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REVIEW: Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World [2020-12-29]




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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 3646
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:54 pm Reply with quote
Good to have some context for the world building. I'm not sure how the anime missed something as important as why two nations hate each other, but maybe they thought that would come through with the stuff that happens later? It would be nice to know how Mismis got to be in charge of anything since I don't think she did much in her role other than give some vague orders at the start. Otherwise, it boils down to relying on Iska to handle it.

I'll give it credit that there is at least enough there between Alice and Iska that I can buy that there would be interest there beyond him just being the protag.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:24 pm Reply with quote
I really loved this series. It may have been cheese but there was a lot of it and I found it to be quite palatable. Iska may have been a slice of white bread but Alice certainly wasn't... however, I don't think she's a tsundere. She's aware she harbors an emotion towards Iska that she doesn't feel with other people but she thinks that feeling is that of a rival, a worthy opponent. But I've seen tsunderes put up better fights against their love interest in straight comedies but here, Alice is outright friendly even when flustered.

And there's Sword Saint Ryalis, Mismis' commander who I think keeps Mismis around because she's easy to manipulate. And then there's Nameless, another masked figure who's on the same level as Ryalis... and when Ryalis showed up in the same armor as Nameless, it completely suppressed her breasts somehow... whether that means she's really a man or Nameless is actually a woman, all I can say is ... "Which one is Lua?"

I find all the intrigue intriguing and as I said in the talkback thread populated solely by me, I want a continuation.
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90s-shonen-fan



Joined: 28 Dec 2020
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:54 pm Reply with quote
One of the times when I wonder if the reviewer watched the same show that I did.

Example:

"that the Sovereignty was specifically formed from Empire citizens who gained powers when astral energy was discovered and were persecuted for it. The absence of such context also waters down the righteous anger of the Sovereignty's founder, which comes into play at one point early on."

This was explicitly stated. Multiple times. Starting with the first episode. Remember all the references to how the "witches" were defamed and discriminated against by the Empire? How was this going to happen if they had already been separate nations to begin with? Moreover, it was made obvious that while there were some male (more on this later) shady characters in the Sovereignty, the Empire were the actual bad guys. Granted there were stuff omitted ... we never got a proper origin story that explained the swords or the true extent of Nebulis's betrayal and anger, or how the Sovereignty got to be a matriarchal monarchy to begin with (the father/fathers of Sisbell, Elletear and Aliceliese isn't mentioned at all, which makes me wonder if the Sovereignty bad guys - all of which were male - weren't at least partially motivated by this reverse glass ceiling ... one did reference the Sovereignty not being a meritocracy during his cliche villain rant but that was as far as it went) but it was clearly stated that the Sovereignty citizens split off from the Empire and formed their own nation due to severe persecution at the hands of the former.

"They also seem shocked when one of their own develops an astral mage's emblem and abilities after being exposed to a raw astral energy stream."

So was the Empire character spoiler[who exposed her to the astral energy in the first place as he fully expected her to die].

"Mismis ... otaku fetish object than an actual character ... she's built like Hestia from DanMachi but with a massive degree of klutziness and a mental age barely half of her physical age (she's 22)"

First off, she is a stock comic relief character. No one has any problems with such characters when they are male. Second, all the female characters in the show are busty with the exception of Rin and Sisbell. And Sisbell is in her early teens, and based on her other female family members, she will be also when she gets older. That is actually preferable to the norm, which is to depict extremely busty 13 and 14 year olds (Yoko Littner from Gurren Lagaan for example). Third, Mismis was the commander because A. she was the oldest - the Empire's heavy reliance on child (or at least teen) soldiers is another unexplored plot point - and B. her leadership and strategy skills, which were explicitly exhibited multiple times during the show. Iska was the short range melee fighter, Jhin was the long range gunner, Nene was the jack-of-all-trades and tech support, Mismis was the strategist/leader. A typical 4 man team that has been done in action shows (western and anime), video games and movies to death, but gets ignored merely because Mismis is buxom and klutzy (never mind that Nene is just almost as busty as she is). Mismis' mental lapses/immaturity on non-military matters was a plot point explicitly raised several times during the show but she was actually very good at her job and highly respected by both her subordinates and peers. She is what the tropes sites call "a bunny ears lawyer." If you think that all she did was to rely on Iska all the time ... again were we watching the same show? Especially since most of the time Iska got separated from the rest and wasn't even around?

"and the animation places nearly as much emphasis on jiggling bosoms"

What on earth? There were no emphasis on that - or anything fanservicy or ecchi - in the show at all beyond the character designs. No upskirt or panty shots. No zoom-in on crotches, butts, cleavage or even thighs. No sailor suits, short skirts, miniskirts, catsuits or tights. No "crash into cleavage" or "accidental groping" or "fall down the stairs and land in a compromising position." Absolutely. None. Of. It. Not even so much as female characters bending over. The closest that the series came to it were a couple of very tame shower scenes (which exposed no nudity or cleavage whatsoever and weren't even suggestive) and quite possibly the briefest beach scene ever in anime (which didn't feature the camera zooming in on or panning over the women). And the next jiggling body part in the show will be the first. Good grief there was more racy content in the first few episodes of Pokemon - a literal kids kodomo show - than in this entire series aimed at a much older audience. If anything, it appears that - again outside of a couple of brief scenes - were trying to avoid fanservice.

Neither Mismis nor Nene is clearly shown as having romantic interest in Iska, but that is not hard to read in

In the show itself, yes it is. Neither Mismis or Nene had romantic inclinations at all because they were too busy trying to stay alive. Mismis flat out asked spoiler[Jhin to marry her (one of convenience ... it makes sense in context) but it is notable that Jhin was the one that she asked and not Iska, and it was solely because Jhin was older, not because of romantic feelings]. There was more evidence of Rin showing romantic interest in Iska than Mismis or Nene, and spoiler[Rin was the one who kept trying to kill him].

Alice is a classic tsundere

Words mean things. "Classic tsunderes" are along the lines of Asuka from NGE, Shana from Shakugan no Shana and Louise from Familiar of Zero who have difficulty opening up because of deep psychological trauma. Even "modern" tsunderes are simply (usually) women who have difficulty expressing their feelings because of fear or pride and simply want the guy to make the first move. Alice is ... none of these things because they are at war and Iska is not only the enemy but the best enemy soldier and is the only one who knows how to use the enemy's best weapon. She offered him an opportunity to spoiler[defect to the Sovereignty and serve under her command at the beginning of the series. Why her command instead of any one else's, or better yet giving up the Empire's trump card - the swords - and being a noncombatant squirreled away under house arrest until the war is over? Well that was obvious]. When he turned it down she settled for spoiler[beating him in single combat ... to ensure that he would be captured rather than killed.] Either way she clearly wants to be with him when circumstances permit but with the war - and the succession with her being a queen candidate - they do not. That is not tsundere at all but entirely 100% responsible, and were she to try to act on her feelings with everything that is going on it would have significantly diminished her character, such as actually being as sexist as you are implying that the Mismis character is. Instead of - again - Mismis being a classic anime comic relief character like Mashmyre Cello from Zeta Gundam (who is every bit the male Mismis ... except if anything Mismis is actually a better commander than Mashmyre ... if Mashmyre were half as competent as Mismis he would have captured the Argama by episode 10).

And finally unlike you, I actually am looking forward to a second season. I will grant you that Our Last Crusade was no A Silent Voice or Whisper of the Heart, but I actually enjoyed it more than Mahouka season 2 or Index season 3 (both huge letdowns).
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Key
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:49 pm Reply with quote
^
I think you have a faulty understanding of what "explicitly" means. I further think that you are confusing what details are told in the novels vs. in the anime version.

For instance, what you describe about the origins of the Sovereignty is very vaguely implied in the anime, but never directly explained or stated. (And if it was, I expect you to quote exact lines with exact time stamps which prove me wrong. I will acknowledge my error if you or someone else does.)

Quote:
"They also seem shocked when one of their own develops an astral mage's emblem and abilities after being exposed to a raw astral energy stream."

So was the Empire character spoiler[who exposed her to the astral energy in the first place as he fully expected her to die].

And? That doesn't change anything.

Quote:
First off, she is a stock comic relief character. No one has any problems with such characters when they are male.

Oh, please; let's not go there. I'm not criticizing her for being a stock character; I'm criticizing her because she has zero credibility in the role that she is fulfilling or the trust placed in her by the others, according to anime content only.

Quote:
Third, Mismis was the commander because A. she was the oldest - the Empire's heavy reliance on child (or at least teen) soldiers is another unexplored plot point - and B. her leadership and strategy skills, which were explicitly exhibited multiple times during the show.

Where in the anime are Mismis's supposed leadership skills on display? Even on the rare times that she behaved in a leader-like fashion, it was at the prompting of others.

Quote:
"and the animation places nearly as much emphasis on jiggling bosoms"

What on earth? There were no emphasis on that - or anything fanservicy or ecchi - in the show at all beyond the character designs. No upskirt or panty shots. No zoom-in on crotches, butts, cleavage or even thighs. No sailor suits, short skirts, miniskirts, catsuits or tights. No "crash into cleavage" or "accidental groping" or "fall down the stairs and land in a compromising position." Absolutely. None. Of. It.

Did I mention any of the rest of those? No. (If you've read any of my reviews of fan service shows, then you know I'll be clear and generally specific about what kind of fan service it has.) If you didn't notice the jiggling bosoms in several scenes, though, then you weren't paying attention.

Quote:
Neither Mismis nor Nene is clearly shown as having romantic interest in Iska, but that is not hard to read in

In the show itself, yes it is.

Riiiight.

Quote:
Alice is a classic tsundere

Words mean things. "Classic tsunderes" are along the lines of Asuka from NGE, Shana from Shakugan no Shana and Louise from Familiar of Zero who have difficulty opening up because of deep psychological trauma. Even "modern" tsunderes are simply (usually) women who have difficulty expressing their feelings because of fear or pride and simply want the guy to make the first move. Alice is ... none of these things. . .

Since another person questioned the tsundere thing, I'll at least acknowledge that such a label is subject to interpretation, or at the very least the "classic" label may not fit. Her behavior when Iska is around is absolutely in line with tsundere traits seen in dozens of other characters and titles I've seen, however. Insisting that Iska is a rival rather than a love interest is classic cover for disguising true feelings.

Quote:
And finally unlike you, I actually am looking forward to a second season. I will grant you that Our Last Crusade was no A Silent Voice or Whisper of the Heart, but I actually enjoyed it more than Mahouka season 2 or Index season 3 (both huge letdowns).

And this is totally fine. You clearly enjoyed the series more than I did, so that's to be expected. I also have a pretty low opinion of Index 3 and am "enh" about Mahouka s2 so far.

I will probably watch more Our Last Crusade if it gets made, as I am kinda curious about some of the plot threads left dangling at the end, but I won't be anticipating it like I am more (for instance) Re:Zero or Ascendance of a Bookworm.
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phia_one



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1526
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:03 pm Reply with quote
Looks like I made the right call on passing on this show. I've seen a few people across the web that expressed similar thoughts as the review.
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MisaoFan
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Joined: 18 Jan 2010
Posts: 39
Location: The land where best girl lives
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:58 am Reply with quote
90s-shonen-fan wrote:
Second, all the female characters in the show are busty with the exception of Rin and Sisbell.


Don't forgot Kiskiss the token loli.
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marmalade665



Joined: 04 Mar 2020
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:21 pm Reply with quote
As someone with no knowledge of the background material, I thought the review was well written and aligned nicely with my feelings about the anime. If it weren't for humorous getting-to-know-each-other moments between Iska & Alice I'm not sure I would have finished the series.

Not a complete waste of time to watch but nothing special.
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murgleis1



Joined: 08 Aug 2020
Posts: 38
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:58 pm Reply with quote
The manga is garbage and the anime is a tired, rushed adaptation of that.
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AnimeFlyz



Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Posts: 224
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:53 pm Reply with quote
As someone who has read 4 of the novels, which is how much the anime adapted, this review is pretty spot on. The novels were already mid tier and nothing special, but the anime adaptation is even worse. A rushed and poorly put together mess. Easily the weakest of the 4 Light Novel adaptations we got from Silver Link this year.
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