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EP. REVIEW: The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent


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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:07 am Reply with quote
Having finally watched the 4 episodes out, I think the major pebble in my proverbial shoe is Sei herself. I'm never quite sure how intelligent/smart/mature she is supposed to be, and it throws me off a bit. Or a lot. Her behavior around Hawks is very highschool anime- with exaggerations that feel out of place to me. I definitely don't mind some degree of that, but this degree comes across as excessive. She'll make a decent deduction, with a more mature perspective- "Yeah, I'm probably this vaunted Saint, but I'd really rather have a normal life," and then sacrifice that comforting anonymity because she thinks her actions through and decides she can't just leave the kind of suffering she saw. And I'm with all that. But she won't think through the implications of actions taken on her "not-date", and she doesn't know who the king in the new country she's been in for months is (that one floored me.) A lot of this could, in theory, be explained if we knew who she was before, but we have very little there, so to me it comes off as very inconsistent characterization.
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:54 am Reply with quote
b-dragon wrote:
. . .and she doesn't know who the king in the new country she's been in for months is (that one floored me.)

Actually, that wouldn't be unusual at all in the pre-TV/movie era, especially if she never came before the king in an audience. (And since she was ignored after her summoning, we have no indication that she did.) That she had never run across the king before during her time in the palace also wouldn't be unusual, especially if the palace is a large building or sprawling complex. There are plenty of other examples of this in anime and related literature. (In The Story of Saiunkoku, for instance, protagonist Shurei did not encounter the king for more than a week after entering the palace despite having the run of the place and actively looking for him, and even then she had to deduce that he was the king since he was not presenting himself as such.)
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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:24 am Reply with quote
Not meeting him makes complete sense to me, I agree. But judging by how she reacted- and how she had to deduce who he was from info he gave her ("He has the same name as the country. His first son is that prince")- I took it as her not even knowing the King's name, which is where I felt it was a bit far. Or she was just that stunned, I suppose, which strikes me as odd given that her mind was working enough to clearly make the aforementioned deductions.
I dunno. It may just be me.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:35 pm Reply with quote
It's not just you. Her characterization is all over the map. I got the feeling that they made her stupid in the library so the audience could feel smug for getting it before she did, but they overdid it and just made her look dense. The only explanation I can figure for these erratic intelligence and maturity swings is that she's getting high on her own supply, as it were (see her rejuvenated eyesight, e.g.).
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:23 pm Reply with quote
I can say from personal experience that it is possible to be competent at your job and capable of dealing with people you work with and still be very bad at dealing with social and especially, romantic relationships at the same time. All aspects of your personality do not develop at the same rate, and some things you may never be good at.

Concerning the King, when there is only one of something around it is not necessary to specify which one you mean. Sei may never have heard his given name. Also Sei's thought processes, in real life, would have taken a lot less time to think out than it did to say. However, that would have been impossible to portray.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:33 pm Reply with quote
I also thought she was a little slow on the king thing, but not egregiously so. He also doesn't look like a king, or at least not what you'd expect a king to look like, so perhaps that threw her off *shrug*
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Dian Z



Joined: 27 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:39 pm Reply with quote
I think we might overthink the King things. Surely it can be implied that there's an explanation of her not knowing/caring to learn about the Kingdom, taking many things not explicitly shown in-betweens. But I think her not immediately recognizing the King is simply because it makes the type of King encounter that would entertain 'classic' audience, and so decided by the author. Like the plot romance or some of Sei's decisions or behavior, I think they're in line with the classic shoujo heroine. I find the premise and story development so far quite interesting, but on the character writing and relationships, I think it could use more depths. The so far 'hidden' characters, Prince Asshole and Faux Saint, may actually provide more interesting deviation from the current character writing.
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Cryten



Joined: 19 Jan 2019
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 10:27 pm Reply with quote
Its a sign I am really enjoying a show when I am hankering for more when the episode ends. I want so much to see more after the episode is over. Especially finding out more details of how Sei's life is going to change and wether we will get into court intrigue or will Sei be protected from such things by the companions she has built up in her months of working for the institute. At least I think it was said to have been a few months.

Poor Aria appears to have the weight of an ambitious prince on her shoulders and not much say in the matter. I wonder if the story will setup a set of misunderstandings between Sei and Aria or whether she will act as the stronger willed adult voice she needs in her otherworld life.
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thedarkemissary



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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 4:34 am Reply with quote
Anyone else find it somewhat insensitive that Sei is only concerned with the burden being the Saint would be to HER? Like, it hasn't crossed her mind at all what a burden being the PHONY Saint might entail. Not saying, she's really in a position to do anything about it, just saying it's a little... cold? not to even consider it. Depending on how the story goes, Aria's life can't be much of a picnic. Or, maybe it is. Just a thought.
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Agent355



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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 5:37 am Reply with quote
Sei’s gown was basically a wedding dress and Hawke literally walked her down the isles. Now I just need confirmation that this world doesn’t have any ridiculous notions about the Saint needing to be single/a virgin/celibate, so us shippers can imagine their real wedding rather than “forbidden relationship” drama.

thedarkemissary wrote:
Anyone else find it somewhat insensitive that Sei is only concerned with the burden being the Saint would be to HER? Like, it hasn't crossed her mind at all what a burden being the PHONY Saint might entail. Not saying, she's really in a position to do anything about it, just saying it's a little... cold? not to even consider it. Depending on how the story goes, Aria's life can't be much of a picnic. Or, maybe it is. Just a thought.

Sei’s lack of concern for Aria’s wellbeing has bothered me since episode 1, especially since her emotions about the summoning has been framed as her being angry at Kyle (and the kingdom by proxy, I guess) for ignoring her, and not at all of fear of an unfamiliar situation or concern for the younger teenage girl who was summoned along side her and was probably as scared and confused.

However, Sei’s been generally depicted as kind and empathetic, so maybe this is only an issue because we didn’t get her full POV, and she really is concerned for Aria and not (heaven forbid. Feminist storytelling forbid) just jealous of her younger rival.
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Cryten



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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 6:10 am Reply with quote
It seems like Sei is a far more normal character then a Fruits basket level never thinking of self over others character. IE she isnt self sacrificial or that she thinks of others in relation to herself and her circumstances. She is interested in protecting her lifestyle and interests. At least thats my interpretation. Keep in mind that for Sei the only information she's had is that Aira has been very well treated, protected in the academy and personally guarded in her outing by the prince.

I guess you could say, for her, sainthood is a calling as opposed to a reflection of her personality.

And the other point would be that she has been hoping against hope that she isnt the saint. But feels that it is inevitable that she will be found that she is. She didn't want to out herself but saw circumstances worth more than staying unnoticed. She thinks and decides on things like an adult instead of a hero. There is also the possibility that she did purposefully resist the appraisal in the hopes it would result in her not being declared the saint. But I dont get those vibes from Sei.

That said I would like her to enquire more about Aria. As you say it could easily be in the extra details of the novels.

Her dress appeared to me to be that of a sage. That kind of Greek style ceremonial dressings that pick out a revered and learned one.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 7:20 am Reply with quote
Cryten wrote:
Quote:
That said I would like her to enquire more about Aria. As you say it could easily be in the extra details of the novels.


The Prince's outburst on the training ground is anime original. At this point the anime has shown more of him and Aria than is in the novels.
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Princess_Irene
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Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 7:29 am Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
Sei’s gown was basically a wedding dress and Hawke literally walked her down the isles. Now I just need confirmation that this world doesn’t have any ridiculous notions about the Saint needing to be single/a virgin/celibate, so us shippers can imagine their real wedding rather than “forbidden relationship” drama.


Well, come aboard and make your dory fast, because as far as I know, there's no such stipulation. Very Happy
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 2:59 pm Reply with quote
With two summons I wonder if some of the Saint's powers was split between the two. Aria's reported aptitude and advancement could be one of the Saint's skills. Though if that is true, clearly Sei got the larger share (rather than an even split).

I feel bad for Aria whether she is or is not the Saint though. I'm sure the prince isn't making things easy for her and if she isn't the Saint, it will be even worse.

I don't see any issue with Sei in regards to Aria. They have shown that she thinks of her occasionally, but they've had all of 2 seconds of interaction and besides that she's under the impression she being treated well. Sei has also been treated well, so there's no reason to think Aria is being treated any different.
As for any burdens Aria might be facing, Sei has no context for what, if any, that might be. She's concerned (imo) that her enjoyable life she's settled in to will change if she becomes the Saint more than what specific burdens that role will put on her life.

I feel like if Sei heard that Aria was being sent to some place horrible then she would be concerned. I haven't gotten the impression that Sei is callous and overly self-centered.
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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 6:11 pm Reply with quote
This is definitely the Sei that I enjoy watching- I felt her characterization was consistent here. She's not adept at the navigating the circumstances she is finding herself in, but she is smart enough to work her way through them- realizing that she had to ask the king for something is a great example. I'm hoping this means the show (or maybe the source material) will have this level of grasp on the character going forward.

Her lack of concern for Aria also doesn't bother me- as best Sei knows, Aria's being treated well. After all, Sei wasn't really mistreated, just ignored. And she was presumed the Not-Saint.
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