Well, that was certainly something. By that I mean "how did any of that make any sense"? If I had to describe Walkure Romanze in a sentence, then I'd have to say the following: this series was loaded with fanservice, crazy, and had an unhealthy fascination with knights.
What can I say? One of my first directives of 2014 was to branch out even more than I did last year. Invariably that means that I've stumbled into some weird series in the past couple of weeks.
One such series was the romance-action harem series Walkure Romanze, a show based around an academy that teaches some students to joust (knights) and others to care for horses and assist the knights (begleiters). Huh?
Trust me, I know. It doesn't make any sense. In any case, the series primarily follows Takahiro, the main male character, and Mio, the main female character, at the Winford Academy during the lead-up to a big jousting tournament. Takahiro was once a proud knight that participated in the tournaments, but an injury resulted in him stepping down and becoming a "begleiter" instead.
Naturally, he's a rather famous begleiter because of this, so the suspiciously numerous female knights of the series all want him to be their begleiter.
It's harem time everyone!
Alright, look here everyone. I know that some people out there actually enjoy fanservice. This is the internet, we welcome everyone into our ranks. Those of you out there that enjoy fanservice can rest assured that Walkure Romanze never skimps on the fanservice. Not even for a minute. Personally, I could do without it, but I know that that person is out there.
If the rest of us manage to grind past the fanservice, loaded humor, and filler plots, then there's actually some decent action in the jousting sequences. There's tension and drama in the tournament episodes with a helping of amicable rivalry. It was actually a decent story (although trope-laden) up at the end.
While cliche, a couple of the characters came across very well. In my opinion, Noel was rather well written and acted out. She's a bit of a trope magnet, but her drive to joust makes at least a bit of sense.
I'm going to give credit where it's due right now, the animation was very good. The series' animation has a wide color palette and it has a consistently high-quality vividness to it. There's a lot of good designs in the characters, the uniforms, and the backdrops. In addition, the action sequences are crisp and they flow extremely well.
I have to say, the after-series stinger was so terrible and stupid that it managed to underflow my brain's integer counter and dropped through to the positive integers. It was loaded with lampshade hanging, terrible jokes, and super deforming that was just utterly nuts. It was only a few seconds long, but I'll forever remember it for its terribleness. Thanks 8-Bit.
For everything that Walkure Romanze tries to do right, it fumbles a lot more with the fanservice and its outright craziness. It is everywhere. I'm not exaggerating in the slightest. The characters are drawn to encourage it, the uniforms encourage it, and the writing certainly encourages it. There's a great number of context-based jokes in the series that swerves between absurd, humorously bad, and totally stupid. We aren't even safe from the fanservice in the opening sequence, it's there too! You could easily make a drinking game out of this series' insistence on using it.
That might be a bad idea though since everyone will be out cold by the second episode.
One thing that's bothered me continuously since I finished is just how little happened to the main character Takahiro. One would presume that we'd get some kind of development concerning his relationship with Celia's brother, right? I thought we'd get something. Maybe a lampshade or a hand wave would have been adequate but no. The whole thing just gets dropped.
The majority of the characters (including Takahiro) are just... "okay". I can't point out anything blatantly wrong with their personalities or with the cast, but there's nothing really to praise either. We've seen these exact characters before, many times. There isn't anything groundbreaking or memorable about them.
Walkure Romanze is a series that I won't forget for all the wrong reasons. There are several metric tons of fanservice and weird innuendo present at every level of the show. The plot is loosely held together by the passable but not very memorable cast, but the plot doesn't really manage to impress anywhere along the way.
The biggest thing that Walkure Romanze managed to do right was the animation. There was a big, bright color palette used in the series that, when combined with the crisp lines and definition, looked pretty great. The character designs were actually rather well done and the uniforms invoked that sense of "knights". It's a well-constructed visual series.
I'm not sure who exactly would enjoy this. If you're up for a gleefully crazy series that has a weird sense of innuendo-based humor and tons of a fanservice, you don't have to look any further. Everyone else is going to have increasingly mixed feelings about the series with time.
This is a series that I'd mark as "skippable". You aren't really missing anything by giving it a miss. The only thing that you're really missing is the animation, which is excellent.
P.S. Avoid searching for this series on Google when people are standing nearby. It's going to be embarrassing.
You can watch Walkure Romanze on Crunchyroll.
As usual, I claim no ownership of the images herein.
This is part of Anime Marathon 2014, a continuation of Anime Marathon 2013 by popular demand. I'm on a mission to review every anime I can for the TAY community and anyone else that wants to read it. I can never guarantee when these reviews will be posted, but I'll do my best to keep it consistent.
You can see all my articles on Dex's Corner.