Haven’t we seen this before?
|It’s kinda late for an FI, but there were some reasons besides pure sloth for that. This show is about a week behind everything else, and that’s one reason, but another is due to some maybe confusion about the show. What’s that, and how is the rest of this re-version of a show we’ve seen before? Let’s talk about it!|
Which Main Character?
Bare feet are not good against acid monsters
Let’s start with the confusion that I mentioned. One reason that I waited until after episode 3 to do this FI is because the show is very non-committal about who the main character of the show is. The pre-season promotional information all talked about how Sword Oratorio is Ais Wallenstein’s story of the same period that we saw Bell Cranel go through before. And that indicated to me that Ais would be the main character. But starting out the show, she’s not. Lefiya Viridis is our main character, and ends up failing in a big invasion of the safe zone on Level 50 of the dungeon when she is unable to keep casting her spell in the face of the enemy bearing down on her. So the show’s going to be about Lefiya. Ok.
Lefiya loses her nerve
But then the B-part of the first episode almost completely ignores Lefiya and features Ais in her navigation of the internal relationships of the Loki Familia. So is Ais back to the main character? Not so fast. The second episode goes back almost entirely to Lefiya, as the focus character in the group of girls of Ais, Lefiya, and twins Tiona and Tione, as the three of them try to cheer up Ais. So I was waiting to see if episode 3 continued with that group, or switched it up again. And it seems to have stabilized, especially on Lefiya, Tiona, and Tione, because Ais is a bit too powerful to be able to stick with just them. But I’m guessing that the show is going to go back to looking at Ais at least for some points.
Saved by some weird armor
Tione, Tiona, and Lefiya (you’ll never get Tiona and Tione straight)
So if Lefiya is at least the co-lead character of the show, maybe we should spend some time on who she is. And the first impression is “scaredy-cat”, at least when it comes to facing down monsters. And to be honest, if it was a normal person, then you’d say “yeah, what normal person isn’t a scaredy-cat when monsters are coming at them?” That’s totally true. Unfortunately, Lefiya’s job is as an adventurer, so facing down monsters is kinda part of the job description. If you can’t handle that pressure there, then you’re not going to be able to hold up your end of the deal. By halfway through the first episode, we’ve already heard about her failing once and seen her failing at this again, even after Riveria puts her word on the line to support Lefiya.
Lefiya gets her magic on
But the third episode is finally where Lefiya starts to decide to turn it around, casting the decisive spell in a battle with a particularly dangerous plant monster (at the same time as Bell was being chased around, which wasn’t shown). She realizes that she should just work on catching up to Ais, not catching her eye. Partly this is because Ais won’t just look at her and her yuri crush, especially if it’s just out of pity or to protect her like Ais does with everyone. So she finally puts the whole thing together and gives the rest of them a chance to do her full introduction, as someone who can apparently copy the spells of a thousand other people. That seems like a bit of poor writing to me, making Lefiya be too much of a get-out-of-writer-jail-free card, but whatever. We’ll see if it gets played subtly or blatantly later.
Loki’s doing the hard job, watching the kids
Great, another smiley bad guy
Overall, the series concept seems to be a bit more free than the promo material made it out to be, at least so far. There’s been very little intersection with the previous story, and honestly there shouldn’t be if it’s the same timeline, at least not yet. We’ll see how much more of this story is spent on the training sessions with Ais and Bell later, but as the series goes on, it seems to be less and less about BellxAis and more about just the Loki Familia subgroup mentioned above. They even have their own villain among the gods, with Dionysus being a bit of a jerk so far, separate from the antics of Freya, who was working to drive a wedge between Hestia and Bell. Another jerk in the series is Bete, the loudmouth guy in the Loki Familia. I think he’s already had plenty of screen time for the entire series, because a very little of him goes way farther than anyone would want. But he’s not been omnipresent too much, so that’s helped. But in summation, I think that the best way to think of this story is just “some characters that you knew something about, in a time frame you know something about, but not a lot of sameness.” I think the less you look ahead for the common points between the shows, instead just taking them as they come, the more you can appreciate this show.