Time for Winter 2019 First Impressions! \o/
And be sure to check out our yearly awards post (posted below this review) if you haven’t already!
In a future timeline, humans have started trying to build civilizations on distant planets. In this first episode, we are introduced to Princess Yuki, who is the sole heir to the Kingdom of Soleil, and the last remaining royal after her parents’ death. She has just turned twelve, and now must take on full responsibility of all royal duties—which include trying to maintain good relations with neighboring empires.
In this futuristic world, battles are now carried out through armies of mecha which are piloted by skilled soldiers. Although she is young, Princess Yuki demonstrates a knack for thinking up war strategies; especially when working in tandem with her aide, the fifteen-year-old Joshua (who is adept as a pilot). Shortly after her twelfth birthday, Joshua must leave as part of a delegation to a neighboring country. Unbeknownst to Princess Yuki, the Kingdom of Soleil is apparently having troubles with the neighboring country, which has escalated into physical battles. The full scope of the situation is kept secret from Yuki to keep her happy, as she is the one who “brings smiles” to her kingdom. As he heads into the heart of the battle, Joshua vows to do anything to keep his Princess safe.
I honestly can’t say much about this series, as this first episode didn’t give me enough material to determine if this will be a “good” or “bad” show. So far, I do appreciate that Egao no Daika has managed to side-step some of the biggest first episode pitfalls. Although I would prefer them not to throw around new terms so much in just the first episode, we thankfully aren’t treated to a full episode made up completely of dry exposition/narrative. The first episode does at least clarify a few of the most important terms, and gives us some small hints to the fate our earth and of Princess Yuki’s parents.
I’m also thankful that this series didn’t introduce all the characters onto us at once. Before the start of this season, I found out that Egao no Daika will actually have TWO main protagonists: the Princess Yuki, and a young woman who has not been introduced yet. Based on the synopsis that has been revealed for Egao no Daika so far, our other protagonist appears to live in a possibly bad or run-down country. It’s pretty obvious that these two protagonists’ settings and upbringings will be juxtaposed against one another. And this is basically just a long-winded way of me saying that I’m really glad we only got Yuki’s side of the story for this first episode. I think trying to fit in both protagonists’ stories would have been too confusing and too overwhelming for the audience to handle.
Because we’ve only really gotten one half of the story, I can’t comment on the series’ plot much in this review. But I will say that I’m already pretty worried about the animation quality for Egao no Daika. Despite being the first episode, there were already some pretty wonky bits of animation; mostly when the characters are seen in side profile. I guess the budget had to be split between the 2D animation and the CG for the mech battles. That said, the animation for the big mecha action sequence in this episode seemed… pretty good? I’m not an expert on CG animation, but it at least looked pretty smooth, and the animation was slick and didn’t stutter.
Overall, I’d have to say there’s a 50/50 chance that this series could either turn out surprisingly amazing or just mediocre. As far as characters go, Princess Yuki feels like a believable twelve-year-old
and I hope she gets spared from all the porny fanarts because she’s freaking twelve years old guys, and Joshua is… a little bit bland but he’s likeable enough. While the synopsis for this series actually piqued my interest a bit, I’m not super into mecha anime so I will most likely pass on reviewing this.
Out of five for this first episode: