Right from episode 1 this anime came across as rough. There was some pretty bad CG and more than a few off model character moments. After that though things kind of settled, until this episode (that isn’t saying there aren’t some poorer moments in the episodes in between but they weren’t noteworthy). Episode 5 on the other hand manages to look incredibly rushed.
It is most prominent when shifting between close ups of characters that look mostly fine, save perhaps a misshapen neck, slightly unfocused eyes or just a general wrongness, to far shots where eyes might disappear altogether and the character looks very much like a placeholder rather than a finished product. It’s actively distracting in this episode and that’s before we even look at the fighting animation which is, in the most generous description of it, terrible.
And all of this is quite the shame because the plot here is rolling along nicely. The concern Yin has as Ning is apparently slipping further into bloodlust and revenge is quite touching. The rebels are pretty cliche but interesting enough and the concept of the fights are pretty cool even if the execution is questionable. Not to mention, this week we saw Zhao reunited with the sisters even if neither side actually knew it and we got to see more of how the Empress feels about Zhao in general. This is a fairly interesting story and with slightly more competence behind its production it could have actually been great.
The end result is I’m sticking with this one and I’m enjoying it for what it is but I can’t say I really recommend it. There’s too many areas where it just under-performs. Still, for what it is there are things to enjoy and hopefully it will bring things together nicely by the end (though past experience probably suggests otherwise).
- Episode 1 – A Rough Fantasy With Some Potential
- Episode 2 – Not Entirely Convinced We Needed To See Any of This
- Episode 3 – The Plot Thickens
- Episode 4 – Rising Tension
- Episode 5 – Attack of the Poor Animation
- Episodes 6 + 7 – The Sword, The Confession, and the Betrayal
- Episodes 8 – 10 – Great Heights and Great Falls; It All comes With Ambition
- Episode 11 – Give In To Your Hate; Embrace the Darkness
- Episode 12 – Everybody Hurts Sometimes Even If You Want to Forget
- Episode 13 – The Small Victory and Loss Within a Greater Battle