Episode Review: Trails of Cold Steel – Northern War ep 1

Time for another Revolution!
After Nier, we have another mecha anime this season – which also happens to be another game adaptation – this time from the famous RPG franchise The Legend of Heroes – Trail of Cold Steel. The Northern War anime features the conflict between the North Ambria state and the Erebonian Empire. The anime is produced by Tatsunoko Pro, which did a lot of superhero shows and CGI shows as well. And this series is definitely a heavy responsibility even though it’s a rather small story, which is actually a good starting point to introduce the world of Sen no Kiseki and some key players down the line.

Episode 1 was pretty much an introductory episode, however the pace was quite…inconsistent as it went quite slow and lazy but super hard and fast in the latter half. The story introduces us to Winslet Lavian – our main protagonist (for the moment). She and two other mercenaries will be the focus of the plot for now. And we can clearly see that she is very, very skilled and courageous with a dash of recklessness. Her companions didn’t get the best treatment though. Those two faceless (for the moment) guys are also skilled, but it’s obviously they are career mercs and will not put their line on the line too deep, and their personality are super flat at the moment.

Then comes Rogan – an obviously celebrated general but he looks dictatorial as heck. Well, it’s obvious he’s gonna start a war with the Erebonian Empire (the other is coming for them anyway). And our heroine will no doubt join the war. We were told that she was the granddaughter of a hero – so Rogan might have some plans to use her as a morale martyr, but hey, let’s see what they’ll do next. This first episode however really run hard and fast with the hook, but the world-building and settings need a lot of work for new fans.

Animation quality wise, there’s not much to say but mediocre. The combat was pretty basic, at least the monsters’ cgi model and animation were very well made. However, the action sequence wasn’t very fluid and some frames were quite awkward, and didn’t inspire a lot of of awe in the viewers, so we might have to wait a bit down the line until the Knights show up. We did caught a glimpse of the Ashen Knight which actually looks very atmospheric and badass. All in all, we’ll just have to wait and see.

The Opening is quite nice though. The OP is “The story so far” by Chisato Akita. A pretty unique title but the song is quite nice, suitable for an “RPG-ish” story like Northern War. Overall, the story’s start isn’t the most explosive one out there, but it did setup the basic settings for the story, so we hope it will pick up from here.

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