Two armies, the Yggdra Alliance and the Black Army, are fighting for control of the continent Yggra and the prophetic book Chain Chronicle. During a battle, the Chronicle is physically torn in half. This strengthens the Black Army’s leader, the Black King, and allows his forces to win the battle. The defeated Yggra Alliance disbands, having given up their cause as lost.
A very small number choose to remain as the “Volunteer Army” and continue to fight against the Black Army. This includes Yuri, the alliance’s leader, Phoena, keeper of the remaining half of the Chain Chronicle, and Juliana, a warrior princess. They are disheartened by their loss as they travel through a countryside blighted by the Black Army’s destructive magic. They stop to defend a town being attacked by the Army and find a boy, Aram, attempting to fight by himself. Aram’s determination inspires the heroes, and they all fight together and are victorious.
This show…is actually not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Chain Chronicle is an anime adaptation of a mobile phone game, which have a history of being pretty terrible. However, this is a full length show, rather than a short, and actually has fairly good animation. Everything (armor and even normal clothing) is weirdly shiny, which I think is to emphasize the show’s light v. dark theme, but other than that it looks pretty good. The character designs are solid if slightly generic-fantasy, and I did like that the warrior princess’s armor is fairly covering (though a few other females in the army do wear rather fanservicey outfits, especially the archer).
Where the show does flounder a little bit is in the pacing and in the characters. The episode has an in media res beginning, showing the Army losing their battle against the Black King. This is somewhat interesting, as it allows for the standard “heroic army leader” to be depressed and lack motivation and for a focus on the destruction of the countryside and the lives of the affected poor. However, it does make the first half of the episode feel very rushed, disjointed and confusing. This is not helped by the MASSIVE amount of characters we are ‘introduced’ to early on, mostly via quick flashes of them fighting in the first battle or reacting to the destruction of the Chronicle. I think this was the show’s attempt to establish a rich, varied world filled with a number of races and cultures, but the overall effect was more overwhelming due to how briefly these characters appeared and how quickly they vanished as the Army disbanded. Given that this is only meant to be a 12-episode anime, I have doubts as to its ability to handle such an oversaturation of characters even despite being a full-length show.
Still, it was a decent first episode, if a bit rushed, and definitely better than the other stinkers I’ve written First Impressions for this season. I may actually watch a bit more of this, though it’s unlikely I’ll review it if it continues the rushed pacing and massive dumping of characters on the viewer beyond Episode 1.
Out of 5 Dios: