What’s the show? Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc and the Alchemist Knight, Episode 3.
So how’s this episode? This show… is tonally confused.
More so than last week? Absolutely. We go from scenes of big-boobed female pervert lusting after cute girls in her vicinity and the wacky shenanigans involved with loli Jeanne ‘in heat’ because the philosopher’s stone in her body needs more of Montmorency’s magical saliva to calm her down. Then mere minutes later, bloody slaughters, attempted rape (in flashbacks) and a bad guy who has a room full of taxidermied fairies that he keeps in jars and when he gets angry he squeezes them in his fist til they explode into gore.
Yikes! That is a bit of a tonal inconsistency! How’s that work out for the show? Well it’s entertaining at the very least! I mean I don’t know if the shtick will wear thin, but it sure as heck is drawing my attention for the time being!
But is it doing so in a good way or a bad way? Like is it compelling viewing because of the content or because it’s so bad you can’t help but be fixated? I don’t know, a little bit of both I guess? I hate to make this comparison because it’s not a very favourable one, but it kind of reminds me of another show with a long title—‘The Master of Raganarok and the Blesser of Einherjar’—from last season. There was a show that wanted to fun and silly with ~shenanigans~ but also have a compelling, battle-heavy plot line. In my opinion it succeeded with regard to being a light-hearted harem but absolutely failed with cheaply animated battle sequences that were far too ambitious for the shows budget or intelligence. Whereas ‘Ulysses’ is more or less nailing the battles and action and fight scenes—by being actually high-stakes, bloody affairs, while still feeling actually funny and light-hearted when it needs to be. Its sort of a deft juggling act and at the moment all the balls are in the air, but it’ll only take a minor slip up for them to come crashing back down to earth.
So you like this show? If it wasn’t clear last week, yes I do. It’s fun and kind of trashy but without feeling like it’s skirting over the plot in favour of abject silliness and misplaced edginess. There is a plot here and its ~actually~ interesting, again, this is the kind of show that could turn around and be dreadful by next week but that’s the kind of game you play when you’re dealing with these tonally ambitious light-novel adaptations.
“Tonally ambitious” sounds like a nice way of saying it’s a mess. But fair enough, it’s your opinion and who am I to doubt to you! Anything else you wanted to add? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, if you’re reading this and are curious about the show—just give it a go! This is absolutely a show that benefits from the ‘3-episode rule’; I’m not promising a classic or anything but once you get past the comparatively dry first episode this show is a surprising amount of fun—just maybe don’t think about it too hard!
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