Who Would Like this Anime?
It’s a rom-com. No harem, just one on one action. The comedy’s rather on the strong side and there’s also drama, which is rather on the weak side, though. It’s just enough drama to spice it all up. Basically, it’s a treat for rom-com enthusiasts.
I probably watched this release. The subs were alright and I couldn’t find anything wrong with them. Oh wait, they call the main heroine Nike. Yes, like the fashion franchise. I wished they’d gone for Nicke or Nikeh or something different to dodge that bullet. Welp.
As the princess of the rain country with a certain special quality about her, Nike is sent abroad, chosen by the Sun King to become his wife. Although strong-willed herself, she finds in the Sun King someone at least equally stubborn yet vastly different from herself. Will the two of them be able to be more than a political marriage and truly bond?
The characters and backgrounds are fairly detailed and above all very sharp. It doesn’t look lazily done at all, quite the contrary. Its visuals are great, definitely above average and make the experience even better. I took the screen from episode 1 since anime tends to go all out on visuals in the first ep to impress potential viewers. Note the sharpness of the characters, the light peaking through the leaves on their heads, the bark texture on the trees, and the wear on the tiles in the background.
The first few scenes of SoreSeka (official shorthandle, I googled that) had me scared good: I thought it’d be something like Tears to Tiara. Fortunately, it turned out to be something vastly different.
The outset is quite simple: The world dominating Sun King wants a queen for his kingdom and he wants her to be someone from the rain country whose name I’ve forgotten ’cause I suck with names. Reason being that the rain country’s royal family can magically summon rain, and the Sun King’s kingdom suffers from a permanent drought. Nike is the princess who was unfortunate enought to be picked by her family to be married off to the Sun King who has a reputation of being the merciless conquerer of the world. When she meets him in person, however, Nike soon realizes that not only that the Sun King’s “just” a kid, but that he’s also misunderstood.
This romantic comedy revolves around Nike and Livius, the Sun King. It’s actually a pretty standard cast overall: Nike is the strong-willed tsundere and Livius a strong-willed kid who’s more mature than his age might suggest. The character who mainly undergoes development is Livius. He starts off as a pretentious and merciless kid whose single goal it is to cling to the throne in the face of all the attempts of murder on him, but slowly warms up to and because of Nike. So describing Livius isn’t really possible, as he undergoes an ongoing process. Nike, herself, is best described as an older sister type with a mother-like quality to her. Although she dislikes the Sun King at first, she loosens him up and grows to like him just as he grows to like her (for real, not just for her abilities).
The remaining cast is just a gathering of side characters, mainly underlings. There’s the capable butler who’s worried about his king when he tries too hard and takes a toll on his small body, but is also scolding Nike and/or Livius when they’re slacking, which provides the typical comedy that comes with that kind of situation. There are also the three maids which are mainly on Nike’s heals to dress her up and try to make her into a true lady – to Nike’s dismay. And there are the three elders, who are just your typical old lechers.
In the course of the story, SoreSeka also introduces Livius’… Uh, I think it was his cousin. But anyway, he’s one of those pretty boys who attempt to NTR Nike, that was kinda unneccessary but oh well. He does provide some comedic relief later on, so it’s forgivable. Later in the story, there’s also one of Livius’ childhood friends, which is more of Nike’s problem since she wants to marry Livius.
All of the characters that are introduced throughout the story get their own background and depth – as do Livius and Nike, of course. So there is plenty of development for a one season anime.
The story itself is divided into four arcs and all of them have a little drama about them. It’s nothing bad, though. The drama is just enough to spice up the rom-com and nothing to cause “serious harm.” If I had to put numbers on it, it’s 50% comedy, 30% romance, 20% drama. I enjoyed it since all the drama also resolves logically and in a good way, so you get a bunch of happy endings with your rom-com and it feels like Nike and Livius overcame something which helps them to get closer.
Looking at the comedy within SoreSeka I find the anime pretty funny. None of the gags are forced eye-rollers, nor do they destroy the atmosphere. They’re well written and well executed.
But there are, of course, weak points too. One of them being probably just me: Livius’ age. He’s two heads shorter than Nike and if I had to guess, then he’s like 12 years or so old. It’s hard to take him seriously as a rom-com hero. Kind of like Negi at the beginning of Negima. Nike, however, looks really mature. It’s just got that bad aftertaste. If I picture it the other way around – Nike being twelve and him being mature – aw shit, boy, da lolipolice is comin’ and he dun goofed. But this way around?
Another flaw lies within the final arc. In my opinion the drama is just too telegraphed and the ending too clichéd. But on the weaker side, so it’s just a small minus for me.
Altogether, SoreSeka isn’t a revolution in romantic comedy, but it’s a heart-warming one which does everything it wants in almost perfection. It’s a well written shoujo (ya’rly) manga anime adaption and well produced by whatever studio made this. So it’s now the second shoujo manga I like, the other one being Kaichou wa Maid-sama! Rom-coms can do damn fine even without harems and this is a treat for every rom-com fan, I’m glad I stumbled across this hidden gem. Bottom line: It’s better than you might think, give it a try!