The World is Still Beautiful: Episode 1 – “The Sun Kingdom”

The World is Still Beautiful is an anime based on a manga by Dai Shiina. The series is produced by Studio Pierrot, and is directed by Hajime Kamegaki. As of this writing, Crunchyroll holds the North American streaming rights for The World is Still Beautiful.

The main character of the series is Nike, and she’s the fourth sovereign daughter of the Rain Dukedom; she also has the power to call forth the rain. The Sun King, the ruler of the Sun Kingdom, sends a message to Nike’s father saying that he won’t invade their land if he offers the hand of one of his daughters in marriage. Nike ends up being the one chosen to become the Sun King’s bride because she loses a game of rock-paper-scissors.

When Nike arrives in the harbor town of Lepion, she sends her retinue home so she can explore on her own and get to know the people of the Sun Kingdom. At first, she has a string of bad luck, which culminates with a couple of con men stealing her luggage. Nike collapses out of hunger, and she is taken in by an innkeeper and his two daughters, Mina and Liza.

After they learn who Nike is, they tell her how to get to the capital, how long to get there, and that she’ll basically need a caravan in order to get there. Nike and Liza go out to try to find a caravan, but have no luck.

Meanwhile, the two con men who stole Nike’s luggage are hired to kidnap her; unfortunately, they mess up and kidnap Mina instead. After they realize their mistake, Nike finds them and uses her power to defeat the con men. After getting her luggage back, Nike has the two con men take her to the capital so she can meet the Sun King. The meeting between Nike and Livius I, the Sun King, takes place right at the end of the first episode.

Admittedly, Episode One is an establishing episode, so there’s a lot of explanation going on in order for the audience to understand the premise of the series and to get to know Nike. Fortunately, the explanations don’t bog things down as much as they could, and there’s even an amusing flashback that shows the rock-paper-scissors game that Nike loses.

There’s also a scene in the episode when the con men realize they’ve kidnapped the wrong person that ends up “breaking the fourth wall,” and the characters are aware that they’re part of a television series. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not this device will appear again in future episodes of the series.

The World is Still Beautiful has some pretty good humor, and this first episode had a good combination of comedy and drama in it. I ended up enjoying this episode quite a bit.

After watching the first episode, I believe that The World is Still Beautiful shows a lot of promise. I’m looking forward to watching Episode Two in order to see what happens to Nike, as well as to see whether or not Episode Two will be just as enjoyable as this one was.

Additional posts about The World is Still Beautiful:

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