Tigre’s enemies in Brune making a play for his ancestral seat at Alsace with the future of Brune in turmoil following the disastrous battle against Ellen and her forces.

The two episodes cover a LOT of ground, and there are few good moments among all of this. But like I said, there are just enough to bring you back for a couple more episodes. I’m rather intrigued by the concept of powerful heirloom weapons such as the one owned by Tigre’s family, and the special weapon borne by Ellen, a gift from a dragon. It is an old concept in anime, sure, but I think that the show is looking to do some different things with that concept, so I’m open to seeing more. There’s also a certain mystery built up around these weapons, and that’s the most intriguing thing of all, by far.

The animation however isn’t so good. For one, Ellen and her commander Limalisha wear typical fantasy anime outfits that reveal more of their body than they should. And then, the camera often focuses on the chest and nether regions of the female characters in what are some really uncomfortable scenes. Lord Marksman and Vanadis is a bit more circumspect than I’d expect about such things, but often they stare you right in the face and you wonder just what the priorities are for the show’s animation department. And there’s also this rather uncomfortable rape scene in the second episode, involving Tigre’s female servant, Titta, which kind of boggles the mind, truth be told. Then again, this is Ecchi fantasy anime, so I shouldn’t be surprised. Just guess that the genre doesn’t appeal to me all that much.

Lord Marksman and Vanadis Stills 0001

At the same time though, the battle scenes are done well enough, whether it is personal combat or otherwise, and there’s a good range of characters on the show, which makes up for some of the other deficiencies of the animation. The visual effects for Ellen’s sword, and Tigre’s archery skills are perhaps the most prominent of the finer aspects of the animation in use here.

The story, overall, can be a bit tired and cliched, but there are some golden nuggets sprinkled here and there that do give a better impression of the show. And that’s one of the reasons that I will be looking to go through at least two more episodes before making a call either way to give up on the show. There’s a lot of new stuff that has come out of late, and some stuff that I need to catch up on as well, so there is indeed other anime that I am more excited about watching than Lord Marksman and Vanadis, but I’d say that if you like Ecchi anime, then this could very well be for you.

And I do like how badass Ellen is. I want to see more of her badassery in future episodes.

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Posted on October 19, 2014, in Anime, Lord Marksman and Vanadis, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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