Spring 2014 Anime Impressions: "The World is Still Beautiful"
I checked out The World is Still Beautiful on a whim, knowing nothing about its premise or characters. I saw a poster and liked the design of the main character, and from there decided to watch when Crunchyroll picked the series up for a simulcast. The first episode came and I saw that the plot involved kings, queens, and magic. I thought, “okay, definitely down for this.” Three episodes in though, I’m done.
The World is Still Beautiful follows the story of Nike, the fourth princess of Rain Dukedom, and her travels to the Sun Kingdom in order to marry the Sun King. Nike is loud, outrageous, and also has the unique ability to summon the rain. The Sun King has arranged the marriage in order to utilize this ability, but he finds that Nike might not be as cooperative as he had hoped.
By herself, Nike is a fun character. She’s kind, smart, and willing to get her hands dirty. In the first episode she sneaks into the Sun Kingdom in order to get a feel for the land she is about to be queen of. She finds that the air is dry and the people aren’t as nice as where she comes from. Her first night there she is left robbed and starving. Just when her future is looking bleak, Nike is taken in by a family and after that makes her way to the castle.
At the castle she meets with her future husband, who turns out to be an arrogant kid. This is kinda where the show loses me. I’ve never been a fan of the brilliant-but-only-13 character that seemingly has a handle on everything, and to top it off he is borderline abusive to Nike. Instead of being a strong female character she’s turned into comedic relief, all for the benefit on an unlikable king. I suppose the rest of the series will be about her ability to “change”him, but it’s not one I’d like to see play out. There are also a few moments that made me feel a bit uncomfortable, like when Nike wakes up one morning and finds the king in bed with her naked. Maybe some are into that kind of humor, but not me.
Still, I decided to give the show a few more episodes in hopes that it would prove me wrong. Sorry to say, I had to turn it off mid-way through episode 4. Watching Nike fumbling around like an idiot wasn’t particularly humorous, and the magical elements of the show weren’t enough to keep me around. I’m sure the show has an audience that enjoys it, but that audience just isn’t me. Had I done a little research, I probably would’ve realized that sooner.
The World Is Still Beautiful is streaming on Crunchyroll. Episodes 1 – 4 are now free; new episodes premiere Saturdays at 3 PM EST.