Chain Chronicle: Haecceitas no Hikari is how you would imagine if Lord of the Rings would have an anime. The anime started off with the bad guy actually triumph over the good guy, and the land is slowly turning into darkness. Yet per usual, that would not stop our band of heroes from trying to stop the villains, because hey, who else gonna do it right? It is a purely adventure anime set in the fantasy world (finally without the isekai elements) and a good one at that. The animation is really good, especially in every fight scene, and it feels like some kind of
rpg video games at time. The movie version is basically the first 4 episode of the anime, so for people who have already watched it, just wait and skip to ep 5. Picked up because I really thirst for some good adventure anime.
I decided to write a review after episode 6 left me in tears.
(Skip this part if you don't like background stories)
Man, this brings back memories. I was one of the few that enjoyed the English server of the mobile game. The strong suit of the game is the story itself. I was truly immersed on the world of yggdra through storytelling alone. My heart broke into pieces when I heard about the server shutdown. By that time, the devs made all map energy cost into 1 so everyone can "Enjoy"
the last moments of the game.
I didn't. I uninstalled the game right after hearing that.
By no means that I liked what I did, it broke me. As exaggerated as it may sound, it left a hole in my chest. What was once included in my daily routine, now gone. I felt like I broke up with 5 girlfriends compressing all that feelings into one instance. Until now I never found a mobile game to replace this particular hole in my heart.
(Skip this part if you don't like background stories)
Now enter the anime. I was hyped to hear about the anime, but was keeping a low steady expectation due to it being a game adaptation. An android game to boot. Adaptations never get the anticipation fans are expecting. For one, that is actually our fault. The game and the anime have different ways of delivering the message to the audience, (Check out MatPat's vid about adaptations for detailed explanation) but this adaptation took me into a whole new world. A Darker one to boot.
*Contains some spoilers from the game*
The end of Chapter 1 for the Mobile game has you, the hero, defeating Black King. The twist and turns of the whole book one unfolds into the last chapter, Black King being revealed as Phoena's father, and Black Knight being Yuri from a different Chain Chronicle world. The anime tackled a different route, where Yuri didn't defeat the Black King right then and there. Yes, the story may have turned into a darker path but I enjoyed it as to how it shows that the franchise itself had grown and matured to tackle on a darker light.
While it's a shameless attempt into pulling anime fans into the game, it is indeed actually recommended that you finish Book 1 and as many character story possible. You will appreciate all the anime has to offer. For one, Julianna's story line in the game was actually one of the driving force for her to take on the Throne. Shuza's Nine Territories' storyline shows when and how the two joined forces to fight the Black King.
Seeing all that connections, all that immersions, being twisted in a different, dark light gives a whole new rejuvenating enjoyable new experience the anime adaptation has to offer.
I hope this somehow helped you into reconsidering to rewatch the series with all the points in mind. It saddens me that the score is dwindling down. Though I must admit, I will rate this 6/10 if I don't have any background in the game. I've seen it firsthand while watching some of the episodes with others that don't have the game background simply bored out and start spacing out mid episode. But as to how each episodes tug into my heart and my emotion, I just won't take it to look at this series going down without a fight (or atleast an explanation).
Western Chain Chronicle fans rejoice! After the mobile game shut down their servers after introducing fans to the world of Yggdra many fans had to say goodbye to the colourful cast of characters, but can now experience the vibrant world in a new light.
The story follows an alternative events where the Volunteer Army fails to defeat the Black king in the final battle of the game. Confronted with this, they must deal broken alliance and the frayed hope of the nation. As the they regroup and lick their wounds a potential new recruit enters the fray.
Story = 7
Like all modern fantasy, the influence of Tolkien's
work can be found mixed in the usual slew of anime tropes for good measure. Game mechanics are added quite well into the story and do not seem to interfere or drag the plot down.
The story does, however, suffer most in the first episode, as it was clearly made for fans of the game, no backstory beyond a short introduction is given. Any outsiders to this may find the beginning slightly confused as you are thrown directly into Final Battle of the game itself. By the time opening theme starts, they story breaks new ground and all the interesting stuff begins to happen.
Art = 9
The art of the show really stays true to that of the mobile game. Characters have been faithfully adapted along with stunning backgrounds. It also makes use of 3D models mixed with the overall 2D art style (a nod to the 3D models in the game perhaps?). New takes on environments are presented and game locations are expanded to fit into the paradigm of the show.
All in all, the animation studio has done a fantastic job of incorporating a substantial amount of game art and expanding it into a believable, living world.
Sound = 7
Admittedly, not much to say. The soundtrack suits each location effectively and the opening theme makes you want mash some baddie's face in; so job done right?
Character = 8
This was the strongest point of the game for me, characters each had a rich background and were very likeable. The most boring character was the 'Hero', which the anime addresses to perfection. Gone is the mostly silent protagonist without a name and enter the newly dubbed Yuri, a character that has to deal with the burden's of loss and the need for hope.
Also, any (though it still is early) we may yet get the much Googled and sought after character arc of the fallen hero. This is based on the general direction of the series and the poster for Part 3 of the movie. Rejoice fans of Kaneki Ken and Darth Vader, we might just have a keeper on hands!
Enjoyment = 10
I loved the game, I love the anime. There is no doubt I'm giving this a ten, call me a fan boy if you want. The new perspectives on the characters I followed for two years only made me love this more, I'll even buy the T-shirt.
Joking aside, the anime makes for a great action adventure show. The characters and artwork stays faithful to the source material and a good adaptation. I would happily recommend it to anyone looking for a good fantasy or adventure tale.
Overall = 8
I will admit, there is a certain amount of bias here. Chain chronicle to me was an introduction to the world of Japanese animation, and really sparked my passion for it. Any fans of the game may also feel abounded joy of the return of Chain Chronicle, while other viewers might not get what the heck we're going on about.
I would recommend this anime to anyone without a doubt, putting aside the first episode's pandering to returning fans, the following episodes make for a good anime. So, please, give it a go.
[I will post recommendations for the anime as new episodes are released. Good to have you back!]