This is a world of the skies, where many islands drift in the sky. A boy named Gran and a talking winged lizard named Vyrn lived in Zinkenstill, an island which yields mysteries. One day, they come across a girl named Lyria. Lyria had escaped from the Erste Empire, a military government that is trying to rule over this world using powerful military prowess. In order to escape from the Empire, Gran and Lyria head out into the vast skies, holding the letter Gran's father left behind - which said, "I will be waiting at Estalucia, Island of Stars".
(Source: Aniplex of America)
Episodes 1 and 2 preaired on TV on January 21, 2017. Regular broadcasting begins on April, 2017.
Before I write this review I would like to talk about my experience with the source material, which for those who don't know it is a browser rpg where you collect different characters. Now the gameplay itself rubbed me the wrong way due to being one dimensional and overall not enjoyable, but I kept playing. The reason for this is because I actually quite enjoyed the story and characters. This is important to my review for two reasons: Firstly I went into this knowing what to expect and knowing what comes ahead, which might make me a tad biased in the shows favor. Secondly, I felt as if the story got better and better as it progressed, this is important since without the prior knowledge of where the story goes I might have felt differently about it, as I can't really forget what happens.
Sound 10/10: The sound got the highest marks out of everything funnily enough, because both the music and sound design are on point. The music reminds me of the RPGs i played as a kid, like Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy. They can shift from tranquil world-building music to upbeat grand adventure music and all of it is really pleasant to listen to. Sound design is something oft overlooked, but I feel it is worth mentioning, especially when done well. The sound effects are subtle and high quality. A good example is the footsteps which are light and sensible; This is in much contrast to other shows where Edo era wooden sandals sound like someone is banging a 2x4 into a brick wall. Only complaint I can give about sound is Vyrn's annoying voice, I know it is intended but god do I hate it.
Art 7/10: I think we are a bit spoiled by modern animation studios being so damn good at what they do, but this certainly seems to be pretty unimpressive. The animation is fluent and not so bad, but the art seems pretty dated. That being said I would recommend plenty of older anime with bad art; shows which make this show look like a 11/10 in comparison.
Characters 7/10: Yet again my bias is showing as I probably would have scored lower, had I not known what is to come. The game had some amazing characters, which have not been introduced yet. The game's characters I would give an 8 so I met it in the middle, since we don't know how the animation studio will warp the source material, although so far they have been rather faithful. I will now explain each of the current characters that are actually important.
Gran: Generic RPG hero. Better than a lot of the awful protagonists I have seen over the years but not too impressive either. He has an ambition to explore the skies which is his ambition. Other shows use things like love as an excuse for fighting, so I think it is cool to see them create a MC which has ambition I can get behind.
Lyria: I actually quite like Lyria's character. She is overly kind to a fault, and she has her moments, especially later on. For reasons I don't wish to spoil, she cannot really be separated from Gran(Covered in the first episode). One thing that made me really happy about the game is that they didn't force romance into it, despite the set-up being perfect. That being said, the anime adaptation might, we can only hope not.
Katalina: Pretty typical knight with high morality and all that. Not much to say honestly. Her and her sister have some interactions later in the story, but as for the anime, not much to say as of yet.
Vyrn: Annoying ass lizard, nothing else to see here folks move along. In all seriousness, even the lizard gets some development later on, but for now we will leave it at annoying lizard.
Pommern (empire dude):
The empire is rather lame with the main baddie early on being so generically evil he may as well attach an illuminated sign to his forehead that says "I'm the bad guy." He even has a handlebar mustache for crying out loud.
Story 8/10: The story is good, as I said earlier I am rather biased so forgive me, but even with this bias, I can safely say that the story is rather enjoyable. The pacing seems to be rather fast yet manages to give you all the information needed to understand the world. My main gripe so far is how ridiculous some of the story is. Like Lyria falling thousands of feet and yet managing to be completely unscathed. Or our favorite farmer boy taking out two imperial soldiers alone with his baby sword. Despite it's problems the interactions between characters are enjoyable and the plot is rather interesting. Another thing to mention is that the world is rather interesting consisting of several secluded island all with their own quirks. It's amusing to see MC go from being in his hometown full of agriculture and farming to a modernized trading city full of brash personalities.(not covered in the anime yet, probably will be in the next episode which is #3)
So I enjoyed it, not just as someone who played the games, but also just someone who enjoys fantasy stories. I would have scored the games story and 8, but as the anime stands thus far 7 seems more fair. The characters are a bit generic, yet enjoyable and I have high hopes for the future of this show as I quite enjoyed the story of the game. I am currently on episode 2 and judging on my optimism and past experience with the games I think it will be a worthwhile watch. Also, I will edit this review as episodes come out so it is less of a presumption and more of an actual review. I just thought I would write it for those wondering if it is even worth starting, I would say yes.