At 18 years old, were you ready to command an army? At 12 were you preparing to rule a nation at war? Well, that is what these young people are preparing for in this series. Though in the first episode they find themselves forced to end their theory training and actually participate.
Main Storyline (with Commentary)
For reasons not stated, the Republic of Kioka and Katjvarna are at war. So, with this anime being set in a world before industrialization, it makes the best prospect for steady employment to be in the army or working for the government. Well, for orphan Ikta that seems like the best idea. He wants a nice cozy job as a librarian, where he can flirt with the cute brainy girls, and Yatori is his ticket.
Now, when it comes to Yatori, the eldest daughter of a prominent military family, while she seems to be about rules and order, and seems like one of the last people who would befriend Yatori, such isn’t fully true. If only because one of the benefits of her friendship with Ikta is that he helps raise her profile during the various exams she needs to take to become a high level officer. Not through legitimate ways though. Despite technology being limited to perhaps the recently made steam powered air vehicles, it seems Ikta must have a slight of hand or something.
However, before we can see Ikta work his magic they both find themselves, with a group of other youngsters, shipwrecked. Though when things become tranquil, they learn they haven’t become shipwrecked just anywhere. No, they got shipwrecked and somehow ended up in Kioka territory. Which, even with Yatori being part of a prominent family, and another solider in the making Torway, the problem is the 12-year-old with them. Chamille, the 3rd princess of the Katjvarna empire, makes things complicated. Reason being, she eliminates the idea of being prisoners of war and waiting things out. After all, having the princess of your enemy is a grand bargaining chip. Especially if she is the last child of the enemy, one which more so fights on the defensive than offensive.
But, even with a war and these sort of interesting characters, I find myself lacking excitement. I think mostly it is from seeing far too many anime with characters like these. Those so sure of themselves, those, despite their age and circumstances, seem prepared for damn near anything thrown at them. I mean, that is why Grimgar and Ash seemed so good. They were all young, inexperienced, and some died because of that. With this show though, the slacker is an 18-year-old smart enough to trick adults to help his friend excel to the top of her class. On top of that, they survive a ship wreck, choppy waters, and somehow avoid the enemy who has well trained soldiers on patrol. Which to me, be it the older I get, or the more I watch anime, becomes more and more preposterous. Granted, they all were likely trained since childhood, but even with acknowledging that comes this desire to see them show fear like Chamille does, to see them be vulnerable. For really, watching a bunch of Rambo types survive and defeat an entire army, as a kingdom struggled to, just doesn’t seem as appealing when you become an avid fan of the art form.