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EP. REVIEW: The Price of Smiles


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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2304
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:19 pm Reply with quote
I've been burned on so many mech show before that I had almost no interest in this and kinda dragged myself into it (the mech design are also a bit meh, with only the empire mech being interesting). I like that they're trying new stuff (and I wish more mech show would kill there protagonist/main pilot Twisted Evil ), but the execution isn't that great and if there's one thing I learned watching anime it's that execution trump premise/concept every time.

Also I didn't realize the comparison to Maoyuu but when pointed out I can see it, that's a pretty bad thing in my book because Maoyuu pretty much worked on the premise of:

1: See problem
2: ??????
3: Problem is fixed
4: Profit!

and step 2 is the most interesting aspect but also the hardest, hence why it's always skipped.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 353
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:20 pm Reply with quote
Aw, man. I was waiting on this show because I had a feeling from the promotional materials (and the extremely ominous title) that Joshua existed just to be killed off, and, indeed, my expectations have been met (far earlier than I expected, though, to be sure). I happen to like idiot protag types, so it looks like I'll have to be giving this one a miss.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 3968
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:39 pm Reply with quote
Finished watching the first three episodes today. I liked it.

Though unless the good guys are lying, it is kinda hard to deal fairly with a military dictatorship. They usually want to take everything. And since we are told that the Empire are the ones invading, and that appears to be the case, I don't see this as being the fault of the Princess's side, unless there is a twist somewhere.


Last edited by TarsTarkas on Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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John Thacker
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Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:46 pm Reply with quote
Joshua was also played by Matsuoka, who normally plays the sort of male protagonist who always survives this situations. Using a major seiyuu made it a bit more unexpected.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 15694
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:17 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, I'm in agreement that this series is maybe one small step shy of being a true sleeper hit for the season. It's definitely way more ambitious in both story and execution than I was expecting, and so far I feel it's living up to the potential depth inherent in its name. At this point I'm fully involved.

In fact, this one may even be a priority viewing for me, and given how loaded Fridays are for me (Index III, Domestic Girlfriend, Boogiepop, MGSO Asuka), that's saying something.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2304
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:01 am Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
Finished watching the first three episodes today. I liked it.

Though unless the good guys are lying, it is kinda hard to deal fairly with a military dictatorship. They usually want to take everything. And since we are told that the Empire are the ones invading, and that appears to be the case, I don't see this as being the fault of the Princess's side, unless there is a twist somewhere.


I don't think that's the twist, but ultimately a monarchy is also a military dictatorship (this one on top of that also think it's a good idea to have there leader be ignorant of the real condition in the world but still somehow have final say on decision). If they hoarded resource and refused to share then the situation is also pretty grey.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:55 am Reply with quote
meiam wrote:

I don't think that's the twist, but ultimately a monarchy is also a military dictatorship (this one on top of that also think it's a good idea to have there leader be ignorant of the real condition in the world but still somehow have final say on decision). If they hoarded resource and refused to share then the situation is also pretty grey.


That is true, but they seem to have portrayed the Kingdom as an enlightened one to some degree. We need more fleshing out of the true situation in the Kingdom and the Empire.

You could be right about the resources, but from what was already said, it sounds like the Kingdom doesn't have anything to share. They are already having food shortages, and already complaining about having to divert the new reactors from food production to the war effort.

If the Kingdom has a dark side, they need to start showing it soon. Otherwise this is just an evil Empire invading an honorable Kingdom. But knowing the Japanese, this could well be an anti-war movie as the reviewer implied in which case we just have to stay tuned.

As to the leadership role, they might have a regency council who actually rules, but for appearance sakes runs things through the Princess. Or they could have some sort of unoffical adhoc group that rules until the Princess achieves legal maturity. Also, she is 12 years old, so I could see why they are keeping things from her.

The Princess makes me think how different the Game of Thrones would have gone, if Jaime and Cersei had only raised Joffrey as a noble lord and not as a noble brat. They could have had it all.
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Luke's Yu-Gi-Oh! Channel



Joined: 11 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:13 am Reply with quote
Episode 1 Comments/Feedback

This was fine, it was ok.

I was quite excited watching the simulation battle. Joshua is a good knight.

Looks like the real things is happening next time though, should be interesting to watch.

Episode 2 Comments/Feedback

Oh wow did we just get plot twist of the year already?

I didn't think Joshua would die from that wound, especially after he was saved from the explosion, only to kill him off afterwards was interesting.

Either way looks like we got our new main girl to take over his role at the end there, will be interesting to see what happens next time.

Episode 3 Comments/Feedback

I like how we get to see what is happening with both sides during this war.

Destroying a major supply line of food, yeah that will definitely make a huge difference plus they got what they wanted in the process.

They are still human after all so no surprise they saved the children.

Stella is a bit broken though, I don't think it's possible to understand what's going on inside that head of hers.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1187
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:51 pm Reply with quote
I haven't watched episode three yet but I was really impressed by episode two's plot twist and I was already enjoying the show early on. This is definitely one of my favorites of the season. The ending theme song is really good too.
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TexZero



Joined: 25 Oct 2017
Posts: 240
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:22 pm Reply with quote
Cardcaptor Takato wrote:
I haven't watched episode three yet but I was really impressed by episode two's plot twist and I was already enjoying the show early on.


Episode 3 is equally as good and i'm glad they aren't going the prototypical bad guys are bad because they do horrible things approach.

The much more nuanced side to the antagonist is great to see, yes what they're doing is heinous but it's being done for an easily sympathetic reason of ending the war as quickly as possible with the least harm done to their state of being.

There's something to be said about getting antagonist motivations down right and thus far this show is impressing me not with it's action, but with it's writing.
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IanKen



Joined: 16 Mar 2018
Posts: 23
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:40 pm Reply with quote
I went in blind on this one and was rolling my eyes a LOT in EP1 thinking "OMG, this is another one of those saccharine action tropes where the knight hooks up with the princess."

Then EP2. Nice. That guy was a annoying.
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Alex_Sandy



Joined: 12 Aug 2012
Posts: 20
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:21 pm Reply with quote
Well.... I guess episode 4 shows why having a sentimental 12 year old running your country and ordering military operations might be foolish. So now valuable trained soldiers are lost along with undoubtedly horribly expensive equipment. I sure tears make it all right though.
I'm impressed by the level of brutality of the empires forces in this, No quarter asked or given I guess.
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:55 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, this was definitely a potent lesson for Yuki, but you had to figure it was coming. She definitely hasn't been prepared for this.

I also found the backstory part to be more effective than normal. The twist about who Stella probably is also was a juicy tidbit.

So far the series is continuing to justify me making it a priority view.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 311
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:08 pm Reply with quote
As a poli sci major who has studied a number a of wars and their catalysts, I have to say that this telling of war is more direct that most - more so than even everyone's wartime darling, Gundam.

I will disagree slightly with the review by stating that it is entirely intentional and necessary that Yuki feel like a mere passenger at this point. She is a twelve year old on an alien world (I get the feeling that the alien world part has been somewhat ignored/forgotten by most viewers) with no parents for all her life, a bunch of servants and retainers who have sheltered her from the world writ-large, and has in all likelihood only just come to realize that war isn't just some abstract concept from ancient times. To then lose the best friend that was beside her all her life, and find out the people she most trusted were lying, not just about something minor like Santa Claus, but that everything she thought she was doing as a ruler was close to meaningless... it's amazing that she isn't still just a blubbering mess. Just because she has the title "princess" slapped before her name doesn't mean she has any more clue about what to do now than some other random 12-year-old, and to differentiate from all the anime that make viewers think otherwise, I think this show is doing just enough to rebut that presumption.

As for the destruction of the memorial, which I think to be hugely symbolic, I don't think it was merely to add shock value to what Yuki and Layla were seeing of the horrors of war. I may be reading too much into it, but I think it was deliberate on Grandiga's part. They mention in the flashback that Grandiga was the one that broke off diplomatic relations, blaming Solei for the incident. In that regard, they likely viewed the erection of that monument as an insult, and made the city of Leash a priority target with the full intention of destroying it.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2304
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:13 pm Reply with quote
At this point I'm jus straight up rooting for the empire to win, the Soleil kingdom defining characteristic seems to be incompetence, and nothing good can come from people being ruled by incompetent. Just this episode they decided to listen to the princess and not use the new char, the only advantage they have (when they had no trouble deceiving her before), just to then reverse and use them anyway, just too late to make much of a difference. They also listen to her and try to save the civilians... How hard is it to understand that listening to the 12 year old with poor grasp of the situation (partly because you purposefully kept her in the dark) is a bad idea?

Then when they made the new char (which they didn't even develop themselves, they needed the empire help), they made the initial start up open to the public... Shocked I mean, who could possibly think that maybe these sorts of things should be well protected, there's a reason why nuclear plant aren't open facility today, never mind when they were state of the art.

And they apparently didn't learn there lesson since they later (chronologically) decide to deploy one of the few new char they have right next to the front line, and to barely guard it. They keep talking about the so call superiority of the soleil technology/industry, but the empire had no trouble hacking into there facility. So either they didn't bother to have good security guarding there only advantages (idiocy) or they're really not that advanced.

Oh and in the process 2 soleil Mech ambushed 2 empire mech... and completely failed at stoping them without even managing to do any sorts of damage(either there mech really aren't better or there pilot are just inferior).

Oh and also apparently the new char can blow up in large enough explosion to wipe out a small city, but let's just use them to make regular mech slightly stronger. I'm sure that's the best military use of them.
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