Review: Lord Marksman and Vanadis

Anime: Madan no Ou to Vanadis ||  Lord Marksman and Vanadis

Studio: Satelight

Episodes: 13

Original Run: Oct 4, 2014 to Dec 27, 2014

Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

Synopsis:

A brief skirmish between the countries of Brune and Zhcted results in the capture of a Brune nobleman, Tigrevurmud Vorn, by Eleonora Viltaria, one of the seven war maidens who preside over Zhcted’s territories. Impressed by Tigre’s incredible command over archery, Elen demands that he become one of her men in exchange for his life. Tigre agrees but his respite turns out to be short-lived when news reaches him of his hometown being in trouble while he’s stuck in enemy territory.

But that might turn out to be more of a boon than expected as Tigre unexpectedly finds himself embroiled in a nation-wide conflict that threatens to restructure the entirety of Brune’s political landscape.

 

Story:

I didn’t really expect much from this show. It was the war premise that drew me in but I still went in expecting it to be harem-focused and for the actual politics to take a backseat. Not only was I wrong about that but the actual harem aspect also ended up as one of my favorite parts of Lord Marksman and Vanadis.

Starting with the positives, this anime’s greatest strength is its setting. It’s a fantasy world with its own countries and creatures where such things as dragons and mystical powers, while not commonplace, are a natural occurrence. Most of this isn’t spoon fed to us but rather allowed to unfold naturally, sometimes in the form of stories that further develop the mythology and history of their world. Its full scope isn’t touched upon in the course of these twelve episodes but there are enough hints to give us the impression of a vast and interesting world.

The plot is a blend of political intrigue and frantic battles with a dash of romance. This is a bit of a mixed bag. The political and romantic elements both work well but while there are a large number of battles of varying scales scattered throughout the narrative, their execution aren’t as impressive as it could have been. A lot of it is covered by voiceover where a narrator explains strategies and actions, often skipping hours or days in the process. We only see the more key moments. This makes sense as these fights would drag out too long otherwise but all the same, they flow of the story suffers. In addition to that, Tigre and co’s victories are often made possible by luck and foolish opponents which gets less impressive with repetition.

Still, these issues are more prevalent towards the end of the show which is admittedly not as good as the first half. The ending is still sufficiently satisfactory even though it’s clear that the story continues and mysteries remain.

As for the romance and harem elements, they’re all pretty good. Tigre unwittingly attracts female attention everywhere he goes and in nearly all cases, he’s got good chemistry with the women. His interactions with them are nice to see and their interest in him feels genuine. Of course, there’s no real sign of commitment or reciprocation from his side towards any of the girls by the end but that’s to be expected. None of this ever overshadows the darker parts of the show but instead works alongside it.

On the whole, Lord Marksman and Vanadis is a very good fantasy story with an interesting setting, likeable characters and entertaining storyline.

 

Characters:

The protagonist is Tigrevurmud Vorn, a.k.a Tigre, a minor nobleman whose only notable qualities are his prodigious skill with a bow and the ability to worm his way into the hearts of people, especially the girls. Tigre can in one word be summed up as ‘nice’. He’s shown to be fair and compassionate but also capable. He never hesitates to act when he needs to, especially when that need involves protecting that which he holds dear. He’s selfless in that it’s the love for his territory and its people that drive him rather than personal gain or safety. He’s mild-mannered without being a pushover. In other words, nice. Really, Tigre is quite charming throughout and it’s easy to see why he’s got so many admirers. That said, he doesn’t really leave a lasting impression and is easy to forget once the show is over.

Eleonora Viltaria – or Elen because no one in this show has heard of short names – is the female lead. A normal mercenary turned supernatural powerhouse, Elen is a war maiden who has command over wind and knows how to put it to good use. She’s confident bordering on cocky but carries it well. It helps that she can usually back up her words with actions. Though a good leader and skilled fighter, Elen is prone to impulsiveness and occasionally anger. She’s most expressive when it comes to Tigre since jealousy over him is the best way to break her cool veneer and bring out the tantrums. Elen’s mix of maturity and childishness actually makes her pretty fun to watch.

Other war maidens also play important roles in the story. There’s Ludmila who seems to despise Elen and starts out as an antagonist but develops a fondness for Tigre amidst it all. As expected, she becomes an important ally later on. Severe and straight-laced, Ludmila is the opposite of Elen in many ways but also has moments of unguarded softness which make her portrayal more sympathetic. Sofya is another war maiden who’s not as involved with Tigre or the story as the other two. She’s kind and helpful and easily likeable.

Elen’s second-in-command Limalisha, Tigre’s manservant Bertrand and mentor Mashas, his friend and maid Titta, the royal heir Regin etc make up the rest of the good guys while the main antagonists comprise mostly of a couple of Brune noblemen who’s both fifty shades of despicable. One isn’t very interesting but he does his part well while the other has potential that the anime doesn’t get a chance to fully explore.

 

Art and Music:

This show is very pleasing to the eye in terms of both character designs and backgrounds. The former is full of bright and varied colors while the latter ranges from lush greenery to grim battlegrounds. Overall quality is excellent as well. There’s some CGI but it’s not that awkward and blends well with the rest of the animation.

Lord Marksman’s music is pretty good, with both opening and ending themes warranting repeat listening. The OP, Ginsen no Kaze by Konomi Suzuki, sounds rather grandiose and perfectly captures the spirit of the story with its music and visuals both. The ending theme’s Schwarzer Bogen by Hitomi Harada. While not as striking as the opening, it still suits the show well.

 

Verdict:

Lord Marksman and Vanadis never really excels in any regard but it does present a very entertaining story. If you want a nice dose of fantasy with war and politics mixed in, then give this a go.

Rating: 7/10

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About D

Just another avid anime fan.
This entry was posted in Anime, Lord Marksman and Vanadis and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Review: Lord Marksman and Vanadis

  1. I’ve yet to finish this series from way back, but I found its approach to the tactical battles interesting.

    Hearing some of your positives about the series has made me consider finishing this one sooner rather than later.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Karandi says:

    My only gripe with this show is that I want another season to find out what happens with Tigre next. They left it on an intriguing note and I really did want to see more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Originally looking at this series, it wasn’t something that piqued my interest. Even with the war time fantasy setting I was always afraid it would lose itself amongst the shenanigans of a harem anime. The way you described it however makes me reconsider my stance on it. Where the characters kind of breathe life into the harem aspect and its never the actual focus, I think that is an interesting way to handle it. Especially if he shows no inclination so far to favour someone over another. A big element of harem anime that I despise is their inclination to constantly favour one above another from a production stand point making a lot of the other girls kind of pointless in the long run. I will say that I will give this one a shot at some point, nice and fair review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      I completely understand your misgivings especially after being burned one too many times by anime with good premises messing it up by favoring harem antics over plot development. This show avoids that though and that helps make the harem parts good too. There’s balance between the two. And while Elen is the female lead, I never got the sense that Tigre favors her over the other girls except in maybe one scene. Plus the other girls have their own important roles in the plot.

      If you do end up giving this a chance, I hope you’ll end up liking it!

      Like

  4. raistlin0903 says:

    I think it was over on Karandi’s blog that I said that I recently canevto the conclusion that I have never really seen a fantasy anime (not counting Sword Art online). Which is really strange, considering the fact that I love the fantasy genre. I have an enormous amount of fantasy novels, and even my blog’s name is referring to the greatest fantasy novel character that has even been created. So…it’s completely weird. That said, reading through this, this sounds like a very cool show to start with. It might have it’s flaws, but it sounds intriguing enough to give it a go (well at least for a few episodes just to see if it’s my cup of tea so to speak).
    As usual this was another great review..but that really isn’t a big surprise anymore. Thanks for sharing this one 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • D says:

      I am wholly with you in considering that something to be swiftly rectifed. Fantasy needs more love! Ahem. Fantasy’s my favorite genre too actually so I’m always up for anything involving it if only I had more tiiime.

      Do give this a shot and if you end up liking it, that’s great. There’s war and some magic stuff going on but on the whole, it’s a pretty even mix. Hope you’ll like it and if you don’t, there’s always more fish in the sea.

      And thank you 😀 Again.

      Like

  5. Remy Fool says:

    Never watched the series but it seems to fare better than other fantasy shows. The fact that the protagonist and his friends go up against foolish opponents is diappointing, however. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

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