Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii Ep. 2: Engrish rain

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Makes me want to play Katamari Damacy.

Episode Summary

Livius demands Nike to summon the rain to his kingdom, but she says she can’t unless the boyking can show her the beauty of his land. The two of them spend some time together, and Livius even starts to have a little bit of fun. When someone tries to assassinate the boyking, however, Nike jumps into the path of the arrow and gets hit in the arm. Livius turns cold again, and systematically begins to root out all possible enemy factions within his kingdom. As for Nike, he tries to send her back to her country for her sake. All of a sudden, a fire breaks out at the palace just as Nike was about to depart from the Sun Kingdom. She hurries back, scales a bell tower, and summons the rain in order to put the fire out.

Notes

• Right off the bat, the boyking mocks the girl’s looks. Great, we’re going to have to deal with the “prick with a heart of gold” storyline. Guys, I know he seems like an asshole, but you don’t know what he’s like when we’re alone together!

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• When Nike tells him off, he throws her into a jail cell: “Starve to death here or become my plaything.” Yeah, this is all sorts of messed up. But there’s wacky music in the background! So laugh! Oh, she’ll be okay… he won’t really hurt her. /wink

• Livius continues to insist that our princess summon the rain for him. She tells him it’s not quite so simple. She needs “feelings and experiences.” “Feelings and experiences” here sounds like something’s been lost in translation.

• Somehow, Nike is able to glimpse one of Livius’s memories through a dream.

• I don’t think the flower example is a very good way to demonstrate Nike’s point. Basically, she gushes over how some flower in the Sun Kingdom can have such an unusual color when they bloom. Livius is unimpressed: “Flowers are just flowers.” In response, Nike says, “You own the world, but you’ve never looked at any of it.” I mean, yeah, that’s a reasonable point to make; we should all try to appreciate life and the world around us. That is, if we’re talking about like the miracle of childbirth or a stunning geological phenomenon like the Grand Canyon. In that case, I’d get her point. But we’re talking about flowers, man. In the grand scheme of things, they’re not that important. So for Nike to talk to Livius in that tone over some fucking flowers, she comes off rather condescending and self-righteous. If she was actually talking about the important role that flowers play in the ecosystem, I could understand it. But she’s merely talking about the color of the flowers.

• Obviously, Nike pities Livius because he’s lost his childhood innocence despite his young age. Again, I get that. But appreciating flowers is not a good sign of someone’s innocence. Not caring about flowers would apply to a whoooooole lot of kids — girls included. It’d be silly to say they’ve lost their innocence as a result.

• He might only be a few years younger than her, but he’s a midget compared to her:

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• So he shows her the royal garden, which is somehow enough to please the girl. We get a montage of her running and laughing as she takes it all in: “…I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, either.” Yeah, well, nobody said there was anything wrong with appreciating something as simple as a garden. But y’know, don’t act all high and mighty just because you do. Plus, I thought the whole “show me something beautiful about your country” bit was going to be a little more meaningful than some flowers and a garden. Like maybe he’d show her the culture of his people. Or maybe a majestic animal native to only these lands. Something actually special. Instead, she’s gushed over some flowers and a garden. Meh.

• Because TV anime in general tends to all look the same, it’s hard for the medium to convey Livius’s “cold, dry eyes.” I don’t really see it.

• Niel, the butler-looking dude, goes, “Princess Nike’s wound won’t be fatal.” I should hope not. It only hit her in the arm.

• So I guess this is going to be the main thrust of the series: Livius has gone cynical since he’s ascended to the throne, and it’ll be up to Nike to soften his heart.

• I’m rather disappointed how straightforward the pathos is too. The anime flat out tells us why Livius is so hellbent on conquering the entire world: his conquest only serves to distract him from the pain of losing his mother. But like I’ve said, the anime isn’t even coy about this. There’s really nothing to think or ponder about. It’s all laid out on the table for us to see, and that’s just kind of disappointing. If I wanted a history lesson, I could just look up any random tragic figure on Wikipedia.

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• A fire at the castle forces our heroine to summon the rain. An insert song starts playing, and the idea here is that she’s actually singing it. It’s a little awkward though when you consider the fact that song has random English lyrics mixed into it.

• Also, how did the rain put out a fire on the third floor of the castle?

Closing Thoughts

Eh, I don’t have much to say. Well, I don’t think Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii will open my eyes to anything special in particular between these two characters. I’ll admit that the age factor hasn’t really been a big deal thus far, but at the same time, the drama is pretty simple and straightforward. Nike is self-admittedly a simple girl, but Livius isn’t exactly a complex, tortured individual either. I think you need one of them to at least be an enigma for the relationship to work. Otherwise, they just resemble any other plain and boring couple.

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