Hortensia Saga (Anime) add (All reviews)
Mar 24, 2021
For a context, I actually used to play a decent amount of Hortensia Saga, the 2015 mobage developed by f4Samurai and Sega. As is the case for such tactical RPGs of the genre, the story really is nothing special of the realms of claiming kingdomship and defeating evil, pretty bog-standard stuff. Granted, Cygames' mobage Granblue Fantasy launched the year prior in 2014, but to the average Joe, the feeling is mutual. Fast forward to years later with the surprisingly decent Granblue Fantasy: The Animation in 2017, we finally got the anime version of Hortensia Saga...so how is it from a fan's perspective? EHHH...it's pretty mid.
To say that I was expecting the same low-ball feelings from such a sub-standard genre of poor-to-mediocre game adaptations is just putting it lightly, because it is. The medieval fantasy story of a princess who has to go into hiding because her royal family has been rebelled against, opposed and threated by religion that superifically opposes such truancy, begets the undermining as a whole. As per usual, it's the "knight in shining armour" assigningly-decorated to protect her and seek justice across the lands from being a religious puppet of sorts. Pretty mid-tier stuff.
If you've watched enough game adaptations like these, you need not look far to connect the dots that somehow the male protagonist doesn't seem to have a brain for even the simplest of knick-knacks. I'm pretty sure he's just a dog on the leashes of people whom can understand situations and issues far better than him, and only strikes when there's saving needed to be done, and the protective knight Alfred Ober is one such example. Protecting the rightful princess Marius "Marielle" Casterede in what looks to be a cross-dressing attempt to deride detractors into thinking that religious "believers" have every right to exterminate her at first sight, that's a journey worth the heck of setting everything right. Along with the other characters that do make their appearance from the game (Nonnoria, Kuu, Maurice, Deflotte and many others), and you'll have all the ingredients for subpar environments that aren't as engaging as compared to similar contemporaries like it.
Of the 4 Liden Films produced shows this season, this show could've used some work to beat out the crunch, and that's where f4Samurai's production cooperation helps out in bringing the game to light on the anime side. The one thing that will set people off is once again, the CGI which does not look pretty at all merging on both the 2D foreground and 3D background, which Felix Film is helping out in the 3DCG space (similar to Urasekai Picnic in the same season). In fact I'll say that this production is the best of what we got from Liden Films (as depicted by the company logo in the OP), and to sum it all, the end curse to an already stacked Winter season.
If there's one thing to praise about this show, it'd be on the music side, and that's always the kicker pointer when other aspects of the show aren't doing so good. It greatly captures the medieval fantasy setting that's helmed by music composer Zenta Tsuchihashi (or more approriately, ZENTA), along with the OST to back it up from reputable artists like MY FIRST STORY and Mafumafu for OP and ED respectively. And God bless me, the music absolutely delivers the experience similar to when playing the mobage. That was as such the only good moment to grace and tease fans for Easter Egg moments.
All in all, it's easily forgettable, and even coming from an once-hardcore fan, this is just disappointing to say the least, a non-surprise indeed. With the story as bare-bones and such, even if the other facts going for the show are just as good or as bad, nothing can redeem the fact that it's just a boring show with nothing going for it, other than the progressive plot. The crude average just goes for this one, and you'd be wise to skip it. Not as horrible as I'd once thought at the start, but it just wears on your nerves right to the very end.
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