Alderamin on the Sky: From Beginning To End – A Journey of Discovering The Difference Between Lazy and Efficient

Alderamin on the Sky

Alderamin on the Sky (or Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin) is a military fantasy anime that mostly works. The lack of ending is a bit of a problem as is the overall pacing, but if you like Ikta’s approach to life you’ll have a lot of fun along the way with a fun enough cast and some interesting ideas.

What is it about?

A lazy boy (who is also an outrageous flirt) is going to take some exam for the army (because a friend of his has asked him to) but while on route their boat starts sinking and they are forced to bail. Naturally they rescue a princess and then end up behind enemy lines. Though really that’s only how the story starts and we’ll move through more than one military campaign during this series.

While I have written a full series review below you will find my thoughts on each episode of the series.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 1

Not what I was expecting. I very nearly just skipped right past this series thinking I was sick of the every guy joining the army and being amazing and all the girls flocked to him.

While there is definitely a bit of that, Alderamin on the Sky distinguishes itself in two ways.

One, they aren’t currently sitting in a military school and doing training games that may or may not take on a serious tone later.

Two, the main character actually seems to have a bit of a personality and child-hood friend girl doesn’t seem either the overbearing sister type or the pathetic wimp.

Whether I enjoyed this first episode so much because it defied my expectations or because it was good I’m not sure. Looking forward to the next episode.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 2

Alderamin Episode 2

Really loving Alderamin so far. It’s been awhile since a pure fantasy (other than Snow White) has really caught my attention. And Endride (which was my last attempt at this genre) was truly, unwatchably dreadful and I gave it away by episode 4.

Mostly I am finding the protagonist interesting. Yeah, he’s got a dark past and it’s damaged him so the standard orphan with chip on shoulder cliché is well in effect but he isn’t grating on my nerves and I genuinely want to see how he will deal with the situation he’s now been thrust into.

Possibly this will lose momentum once the introductions are over and done with, but I’m really hoping for something good here. The first two episodes definitely impressed.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 3


Okay, they went to officers school and part of me rolled my eyes thinking that they just couldn’t resist shoving our characters into a school setting and I expected this episode of Alderamin to go downhill from there.

And yes, there is the usual bullying scenes and our eccentric (lazy) protagonist sticks out like a sore thumb, but then we transition into a training exercise and it feels like a real combat situation (rather than two characters having a duel for the sake of it).I also like that none of our main group seem to be the hotheaded type that rise to needless provocation. That type of character tends to bore me to tears.

Also, Solork’s command issues linked to past indiscretions is a nice touch as it adds some weight to the playboy persona he occasionally adopts but we haven’t really seen any direct evidence of in the series. I continued to enjoy this series and was pleasantly surprised at how entertaining it continues to be even while it doesn’t feel particularly new.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 4


Yatori is really impressive.

With Solork  being so much smarter than anybody else (which makes you wonder how anyone has won a battle prior to Solork showing up) I was really worried that all of his companions would exist just to be pushed around by him and to show off how smart he was.

Yatori in this episode of Alderamin shows that she is capable of seeing through his strategies (even if her rigid adherence to the chain of command prevents her from doing much about them) and that she can act on her own. We already knew she was physically impressive but this episode showcases that aspect as well.

I’m really enjoying this series and I’m glad that Yatori has had a bit of a moment in this episode. The softer aspect of her personality that came through at the end was nice as well. She really is starting to feel like a character rather than an accessory.

But, can they do something about the Princess? Her character at the moment serves little purpose other than to create a sense of drama.

Oh, and I almost forgot to point out that they won the war game. Seriously though, that one was never in doubt.


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Alderamin on the Sky Episode 5


I kind of know I’m into a show when they deliver a whole episode of flashback and I still love it.

Alderamin timed this perfectly. Just when they’ve shown how well Yatori and Ikta work together we go back to where it all started for them. It’s a cute and charming episode and the wolf siege has just the right amount of drama to be affective. That said, because the entire episode is essentially a flash back the plot this week kind of crawled to a halt.

Overall, great character development, still a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy, and I really can’t wait until the next episode.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 6

While from a plot point of view this episode of Alderamin seems weaker (just another obvious set-up for Ikta to show off his amazing brain), the characters and the writing of this anime continue to make for a pleasant viewing experience.

The change of location was nice and the interactions between characters, new and old, were entertaining and the episode passed swiftly. At some point they are really going to need to explain why all these guys have spirit helpers with them because that aspect has been woefully under-explained and at times we forget the spirits exist at all until the plot calls upon them to act.

This continues to be one of the strongest series this season.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 7


Alderamin continues to be better than it probably should be. Last week they lay the foundations for a new conflict, this week we see the first stages of that conflict and next week we’ll probably see our core characters resolve the conflict or at least make steps to resolve it. It really shouldn’t be as interesting as it is but I’m totally hooked.

Every episode passes quickly and I just love watching the interactions between the characters. It would be lovely if not every official in the Empire was actually a jerk, but clearly we’re not going to have that wish fulfilled, but otherwise there are some really interesting supporting characters appearing in this anime.

Also, this anime is getting my vote for quote of the week: “Common sense arguments only work on people who have common sense.” Truer words were never spoken.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 8


Continuing the battle in the mountains things take a turn for the worse this episode due to the inept command and lack of preparation for a battle that by all appearances the commanders instigated but weren’t ready for. While this helps to endear us further to the core group and to really feel for the plight of the soldiers, it also feels like something is lacking.

The entire military cannot be made of idiots, regardless of Ikta’s personal views. The obvious trap set up early on in this episode takes some of the emotional punch out of the final scene but Alderamin continues to be a very solid show.


Alderamin on the Sky Episode 9


It feels now like this battle is getting stretched out for the sake of it. While there are some very cool moments in the battle and Ikta has a few moments of self-reflection, overall nothing really progresses.

The military are still trampling through the mountains, blindly trying to fight an enemy that knows the terrain and is really, really ticked off. One character who raised a death flag during an early conversation somehow managed to avoid it whereas another character walked straight into his death trap. Unfortunately, I didn’t care enough about either of those characters to be really affected by it.

Alderamin is still my surprise favourite for the season (in terms of new shows), but this episode was so-so.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 10


After last week’s rather ordinary episode, this one seemed to go out of its way to hit us hard with some of the best things about Alderamin.

First we re-established why Ikta and Yatori are actually still the heroes of the story even though they are officers in an army that pretty much sucks. We then get a very humanizing moment for Ikta that works quite effectively as he apologies to someone (for something he didn’t do) and bears the consequences (which will be permanent).

What I liked most about this moment was his explanation afterwards where he points out he didn’t have time to win with words. Seeing him forced into unfavourable action really helps make his character believable when so many times he seems to breeze through situations unscathed.

The core group all renew their resolve and have a bit of a pep-talk before we’re back to business (I wonder if they’ll bring the Princess back or if she’s just stuck narrating for the rest of the battle). We’ve also established a new enemy and this one seems like it will be a challenge to fight. They may have taken binary opposition a bit too far in the strategist from the opposing army but it looks like we are in for an entertaining battle.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 11


After setting up a conflict between two geniuses last week, this episode really just had the two of them testing the other out. As a result, we had a skirmish with some loss of lives but nothing really decisive. Everything really feels like it is just waiting for the real show to begin.

With that said, I’d like to criticise the main theme of the second half this week, where Ikta’s second in command and Matthew both came to the realisation that people are going to die in the rear guard action. I really hate this in stories about the military where people in the military suddenly realise they might die. It always leaves me thinking ‘what did you think was going to happen when people stood and shot at each other?’.

That said, it looks like we have 2 episodes to go and I’m fairly curious as to how this will actually end.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 12


With one episode to go there weren’t any surprises this week but that didn’t stop this episode from being dramatic and engaging. It was excellent to see Ikta and Yattori’s relationship continue to be a pertinent motivator even amongst the crisis.

It was also great to see Torway not just be involved in the battle but actually making some decisions about how to deal with a situation on his own (with only a little prompting). Possibly the weakest aspect of the episode was Ikta’s inability to figure out what the enemy was up to (given some of the insights he’s had previously it just seemed plot convenience for him to get stumped now).

That said, I’m really looking forward to the last two days of this retreat to see how they handle things.

Alderamin on the Sky Episode 13


Ikta finally woke up and figured out a plan to get around the unsleeping guy and that was nearly anti-climatic in the end. Not because turning the tables mid-battle with words alone (after a show of force) isn’t impressive, but the fact that it happened mid-episode followed by a stilted and awkward conversation between the two (with a wonderful barrier of fire separating them) just kind of made it all seem kind of blah.

The rest follows Ikta and the Princess reuniting and her very odd request that makes a really bizarre amount of sense given the context.

“You will lose the war in the right way.”

That said, now I do want this show to continue because while watching these characters and this conflict I’ve kind of become invested in where things will go and while it is tied up enough that we could leave it here, I’d really like to see more. But, all things considered, it seems unlikely that another season will come along.

Images from: Alderamin on the Sky. Dir. T. Ichimura. Madhouse. 2021

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Tuesday’s Top 5: Female Characters from 2016

Tuesday's Top 5

2016 was a great year for anime and while I don’t really ever intend just to do a list of top 5 characters ever I kind of feel I can pick a favourite from a single year. Much like my reflections post, this one is entirely my own opinion so feel free to add your favourite females from 2016 in the comments below.

So how did I choose my top 5 female characters? Pretty much they played a significant role in their anime, were entertaining to watch, and, for whatever reason, memorable. They also had to be in an anime that aired at some point during 2016 (either continuing on from 2015, completely in 2016, or at least started before the end of 2016).

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions go to: Izetta (Izetta: The Last Witch) and Manami Okuda (Assassination Classroom Season 2).

Number 5: Ubukata Chikako (Days)


And before you ask ‘who’ she’s the female manager in Days who comes on board after first trying to convince Tsukamoto that it’s hopeless and he should just give up. While her screen time is fairly limited and she plays very much the angry girl (a lot), she’s actually a pivotal character for Tsukamoto when he’s at his lowest and is also the one who quietly assists when Kazuma and Tsukamoto have their near falling out. It’s what I like about her character. She’s there is most episodes doing what she needs to do and she doesn’t intrude on screen time for the same of it. Plus I like how we see her change from angry with the world and fairly pessimistic, to grudgingly accepting that hard work will work out for some, to genuinely hopeful even as she still holds on to her basic cynicism. I also love her ongoing relationship with Tsukamoto. She kind of takes on the tough older sister role and it works really well.

Number 4: Edna (Tales of Zestiria the X)


Even before this character ever made an appearance, fans of the game were going on and on about her. It kind of made me think she couldn’t possibly live up to that hype and then we met her. Admittedly her screen time in the anime is low but she was certainly one of the more interesting characters. Okay, I just love sarcasm and Edna nails a good sarcastic comment. She’s also one of the more interesting characters in the previews at the ends of episodes. All and all, definitely a fun character to watch and one I think Sorey needed given Alicia and Mikleo don’t exactly push him out of his comfort zone.

Number 3: Shirayuki (Snow White with the Red Hair Season 2)


This one should have been an obvious choice. I was already in love with this character after season 1 and season 2 just continued to show how amazing she is. Unlike season 1, Shirayuki faces some real danger in season 2 and she really manages to hold it together even while they show us her inner turmoil. Throw in progress in her friendship with Raj, her romance with Zen, and a bit of back story with her father and season 2 really helps round out her character and the world.

Number 2: Tomoe Hotaru (Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3)


It was hard narrowing down which of the Sailor Moon Crystal cast really left the largest impression. It came down to Chibi-Usa and Hotaru and when all is said and done Hotaru was the more interesting character. The tragic and frail girl that is befriended by Chibi-Usa we see a genuine friendship form between the pair before Hotaru’s body is forcibly overtaken. If that wasn’t enough, turns out she’s also Sailor Saturn and may very well destroy the world so the Outer Guardians are aiming to kill her before she gets the chance. A very memorable character and an awesomely powered one as well. Would have loved more of her in the series.

Number 1: Igsem Yatorishino (Alderamin on the Sky)


Fiery red haired beauty dual wielding swords on a battle field and able to keep a hopeless womanizer in check? Yatorishino is all kinds of impressive and the fact that she also has a personality and isn’t just a stoic yes-man soldier girl (though she can certainly play that role when needed) just makes her even more interesting. The best parts of Alderamin on the Sky came when Ikta and Yatori were on screen together as they perfectly complement each other and yet each of these characters has a personality by themselves. Besides, none of Ikta’s plans would have ever worked without her skill. He could do what he did because he knew that Yatori would have his back and he knew just how dangerous she could be.

That’s my list of top 5 female characters from 2016. Who were yours?

Reflections on Anime in 2016 – The Best and The Worst of the Year (in my opinion)


It’s the first day of the year so let’s look back at the year that was. I know that at the end of Summer I did my first reflection post looking back at the anime I’d watched and  I purposefully left D Gray Man and Sailor Moon Crystal 3 off the lists because nostalgia was strong with those two. But now we are at the end of the year and I’m not playing nice anymore. I’m giving my lists of top 10 best and worst for 2016 and finally the results from the reader’s poll.

My rules:

  • I need to have watched the whole series (or as much as has aired in 2016 – I know some of these are continuing on).
  • My judgement is entirely based on the entertainment I got out of watching the anime.
  • Feel free to suggest your own top 10 best or worst in the comments.

Starting from the best.

  1. Yuri on Ice
  2. D Gray Man Hallow
  3. Natsume Yuujinchou
  4. Assassination Classroom 2nd Season
  5. Snow White with the Red Hair Season 2
  6. March Comes in Like a Lion
  7. My Hero Academia
  8. Alderamin on the Sky
  9. Erased
  10. Sailor Moon Crystal 3

Yeah, I can’t believe it either but Yuri on Ice actually edged out D Gray Man Hallow on anime I enjoyed watching. Neither anime is perfect (and I’ll happily admit to the flaws in both) but when it came to pure enjoyment I couldn’t beat either of these and in terms of the anime I’ll rewatch the most from this year, these 2 are the top picks. So why Yuri over D Gray Man? D Gray Man Hallow always had the advantage of nostalgia, but if I take that away, while I would have still enjoyed Hallow (assuming it made sense) it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable as the viewing experience for Yuri. In terms of the anime I sat waiting to the minute for the episode release, Yuri on Ice definitely won out.

However, for everything you enjoy there is a show that you watch and wonder why. Once again, I know there are worse anime out there, but these are the anime I watched all the way through and really wonder why.

Starting from the worst.

  1. Taboo Tattoo
  2. Big Order
  3. Lost Village
  4. Hitorinoshita
  5. Divine Gate
  6. Dimension W
  7. Nazotokine
  8. Norn 9
  9. Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle
  10. Bloodivores

What was pleasantly surprising was how few of the Autumn season found their way onto this list. Mostly the shows I watched in Autumn were more boring than terrible (though I did avoid a few shows that I knew were going to end up in this category so they didn’t count on the having watched them criteria).


The Reader’s Poll

I was surprised by some of the results and not surprised by others. Probably the biggest issue is there were only 54 votes total so from a data point of view this probably isn’t the most valid survey. Anyway…

  1. Yuri on Ice (7 votes)
  2. Assassination Classroom 2 (6 votes)
  3. Mob Psycho 100 (6 votes)
  4. Tanaka-kun is Always Listless (5 votes)
  5. Bungo Stray Dogs (3 votes)
  6. Erased (3 votes)
  7. March Comes in Like a Lion (3 votes)
  8. Kiss Him Not Me (3 votes)
  9. Flip Flappers (3 votes)
  10. Grimgar of Fantasy of Ash (3 votes)

With that I say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in 2017 for a whole new year of watching anime.

By the way, over the next 4 weeks my Tuesday’s Top 5 post is going to do a recap of 2016. Top 5 Female Characters of 2016 is up first, followed by Top 5 Male Characters of 2016, Top 5 Visually Interesting Anime of 2016 and finally Top 5 Opening Themes of 2016. Then I will move on to something different but I felt January was a great time to recap the previous year.

Over to you: Which anime was your favourite or most hated from 2016?

Alderamin on the Sky Series Review – Military Fantasy That Mostly Pays Off


Alderamin on the Sky Overview:

Alderamin on the Sky follows Ikta Solork, a fairly lazy and apathetic young man, who unfortunately finds himself forced into joining his country’s military along with his childhood friend. That said, Ikta Solork makes for a very cool knight, in his own way.

Click here for more anime reviews.

Alderamin on the Sky Review:

For a series that is riddled with issues, Alderamin on the Sky manages to be a pretty entertaining series. It isn’t perfect by any means and it isn’t exactly the most mind-blowing thing you’ll ever watch, but it is an interesting military fantasy with a cast that give reasonably consistent performances and tell a story in a decent fashion.

However, as is usual with this sort of thing one season isn’t really enough and at this point a second season is more or less off the cards (though weirder things have happened).

This may not seem like a glowing recommendation but when it comes to fantasy, anything that can settle itself down long enough to get the fundamentals of story telling right without tripping themselves up with how clever they are and how amazing some mystical thingy is, kind of stands out. Even taken out of the fantasy genre, Alderamin on the Sky delivers a solid piece of story telling even if it never quite rises to being all that exciting.

That said, I haven’t quite figured out the title and whether that ever makes any sense of whether it is just words kind of mashed together from some kind of randomiser.

Strangely, I will put a language warning on Alderamin on the Sky.


Normally I wouldn’t bother (given most shows that use this kind of language are pretty obvious about it) but given the generally nice nature of the show and the characters some of the sexually explicit language that comes out at times (and a little bit of swearing) seems to come out of left field. It isn’t intrusive and not excessive, but it definitely makes its presence felt so if that isn’t your thing then perhaps you should pass.

With that out of the way let’s look at Alderamin on the Sky in a bit more detail.

Ikta and Yattori as main characters are brilliant (and not just because we keep getting told Ikta is meant to be brilliant). The chemistry between them as long term friends feels genuine and more importantly, it is needed for the plot to work. Ikta might be a brilliant strategist but without knowing his resources and what they can do, he would have failed far more often than he did.

More importantly, because the two characters know each other so well, they can take action knowing someone will have their back and this allows them to take risks that progress the story. Honestly, if nothing else in this story worked, the relationship between these two would be more than enough to keep me watching. I kind of lived in fear that they’d try to make it romantic but we were fortunately spared that particular development.

Alderamin on the Sky - Ikta and Yattori

However, as much as thought and effort has gone into the relationship between Ikta and Yattori, the Princess Chamille and most of the military officers we meet throughout the course of the anime are pretty flat as characters.

While Ikta’s core group get some development and a few minor soldiers and lower officers get some opportunities to show that they are people, the higher officers and the Princess get one note personalities. Fortunately they don’t appear all that often so it isn’t enough to ruin the viewing but it makes you wonder how the entire Kingdom hadn’t already fallen apart with some of the morons that were in charge in Alderamin on the Sky.

Moving onto the pacing, it is kind of a bit disjointed if I’m truly being honest.

Some viewers might find this a bit of a problem but Alderamin on the Sky kind of works. There are 2 – 3 episodes given to each of the minor conflicts as we progress to the final retreat that Ikta is put in charge of. This gives them time to set up a situation, have some piece of wisdom revealed, a little bit of character development and interaction, before we charge into another inevitable battle (well, it is a military fantasy).

I didn’t mind this method of pacing out the story and felt it worked quite well with the subject matter – then again, I also enjoyed the weird strategy narration from Lord Marksman and Vanadis so maybe my record with military fantasy anime is questionable.

Basically, the show steps this up from an escape, to a military exercise, to a field conflict where they have the upper hand, to a field conflict where they don’t have the upper hand, to a full on retreat. At each stage forcing Ikta to work that little bit harder for his victory (even if by victory we mean successful retreat). From a reality point of view it is laughable but from the point of view of escalating a situation in order to push a character it works very well.

Except when the story screeches to a halt for another lengthy explanation.

This is a problem in any show where the main character is supposed to be smart. The writer’s feel the need to have them explain their reasoning (ad nauseum) to a range of other characters and they inevitably don’t come off looking as smart as they would if they just kind of did what they needed to do.

I don’t know about you, but I do not stand around telling people my entire thought process before I make a decision. I will walk people through the final reasoning, but all the steps along the way get cut out because nobody wants to listen to it. For a show that mostly had clever character interactions, I’d really love to go back through it and hack out almost every one of Ikta’s strategy explanations.

At least though, while Alderamin on the Sky has us listening to Ikta it’s kind of pretty to look at. Okay, it doesn’t rise to the wow factor of something like No Game, No Life in terms of striking world building, but I actually found myself enjoying the scenery and character designs while watching this. The visuals match the story.

They do what they need to do and they don’t bother trying to clutter up the issue or disguise flaws by dangling pretty colours in our faces. I’ll echo that point for the music. It works but it isn’t trying to steal the show.

Unfortunately, fFor a fantasy, the world building is probably the weakest component in Alderamin on the Sky.

We get a basic idea of the main ideologies and set-ups of the main powers in the world but there are a million unaddressed questions in this series (like what is actually with the character’s spirit companion things). While these don’t get in the way of you understanding the plot, they leave the world feeling a little incomplete.

That said, incomplete is probably better than weighed down with excess detail at the expense of character or story development.


As I said at the start, I really enjoyed Alderamin on the Sky and I’d really like to see more of this story but it brought things to a fairly natural conclusion and the narration has told us where this story plans to go so even if we never see any more of this world or these characters we can call it a day with sufficient closure.

My recommendation is to watch this anime. If you like any kind of fantasy or if you just want an anime that tells a pretty straight forward story, Alderamin is well worth the time.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James