The loquacious sentient tank, Gyrano De Borgerac seems very busy being pampered by solicitous maids. The fairy Sherri, too, is enjoying the luxury of the court's life. And for Rita, time has come to face her duties as princess of Wellber. But Tina is resolute: she wants to continue her search for the Man with a tattoo of Bee the Death, the devil who exterminated her family. An unspeakable feeling of sadness fills the hearts of the two girls, who shared so much and are now about to say farewell to each other.
And then, on the day of Tina's departure...
A new journey that will take Tina walking through the still sore scars of the Great War that wiped out entire cities ten years before, until the unsuspected truth about her nemesis!
Lately, I done some archive browsing to see if I could find something I was in the mood for. I really didn´t know exactly what that “mood” was, but it turned out to be the “Sisters of Wellbur ”-series. I stumbled over this series by pure accident, and there are several reasons why this one was so hidden. First, it´s about 10 years old, second, it only come out subbed two years ago on streaming sites, third, it has few members, and fourth, the main audience was probably mainly missed at the time, and therefore, has much lower score then it really deserves. The ending
can be a bit dividing, and at some points it can get a bit too melodramatic. Even so, I must say, that I very much enjoyed the 26-epsisode long tale about two very different women, and the adventure they did. This review covers the whole series, with this being the second part of the story.
Sisters of Wellbur is very loyal to it´s tags. It has loads of drama, adventures, characterisation, little bit steampunk-fantasy, friendships, romance, wars, betrayals, and even a bit of a murder case. The main story is the friendship between the master thief, later bodyguard Tina, and Rita, a princess of a country on the brink of war. By accident, they end up on the run from Rita´s kingdom, chased for attempted murder of the prince of another country, and are hunted by more than a few. A long the way to Rita´s uncle neighbouring country, they learn from each other and others to be better and stronger people, trial by error. Rita finally sees and learns about the real world, growing up a lot along the way. She has some real strong moments in the story, being strong and brave in her own way. Both of them is actually two of my favourite female leads at this day and time, they complemented each other well. They form a very strong bond, but if you hoped it would be romance between them, drop those now. It will be intense romance, but not between them.
The structure is pretty episodic, but definitely have a red thread. This is more a “it-is-about-the-journey-not-the-destination” kind of narrative. It can sometimes get on the tranquil side, but each such story gave something to the characters or story. The series has two main goals, one solved half through, and the next is solved in the latter 13-episodes (Zwei). The first involves Rita´s mission to get an important document to her uncle that could prevent a war, and the truth of why she stabbed the crone prince. A long the way there, she faces some hard realities. The second half focuses on Tina´s hunt for the man with “killer wasp”-tattoo on his chest, and that revenge is far from simple in many ways. Narratively speaking, this was very good. Character presented often played some role later in the story, big or small. Problems was solved, question marks erased, and important decisions, sacrifices and redemptions was made. The pacing is a bit on the slow side, but it filled out these 26-episodes perfect. The story didn´t feel rushed or dragged on, it came and did what it was meant to do. It may at some points stretch out the emotional or dramatic a bit much, but how it´s handled in the long run was actually pretty far from your average cliché. Characters are a bit more grown up then your every day anime, they reason pretty logical, and have a tendency to priorities the right things. Besides Rita and Tina, SoW have some pretty good characters and characterization. It also doesn´t shy away from some more grown up content, but I didn´t get feeling it was there to give fanservice or overly spice up the drama. It served a purpose, because honestly, most of us do get naked and such occasionally. The ending, as I mentioned before, can be a score riser or lower for many. I personally thought it was hard, but still kind of right. The shows title is Sisters of Wellbur after all.
The voice acting was over all very good, matching the characters personality with their voices, and doing a great job of portraying them. The soundtrack has it´s strong point´s and weak points, the strongest being the music coupled with emotional scenes, and the ending theme "End of the Dream" by E.O.D. Sound effects can be a bit weak, but the shows main purposes isn´t large explosions or action.
The art and animation are both had drawn panels and CGI. The CGI can look a bit funky at times, but the hand drawn stuff is often pretty good, especially close ups, and backgrounds. It really has a thick atmosphere, helping convey the mood and setting. The fight scenes is slowed pace and not that great choregraphed, this is not a show to watch if looking for super cool action scenes. They do carry a healthy dose of weight though, especially as the show progresses.
To me, SoW, was exactly what I was in the mood for. I can see that it will not suit everyone, but I definitely think it has a much larger audience then it appears to have today. The main characters had a tough and hard journey, but an unforgettable good one as well. I enjoyed it a lot. I have said it in the past before about other shows, and may been a bit off the mark, but this show is really underrated and sadly under watched. It has a special story progression, multi-dimensional characters, world building, and satisfying thread tying. It´s not an uninspired game, light novel or even manga adaption for marketing purposes. It´s a hidden Production I.G original production, with a fare share of thought put in. I will absolutely remember this one for a long time.
I'm surprised there aren't any reviews for this anime. I actually enjoyed this anime. More so than the first season. I'll try to keep what I liked about this season vague so I won't spoil the story.
The second season focuses on Tina, Rita, and Gallahad who are in search for the man with the Wasp tattoo. We get to experience the "sisters" friendship and how much each will do for the other. The first season had some major flaws, especially regarding travel time and distance. Things didn't really match up. The second season seems to keep
the focus away from travel time which is a plus. The only issue I had was with Rita's hair. lol. One minute it's short, next it's long again. Ah well, that's a minor issue.
We finally get to see some background on Borgey the tank which was interesting. I really enjoyed the latter parts of this anime. I found that the ending was good. The ending was what boosted my score of this anime. Too many times I find that I'm enjoying an anime then I get to the end and get disappointed. Not the case here.
The animation was very good. Their use of CG blended in quite well. I also liked the music used in this.
Anyhow, if you watched the first season and was able to deal with the all of the "time" issues, then I believe you should watch the second season. You'll find it richer and more rewarding than the first season. I enjoyed following their story.