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REVIEW: World Is Still Beautiful Episodes 7 - 12


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LaughingElbow



Joined: 19 Apr 2014
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:37 am Reply with quote
The first time I thought the "Tender Rain" song was beautiful, but by the end, I was sick of hear "Iiiiiiiiiiiit's a tender raaaaaaaaaaaaaain~" in practically every episode.

Average overall.
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HaruhiToy



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 2417

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:39 am Reply with quote
Rarely have I seen a review that fit so well with my own perceptions of the anime. Bravo.

The only thing I would really add is that what makes the show (for me at least) is Nike's personality all the way from Episode 1 through 12. As with Livius she has her own growing up to do but in her own unique way, and she proves herself as strong willed and resourceful as he is. We see a fair number of girl characters like that in anime but Nike's character seems to carry the role better than any I can think of.

I have to wonder if they had double the number of episodes to work with they couldn't have made something of all the loose ends and opportunities that they presented, including the assassination plot, the childhood friend rival, the politics in/from the church, the orphans, the disgruntled army officers and others I can't remember. So many.

Regardless, I would have gone to B+ or maybe even A-.
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zensunni



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 844

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:00 pm Reply with quote
While my personal rating is higher, I appreciate the points brought up in the review and, for the most part, agree with them. I just choose to either overlook those aspects Rebecca takes exception to, or don't mind them because of my entrenched opinion that the show should have "Slice-of-Life" as one of its tags. (OK, that may be too unclear... What I'm trying to say is, if you think of the story as a "slice-of-life" story, the episodic nature and character driven stories are expected and not things that detract from the show.)

I agree with HaruhiToy as well, that the wonderful character that is Nike is the true strength of the show. I would also add that the voice acting, especially by the two leads, was exemplary! The emotional punch in the 2nd to the last episode, as spoiler[Nike was running to save Livi, who had nearly drowned attempting to find the key to the tower Nike was held captive in, was palpable and visceral. It was an amazing job of conveying emotion through tone of voice.]

I also have to forgive them for the inconclusive, slightly wishy-washy ending. Why? It is (practically) straight from the manga! I applaud them for ending the series at a reasonable break point without straying from the manga's storyline, leaving the potential of future seasons of anime adapted from the 3+ volumes of manga already in existence beyond the final chapter adapted. It is a shame the series wasn't given two cours to begin with, since there is obviously enough manga to make it that far, but perhaps the ending would have been truly poor then instead of the "life-goes-on" ending that was delivered. I have only read one chapter beyond the end of the anime, so I can't really say where the story goes or if there is another suitable break point in another 15 or so chapters...

The fact that the story is intact and the possibility of continuation exists makes me happy. (Has the first volume gone on sale yet? Has anyone seen the sales figures or pre-sale numbers if it isn't out yet?)
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unitmikey



Joined: 15 Feb 2013
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:35 pm Reply with quote
I have only seen episodes 1-11 (because no money= no crunchyroll subscription), but I will agree on one thing, that it can be watched for entertainment value.

Other than that I guess I'm one person that thought this show was pretty darn bad. Funny thing is, the problems I had with it were in the review, so regardless of the letter grade, this actually summed up the series well: episodic (with shota elements) and an overused song. Although, I would ad that it has very, very little depth and that the animation and art design are bland.

I mean, don't get me wrong, the idea that Kyoko from Skip Beat and Ciel from Black Butler have to get married and wacky stuff ensues among drama sounds really fun, but I felt that the weakly written episodic nature made it really drag.

But who knows, maybe my opinion will change based on episode twelve alone, but looking at the review, I have my doubts to say the least.
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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 1871
Location: Romania, Bucharest

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:39 pm Reply with quote
The grandma is one of the most badass and menacing old women I've seen in a LONG time. She was freaking awesome, sneaking up on our king.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:17 pm Reply with quote
I will disagree slightly about the last episode. I think it was a subtle reaffirmation of the entire show's story. Showing them return home and restart their normal lifestyle, showing how Nike and Livius adapt after that ordeal in her hometown even in a limited fashion, is likely the best ending that they could have for this show. They didn't force in any new story, or do a recap episode, or end on a trite cliffhanger from some newly introduced characters or story. I think this show stayed within itself, not trying to do too much, even if at a couple turns you wished they would have tried to do a little more.
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 1627

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:15 pm Reply with quote
unitmikey wrote:
I will agree on one thing, that it can be watched for entertainment value.

Other than that I guess I'm one person that thought this show was pretty darn bad. Funny thing is, the problems I had with it were in the review, so regardless of the letter grade, this actually summed up the series well: episodic (with shota elements) and an overused song. Although, I would ad that it has very, very little depth and that the animation and art design are bland.


Trust me, you're not the only one with this view point. The "World Is Still Beautiful" forum thread is filled with similar complaints (no matter how much certain people are trying to pretend that those complaints aren't there or are invalid somehow.) I think the review grade of B by Rebecca is pretty accurate. If this show didn't have as lovable of a lead as Nike, it would probably be in the tank.

That being said, aside from having a fairly solid female lead, the show had some other strengths. The fantastical nature of the rain/wind powers (and how they were used) was a huge plus. There's not enough shows out there these days that execute these types of "powers" in a genuinely intelligent and fascinating manner. So many shows that have characters with powers are just shonen series or harem series with a generic, unassuming male lead who is indecisive and most likely an "innocent pervert" who suddenly gets unexplained DBZ type powers (If Daimidaler The Sound Robot was good for anything, it was a nice parody of that typical set-up.) World Is Still Beautiful took a decisively different tack, not only having a female lead but also introducing powers that were more complex in how they were used, often playing on the emotional highs and lows of the characters and scenes. It was fantastic.

Also, despite the fact that I didn't think the relationship between Nike and mr. young king was executed all that well, the intrigue of any kind of relationship between an older girl and a shota king is something that is fairly unique in anime. When this show first started, I said that I was hoping that the show would expand the concept beyond what we saw, for example, in Moribito. (Since Moribito used the concept more as mother and child, I figured this show could take it in some new and interesting direction with an arranged marriage). So yea, I certainly wasn't opposed to the concept and thought it could be kind of interesting.

However, that strength also ended up becoming a weakness for me as I felt the show squandered the intrigue of the premise in order to simply fall back on a tried and true, predictable rom-com formula. Mr. young king simply became a stand in for every other "dark, brooding and somewhat rude/jerkish" bishie rom-com love interests, only in chibi/shota form. And unfortunately, he never "grew" into a full character for me (pun intended). He remained for pretty much the whole show a broken object that Nike was gradually trying to repair. Maybe that's why I didn't buy the love between them at the end, because mr. young king was always an object in my view, not a subject capable of love.

The rain song, yea... it was pretty awesome at first, but by the end was so overused that it was practically enough to elicit laughter just upon the realization that Nike was about to sing it.

I do agree with those who commented that the one cour run-time of this show may have been it's biggest downfall. SO many characters come and go, and are totally forgotten by the writing. So many little plot lines take up a single episode, and as a result, the writers try to cram huge amounts of drama into short periods of time. Maybe that's why the drama always became so overblown and ham fisted, because they didn't have time to properly build and climax certain plot threads.

Overall, the show was definitely a significant disappointment for me. I still got some fun out of it, but it was far lower quality than I was expecting after episode 1.
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 566

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:03 pm Reply with quote
I loved this show. I thought that emotionally it surpassed most of the shoujo anime I've seen lately. The heroine is one of my favorite anime heroines now because of her strength of character and powers, and because of her heart. The hero is growing on me (sadly, not taller heh). He has grown emotionally quite a bit since the beginning of the show.

Others who said the relationship would have been more convincing with more episodes: I completely agree. They had something lovely between them, but the why of it needed more depth. Sadly the manga doesn't seem to be supplying that. The next arc is long, centers on Nike, and the two are separated for most of it. And less "Tender Rain" lol. So some people might enjoy it more.

However, these episodes managed to touch my heart in a way not many animes do, so I count them a success.
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Taskforce



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:10 pm Reply with quote
I liked the show, however was I the only one that found it odd that the Principality of Rain was the only principality that featured person(s) with magical powers to control the environment? I mean, with other principalities being named: Sun and Ocean. These were the only guys that had magical power? This just made little sense. Nike just seemed totally out of balance with everyone around her. It was like making her more powerful than everyone surrounding her was the only catch they could come up with to kick start the love story, and that did ruin some of the fun and charm of the show.
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Ali07



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 551
Location: Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:39 pm Reply with quote
I enjoyed this show, which I was kind of surprised by. Laughing

On the last episode, I feel like the first half of the episode would've been a great way to actually finish the series (as they left the Principality of Rain). I'd say that as they sailed away from the Principality of Rain was the best scene in the series.

I too felt like the 2nd part of the episode made the ending feel a little flat, but didn't mind it. I saw it as them showing some of the sacrifice Livi had to make in order to take Nike home.

He got stuck with a huge backlog of work while Nike was still struggling with figuring out a way to see Livi while he was working. In the end, Livi (seemingly) sneaks away to spend time with Nike, something he wouldn't really do before when he had work that needed to be done.

While there were problems with this series, the elements I enjoyed outweigh the problems I found with it, and I was surprised it turn out to be one of the series I enjoyed the most this season just gone.

To finish off, over the course of the series...I would kind of cringe when I'd hear tender rain start up, only because I felt like it was starting to get overused. But, even then, that song did have some nice scenes attached to it.
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riceball1759



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:45 am Reply with quote
This was definitely a feel-good shoujo anime. As much as I would enjoy a second season, the manga isn't long enough to provide a basis for that. The anime would just divert from the original storyline and disappoint a lot of people. With that said, I liked how the ending turned out because the show was pretty faithful to the manga and that particular point in the story is good for a season ending.

I'd suggest reading the manga (at least from where the anime left off) because there are new plot developments and I just really want to see Livi have a growth spurt! >< Warning: the manga is only one or two chapters past the anime ending. It'll hook you though, if you find what happens interesting.
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HaruhiToy



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 2417

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:35 am Reply with quote
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
I think the review grade of B by Rebecca is pretty accurate.

...

Overall, the show was definitely a significant disappointment for me.

A significant disappointment gets a B from you? My aren't we easy.
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zensunni



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 844

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:58 am Reply with quote
riceball1759 wrote:
This was definitely a feel-good shoujo anime. As much as I would enjoy a second season, the manga isn't long enough to provide a basis for that. The anime would just divert from the original storyline and disappoint a lot of people. With that said, I liked how the ending turned out because the show was pretty faithful to the manga and that particular point in the story is good for a season ending.

I'd suggest reading the manga (at least from where the anime left off) because there are new plot developments and I just really want to see Livi have a growth spurt! >< Warning: the manga is only one or two chapters past the anime ending. It'll hook you though, if you find what happens interesting.

That would be what is available translated. The most recently translated chapter, #20, is from volume 4 of the manga. In Japan, there are 7 volumes and counting... There is plenty of story for another season, it is just not available to the English speaking world...
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 1627

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:37 am Reply with quote
HaruhiToy wrote:
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
I think the review grade of B by Rebecca is pretty accurate.

...

Overall, the show was definitely a significant disappointment for me.

A significant disappointment gets a B from you? My aren't we easy.


Yes. I was expecting it to be an A show. So the fact that it was B material was a significant disappointment. Also, I didn't say the B grade was my grade, I said it was "pretty accurate."
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riceball1759



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:37 am Reply with quote
@zensunni I stand corrected. I can't wait for the rest to be translated then Smile And I hope they'll approve a second season!
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