Atelier Escha & Logy: This really looks like a concept promotion for a series of video games


I like it. It’s probably not going to be the single best show of the season, but I think I’ll be pleased.

My one complaint is that it seems like a anime version of some really generic Japanese console game. The “alchemy” is ridiculously reductive – drop a few components into a cauldron and wait an hour, then poof! Fully formed finished products emerge. That’s not alchemy, unless a lobotomized version of Fullmetal Alchemist defines your worldview.

It’s kind of like watching a videogame. You wouldn’t feel too surprised if this kind of alchemy were presented as a crafting mini-game in Skyrim or something.

This show does not promise a lot of thrills and gore and angst. It promises a lot of pleasant, cosy entertainment, perhaps some innocent romance, and perhaps some airship exploration ripped off from Laputa and innumerable console video games.

The world is so pretty and saccharine that I’m reminded of Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan. That was an enjoyable show, but only if you enjoyed the scenery, visuals, and saccharine qualities. It didn’t have enough conflict. I suspect they’re going to have to work pretty hard to get enough conflict into this series.

The episode opens up with a chibi-version of the heroine getting a bedtime story, and I suspect that betrays a major influence on the creators – the too-comfy-to-be-true world of pleasant little stories for kids. That’s a far cry from the dark, mythological world of serious, old-fashioned fairy tales.

I’ll rip off Wikipedia:

The first volumes were much criticized because, although they were called “Children’s Tales”, they were not regarded as suitable for children, both for the scholarly information included and the subject matter. Many changes through the editions – such as turning the wicked mother of the first edition in Snow White and Hansel and Gretel (shown in original Grimm stories as Hänsel and Grethel) to a stepmother, were probably made with an eye to such suitability. They removed sexual references—such as Rapunzel’s innocently asking why her dress was getting tight around her belly, and thus naïvely revealing her pregnancy and the prince’s visits to her stepmother—but, in many respects, violence, particularly when punishing villains, was increased.’s_Fairy_Tales

While the Grimm tales were not very grotesque, a lot of old-fashioned children’s literature is grotesquely violent: