First Impressions: Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc and the Alchemist King

Just going off the title card, this anime looks like the kind that make me wish I drank. Heavily. May the historical inaccuracies be understandable and the pedophilia be nonexistent, forever and ever, amen.

Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 3.04.37 PM
Same, bro. Same.

I am pleased to report that Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc-please-don’t-make-me-write-it-out-again is actually fairly decent, all things considered. The animation was smooth, the art style occasionally charming, the music enjoyable, and while the costume design was fairly horrifying (they are children in the 1400s for fuck’s sake. A mini-skirt? Really?), the characters themselves were well written.

The plot, as I understand it, revolves around a war between France and England. It follows four children as they navigate their place in said war, whilst attempting to maintain their friendship. The main boy, Montmorency, is obsessed with alchemy, and often pesters former alchemist and current bookseller, Nicholas Flamel, to teach him. His best friend is Richemont, a Lady Knight, tasked with upholding her family’s honor on the battlefield. They are both friends with Philip, a shy young girl whose family eventually sides with England, and Charlotte, a member of France’s royal family. I’m assuming said family is in a very different situation then it was in the real war between France and England. Even if alchemy were not real in this world, that’d be more than enough to build a series on.

Unfortunately, it is, and this is where, unless the producers are very careful, the show has its biggest weakness. As of this episode, unless things change drastically, the reality of alchemy and fairies in this show is largely unnecessary and could even serve as a distraction to the rest of the plot. Which is a problem, given that the whole series is meant to be about an ‘Alchemist King’ – at least in part.

All in all, I’d say I might give this one a couple more episodes, just to see how the war and alchemy will interact with each other, so-to-speak, but I am cautiously optimistic that Ulysses will be worth watching.

So long as it remains free of pedophilia. There wasn’t even a hint of it in this episode, but those costumes…

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