Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. Within every great studio there’s a black sheep among the bunch that a lot of people overlook or forget. For Madhouse, their black sheep is definitely Nejimaki Seirei Senki. Now before I get a lot of hate comments let me just make one thing clear, this anime is awesome, but nobody ever talks about it. Also known as Wind-Up Spirit Chronicles, the series is a light novel written by Bokuto Uno in 2012-2018. In this fantasy novel we focus on war and the different viewpoints people have about it. Even during the run of the novel, the series was overlooked which is a shame because it’s actually a really good read. Apparently, Madhouse thought so as well as they produced the anime in 2016 and was honestly one of my favorite animes to come out that year. So, is this series best forgotten or does it deserved to be seen more? Let’s find out. This is my review of Nejimaki Seirei Senki.
Opening and Ending Theme
Our opening is “Tenkyou no Alderamin” by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets. I actually did like this opening. It gets you pumped for the episode about to be shown and it also carries some emotional weight from our characters. It almost reminds me of Gate’s second opening just from the atmosphere and sound it gives off.
The ending is “Nameless” by Kano. I really do feel like this song could have worked as opening. It starts on a subtle and soft note but than takes and starts to get intense as we focus on our two main characters. How they both have different views but at the same time care for each other and want to keep the other one safe. Looking back, this song is actually a lot better than I remember it.
The anime opens up by talking about a war going between the kingdom of the Katjvarna Empire and Kioka Republic. We then focus on two of our main characters getting set to leave their home island for the capital where they plan to take the High Grade Military Officer Exam (giving it a fancy title doesn’t make it less annoying) and join the Katjvarna army. Our first main character is Yatorishino nicknamed Yatori voiced by Risa Taneda (Rory from Gate) a swordswoman who comes from a prestigious military family and the other is Ikta voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto (Karma from Assassination Classroom) Yatori’s childhood who is an orphan, doesn’t like war, a womanizer and is lazy. However, despite being lazy and not really all that intimidating he does display a high level of intelligence like that of a strategist (not sure if he’s as good as Shiroe from Log Horizon but he’s definitely in Shikamaru’s league if not higher). They board their ship and go to their room where we meet the rest of our main cast of characters who are also heading to take the exam and join the military. First up is Haroma voiced by Haruka Chisuga (Tsugumi from Soul Eater Not!) a sisterly and shy woman who wants to join the combat medics (if she’s my doctor I would get injured on purpose). Next up is Matthew voiced by Junji Majima (Ayumu from Is this a zombie?) a friend of Ikta and Yatori who also comes from a military family but they’re not very well known (foot soldiers, the overlooked heroes of war). Finally, Torway voiced by Ryōsuke Kanemoto a friendly sniper/gunman who comes from a prestigious military family just like Yatori and likes to give people nicknames. They all also have these little spirits who each hold a power of the elements. Not sure what they’re all about but they can talk and they seem to be used as tools to strengthen their weapons. As they sail a storm breaks out, grounds the ship and they have to escape via lifeboats (I would make a Titanic joke but after watching the animated movies I think it’s been insulted enough). As they’re leaving a young girl falls off the ship (let me guess she can’t swim and our main character/s save her right?) and begins to drown until Ikta saves her (damn I’m good). They take up shelter on an island and nurse the girl back to health where she wakes up and we find out she’s Shamille third princess of the Katjvarna Empire voiced by Inori Minase (Hestia from Danmachi). While out scouting the area Ikta and Torway discover that they’re in enemy territory but luckily scouts haven’t discovered their location yet. In this situation they have one of two choices. One, surrender and become prisoners of war (and have the women raped) or two, fight through the barrier and make it out alive (or you could just steal one of the enemy’s air balloons from Avatar and escape). They all decide to rest a day or two to come up with a decision on what to do and on one night while the enemy troops are scouting the area they spot Shamille in the bushes (uh, please come back in like a minute or two). Just as they’re about to fire they spot Ikta who gives himself up in order to allow Shamille to go unnoticed.
Episode 2 opens up where episode 1 left off. Ikta gives himself up calling himself an asylum-seeker (I’m sorry but the rooms at Arkham are all filled up now. Wait, The Joker escaped again. Good news sir, a room has just opened up) seeking refuge from the kingdom in Kioka’s territory. The guards take pity on him (you fools) only to wind up dead by Yatori and Torway who take them out. The next morning they take their blimp however it can only carry 3 people but Ikta has a plan to get everyone out safely. He sends the blimp in the air unmanned and poses as a soldier for Kioka where he makes up the story that a refugee has stolen the blimp and demands that the asylum-seekers be bought back to Katjvarna. Since blimps are valuable to Kioka and not having enough time to think of an alternate solution the lieutenant gives in to the request and the group escapes back into Katjvarna territory. They soon return to the palace and hand Shamille back to general Hazaf where Ikta warns him not to battle in the eastern part of the kingdom saying that it’s a lost cause and that he’s being setup for failure since the whole thing is rigged. The eastern half is useless to the empire but they’re fighting to say they put up a fight to gain the people’s support (it’s a no win situation for Hazaf. If he goes to battle he’ll die but if he ignores the order he’ll be seen as traitor). While Hazaf appreciates Ikta’s warning he says he can’t ignore an order from his king and plans to march out to battle (he plays the part of the pawn well). This infuriates Ikta and just when he’s about to go off on them Yatori knocks him out (don’t turn into a suck up Yatori, I want to like you). A month passes and we see that Hazaf died in battle (just like an idiot). Ikta and the others are bought before the king (who has a very ugly face. Clearly, Shamille takes after her mother) and makes them all Imperial Knights meaning they’ve officially become soldiers and will be attending (or rather force to go to) the High-Level Officer’s School (man that school name is lame, long, and unnecessary). Can you imagine hearing that at their sporting events? Now introducing your High-Level Officer’s School Soldiers). Ikta is very pissed about this (can’t say I blame him, he’s pretty much being forced to do something he hates) and knows Shamille did this on purpose and sure enough he’s right. After Hazaf’s death the empire needs a hero now more than ever to make the people feel better and that’s where Ikta and the others come in (one pawn is lost but the empire still has 7 more pawns to use and you five are five of those pawns. It’s unjust but necessary which is what you’ll be seeing a lot throughout this anime. If Ikta and the others don’t become heroes than the people will start to side with Kioka and we’ll have a full blown rebellion on our hands). Shamille also reveals Ikta’s past by revealing that he’s actually the son of Bada Sankrei one of the finest generals not only in the empire but in history. His last days were met with disaster after he disobeyed a direct order and was humiliated and thrown in prison where he died. Ikta was than raised by Anarai Kahn (https://youtu.be/SSK00ihIMm8?t=4s, close enough) who was a scientist who taught Ikta the word unscientific (this whole anime is unscientific) and was known as a blasphemer in the empire after fleeing to Kioka. She also talks about his mom (woah stop right there little lady you are approaching dangerous territory) who was originally from Kioka but bought over to be a part of the emperor’s harem but later given to Bada as a reward for his heroic efforts. This pushes Ikta over and he literally grabs Shamille and threatens to snap her neck if she talks about his mother anymore (do it Ikta she has it coming). After that little tussle they go to a party in their honor where Ikta laments this day calling it the worst day of his life as he became the three things he never wanted to become all at once. A soldier, a noble, and a hero (three of a kind).
In episode 3 the group start attending military school (where they’ll make a soldier out of you or you’ll die in their efforts). Shamille is also there attending class and training with the troops (be honest, you just want to be with Ikta don’t you?). While at the school we get to meet Torway’s two older brothers the sadistic Sarihaslag (sounds like a beer from Germany) and the quiet but strong Sushura. Both of them are graduates and Sarihaslag unlike Torway is. . .what’s the word I’m looking for (https://youtu.be/EYWbatgKN4g, yes, that works). They pick on Torway calling him a coward who slows people down but Ikta stands up for his friend (nobody picks on him but me) and manages to scare Sarihaslag with a bug (nein) embarrassing him in front of everyone. Sarihaslag takes it out on him by beating him up but that doesn’t sit well with Yatori who gets on my good side again by owning a few of Sarihaslag’s boys. Three months pass and the group gets put in charge of their own platoon (alright moving up even more in the world) where the assistant of Ikta’s platoon is girl named Suya who holds a personal grudge against Ikta since he slept around with her mother (you slept with a milf? Hot) so she petty much runs the platoon herself and ignores anything Ikta has to say (someone’s jealous and wants to get notice). Sometime later they find out there’s going to be a mock battle but the sides are obviously uneven. On one side it’s Ikta, Torway, and Matthew’s platoons vs Yatori, Sarihaslag, and Sushura’s platoons (Haroma’s medical platoon will be neutral. For now). Ikta uses this chance to get Suya to submit to him (going for the daughter. Nice. She’s within striking distance) and makes a bet that if he leads his team to victory Suya will start listening to him (I’m all for that) and if he loses he’ll take a desk job (so it’s a win-win situation for him either way). The day of the mock battle comes where it rains and Ikta’s troop leave a few supplies behind as a depot and rather than go to the designated spot to face Sarihaslag’s team they instead ignore the suggestions on the map (obviously, why go to a spot where the enemy is expecting you? Unless you have the numbers or power it’s best to flank the enemy or get them to come to an area where you can surprise attack them or have the advantage in) and wait by the riverbank for Sarihaslag’s team to show up just like Ikta predicted would happen.
The mock battle continues in episode 4 where Ikta has Torway’s group go off to flank the enemy but Sarihaslag sends Yatori to cut them off believing that the remaining troops won’t do anything because the water isn’t shallow enough to cross but it’s thanks to Ikta and his troops who cut down a tree the night before and dropped it in the river to use a bridge to cross over and since the water is muddy Sarihaslag can’t see it so it’s the perfect cover (way to get the jump on the enemy). Using the bridge, Ikta’s men charge Sarihaslag’s team catching them off guard and taking out a majority of them but Yatori makes it back in time to save Sarihaslag and they retreat for the time being defeated losing a lot of their men. Sarihaslag and his force fall back on a road believing that Ikta will order his troops to chase after them and then trap them in a pincher attack (not a bad strategy, except you’re dealing with an exceptionally smart person who’ll see through such an obvious trap). Sure enough Ikta sees through this obvious trap and instead of pursuing Sarihaslag they instead cutoff their escape route by the border which will let them win by default (you don’t have to kill all your enemies to win. You just have to force them to surrender). Sarihaslag decides to face Ikta’s troops head on at the border where once he gives the order to charge he gets taken out by a headshot courtesy of Torway (nice! Another way to win is to bring down the morale of your enemy and taking down their leader in one shot will do the trick). This leaves Sushura in charge and right away he knows they can’t win (glad to see one of the older brothers has common sense) and orders a retreat. With this fight, Ikta’s team has pretty much won but before they celebrate he gives a very good and motivational speech about laziness being the key to winning and those who fight under him will have an easy fight and win every time (scene here: https://youtu.be/Lyb-k0zhqRg. Wow, never in my life did I think a speech about laziness would be so motivational). As everyone cheers for Ikta he begins to wonder where Shamille is since she followed him with her royal guards (hopefully she didn’t have to go to the bathroom again). Matthew says he saw her heading off to the west and this worries Ikta so he sends a Morse code (or gong code) to Yatori asking her to check out the west where we see the royal guards have plotted a mutiny against the princess and have knocked her unconscious. Before they can escape Yatori and her platoon cut them off and get the princess where we find out that the royal guards are actually the students of Hazaf who are seeking revenge for their teacher by trying to kill Shamille (can’t say I blame them. They’re teacher, a man who they obviously respected died in order to cover up the failings of the kingdom’s politics. Imagine if someone you cared about and respected died because of similar circumstances, I probably be doing the same thing they’re doing). The captain of the guards allows Yatori’s sword to pierce his hand, disarming her, and allowing him to bring her to the ground where he begins to strangle her but she gets saved by Torway’s sniper fire (2 for 2. He’s on point today). This allows Yatori to unleash the beast and she lays waste to the remaining guards right in front of Shamille (scene here: https://youtu.be/bMRkh3jy8-w, man she is seeing a lot of gore for a girl her age).
We get a flashback for episode 5 which explores the relationship between Ikta and Yatori. Also, for those of you wondering about my stance on flashback episodes, I like them. I find flashback episodes informative as it tells us this is what this character used to be like, why these characters are so close to each other, how they got to the relationship they’re in right now, and so on. However, I will admit I’m not too keen on a flashback episode taking up the whole episode. A flashback should only be about half an episode unless the stuff you’re about to explain needs a full episode and luckily this episode is very informative as they really do explore the relationship between Ikta and Yatori, what Ikta means to her, and what Yatori means to Ikta. In the episode we see that Yatori was sent to train with Ikta’s dad at their lab. It’s here that we meet three central figures whose names have been popping up these last episodes. One is Bada, Ikta’s dad, we finally get a chance to see who he is, what he looked like, and how he acted and let me just say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as you can tell Ikta really took after his old man. He’s intelligent, kind, patient, and laidback much like Ikta (it’s like looking at an older version of Ikta). The second character we get to meet is Anarai (who doesn’t look like anything I was expecting. I imagined him to be a stern middle-aged man but no he’s got kind of an Albert Einstein look going on) who’s a very good teacher that enjoys his work and enjoys teaching others as we see him explain what a scientist is to Yatori in a way that she can understand. Finally, we meet Tohka, Ikta’s mom who is a very lovely lady. She’s kind, sweet, understanding, and supportive of her family (she’s like the perfect wife). But the greatest point of this episode is seeing the development of Ikta and Yatori’s relationship. We see how Yatori has never really been around kids her age thus she doesn’t know how to act like a kid or talk in a casual way. Through her interactions with Ikta she slowly starts to become less stiff, act more like a kid and the two really do work off each other perfectly. There’s one scene where they go on a geological survey with these two scientists, but they forgot the tools so the scientist have to go back for them and leave Ikta and Yatori in the forest lab for safety (you’re leaving two kids alone in the forest? No wonder you guys have no kids) but a pack of hungry wolves come and trap them inside the lab. Instead of panicking they work out a plan to get rid of the wolves before the other scientists return the next morning otherwise they’ll be killed by the wolves. Using their limited supplies they outsmart the wolves (who are quite smart, I guess they learned their lesson from the Three Pigs and Red Riding Hood) by trapping them inside and burning the house down but two of escape and we get a short but well done scene of Yatori taking on the leader and gashing out one of his eyes and Ikta taking on the other wolf with a crossbow. Once a baby wolf shows up the leader and the other wolf retreat and through this experience Ikta tells Yatori that they are one saying that he’ll be her left hand and she’ll be his right hand (that’s not a good hand to be. He’s gonna use that hand for “personal” use). Shortly after this, Bada got imprisoned and Ikta and Tohka vanished without a trace until years later Ikta came back by himself saying he wants to take Yatori away from this land with no future.
So nothing much to say about episode 6. Ikta and the others along with their platoons are sent up north for training. While there Ikta discovers a book written by Anarai that another soldier named Kanna seems to enjoy reading. We also see that the Sinack tribe a group of mountain people who worship the spirits are planning something big and it might have something to do with what Ikta found in the army’s holding cells.
In episode 7 we find out that what Ikta found in the holding cell were spirits. Lots and lots of spirits locked away in the dark and since they need sunlight in order to move they ain’t going nowhere (and this is spirit abuse). He finds out that the spirits were stolen from the Sinack by orders of General Safida in order to break their spirit (this isn’t going to break their spirit. It’s going to piss them off and it’s pretty much giving them a reason to go to war with you. Even I, a guy with limited military knowledge and experience can see this). While in town for a mission Ikta spends time with Kanna who talks about the differences in the way the Sinack view the spirits. For Ikta and Kanna, they’re taught that the spirits came from their god and they have to follow commandments and rules. The Sinack on the other hand don’t believe the spirits came from a god at all nor do they follow commandments or rules. They just hold festivals for the spirits and respect them living in peace with them and everything (it makes you wonder who has the right idea about religion). While their talk is going on, on the other side of town the Sinack sneak into a military office and kill a major as well as a few other officers. Yatori chases after the killers only to come face to face with their leader Nanaku (man even by Japanese standards a lot of the names in this anime are weird) who declares a holy war on the northern forces. Safida takes full advantage of this opportunity and decides to purge the Sinack once and for all since he hates them (racist). He sends out a punitive force to take out the Sinack where it’s clear as day that the Sinack have the advantage.
We get a lot of mini battles in episode 8. Ikta, Matthew, Yatori, and Torway’s platoons are sent to the frontlines to deliver supplies where we see the soldiers are having a hard time adapting to the high altitudes (this is why you never want to do battle in the mountains) and the troops are being led by incompetent superiors (yeah military power means shit unless you have people who know how to use it). At the base that Ikta is staying at the Sinack launch a night attack on their base but thanks to Ikta’s quick thinking they manage to beat them. The next day the troops come across a blockade set up by the Sinack and Ikta has been ordered to reclaim the outpost. In order to do that he has Matthew’s platoon charge the outpost with Torway providing cover fire. Matthew is a little hesitant with this plan because Torway’s rifle wasn’t made to shoot that far away but sure enough it’s all good because Torway has created an air rifle which is equivalent to a sniper gun (yeah, this world didn’t have what’s known as snipers before this). With this air rifle Torway kills off all the Sinack in the outpost and establishes the sniper class for the military (you guys will revolutionize the way of war). After reclaiming the outpost, a soldier from another platoon comes begging for help. It turns out earlier in the episode the soldiers occupied an abandoned base of the Sinack only to discover it was a trap setup by them and now the troops are surrounded and suffering from Alpine sickness. Ikta along with the platoons of his friends go to help out on their own accord (it’s obvious the people in charge have no idea what they’re doing so why tell them?) where Ikta forces everyone to stop for two days in order to get accustomed to the high altitudes. After two days they arrive at the base and are too late, the Sinack have decimated everyone inside including Kanna who was stationed there (damn it, I liked her too).
So in episode 9 the army seems to be pushing back the Sinack tribe. The soldiers are capturing them, burning down their villages, and then placing them in concentration camps (man it’s hard to tell who’s the good guys and the bad guys). We do get a pretty funny and cool moment where Matthew asks Ikta and Torway about how they’re handling their urges in the war zone (scene here: https://youtu.be/ZXd1Eod_uiI). After that, the next day, the troops are continuing to climb the mountains moving in on the remaining forces of the Sinack tribe where they’re trying to force them into one decisive battle. As they’re climbing the Sinack attack them as do masked figures who I’m not sure who’s side they’re on at the moment (knowing this anime, I say a third party). We get a great fight scene between Yatori and Nanaku where they cross swords with each other and Yatori manages to win in the end however Nanaku’s spirit partner sacrifices himself to allow her to escape. During the fight, the masked men kill Deinkun (a commanding officer of Ikta) and we get a pretty sad death scene as he dies happy surrounded by comrades and knowing he died protecting them (you were too good for this war man). As the episode ends Nanaku arrives back at her village to see it burning to the ground.
Episode 10 starts off with a quick flashback where we see that in the past Ikta was actually friends with the Sinack tribe and he was on good terms with Nanaku who may have had a crush on him when they were kids (so all this time he’s been fighting against one of his friends? I can only imagine the pain he’s been enduring so far). After the flashback Nanaku rushes to her village which was set on fire by the army who are out of control. They’re needlessly killing people when they’ve already won and Nanaku tries to attack them to avenge her dead family members where she gets tied up and about to get raped (good God what happened to honor?). Luckily, Ikta and Yatori come in to save her where Ikta gets a badass line saying he doesn’t care if you’re a hero or a warrior. He’s got no patience for beast (https://youtu.be/6YMPAH67f4o). The next morning as everything settles, Ikta figures out that this whole war between them and the Sinack was created by the Kioka Republic. They were the ones who killed the superior officer in episode 7 and have been supporting the Sinack from behind the scenes only to set them up for failure and have them be used as pawns to get the holy Aldera army who are devote followers in the ways of the spirits on their side. Kioka sent them a message about the army violating the commandments of the Aldera religion (which they have as we saw a lot of them locked in a dungeon) and once they see all the dead spirits lying around the now destroyed village of the Sinack this is all the proof they need to take action and they’re sending an entire army to crush them. With the army exhausted and outnumbered the troops of Katjvarna have no choice but to retreat or fight (we must run. . .to fight another day). Ikta proposes a plan to buy time for the main army to retreat while the rearguard defends their retreat however, he needs more soldiers and decides it’s best to ask the Sinack for help (oh yeah, let’s just ask the people we just killed, captured, and tried to rape for help. I’m sure that’ll go over well). Actually it does, Ikta sits down and talks to Nanaku where he shows how sorry he is by following the teachings of the Sinack and cutting his pinky finger off (ugh~). Nanaku agrees to help and Ikta and Yatori get promoted to first lieutenants while Torway, Matthew, and Haro get promoted to second lieutenants and choose to stay and help Ikta with his crazy plan. Two days later Ikta sets his plan in motion which is setting a forest on fire which stands between them in the Aldera army. This seems to work (remember they’re not trying to fight, they’re just stalling for time) but the Aldera army also sets fire to the forest (boy Smokey would be pissed if he saw this) to make it burn quicker at the request of their strategist courtesy of the Kioka Republic and a young man about the same age as Ikta named Jean nicknamed “The Unsleeping, Shining Officer”.
In episode 11 it’s the Lazy Genius vs the Sleepless Genius as the two pit strategies against each other. Knowing that there’s a back way to their base, Ikta wants to keep the Aldera army completely focused on him and nothing else so he fans out the flames of one area and sets up a barricade to confront the Aldera army. Jean accepts this invitation and the two sides meet in a cool fight scene where they manage to dwindle the numbers of the Aldera army (not by a lot mind you. Hey when you’re facing an army of 12,000 men and you only have 720 men you would find it hard to win too) and they lose quite a bunch of men too including two soldiers from Ikta’s platoon who died following Ikta’s orders to save the Sinack warriors who were fighting CQC along with Yatori’s men. Suya, angry with Ikta’s decision to save people he was just fighting against the other day goes to confront him once everyone had safely retreated and they set the trail on fire again. We get a very good conversation here as Ikta knows he allowed his men to die in battle but he didn’t make their sacrifice be in vain as they succeeded in saving their allies (one of the hard things about war is sacrificing your personal feelings in order to get the job done). Yatori comes and says that Suya should direct her anger at her instead of Ikta since she was the one who gave the command to save the Sinack knowing that Ikta would come to help her. Suya than asks a very interesting question which is what would Yatori do if she was ordered to kill Ikta? She replies by saying she would do the task however before doing it she would kill herself mentally and become a soulless soldier who feels remorse for no one.
So in episode 12 the Aldera army has to be held back for 7 days. This task would be easy except Jean is cheating. He uses blimps to get a bird’s eye view of the Katjvarna which the Aldera army don’t like using because it goes against their religion (it’s a blimp, how is it an abomination to your religion?). They continue to keep the fires burning in the forest and Torway along with the acting commander (whose name I forget because of everything that’s going on) go to defend the west path from the Aldera where they hold them off and even take out the Kala Kharm who were the guys who instigated this whole mess in the first place. Just when it seems like Ikta has things under control, Jean springs his trap by introducing explosive cannons (another abomination according to the Aldera army. Are you guys the Amish of this world?) which destroys all their barricades and he sends in his reinforcements which thanks to Jean’s blimp scouting have been training to get pass the fires and they manage to do that here meaning Ikta and the others are about to be screwed.
In the final episode it’s crunch time. With only two days left until they can all pull out, Ikta states everything on one final confrontation with Jean himself. While Jean was leading his troops through the mountains Ikta’s forces launch a sneak attack, catching him off guard, and sending the battlefield into chaos which is Jean’s weakness (Jean is a guy who controls the battlefield through over-powered tactics and being able to predict what his opponent will do. But throw him in a situation where he has no control over what’s going and he’s easy pickings). Ikta calls for negotiations and Jean agrees to them where Ikta says he wants Jean and his men to withdraw (ha! That’s not gonna happen. They have the numbers and the man power). Ikta finally plays his trump which is shining a light on Jean and warning him that if he doesn’t agree to Ikta’s terms he’ll have Torway snipe him but the twist here is Torway isn’t there. Ikta, is bluffing (Las Vegas poker tournament style) in his negotiations hoping that Jean will fall for it and at first Jean doesn’t believe Ikta but still second guesses himself (if he’s lying, I can kill him. But if he’s telling the truth I’m dead and so are my ideas). Not wanting to risk it he agrees to Ikta’s terms and retreats (woah~ you got lucky). With their retreat they manage to last the last two days and successfully retreat. We then fast forward a month later where the general behind this whole mess gets demoted back to private, all decorations taken away, and will be executed for his actions (serves him right). Later on, Ikta gets called to meet with Shamille who asks him what he thinks about the state of the kingdom (it’s bad. I’ve only been here for 13 episodes and yet I can already tell you it’s bad). Sure enough he says it’s bad and she agrees with him but she has a plan to save the kingdom. She wants Ikta to rise up the ranks and become head of the army and then lose the war not completely but enough where they have power and can wipe out the corruption within their country (https://youtu.be/imqFvfbch6Q). Ikta doesn’t entirely agree with this plan and really doesn’t know how to respond to it but the one thing he does know for sure is he doesn’t give a damn about his country all he cares about is protecting those he cares about.
Nejimaki is a very smart, fun, and clever story. It honestly reminds me of Valkyria Chronicles with the characters’ various outlooks on war and what it means to be a soldier. The character of Ikta is good. I like how he’s this lazy womanizer but underneath it all he’s a badass who’s smart and knows how to use his mind to get what he wants. Yatori is this amazing badass fighter, Matthew the hardworking soldier and loyal friend, Haroma the kind soul who comforts everyone, and Torway the gentle yet clueless sniper who you can trust to have your back. The one character I may have a problem with is Shamille as she seems to have loss a lot of faith in her kingdom. Her plan is reckless and crazy but from her position it seems to be the only way to save the kingdom.
The anime is very clever with their writing and strategies used in the war. They’re very well planned out and you really do appreciate everything about them. So if this anime is so good why do people consider it a black sheep in the Madhouse library. Well for starters the animation isn’t really up to par with the light novel. While the animation isn’t awful it just doesn’t have that Madhouse feel to it that we’ve come to love. There’s not too many great camera angles. Some of the fight scenes can look a little sluggish and the quality can be inconsistent in some scenes. Second, for a series about war it moves at a very slow pace which a lot of people don’t like. Even when we do get some war scenes, they’re over way too soon or we focus on the aftermath instead of being there for when it happens. Third, and probably the biggest reason, very little explanation is explained about this world. They really don’t go into much detail about why the war is happening, why we should care who wins and losses, the beliefs/teachings of others, and the biggest failure for me is that they never explore the spirits in this series. Half the time I forgot they existed. They play a small roll throughout the course of the anime until the end. I honestly feel that they could been taken out of the anime entirely and you wouldn’t lose nothing from it.
Nejimaki gets a final score of 7.5/10. I really did like this anime. It ended at a good spot and despite its shortcomings I became very interested in checking out the light novel which I recommend tracking it down and reading it as the story continues to be good. It’s a real shame this series will never get a second season and will be viewed as the black sheep of Madhouse but if this is what people consider to be Madhouse at their worst then we really have nothing to worry about. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.
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