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REVIEW: World Is Still Beautiful Episodes 1 - 6 Streaming


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Second Fire Shadow



Joined: 01 Apr 2013
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 11:07 am Reply with quote
Sounds really interesting. May check out this anime when I find the time for it.
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phoenixalia



Joined: 20 Dec 2011
Posts: 859

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 11:56 am Reply with quote
Ah, the first episode is anime original. It wasn't in the manga at all.
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zensunni



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 968

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 12:19 pm Reply with quote
I find the comment that the first episode seems unconnected to the rest of the series fascinating, since it is NOT FROM THE MANGA! In other words, it isn't connected to the rest of the series, which has been, with the exception of a bit of ordering of events, pretty faithful to the manga, if I recall...

As for the rest of the review, I think Rebecca did a good job of reviewing the show. One question I do have for her is: How old do you think Livius is supposed to be? In the manga (chapter 13) it clearly states that Livius is 15, which, while a bit young by modern standards, is not outrageously young, historically speaking, for a person to be married. While there is no clear indication of Nike's age, I have always worked under the assumption that she is only two or three years older than Livi. So, in therms of modern day stories, Livi would be in his final year of middle school and Nike would be either a junior or senior in high school. That is not an unreasonable age gap, especially considering the added maturation of Livi due to being thrust into the role of King at the age of 11 or 12.

While there are the oedipal aspects to the story, I really don't view them as being that bad. Livi is a young man who is probably on the cusp of hitting his next growth spurt, while Nike is a young woman who has, for all intents and purposes, reached her full adult maturity, in terms of secondary sexual characteristics at least.

As for the lack of plot, I think that the show is not well served by its tags. If it were tagged as "Slice-of-life", most people wouldn't expect there to be an overarching plot. The style of storytelling certainly seems to be slice of life, though in a fantasy setting.

So far this season, it is in the top two or three shows in terms of my enjoyment of them, possibly in first place. (It is fighting with One Week Friends for that spot, to be frank.) The love story is wonderful and I can't wait for the next episode each week. (And was very sad that there wasn't one this week. Sad )
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Redcrimson



Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 12:51 pm Reply with quote
I thought the first episode was actually really strong. It's a pretty graceful introduction to Nike's character, and plopping Nike down in an unfamiliar kingdom allows for some relatively unobtrusive exposition to be dumped on her).

That being said, I think the whole thing has sorta been in a tailspin since episode 3 or so. The series' tone and pacing has been all over the map. The story's only constant thread, Livi and Nike's relationship, hasn't gotten enough focus to feel natural. The episodic plots are eye-rollingly trod-over. The whacky romcom bits and sincere emotional drama don't really gel. And the weird meta-humor just doesn't work at all. The show as a whole just doesn't feel very cohesive.

It's certainly a pleasant, fluffy little distraction, but it has pretty much ended up as one of those "I really wish these characters were in a better story" shows.
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Waffitti



Joined: 17 Mar 2013
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 3:00 pm Reply with quote
One thing that has annoyed me about this anime is the rain song, specifically it's framing. The song is generally presented as this big swooping giant of beauty and emotion, but it's really a pretty bland R&B tune, with the "big emotional part that soars up the song", the big staple of the genre, barely doing it's job, just adding a few more layers of instruments.

It would be interesting if they did something with the implications of Livius' love, but they seem to be pretty happy with making comfort food. Very nice, though not very rewarding comfort food.
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2174

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 3:19 pm Reply with quote
zensunni wrote:

One question I do have for her is: How old do you think Livius is supposed to be? In the manga (chapter 13) it clearly states that Livius is 15, which, while a bit young by modern standards, is not outrageously young, historically speaking, for a person to be married. While there is no clear indication of Nike's age, I have always worked under the assumption that she is only two or three years older than Livi. So, in therms of modern day stories, Livi would be in his final year of middle school and Nike would be either a junior or senior in high school. That is not an unreasonable age gap, especially considering the added maturation of Livi due to being thrust into the role of King at the age of 11 or 12.


I, as well as several others, were convinced that he was 15 due to the fact that the English sources seem to list his age as 15 and his voice/facial features definitely make him out to be older than 11. However, someone posted a picture of what appears to be a page from the original Japanese source material where he seems to be talking about his upcoming 12th birthday. This caused me to think that his age might be actually 11 in the original material, and perhaps the anime and English material is trying to fudge his age a little since the sexualization of him as an 11 year old shota might be too extreme for the mass audience that it is trying to appeal to. Here is the page of the forum where we were discussing this issue and the photo was attached:

animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4238237#4238237

You can decide for yourself. The text isn't so easy to read, but the relevant portion does appear to be him commenting about how he will be turning 12. Unfortunately, we don't have all of the context for that page, but it was enough to cause me to question if he really is 11.

Quote:

As for the lack of plot, I think that the show is not well served by its tags. If it were tagged as "Slice-of-life", most people wouldn't expect there to be an overarching plot. The style of storytelling certainly seems to be slice of life, though in a fantasy setting.


You might be right that this show is closer to a slice-of-life show. However, it hasn't really presented itself in that manner unfortunately. There's too much drama, treachery, magic, adventure, and fantasy elements. Unfortunately, the show doesn't seem to commit to any of those aspects very well either. As was mentioned previously, plot devices/characters get introduced and then disappear each episode. The show doesn't have much consistency to it other than the MCs' undying love for each other and the beautiful audio/visual presentation. It's why I call it a beautiful mess.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 928
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 3:32 pm Reply with quote
zensunni wrote:

As for the rest of the review, I think Rebecca did a good job of reviewing the show. One question I do have for her is: How old do you think Livius is supposed to be? In the manga (chapter 13) it clearly states that Livius is 15, which, while a bit young by modern standards, is not outrageously young, historically speaking, for a person to be married.


I haven't read the manga (I try not to read scans, and I don't think it's out in any language I read fluently), so I didn't have source material to help me out here. I thought he was about 12 or 13, which was a bit young to what I thought was Nike's 16 or 17. (At this point - give him a couple of years, and I have no objections.) I really considered looking it up, but then decided against it since the manga isn't legally available in the US or Canada. Someone should fix that.

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(And was very sad that there wasn't one this week. Sad )


Me too! Crying or Very sad This is probably my favorite show this season, and I'm told I had a comical look of disappointment when I saw that there was no new episode.

EDIT: Just found out that it was licensed in French. I'll be getting that as soon as it hits shelves!
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corinthian



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 213

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 4:47 pm Reply with quote
This is one of the shows I've been keeping up with this season, and it has been quite enjoyable. I like the idea of a series set in a fantasy world that isn't bogged down by mythology or full of mindless action. It's just focusing on characters and their lives. Nike is a good character, and the mix of stubbornness and assent you mentioned is realistic for somebody in her position.

For what it's worth, I also view Livius as around 11 or 12. If he's really 15 he's definitely underdeveloped physically and mentally with regard to relationships.
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Nemui_Nezumi



Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Posts: 343
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 5:12 pm Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
(...)
EDIT: Just found out that it was licensed in French. I'll be getting that as soon as it hits shelves!


wait wait, seriously?? can you link me to the source or tell me which editorial picked up the manga??

this show is my second favorite of the season and I was about to buy directly the manga in japanese if it wasn't licensed in english, italian or french but now I guess I can buy it directly from Amazon<3
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HaruhiToy



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 3144

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 9:17 pm Reply with quote
I can't point to any single thing that causes me to like this anime so much more than Rebecca apparently does. I think it has mostly to do with how I find Nike so likable. It doesn't make any difference that it has been "done before" what matters is how well it is done this time.

As for the lack of plot there is still a lot of time. They set a lot of seeds in particular the spoiler[assassination attempt] that Nike foiled. It remains to be seen if they will just continue with the boy/girl hijinks or if they will get into the palace intrigues. If they don't it can only be seen as a wasted opportunity so I agree with Rebecca there.
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KidaYuki



Joined: 26 Sep 2010
Posts: 124
Location: North America

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 9:27 pm Reply with quote
"I need to see the beauty of this land so that I can compose a song suited for the topography and geography! Then I use the scenery as inspiration for the lyrics!" *Produces bland that has nothing to do with landscape.*

Livi: "You made it rain before!"
Nike: "That was an emergency! And that song wasn't properly tuned to the land"*Reuses song*

>.> Only going by memory so quotes are probably incorrect but close enough.
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rheiders



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 1100
Location: Colorful Colorado :)

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 11:43 pm Reply with quote
This show hits a lot of my personal buttons--cute shoujo with a fantasy setting, great heroine, and a core romance I can get behind (which is actually strange since I'm normally really strict about age differences--but I was eventually able to get behind Amir and Karluk in A Bride's Story for similar reasons, I think). Apart from that, the beauty-and-the-beast storyline is executed really strongly here, I think. This show puts a big smile on my face every week, so it's one of the shows I look forward to most.
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 649

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 12:09 am Reply with quote
The thing that makes this romance acceptable to me is that despite the silly jokes, I see genuine love and respect between the two of them, and know nothing will happen between them that they aren't both prepared for.

From what I understand, the manga lists two different ages for the king at different points. The mangaka evidently forgot how old he was. So choose as you will, 11/12 or 15. Personally, since he's been ruling so long, I cannot see how he can be 11/12 even given that this is an anime.
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mangaka-chan



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 171

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 1:41 am Reply with quote
One of the recent manga chapters has a similar plot to the first anime episode. However I'm not sure if this was something drawn specifically so that they can tie the manga in more closely to the anime.

One of the things people talk about the most with this show is the visual difference in age between Nike and Livi. The contrast wasn't as stark in the manga, and while it doesn't bother me I can see why it makes some people uncomfortable watching this show. The thing I'm not comfortable with in the anime is the ED. What compelled the animators to do a back nude shot of Livi, I have no idea, but I was not ready for that when I watched the first episode. It reminded me of when I watched the 1968 Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet movie back in high school. Anime smallmouth + sweatdrop
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Spleen



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:15 am Reply with quote
Highlight of the season so far. The only series where I actively look to the day of the next episode. And I don't usually watch romance stuff. But both the romantic and the political plots are gripping, and it's properly, laugh-out-loud funny. Comic timing, the sudden shifts in artistic style, all spot on.

The ambiguity over Livius' age troubled me a bit, but you have to balance that against the fact that it's a source of laughs. The sequences where Livius dupes Nike into leaning over his desk to look at some paperwork, then steals a kiss, or where they argue when he gets into her bed, would not be nearly as funny if he was unambiguously post- or pre-pubescent.

Arguing over whether he's 12 or 15 is missing the point, frankly. Even allowing for artistic licence, he's far too short and undeveloped to be 15 (he claims at one point that he'll grow to Nike's height, although this could be ironic wishful thinking) and far too mature to be 12. The ambiguity is deliberate, IMO.
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