Anime Taste Testing: Taishou Otome Otogibanashi and Saihate no Paladin

Believe me when I say it’s a compliment that I found both of these shows boring.

Taishou Otome Otogibanashi

The main reason I’m combining these two shows is that a) I went into both with the absolute lowest expectations possible and b) I find I have relatively little to say about either of them – which, all things considered, is probably a good thing. Of the two though, Taishou Otome Otogibanashi (Taishou Maiden Fairytale) had the potential to be the most offensive and/or downright skeevy given its premise involving a child bride.

However, I was pleasantly surprised that there was actually zero in the way of fanservice or even general sleaziness with this one, so major props to Otome for that. Nonetheless, this kind of show just isn’t for me. While comprised mostly of fairly tame slice-of-life/comedy material, the two main characters did nothing to draw me in. Tamahiko is a self-proclaimed pessimist, which in this case means he’s self-pitying and self-absorbed, and Yuzuki is the classic idealized waifu figure who derives most of her joy out of cooking, cleaning, and tending her soon-to-be-husband. There could well be some character development somewhere down the line, but I’m just not invested enough to stick around to find out. In this situation, I think the most charitable thing I can do is quit while the show still has the moral high ground.

Score: 5/10

Saihate no Paladin

This is the only isekai light novel-turned anime that looked decent enough to at least give the benefit of the doubt for the premiere episode (and believe me, there was plenty to pick from). However, despite the various aspects that Paladin did right – again, zero in the way of fanservice, sexism, or even boob armor – I was bored enough that I had completely checked out by the halfway mark and no longer even remember how the episode ended. The story was quite literally 90% or so exposition, and while I respect the fact that there’s probably something a bit more exciting in store at some point, I have absolutely no motivation to keep watching to find out. Again, I think the best I can do here is call it quits while the show’s still… well, if not ahead, then at least not offensively bad.

Score: 4/10

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9 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Taishou Otome Otogibanashi and Saihate no Paladin

  1. I found Taishou Otogi Banashi quite relaxing to watch. By the end I was wondering how reliable a narrator our protagonist is. The show does seem to be celebrating the domestic qualities of a wife, but I’m not sure yet how that fits into current anime trends (say Helpful Fox Senko san), since it’s set in the Taishou era. There’s an element with the girl of cheerfully settling into an assigned fate, and that can go anywhere. The opening suggests an expanding cast, so that’s what I’m mostly waiting for. We’ll see where this goes.

    I haven’t seen Paladin yet.

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    1. Yes, the fact that the show is set in the Taishou era is definitely a good thing in this case – I think I would’ve been a lot more put off had it not been a historical piece. I wavered a bit between “this is actually kinda cute and more or less wholesome” to “this kind of premise just ain’t my thing”. In the end, I guess there just wasn’t anything to hook me in to begin with (which is still a lot better than I was expecting).

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      1. For me, a lot will depend on how they develop the girl. I’ll probably still enjoy it if they make it a traditional-domestic-values-save-the-day show, but less.

        I’ve now seen Paladin, and I actually quite liked the premier. I find the characters interesting and they have a nice dynamic. It feels like a prologue, though, and a lot of shows with promising beginnings don’t quite manage the transition. This isn’t a sure shot, nor is it love at first sight. But it does look like a promising show to me. The way they explain the magic, and the attitude towards killing, and towards prayer… none of it is in any way special, but I’m sort of fine with it. It’s close to how I see the world (well, I’m an atheist, but the spirit behind it in terms of responsibility still resonates with me), so it’s fairly cosy. That also means it’s not really challanging, but it could be a nice, entertaining show. I’m not quite sure yet if I’m as much on board with how they handle the isekai elements. That’s the biggest beware for me.

        Curious if you intend to try Sakugan. The show wasn’t on my radar at all, but out of all the shows I’ve tried and you haven’t covered (yet?), I’d expect the best chances to appeal to you (not sure if I’m missing something, or if I gauge your taste right). It’s hardly a must-watch, but if you find yourself short of stuff to watch, that’s something you could try.

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        1. You’re right, the premiere of Paladin does feel very much like a prologue, and that’s unfortunately to its own detriment I think. The anime might have been served better with a slightly more involved first episode, then circled back later to do away with some of the exposition (rather than dumping the entire backstory, if that’s what it is, into a 20-odd-minute sitting.

          I might try Sakugan. The show wasn’t initially on my radar either, but I can see it’s getting some positive buzz, and from people who’s opinions are often pretty well in line with my own. If I do end up trying it out, I’ll definitely make a post here about it.

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  2. Having read the (fairly short and completed) manga for Taishou Otome, it stays fairly chill for the rest of its run, with some typical character development and strict+wealthy family-related plots to add a bit of seasoning. But I did enjoy it, and the ending makes nice use of its specific historic timing.

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    1. Good to know. I still don’t think I’ll be watching any more of it, but I’m inclined to think it’s not a bad show – just not the one for me, at least this season.

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  3. So I’ve read the first few Faraway Paladin light novels, and plot-wise the isekai thing barely makes any difference and it could just have been a story about a kid being raised by the undead. However, it’s very important for the story’s emotional component. The first episode does not fully cover the depth of the protagonist’s sorrow and guilt (I think it’s implied he killed himself) and the catharsis of realizing he received a second chance at life when he sees the outside for the first time. But this emotional journey was all in book 1 and after that the series is a competently written but unremarkable fantasy story about killing monsters, gaining allies, and civilizing the savage hinterland. Kudos for an isekai story not having long monologues about XP and levelling up, but I don’t think it’s anything to stick with past the beginning book. So to sum up, episode 1 took out most of what was striking about the part of the book it was adapting and covered the exposition parts we’ve seen in many other fantasy stories.

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    1. Yeah, I was definitely happy not to see some of the more odious tropes usually present in isekai, or have to plod through endless discussions about or references to power levels, XP, skills, etc. etc. Still, it’s a shame that the first episode was so exposition-heavy and didn’t lead with anything more compelling.

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