The World Is Still Beautiful – Episodes 1-12 Review

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Hallelujah: It’s Rainin’ Anime~!

We’re back with another romance/sci-fi/fantasy/drama, folks!

the world is still beautiful

Summary:

Nike, the fourth princess of the Rain Dukedom, possesses the power to call forth the rain. She travels to the Sun Kingdom to marry Sun King Livius for the sake of her country, despite her own reluctance. She soon discovers that the King, who conquered the world in only three years after his ascendance to the throne, is still a child. Furthermore, for trivial reasons, he has demanded that Nike call forth the rain, and when she refuses, he has her thrown in jail. The story follows the two who, while at first are a married couple only in name, gradually begin to establish an emotional bond with one another.

 

Review: 12733-200 12733-200 12733-200  / 5

I gave this series a try after watching Snow White and the Red HairYona of the Dawn and some other fantasy hime (princess) shows, and this show certainly delivers in terms of princesses and fantasy. Let’s start with the positives: the animation is pretty and aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, the characters are really likable and Livius is round and full of depth. His childhood trauma rationalizes his conquering nature and his two personalities: the cold-blood ruler and the selfish, lonely child. The setting is interesting and the backstory involving Livi’s ascent to power, as well as the weather-controlling magic songs were enough to have me salivating.

While there are some common tropes, this anime missed on several promising opportunities–it had boundless potential, but was so convoluted. The biggest fault of this anime is unfortunately, its centerpiece: the relationship between Nike and Livius. Their relationship does not convey romance, but rather a sibling bond. I think this in part due to their apparent age difference, which the writers do not address at any length apart from stating that Livi will get taller and he has an adult’s eyes. We could, as many have, make she argument that because of their age difference, their connection is emotional and mental rather than physical. Yes, this is true but what exactly is their connection? How do they see each other? Livius is largely using Nike as a mother-figure rather than a lover.

Now let’s talk about realism. First, there’s a problem concerning the rain song. In the second episode, we learn that the magic rain song takes time to compose, plus concentration and skill to execute. Later, we realize that Nike struggled with rain-singing when she was younger and that it did not come easily for her. Why, then, is she able to sing at the end of the episode? A thrown fit of passion over a king she just met with no real feelings for apart from resentment for locking her in prison?  I don’t think so. This is a cop-out, a plot device, a poor excuse for relationship development and a complete disregard to the Nike’s character. Furthermore, if we can say the song is derived from the singer’s emotions and experiences about the place, why then do the lyrics remain unchanged throughout the show? To me, it would have been more realistic and enjoyable if the lyrics evolved with Nike and her relationship with Livius.

Second, there’s a concern with character inconsistency and reactions to plot. We view Nike as a headstrong and fearless female who cherishes her family/ home and Livius. When the two visit her home, Livius almost drowns to death trying to free Nike from her family’s conspired plot to drive the two apart. Nike’s reaction? To be more upset with the fact her grandmother won’t come wish her goodbye than the act of manslaughter against her husband/fiance’s life. This underscores the illegitimacy of their relationship and Nike’s character, leaving viewers unsettled and confused.

Ultimately, I enjoyed watching the show, but just found it okay. The series was full of unrealized potential with its realism, plot and pacing, knocking it down to a 2.5. If you like this anime, you’ll probably enjoy A Lull in the Sea. If you, like me, found it okay but wanted a little more cohesiveness, try out Yona of the Dawn and Snow White with the Red Hair!

 

What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Watch on, Annieme-niac!

~Annie

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