It’s finally happening! I’ve always dreamed to watch Trails anime after the big disappointment of Trails in the Sky OVA. Though this anime focused on original characters exclusively in the anime, I’m happy that other Trails characters from the game would still appear, even if they’re not the main characters. Also, the anime still covers an event related to what happened but only mentioned in the Trails of Cold Steel game. I had been curious of what during the Erebonia did during the Northern War, and this series would give me the answer. However, instead of the main character in the game, Rean Schwarzer, the war is told from the point of view of Lavian “Lavi” Winslet, a Jaeger from the forces that opposes Erebonia, North Ambria.
To my dismay, however, the first 9 minutes of the episode was spent on two Jaegers giving bits of information dump about what happened while one complaining about his trivial escort work and teasing Lavi for the sake simply to ease his boredom. It’s supposed to be a comical moment, but I found it more of annoying and just want to move already. I was relieved when those two finally behaved when Lavi single-handedly defeated a monster that would’ve killed them and Lavi sarcastically reminded them how they were the ones who said they wished for more thrill in their line of work, albeit she defied order and got three months of pay cut as the result.
This episode serves as introduction to North Ambria itself. Originally, North Ambria was not a poor country like in the present, but everything changed 27 years ago, when North Ambrian Disaster happened that led to the revolution and created the current State of North Ambria. And those who brought revolution were considered as heroes and became the core that formed the Northern Jaegers. However, 27 years passed and things worsened for the citizens, and its government is not exactly doing a good job in saving their country from poverty.
However, their poverty is perhaps the least of their worries, as the leader of the Phenomenon Corps, Rogan, revealed that Crossbell has been annexed by the Erebonia Empire, and being the poor country they are, it’s not strange for Erebonia to set sight on North Ambria as the next target to conquer. And Rogan took this opportunity to stir up the citizens in the name of bringing a new revolution. Rogan looks suspicious, and I can only suspect that he has ulterior motive in mind. Furthermore, no matter how strong the Northern Jaegers are, a poor country facing against the might of Erebonia Empire that has the military strength to take down Crossbell and make it their own, spells disaster for North Ambria.
While I’m grateful this episode explained about North Ambria, Lavi didn’t get much screen time and didn’t even speak much when she appeared throughout the episode. It was explained that Lavi is the granddaughter of one of the people who brought revolution to the North Ambria, only for her grandfather to abandon their country and became a traitor. Considering how the world works, it’s not hard to imagine that Lavi lived a hard life as a grand daughter of a traitor, especially with Lavi was shown to have a good relationship with her grandfather in the past. It’s not yet revealed what exactly happened with her grandfather, but I assume this must be one of the reasons why Lavi chose to become a Jaeger.
In regards to Lavi herself, she seems to be the serious but gentle-hearted soldier type. Because she didn’t hesitate to defy order, she’s obviously not the kind of person who always follow by the book. It’s too soon for me to say about Lavi because I still couldn’t get a grasp to her character. Hopefully, the next episode will show more of her side.
Overall, the first episode is passable to build up the incoming conflict that would happen once Lavi begin her mission. In terms of visual, I believe this is one of a few anime that properly combine both 2D animation and CG animation. The CG effect didn’t look out of place and blend properly with the 2D environment. I hope they can keep up with this quality until the end.
Last but not the least… REAN! I AM SO HAPPY TO SEE REAN ANIMATED! AND THOUGH ONLY BRIEF, I AM SO HAPPY TO SEE MY MOST FAVORITE TRAILS CHARACTER TO APPEAR IN THE FIRST EPISODE! MY FANGIRL CANNOT BE STOPPED! XD
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I’m sorry to say that due to a certain circumstance, episode 2 will be delayed and become a double post with episode 3 next week.
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