Taishou Otome Fairytale might potentially be the sweet and slow romance I am looking for this season, however it is going to have to move quickly to overcome some of the issues from this first episode. Actually, the biggest issue is main character Tamahiko Shima. Fortunately his ‘woe is me’ attitude is being balanced out by the resolutely cheery Yuzuki.
Taishou Otome Fairytale has potential but didn’t have a spectacular opening act.
Overall this episode of Taishou Otome Fairytale establishes the premise that I presume will frame the rest of the series for this romantic, slice-of-life. Tamahiko’s family send him away to a villa in the mountains after an accident leaves his right hand crippled (also his mother dead). So that the family don’t have to take care of him, Yuzuki is sent to become his bride (to pay off her family debts).
While Tamahiko isn’t exactly welcoming Yuzuki, he’s also not cruel. When she arrives in the snow he warms her and shows her to her room. When she’s cleaning he doesn’t get in her way or interfere. While he hasn’t thanked her for her efforts yet he’s also not been a jerk to her, which at least gives the potential for a romance here.
Yuzuki on the other-hand is one of those girls… you know the one who was told by her school friends she would make a good bride because she can sew and cook. She’s also excessively cheery and resolved to do right by her husband to be, including washing his back. I’d make a comment about this trope being dated except that Taishou Otome Fairytale is set in the Taishou era so obviously it is dated.
Despite that, Yuzuki actually was the best thing about the episode and I kind of hope her character gets fleshed out a bit more as the series progresses.
I loved her ‘worry’ and how she calmly deals with the situation she finds herself in.
Though getting back to Tamahiko, he kind of annoyed me. Sure he lost his mother in a tragic accident and has injured his arm. Interestingly enough this is one of those anime situations where his arm is crippled and occasionally its even bandaged but it isn’t visibly scarred or misshapen. Taishou Otome Fairytale is also being pretty non-specific about the exact nature of his injury in fact. There’s also some inconsistency in whether he is moving said arm at all or whether it is handing limply.
More than that, while it was his dominant arm, it doesn’t really appear like anyone, Tamahiko or his family, considered any other option for a future for him. I mean, as far as debilitations go it is hardly a life ending one. Yet to here Tamahiko narrate it his whole world ended. He even makes a comment about school now being impossible. I guess we can put this in a Japanese context but it still feels like everyone gave up on this situation way too easily.
Given I’m watching this after the first episode of Platinum End where yet another protagonist wanted his life to end because he saw no hope or point in moving forward I can’t help but feel that Taishou Otome Fairytale didn’t really want to spend too much time on setting up the premise and merely wanted to get to the two characters living together.
Which given it is labelled as a slice of life the technically could have just dropped us into the story well after the two had started living together and filled in the why later so perhaps once this anime has a few more episodes it will find its comfortable flow.
All things considered, I’m going to watch a bit more of Taishou Otome Fairytale before deciding.
Images from: Taishou Otome Fairytale. Dir. J Hatori. SynergySP. 2021
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