This is review number two hundred and sixty six. This anime is part of the Fall 2013 lineup. The anime I’ll be reviewing is called Walkure Romanze. It’s a twelve episode anime where a bunch of girls try to hurt each other while riding horses and the main character is a pussy that everybody wants in their team. Lucky bastard. It’s a decent show but I have some complaints. Let’s read on.
This show is about a guy named Takahiro Mizuno. He is a student enrolled in the jousting program of the school. He has given up being a knight though and spends the rest of his days as a beglieter (like a knight’s assistant). He was forced to help a regular student when she was suddenly challenged to a jousting duel. Mio Kisaki took Takahiro as her coach and learned the basics of jousting. It seems obvious that Takahiro’s skills at jousting can prove critical for any knight so a bunch of girls soon started approaching Takahiro asking him to be their beglieter for the school’s summer jousting tournament. Takahiro is hesitant though. He agreed to be Mio’s beglieter for this one duel but it ends there. This bunch of sexy girls is now out to convince him to be their beglieter though while they prepare for the coming tournament.
Taking the Pants Off
Walkure Romanze is a visual novel adapted anime. Right then and there, you can immediately see what’s wrong with the anime. I’ve seen my share of VN anime and they don’t live up to the original source. Something about the original having a lot of individual stories in it that requires multiple playthroughs, which a twelve episode anime cannot cover completely, makes VN anime a little bit hard to appreciate. Oh gawd, I’ve seen different approaches to the same impossible hurdle. Most VN anime would choose one route and snub the others. It’s not good since you can’t present all the good things about the game by sticking to one route. Other VN anime would present all the arcs. In twelve episodes, you’re treated to a lot of scenarios and stories that doesn’t come together. Most VN anime though would introduce every possible arc then skip out on an ending. This doesn’t give the audience a fulfilling payoff but I guess you should know this when you’re watching something adapted from an adult visual novel. There’s just no way to make it good unless you make it super dirty or you cover all the individual routes as they were set in the game. I’m guessing you’ll need more than fifty episodes to do that. So screw it. Let’s just make it dirty and hell, it works. So here we are. Walkure Romanze is a VN anime with a lot of girls in sexy scenes providing fan service while the show tries its best to cover all the arcs. This anime lacks a lot though that even the fan service is a bit tedious and it crams a lot of fluff as it slowly wanders away from the main story. It’s not that good but it has the wonderful high quality animation of Studio 8bit and some decent fan service so there is some good mixed in with the bad.
The game is your typical VN game. You choose from a bunch of girls to try and date while you help them train for the tournament which leads to a confession and hopefully, some adult grade sex scenes. I have never played the game but I did read a game review to get a better perspective of the original source. Basically, it has a common route where you’re coaching Mio for her duel and then it splits into four routes as you choose which character you want to help in the tournament. There is the third year student council president, Cecile. There is the first year favorite, Lisa. There is the marquis’ daughter, Noel and lastly, the miracle rookie, Mio. The anime covered up the common route with no problem. Even if it was a bit of a mess at first because every character was introduced so suddenly, it soon became clear what the anime is actually about. It had a steady progression of Mio learning to duel while the audience is getting the basics of jousting and a grasp of the characters that’ll be introduced later on in the show. The problem starts after the common route ends though. You see, in the game, you’re forced to make a choice and then single out one girl until the tournament. In the anime, you can’t single out one girl. All of them have to be introduced fairly so the decision to choose a route was prolonged. Since we can’t choose one route, the anime decided to do the most logical thing. It stretched the initial premise into twelve episodes. Takahiro is basically involved with five girls trying to persuade him while also seeing a personal side of them only available in their route. Of course, that can’t cover twelve episodes so the anime added in a lot of fluff.
After the third episode ends, where the common route ends, the show is mostly about the girls bonding. They’ll be training for the tournament while the audience is introduced to them one by one. Through various scenarios, we get to know each character a little better. As the anime progresses, some trash talking are dished out while some of the girls try to be friendly to each other. There are also a lot of fanservice in some scenes to bulk it up. The story was supposed to have Takahiro pick a girl but the anime slowly wanders away from it. Takahiro is slowly reduced to a minor character while the girls do nothing but act cute, sexy and serious while they train. It was a smart fix to the VN hurdle but this doesn’t mean that the show was good. It became directionless and the lack of actual jousting makes it a bit boring to watch. There are no plot points in this show. It just has a lot of character introductions and various non-episodic situations that the girls partake in. It is a messy show since the various routes are mixed up in each episode and you’re not sure how they all fit together. They don’t. Expect the show to jump from one scenario to another but never forget that the goal is to introduce characters in the end.
After Mio’s duel with a seasoned knight, the show then spurred off into a bunch of fluff scenes. Some improve the progression of the story while others are really just random fluff. There are episodes where characters are bonding together. There’ll be episodes about the girls training and then there’ll be episodes where Takahiro will be involved with some girls. They all have the same goal of introducing characters. Since all of them are introduced in the first episode, both minor and main, the show really took its time to make sure everyone is properly presented. These scenes seem out of place though. The bonding scenes are pretty decent but they often make the show directionless. The anime already have a decent jousting appeal with a tournament setup yet it seems to put more focus on the characters randomly drinking tea. There are scenes where characters are working at a tart shop acting all cute and funny. There’ll also be times when two girls would be alone together naked in a windmill. I did not make that up. That really happened. It’s a confusing choice since you want them to just joust yet the show kept going soft on us. Characters bonding are not a bad thing since you’re treated to a lot of character’s quirks interacting together. The problem is that it distracts to the main point of the show. You’ll be fed up with them eventually as you notice that the show kept on dodging the main premise of the game.
There are episodes where characters train but it’s not as focused as the one Mio had in the first three episodes. Eventually, this is all just an excuse to get the girls to bond some more. This one is different though because some of the scenes involving training that builds up to the summer tournament everyone is waiting for. Bonding scenes involve the girls just being funny and loose. Training scenes are a bit more serious. The character’s intention for wanting to win is revealed and the reason they want Takahiro as their beglieter is also revealed. Some of them are small tidbits from the actual route in the game but without Takahiro present. In the game, you play as Takahiro so you see everything that occurs. The show downplayed his importance so certain serious scenes would just have the characters talking to each other about why they want to win or how much they’re willing to go to win. I like this part of the show because I can tell the VN had a lot more good stuff like this and the anime was brilliant enough to set it up smartly. Even though it’s mixed in with the fluff of the show, it still had an interesting side to it when you realize just how serious these girls want to win.
Takahiro might be a minor character in the show but he also has some scenes for himself. Most of them are pretty dirty though. He’ll often be bonding with a girl by himself but it often starts or leads into something dirty. Almost every scene involving him and a girl has sex jokes in it. The serious scenes are often about him being a pussy because he can’t decide if he wants to be a beglieter or go back to being a knight. This guy also has a story to tell about why he quit being a knight. It was just hinted at and never really discussed but it’s the reason why he can’t pick a girl to help in the tournament. So anyways, some aspects of a girl’s story also involve him heavily as well. He’ll often save someone who is in distress, he’ll offer advice that’ll fix a relationship or he’ll stand up and defend a girl when she needs it. He sounds like a standup guy but he also squeezes a lot of boobs and fall on top lot of girls. It’s your typical harem crap but with a non-engaged main character. I think this was an interesting part of the show. The main character of the game wasn’t relied on as much so the girls develop by themselves. It’s different but it does work. You’re focused on a girl and you won’t notice how bad a main character is without someone choosing the answers for him. It also leads to some great girl on girl scenes so gawd bless him for that.
The show has five main girls. The first one is Mio. She is the annoyingly energetic girl that is being introduced into the world of jousting. She has a major crush on Takahiro and she tries to close the gap by getting to like what he likes. This eventually leads to a jousting duel that hooks her. The intense training was something new and exciting for her that she eventually stayed and now wants to win the jousting tournament. She wants Takahiro on her side because his coaching skills proved important during duels. Takahiro also sees the potential in Mio but he is too big of a pussy to act on his gut. Mio is a promising fighter because she has fast reflexes and an even faster eye that can help her dodge attacks while countering with ease. She just needs to be more polished and that’s what she basically works on after she won her duel. The thing I like about Mio is the slow developing love affair she has with jousting. It’s not much but it’s an inviting aspect that makes you want to root for Mio even more.
Another character is Noel. She is the marquis’ daughter and her route is basically about her love of jousting conflicting with her family. She has a little sister that was injured in a jousting accident and it caused grief to her father so much that he has since hated the sport. Her little sister is still very much in love with it though so she decided to ride for the both of them. Majority of her story is about her jousting conflicting with her father’s wishes. He’s a very stubborn man and would openly hate her daughter for jousting. Noel has a very tensed relationship with her father but a win at the summer tournament might change all that. If Takahiro would help Noel then she can really convince her father that he shouldn’t stop loving jousting and her sister will be so proud of her. Noel is the second most experience knight in the group and she has a good chance of beating the undefeated knight Cecil if she trains hard enough.
Another character is Lisa. She is the first year prodigy that can go up against a second year student and could win if she wants to. That’s basically why Lisa jousts. She wants to win all the time. She is very distant and she only has her beglieter as a friend. Takahiro is very involved with her because she wants her to open up to people. He wants her to learn that it’s not just about winning. It’s also about having fun and making friends. It takes a bit of convincing but she does eventually open up. I think her route is mostly about her and her beglieter. They’re a tight pair that prefers to be by themselves but Lisa is slowly becoming an active and open person while her friend is still hesitant. There is a tension between the two that eventually hits a breaking point when Lisa would declare that she wants Takahiro as her beglieter and a lot of people are even pushing for it to happen. Friendship is forever though so Lisa must find a way to fix that while also trying to remember that it’s not all about winning. She is the kuudere of the group and she’s a really cute character. Most of her trash talking is done by her beglieter and she backs it up with some strong jousting. She also like cats but her beglieter is really scared of them. Slowly becoming an open person really made her into an interesting character contrasts her stubborn friend.
There is also the student council president, Cecil. She won the summer tournament for two years in a row and looking to win it for the third time. She is the perfect character because she has the best chance of winning at basically anything she tries. The anime has painted the picture of a really perfect person that can do no wrong. It also pointed out that being at the top can be lonely. She wants Takahiro as her beglieter simply because he is the best choice for her. It’s the perfect beglieter for the perfect knight. She has a very small role in the anime. I think it’s to point out that she’s a loner despite being such a perfect person. She is the straight laced kind of character that everybody adores. A lot of them even worship her while one of the girls go yuri at the mere mention of her name. In the game, she is often the last knight a character will face in the tournament and that’s because she is that damn good. She doesn’t confide to anyone but I think Takahiro has a chance if he just picks her as the knight he’ll support at the tournament.
Lastly, there is Akane. She’s the oriental beauty among the girls. She is also my favorite character simply because of how she stands out in the group. She is the serious type but easily gets flustered. She also wears a cool armor while she fights and she has a strong special skill that gives her an edge during jousting duels. She is a very technical person though that makes her tense during duels. Most would enjoy a joust but she’ll be too consumed at the technicality of each fight that her theories often overwhelm her. Takahiro can easily help her though just by being her voice of reason. Surprisingly though, Akane isn’t a main girl in the game. She’s a side character and that’s a bit shocking considering how awesome of a girl she is. She is a really interesting character. From the way she drools over Cecil to the serious face she has when she jousts, she just screams awesome and I personally wanted her to win.
There are also a lot of important side characters in the show. They were mixed in with the main characters so you’re not really sure if they’re minor characters. Takahiro is more of a minor character than the minor characters. Anyways, they bulk up the show by providing some fan service of their own as well. I figured some of them are pivotal to the plot of the game but they don’t have much of a role in the show. There is the vice president and the school doctor that seems to push Takahiro into making a decision on which girl to choose but with the show not actually choosing one, they just spend their time hanging in the background doing random things. There is also this girl named Bertille that duels with Mio in the first three episodes. She’s the arrogant rich girl type that has two girls as a beglieter. She often joins the main characters during bonding times and even provides some fan service in the show. She’s also comic relief but her role isn’t that much different from the main characters so she blends in quite well.
I know that you aren’t supposed to expect big things from a VN anime and you can’t expect something original. I understand that the show is bound by the VN so it can’t move around freely but I was a bit disappointed that the anime never focused much on the jousting. It’s an interesting concept and the tournament style had enough good things to make each episode interesting. You just get the girls to train. Add some serious moments, some dramatic ones and a few high quality duels and you have an interesting show despite not picking a route from the game. You can also give the show a clear direction while incorporating all the stupid things that happened in the show. The first three episodes showed us that the jousting duels are awesome and that’s basically what’ll hook you. I’m OK with downplaying the main character but downplaying the main appeal of the show was a bad choice. I don’t want to see girls drinking tea and having fun in a hot spring. I want them to break some lance on each other while riding a horse, damn it. Just the idea of Cecil fighting someone is a good enough reason to keep me watching. Maybe throw in some nice rivalries in as well. It makes for a nice anime and it’s a shame the show can’t do that. Instead we’re subjected to random fluff. It’s a bit infuriating sometimes. If it wasn’t for the boobs then I really would’ve regretted watching this show.
8 bit is really promising studio. I’ve only tried one of their anime so far but I can tell that their high quality animation will get them notice. I remember there is some hype for Infinite Stratos 2 so I can’t wait to try that one. This studio knows how to make girls look pretty and uses the same quality to capture the beauty of a character from its VN counterpart. They should improve on the story though. Boobs and panty shots are cool and all but a good story makes it all the more better. Then again, the most viewed post in my blog is High School DxD so f*ck that sh*t. This anime though has some things to it but it also has a really messy presentation. I have yet to talk about the boobs though so we’ll see. As far as the story goes, VN anime is expected to be a flop but the interesting characters sorta kinda saved the show from certain disaster. Even though I wanted more jousting, seeing the girls all cute and sexy is also a good thing.
Sight and Sound
Character design is absolutely amazing. This is something you should expect from a VN anime. Despite looking a bit clichéd, they still look pretty and really damn sexy. The first things you’ll notice are the beautiful faces of the characters. They have beautiful round eyes to attract the audience and then some nice flowing hair to compliment it. Each character has different hair color and style to match their personality. It’s the generic kind. Yknow, it’ll be white hair for the kuudere and black hair to the strict serious character. Once you’re fixed on the face, the next thing you’ll notice is the uniform and the way the breast is accentuated. The uniform is tight so big breasted girls are easy standouts. The buttoned uniform actually presses against the chest to make it bigger. I also love the uniform itself. The shoulder pads is a nice touch next to the hour glass figure the tight dress gives the characters. It is then completed with a small skirt that accentuates the legs. It’s not much but long legged characters look stunning when they walk simply because of how the uniform directs you to the good parts of their body. The design is still pretty generic though but a bright color palette and small intricate detail work makes a character both cute and sexy. The armor design is also a nice aspect of the show. The girls wear the typical armor but they keep their skirt on which looks weird but it does provide for some awesome eye candy animation. I particularly love Akane’s armor because it’s like shogun armor in black. There is also Bertille’s where she wears a thong when she duels. Yeah, it’s pretty insane.
Absolutely the best part of the show is the duels. This is where 8bit’s amazing high quality animation is presented at full force. The duels are great because of how intricate and complex the scenes are. First of all, the armor is done in CG. The movements don’t look stiff though. It feels natural as the girls ride with their horse. You’ll notice the CG is really well done but then it gets even better. The camera angles are amazing. They move differently giving us a lot of angles of the duel. It zooms in, twirls from above and even follows the horse as the lance is about to make impact. Then you’ll notice the amazing animation as the lance collides. The shrapnel scatters, the riders make awkward position because of the impact and the horses still move on a straight line. I do have a small pet peeve when the lance explodes unnaturally but it doesn’t deter from the complex scene of the duels. The director’s time spent on mecha anime was really a plus as it makes the jousting special even though it happens fast. It was still able to get me excited. The normal scenes are pretty decent. The eye candy appeal of the characters is kept intact during every scene and the facial expressions are decently done. Eyes don’t blink but that’s alright. The high quality animation really elevates the anime despite having a messy story.
The Ecchi aspects of the anime have a wide range. It ranges from simple panty shots to girls getting down right naked. There are scenes where characters take their clothes off and some scenes where they lose their clothing. It doesn’t make the show trashy but you do question some of them. I remember some serious scenes in the show ends with someone getting naked. It’s a bit crazy. There are also scenes where Takahiro grabs and squeezes some breasts. It’s pretty decent but not really all that dirty. The best part about the Ecchi though is the sexual innuendo scenes. Some scenes would have double meaning to it. A doctor kneeling down checking Takahiro’s injured leg would look like she’s giving him something else when viewed through some curtains after the lines “Come anytime you want”. There are detailed scenes of a girl in pain totally moaning that would turn out to be something is. It’s funny and a bit juvenile but it doesn’t distract from the main purpose of the show and that’s the kind of Ecchi that I like. Nothing is exposed though but none of that blinding light as well.
The anime’s OP is “UN-DELAYED” by Miyuki Hashimoto. It’s a pretty decent song. The lyrics itself is pretty normal. It’s your typical love song about love conquering uncertainties. The thing that makes it special is the singer’s voice with her calm demeanor and really clear presentation of the lyrics. It sounds really sweet to listen to. The OP sequence features all the characters being bubbly and then putting on their armor and going al serious. Takahiro is also in it but it is loaded with the girls being all cute and sexy. The anime’s ED is “MoonRise Romance” by Natsuko Aso. This is pretty much like the OP but it has prettier lyrics to it. The singer’s voice is the great standout as it sings the cute lyrics. It’s about falling in love and wanting it to be reciprocated. It has a really nice arrangement to it that is elevated by the charming voice of the singer. The ED sequence features all the main girls in cute poses and then it ends in a scene where they’re in wedding dresses being showered by cherry blossoms. It’s cute.
4/10 “It has a poor story despite the high quality animation and interesting characters.”
The show has some really nice characters that’ll make you root for and great animation that’ll make you enjoy the eye candy potential of each character. It has a weak story though that’ll ruin the experience and a messy directionless progression that’ll make you lose interest. If you enjoy pretty and sexy girls in your anime then try this show out. The idea of a jousting anime sounds original so seeing girls getting hit by a lance might appeal to you. If you’re a fan of the harem genre then check this one out. It takes time to appreciate though so don’t expect much.