Finally, we have an honest-to-goodness male archer for a protagonist.
After Fate/Stay Night’s disappointing archer (who rarely uses a bow), this season needed someone to show that men can actually make great archers.
To do this, we received Tigrevurmud ‘Tigre’ Vorn. The young lord of a small nation within the Kingdom of Brune, Tigre is taken prisoner by the enemy after attempting to kill one of their seven Vanadis, or war maidens.
And this starts off the least irritating harem series I’ve watched since Nisekoi. Relying heavily on fantasy tropes, a mix of both Lord of the Rings’ and A Song of Ice and Fire’s, this series doesn’t stray, so far, into the usual harem traps that make many series fall apart early.
At the start, we’re introduced to our protagonists – Tigre and the Vanadis Ellenora Viltaria – and their positions within the world. This provides some great exposition on the politics and the world itself that doesn’t feel like info dumping, but still gives viewers enough information to understand the world.
The first episode is pretty light on action, but heavy on character introductions and some development. Granted, some of it does feel mildly rushed, but by the end of the first episode it was easy to be hooked on the character interaction between the two leads and want to see more.
The second episode moves past the lead character introductions and right into the action as we witness the invasion of Tigre’s home by a rival earl within the Kingdom of Brune. Focusing less on Tigre and Ellenora, and more on the small territory of Alsace, this episode introduces a few new faces (who will obviously play important roles) and sets up the third episode for a massive battle.
And that does not disappoint. By the third episode, we’ve had enough groundwork laid that jumping right into the heat of battle feels great. To keep all the information moving smoothly, we are presented with an inventive manner, which almost looks like it was taken from a game of Total War, to keep up to date.
With the major characters and their forces represented as pieces on a game board, we get shown the movements – with a description of the tactics – before zooming in on the action. There we get to see the traditional battles that we’ve come to expect from this genre.
Now comes the most important question that many people will have. Since this is a harem series, how extreme is the fanservice?
Thankfully, the answer to this one is that the fanservice is not overly present, so far, nor demands the viewer’s full attention.
In the first episode we have a scene of Ellenora bathing that is not really played for laughs, or for pandering – for the most part.
In the second episode the fanservice appears during a scene where the villainous noble attacking Tigre’s nation attempts to rape his maid.
A touchy subject, but one that ends with the maid’s chastity intact, and Tigre showing off his skills as an archer (a very satisfying finish to the scene actually).
Other than these two specific moments, the general curvaceous nature of many of the female characters could be attributed to fanservice as well, but it never feels as in-your-face as a show like Infinite Stratos or High School DxD.
As long as the fanservice doesn’t turn off your radar, all of this wraps up into a neat arc that is exciting to watch and definitely has me eager to continue. So far, I highly recommend checking this series out, especially if you enjoy a good fantasy series.
Lord Marskman and Vanadis is currently streaming through Funimation in North America.