After the Age of Chaos, we are now introduced to some more lead characters and the entities known as Seraphim.
Unlike the Daisuki Sub reviews by a745, the Funimation Dub reviews will have a more episodic approach to the series and will not make as much spoiler references to the source material.
We start off with the Princess, who survived the events of the previous episode, walking through the rain. She eventually finds shelter in a nearby ruins, and laments over the current status of the world. She falls asleep as a small chipmunk-like creature with a yellow cap watches her in the background, how inviting. The next morning, the Princess wakes up to a mural illustrating the Shepherd drawing the sacred blade. She cross-references this in the Celestial Record and confirms that the mural depicts the Legend of the Shepherd. This legend speaks of the sacred Capital of Seraphim that was high above the skies. This capital would only open to those who were deemed worthy to lead the world of man. The time will come when the Shepherd arrives with his Seraphim to cleanse the world of darkness, bringing it to salvation.
Suddenly, the Princess is ambushed by hordes of demonic bugs. As they scattered about, the creature from before (who also followed the Princess as she examined the mural) proceeded to protect her from the swarm. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the bugs continued to multiple in numbers. Desperate, the Princess succeeds in breaking down a partition of the wall and stumbles into a waterway, leaving the creature and bugs behind. She later lands in a body of water and swims to the surface, only to find out that she was actually swimming downwards toward the floor, and falls face first on the floor below.
The Princess regains consciousness and examines the area around her. She climbs a staircase that her outside to a field with beautiful flowers and a large, but calming waterfall. Beside a tree, she notices a pedestal with the symbol of the Shepherd. While recollecting what the symbol meant in the Celestial Record, the pedestal started to move in front of the waterfall. Once it stopped, the symbol shined and the earth started to tremor. This caused another ruins entrance to submerge from within the waterfall, revealing itself in the open. … Yep, this certainly is a video game adaptation alright. Remembering that the symbol of the Shepherd is meant to guide the way, she walks through the entrance with new hope in the Legend of the Shepherd.
The episode then shifts to a young man with brown hair named Sorey, who is seen hopping across several mountains and discovers a unique structure in front of him. As he was admiring the set piece in front of him, he is later joined by a young man named Mikleo, bearing white hair and light blue garb. He reprimands Sorey for coming on his own since he’s human, but later forgives him as the two marvel at the ruins they’ve discovered.
As they are heading back to their village, Mikleo pondered why the village elders concealed these ruins from them as they’ve both enjoyed exploring other ruins on their own. This thought was cut short when Sorey discovers a closer view of the same ruins earlier hidden behind an illusion set by Gramps. They were about to explore the ruins but were interrupted by Gramps himself, who is shorter than the two of them in dark blue clothing and elevated shoes. Gramps forbade them from entering these ruins under any circumstances as it was sealed away for a purpose. The two exchange a look of disappointment as Gramps’ illusion appeared again.
Evening crawls in as Sorey & Mikleo are under the same roof. Sorey is seen reading his own copy of the Celestial Record and begins to share its contents with Mikleo. The Chapter of Arrival describes the Age of the Gods, which is when the world was shrouded in darkness. It wasn’t until the Seraphim arrived that light was brought back and removed this darkness from the world. These Seraphim were found either worldwide supporting its inhabitants, or the previously mentioned Capital of Seraphim where both humans and Seraphim coexist. Humans worship and praise these Seraphim, some can even speak with them too, and the Seraphim respond by giving them their blessings. Sorey theorizes that the ruins that Gramps sealed away from them contains this sacred Capital. While Mikleo informed Sorey that the ruins were outside of Gramps’ protection, the two ultimately decide to head off and explore these ruins the next day.
We jump to short clip of the Princess trembling, but resolving herself as she goes deeper down a dark corridor before seeing Sorey swinging himself across the ruins and discovering a mural of the Shepherd drawing the sacred blade—the same one that the Princess found in a different area. As he admired the mural with the Celestial Record, he later retrieves a glove marked with the symbol of the Shepherd from one of the nearby statues. As he was examining it, Mikleo snatches the glove from Sorey and the two exchange in some playful banter. Clouds and lightning abruptly surrounded the ruins, which Sorey noticed that this storm is not natural. The princess witnessed the same storm as she stepped outside of a corridor, only to retreat due to these extreme weather conditions. We then cut to Gramps who was met by someone named Caim, who addressed Gramps as Master Zenrus. Caim informed him of a disturbance outside of his protection which Gramps was already well aware of. Caim then advised Gramps that Mikleo & Sorey haven’t returned yet, to which Gramps responds by sending Caim to investigate the disturbance as he stays behind.
The Princess finds herself deeper into the ruins, only this time she ends up on top of a platform with nowhere else to go. Suddenly, the large statue nearby strikes said platform with a bolt of lightning, causing the Princess to fall toward the floor which knocks her out unconscious again. As we have a clip of Gramps warning those who invade his protection, we then cut to Sorey & Mikleo escaping the storm. A lightning bolt struck the ground close to Sorey, but Sorey bared his footing and caught up with Mikleo. The two proceed forward until a partition of the floor Mikleo stepped on caused the entire floor to collapse beneath our duo. As they fall deeply through the ruins, Mikleo conjures a staff in his hand and performs the spell Twin Flow, in order to dowse Sorey in water to soften his landing. They both survive the fall and realize that there is more to the ruins than the exterior shows, so they continue to explore further.
They end up on a high platform, still in awe of the ruins they’re exploring, until they noticed the Princess’ unconscious body from a distance. The first thing Sorey decides to do is to help the Princess, despite Mikleo’s warnings and reluctance. They proceed to swing themselves downward but are still separated from the Princess by a large gap. Sorey then noticed that they are in front of an invisible bridge, which he has Mikleo reveal with his water magic. When they got to the Princess, Sorey first wakes her up and introduces himself to her. Upon regaining her senses, the first thing she asks Sorey is if he is the Shepherd, and the episode ends off there.
This episode, while not reaching the same amount of drama as the previous episode, is still a decent one. While there are factors that are still not clear to us such as the creature in the beginning with its creepy cute demeanor and the termites in the beginning, the episode does further solidify the importance of the Celestial Record and its lore. The way this episode worked with the Princess’ adventures, Sorey & Mikleo’s introduction, and their eventual meet up meshed well. There were a couple small tidbits that showed the viewer the Princess’ own strength such as the part where she steeled herself while going through the ruins, and the time when she pulled herself up instead of using Sorey for assistance at the end. These small details help maintain consistency with this character’s established attributes, and it’s something that I appreciate.
A minor nitpick that I have is the implementation of the CGI with the hand drawn animation. While I did mention the clunky-ness of the CGI in the previous episode, it’s a lot more glaring during Sorey’s introduction in this episode. Don’t get me wrong, I can see the effort that was put into it and it’s cool that they were able to pull it off, but the end result is only passable at best to the casual viewer. I’m not an artist myself, but what is written here is my honest opinion and I’d be lying if I were to leave out any impressions. Though again, this is just nitpicking.
Regarding the Dub/Translation: Everyone’s performance was on point, though it sounds like they got a different voice actor for Gramps compared to the game. Mikleo’s voice actor is definitely the same from the game which is good considering the speculation before this episode. Speaking of which, I do like the voice direction for Sorey & Mikleo in the anime compared to the game. There’s a better balance between moments where they have to project their voice to the simpler, quieter scenes. A part of that does have to go with the medium since you can never be too safe with video game audio/mixing so I understand the lack of balance, but as someone who has played the game, this is refreshing. The small Tales-skit format scene at the end that acts as the next episode preview does have Mikleo saying Elysium, though it’s hard to tell whether he said that or Elysia, which is the game’s translation of the term. We’ll probably find out for sure how they pronounce it next episode, so we’ll see what happens.
- The buildup to the Princess’ meet up with Sorey & Mikleo.
- Small moments displaying the Princess’ strength.
- The implementation with hand drawn animation + CGI. While you can see the effort, it’s awkward.
Overall, another solid episode that gets a 3/5 rating from me. Check out a745’s review of the same episode subbed (be wary of spoilers) as we move on to Episode 02: Elysium.