The world is thrown into chaos when the Katjvarna empire takes arms against the Republic of Kioka. Our hero, Ikta, detests war but ultimately has no choice but to become a High Grade Military Officer to defend his land. No one could have ever imagined that this lazy womanizer would eventually become the hero everyone needed.
Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin is a 13 episode anime series based off a currently publishing novel series. Odds are, you already have realized a couple things, but if not here they are now: First, this series tidies up an arc at the end, but it otherwise has an open ending. Second, odds are there won't be a second season; if lucky, there will be an OVA in the future, but it likely won't even be that. So, if these two factors are a big deal, you may want to wait on watching the series. If you don't mind, continue reading for a more detailed review.
The anime is essentially composed of a few sections, which each section tidying up neatly, while still being open to the next section. This allows the anime to flow nicely, though unfortunately, also leaves the series with a somewhat open ending; though the arc is tidies up, the viewer is left knowing that much is to follow along with foreshadowing, and it just isn't covered. Granted, anime based off of light novels serve not just to gather and entertain viewers, but to serve as an advertisement of sorts for the novel series, so this is to be expected.
As for the specifics, while the whole premise isn't made entirely clear, enough information is given to where the viewer won't dwell on the lack of information; also keep in mind, it's common for lots of details to miss making it from the novel series to the anime, so for minimal omission to seem apparent is pretty good on the anime's part. The setting seems to be perhaps a fantasy enlightenment period, with the main contrast being the female military uniforms, which have leggings and school skirts (since how could any anime girl not wear a pleated skirt as part of her main outfit?). Though the fantasy element is light, involving only the use of spirits (which some scenes may have you wondering whether they are fantasy or more sci-fi), the implementation of the spirits in the series adds to the fantasy feel.
What can I say? It's not terrific, nor experimental, but it's clear and crisp. Nothing to wow over, but nothing to complain over either.
The voices suited the characters well I feel. The opening and closing also fit the series. The series does a good job overall with using music in scenes, though there were a couple times where it bordered annoying for me.
While the main characters fall into stereotypes, they were portrayed well, to where they helped the story. A few of the characters remained rather static, while a few of the others grew over the course of the anime, which fit into the character types. The series also does a good job in reminding us that the characters are in a war.
This series had a mix of my favorite genre, favorites character types, and was based of a novel series so I started watching it expecting to highly enjoy it; thankfully, for me at least, it met my expectations.
Overall, I give this series a 9. I can see someone who's into "typical" shounen anime finding this series slow and boring, so if fast-paced action is what you're looking for, this series may not be for you. While this is a fantasy military anime, this is of a totally different strain than, say, the Gundam series. If you enjoy seeing what happens behind the action in war scenes, with action scenes involving character's planning counter-actions as much as actual action, this series is one you'll likely enjoy. If a semi-open ending is something that will bug you, you'll have to personally decide whether it's worth watching; if you enjoy this series, by the end you'll be wishing the light novels were being published by Yen Press. Hope this helped!read more
Alderamin on the Sky isn't an overly impressive anime by all means, but it is enjoyable for what it is. It is a military, strategy themed anime which focuses on the cruel reality of war, politics, and how our MC, Ikta Solork, makes his legend by displaying his superb talents as a strategist.
The plot isn't original, but that isn't always a bad thing. Alderamin is mainly focused on the war between two neighboring empires Katjvarna and the Republic of Kioka, and the struggles of Ikta and his comrades fighting in the war. Besides the ongoing warfare between the two countries, there are also tension within the empire and other battles with various clans. The usage of strategies are pretty good and the battles are meaningful. Unfortunately, early on, Alderamin suffers from a slow start, taking around three episodes to really get going and not really explaining too much during that time. However, after a couple of episodes, Alderamin quickly grew on me. The first real battle scene they showed brought a lot of promise, and it brought a much needed darker tone to the story. One thing I would've liked explained earlier though, was this little things called spirits who help fight in battle. They are there, but aren't exposed enough until late in the show. To be really honest, I feel like the show could've done just fine without these little creatures.
These problems could've been fixed had there been more episodes. I always feel like 13 episodes or 1 cour isn't enough for many, especially action/war based anime to really accomplish their full potential in terms of storytelling, characters, and the overall depth. Most of the times, the story will be rushed, and in Alderamin's case, since it started of very slow, the anime suffered from pacing and development issues.
The animation is the standout point of the series for me. Although a bit inconsistent in pacing at times, Madhouse still impressed me in the end. The efforts they put in each episode in terms of the action is refreshing to see. In an anime like this, awesome battles need to make you feel excitement and hyped, and madhouse delivers just that. The battles are brutal and bloody. The character designs are pretty good and the animation as a whole was crisp.
The op and ed are great, but a part of me wishes that the soundtracks were more memorable. It is good for what it is; doesn't feel out of place or anything, but it could have been better and more impactful. The voice acting is pretty good for each characters and personalities. We could've used a little bit more emotion in their voice though.
One of my favorite aspects of the series is definitely the MC, Ikta Solork. He isn't like all those generic, hardworking MCs like other series. In fact he is lazy and doesn't hide his love for women. However, beneath that layer, you really get to know that he is very intelligent and caring for his comrades. He isn't afraid to take risks in battles and forming strategies. He manages to somehow be badass while having a lazy personality. Although he isn't the greatest character, he is a breath of fresh air from the overdone MC cliches. In a way he could be compared to Itami from the Gate series. Both are lazy and aren't exactly that "hero" type but their other personality shines in battles.
Although the other main cast is on the generic side, one other character that deserves a mention is the main heroine Yatori. Although she herself could be classified as a generic female MC of any battle anime, it is her relationship with Ikta that makes her likable. Although she is the stronger fighter, you can tell that she still looks up to Ikta's talents and believes in him during when others might doubt his strategies. She isn't annoying nor thinks she is supreme to the MC in any way, which was refreshing to see at times.
Besides the two MCs, the other characters, besides Chamille are a bit underdeveloped. The unfortunate thing about this is that normally, if the characters were entertaining enough, I wouldn't have minded if the development happened later on in the series, but for Alderamin, the other characters aren't just interesting enough. One thing I did like is that the main cast all had a purpose for fighting in the war, whereas in many other anime, the purpose can be buried away without explanation. Also they are actually helpful. However, they certainly could've been written a bit better.
Overall, Alderamin on the Sky is an good show, but nothing outstanding. It starts slow but once the pace picks up, it becomes an entertaining show for what it is. The plot could have been better, the characters could have certainly be explored more, and it indeed stayed on the generic side of things at times, but the intense battle scenes and the fun personality of the MC kept me wanting for more. With the story not yet being finished, we are left with an open ending. Alderamin on the Sky is definitely a worthwhile show to pick up.read more
"Great soldiers die from overworking" - Ikta Solork
This anime was actually quite the surprise where it was presented at first as a typical battle harem anime, but instead brought us an anime about tactical warfare and two rather unique main characters.
The plot of Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin is more focused on it's war themes as well as their religious elements that enforces the war themes and puts them in conjunction with it's interesting characters.
Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin's chaarcter like Ikta Solork voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto and Yatorishino Igsem voiced by Risa Taneda are some very interesting characters, Ikta is forced to be in the army after an incident where he wanted to have a more relaxing life and commonly disobeys the the higher ups (or be smarter than them in general), he is by all accounts a genius tactician but wants to use the easiest or the most peaceful way to resolve things...sure he's a womanizer typical of the battle harem anime, but this really isn't a battle harem anime. As for Yatorishino, she is more or less the main heroine of this anime and is the "OP class character", but she develops as to why she has her deadpanned and loyal behavior to both the Empire and Ikta. As for the other cast members like Chamille Kitora Katjvanmaninik voiced by Inori Minase, the third princess of the Katjvarna Empire, Haroma Becker voiced by Haruka Chisuga a medic, Torway Remion voiced by Ryousuke Kanemoto a sniper and Matthew Tetojirichi voiced by Junji Majima the second lieutenant in the main cast group although some do get their small character arcs like Torway and Chamille, the plot tends to focus more on Ikta and Yatorishino as well as it's more serious war storyline than anything else. But for LA's favourite character in the anime it easily goes to the badass Yatorishino...because she's a BADASS, not to mention her relationship with Ikta is a rather unique one from "typical battle harem fair". Which brings up a good point, as much as Yatorishino is LA's favourite character and an utter badass, it's Ikta that steals the show with his genius level intellect and tactical cunning on the battlefield.
Really the "typical harem fair" isn't a bad thing as it hardly IS a battle harem, instead it's more of a tactical warfare anime and brings up it's themes of war as a template, quite easily it tells us about how "tradition" although makes the foundation can't withhold without the passing of time as such Ikta is showing us that things need to change for the "tradition" to stay and "evolve", tradition being in place of the Empire's military regime and it's evolution in Ikta and his strategies and evolution in military power and really even the themes of this anime can hold the anime on it's own as it is profound in how they execute it. On a grander scale, it also shows the corruption of the "side" Ikta is in and how he with his different outlook and genius intellect on the battlefield can change the tide of the WHOLE Empire and raze the corruption with his beliefs of protecting those closest to him and NOT for "winning" the praise of the corrupt Empire he's serving under forceful pretenses.
As later down to line, the plot changes to two "genius commanders" going at it a la L and Light just under a warfare setting and really it really exposes how Ikta is on the OTHER side of the "great battles that whittle down or outright decimate the opposition", it also once again develops Ikta by going into detail what kind of mental gymnastics he's trying to think up trying to both protect his army and defeat the opposing warring army (by the way it's these kinds of tactical warfare LA really gets invested in). On the supporting side it also shows that Yatrisino will always have Ikta's back even in DEATH really cementing this dynamic of commander and soldier. Because of this kind of focus on Ikta and Yatorishino as well as the "other genius-equal to Ikta", the focus really kicks Torway, Matthew and Haroma into minor character status and are really turned into pawns for Ikta in the process. The least developed character all round actually goes to Chamille the Princess as she is essentially in the sidelines as Ikta and his army is trying to defend against this new warring army.
The plot twists really comes in once Ikta has an equal fighting against him from the later storyline and just seeing the "game of chess" these two play and how they outwit each other makes the "warfare plot twists" all the more intriguing. Outside from that storyline, it is expected Ikta to survive along with his group and yes for the most part he does, but when other minor characters get into the mix and Ikta WANTS to protect them, that is where the plot twist deaths comes in and some are really unpredictable at times which again hones in in Ikta's belief to protect everyone but even if he has the intellect to do so but doesn't have the power to also comes in. Because of this, Ikta really is a fleshed out character from his beliefs to his intellect to his focus on the plot itself.
In terms of animation, the animation done by Madhouse, well it's expected of Madhouse to put this much detail in everything and they succeeded once again, from the tactical battles, to the medieval-ish anachronistic weaponry to the polished character designs make the animation look very nice to watch and as for the battles, well some of the best battles and gorn goes to Yatorishino's battles, but the more widespread out tactical warfare has it's animation moments as well.
In terms of voice acting, well across the board, the voice acting was amazing, though LA's favourite voice actor HAS to go to Risa Taneda as Yatorishino, her "himedere" vocals were always great to hear. Not much to talk with voice acting section other than it was amazing and expected LA was gonna go for Risa Taneda.
Ohh boy the ending...guess Madhouse has ANOTHER sequel LA wants outta shows they made and Nejimaki is no exception. Yes the ending left at a really great point in the story and focuses in Princess Chamille and Ikta about the Empire itself and because of what Chamille wants Ikta to do and "complicated" notion of doing such a thing has gotten LA intriguing and wanting more which was why yes, it left in a "read the manga" ending. Before that the previous "arc" between Ikta and Jean (the other genius commander) was left though anti-climactically, once again the tactics Ikta used was GREAT in making the climax of the battle of attrition Ikta and Jean went through all the more worth it no matter how anti-climactic is was.
Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin by all means has it's problems and strengths as typical for any kind of media but for LA, Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin shined when talking about the tactical warfare element as well as Ikta and Yatorishino's relationship as well as in the animation, it's flaws came in that the supporting cast members were nothing but that and some people might see that Ikta as the source of the problem as he is your "win all OP protagonist under the "genius" character". But with this LA can say that Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin has been more of a hidden gem of Summer 2016, seeing a fictional land give realistic terms of warfare and it's implications it has before and after the battle has been done and the dynamic between Ikta, Chamille and Yatorishino shows it in the form of the Empire's corruption, ideals and hierarchy.read more
War is not without causalities. Or a purpose. Or strategies. I must admit, watching Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin (Aldermain on the Sky) reminds me of many war movies I’ve seen although it’s also quite different than what I had anticipated. Maybe it’s the military gimmicks or the character relationships. But for what’s worth, Alderamin may surprise you in more places than one.
Adapted from the light novel, I was slightly disappointed that the show is only 1-cour. After all, there is more than enough content for a 2-cour length series so when I heard the show would only feature 13 episodes, my hyped died down a bit. This may also feel more like a personal opinion but for most war themed series, there needs to be a coherent amount of storytelling that matches in par with its drama. Alderamin’s pacing is questionable at times but not something that gets in the way of itself from succeeding.
The premise of the show is somewhat complicated. First, we have to understand the setting as it takes place in a world where the Katjvarna empire has waged war against the Republic of Kioka. All sorts of reasons evoked this war ranging from politics, imperialism, royalty, etc. At the center of it, we have 17-year old Yatorishino Igesm (also known as Yatori), a prominent member of the Imperial House noble family. Along with her, there’s Ikta Solork, a womanzing man that also gets involved with military affairs. From the start, their character chemistry is undeniable and it’s known that they have a history based on their background story. Meanwhile, Yatori takes the High Grade Military Officer exam and things get complicated when she, Yatori, and others are stranded deep behind enemy lines. It gets even more complicated when Ikta recuses the young princess Chamile Kitora Katjvanmaninik, who also happens to be the third princess of Katjvarna. Talk about a miraculous coincidence.
In the meantime, we quickly learn that Ikta isn’t just a womanzing bum but also one with a strategic mind who is not afraid of taking risks. His heroic actions along with Yatori, Torway, Matthew, and Haroma earns them the title “Imperial Knights”. Their reactions isn’t exactly gratitude though so viewers will have to anticipate on the ‘why?’ I have to say, this series has a lot of mystery and most of it isn’t exactly so easy to decipher on paper. The political affairs and character dynamics itself are also part of that. First, we don’t know a whole lot about Yatori or Ikta. Both of them are very different in terms of personalities and background. However, it is shown that they have a good friendship from the past as they once fought for survival together. Meanwhile, Ikta proves himself as a skilled tactician as he is able to come up with brilliant strategies for his party and on the battlefield. On the other hand, Yatori is a top student at her military academy and proves it with her unmatched fighting skills in particular with a sword. She also proves herself as a very hard worker, another contrast to Ikta’s lazy personality. However, both of them do have interesting ideals and reasons to believe in what they should be fighting for. It’s also noticeable that Ikta never really makes a move on Yatori despite his playboy ways. Instead, they share a rather unique friendship. Having being raised under strict circumstances, Yatori discovers new wonders about the world thanks to Ikta during her childhood. All she did before was studying and training.
Of course, Ikta and Yatori aren’t just the main characters. There’s also others that proves themselves worthy of their positions in the military. Torway is a known for his long range sniping skills and handsome face (amusingly, Ikta doesn’t like handsome men in general). Haroma, the healer of the group, is known for being one of the friendliest and shyest character in the series. Finally, there’s also Matthew who starts off as a newbie but steadily works his way up as a worthy fighter. While the show concentrates mostly on Ikta and Yatori’s role, it also doesn’t neglect their comrades. The fact is, war is a dark reality that everyone has to accept. It breeds controversy that leads to hatred which leads to death and sorrow. Ikta is a guy that hates war but still fights for what he believes in. Similarly, others have their own reasons to risk their lives.
At its core, the show does a fairly decent job at storytelling despite some pacing issues. Most episodes connect each other while some others focus more on characterization. As smooth as it can be, the show does have some fairly predictable moments especially with death of certain characters. I also have to admit the series does a good job at portraying mixed gender roles. Female officers aren’t always a major focus in military fiction but in this anime, it definitively captures their role and importance. In the meantime, the world building of Alderamin is also a strong factor. Perhaps some of it even has a connection to Japanese history or other related parts of the real world. I can also safely say that the show does a fair job at balancing the lighthearted moments between the more serious, focused segments.
Adapted by Madhouse, I was initially underwhelmed by the character designs. They honestly look like something made from a shoujo manga with their same faces. However, it’s pretty easy to get accustomed to them especially after seeing the characters in action. Remember, this isn’t a love series but a war story. Weapons are also adapted well with fine degree of creativity ranging from the steampunk vehicles, guns, mortars, and elemental spirits. On the other hand, character expressions bounces between impressive to underwhelming. They are fairly well done when characters engage in battle (ex. Yatori demonstrating her sword skills) but during comedic moments, they feel more flat. I can’t say more than that though as this could be more of a personal perspective. However, the background sceneries are constructed pretty well with fine details, rich resources, and really gives the feeling of what a battlefield is like at war. As such, expect violence to occur with little censorship to portray a more realistic feeling of bloodshed.
Well it’s not the best thing in the world but don’t underestimate the music aspects of Alderamin. The cinematics matches in par with the coordinated OST while battle segments are supplemented by the instrumental notes. I am also impressed by Ikta’s voice actor for portraying a character that I initially thought would dislike but convinced me otherwise with his ability to play such a complex character. Risa Taneda’s voice as Yatori is also recognizable if you’ve Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Katori), Strike the Blood (Yukina), GATE (Rory).
Well, if you’re a fan of military fiction and war stories, this is definitely something to keep an eye on. Even if you’re not though, Alderamin takes a unique approach at storytelling with its main characters. Between the politics and character drama, there’s a deeper insight on why events occur. As a 1-cour adaptation though, I am disappointed that some episode feels rushed. In general, LN adaptations usually depend on how much story is being focused. And while Alderamin did its best at that, it still feels like the show didn’t explore its full potential. However, the show is more than just the generic LN adaptations we see with the main protagonist getting a harem. It’s more of a war story that shows no mercy. read more