Sep 30, 2016
Dream95 (All reviews)
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.