This would have felt lackluster and cliché had it been released 20 years ago – and what’s more, nothing would have changed between then and now aside from the CG.
Imagine, if you will, the most generic pseudo-medieval fantasy story you can possibly think of, from the basic European-inspired gray stone castle all the way up to the motivation of the main character(s) to “become stronger” in order to avenge their dead family and bring peace and justice to the kingdom once more. Now anime-fy everything, but on a shoestring budget. That’s Hortensia Saga.
My mind just refuses to let go of the word ‘generic’ when it comes to this series. Prepare yourself for every bad formulaic detail in the now very worn book – the ridiculously-proportioned weaponry, the laughably-designed body armor (yes, including the dreaded boob armor for the lady knights), the trusty family servant running around in what looks very much like the kind of outfit you’d see in a Japanese French maid café… you name it, Hortensia Saga likely has it. Oh, and don’t forget to overlay all this with hackneyed character designs, basic animation with cost-cutting measures around every corner, and bland synthesizer background music. Because in a shocking turn of events, apparently no one wanted to spend more money than was necessary on almost impressively uninspired writing, complete with a narrator filling in the gaps just in case the title wasn’t lacking quite enough in the show vs. tell department. But don’t worry, it’s not over yet – just in case that wasn’t enough, you’ve also got an immediately annoying and utterly pointless mascot-type character who flies around repeating what I assume to be its own name at the end of every. single. line.
The most I can say about Hortensia Saga is that it’s not offensively bad – although to be fair, that’s only because it’s too boring to be interesting enough to qualify as offensive. Save yourself the tedium and go re-watch the Dungeons & Dragons live-action film or something, you’ll probably be more entertained.
5 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Hortensia Saga”
This must be the most flavourless premier I have seen in a long time, and the production values are… not so hot either. Then you basically mention the left-behind little sister (?) in passing, so she’s likely going to be the demented, tragic antagonist, though there’s too little to tell yet, and there are a few other paths open (none interesting). I’m out.
Flavourless is an excellent word for it. It’s just a cheaply-produced, dully-written, absolutely insipid example of a high fantasy series that could have been created at any point in the past couple of decades and still have felt just as unimaginative.