First Impressions: Hortensia Saga

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

A fantasy European kingdom is betrayed by one of its neighbors, which launches a surprise attack on them. In the fighting, the king is killed, his daughter goes missing, and several very loyal, honorable knights are killed, as well as a lot of civilians who we don’t care about because they’re poor peasants.

Pretty typical stuff, actually.

Several years later, the son of one of the knights who died to protect the princess is our new protagonist. This is because, as a presumably cis man, he is the one that will be viewed as more relatable to the target cis, male audience. The war is still going on, and our Honorable Knight-in-Training takes his squire, who is totally not secretly the lost child of the king, no, shut up, to a battlefield to fight a Very Righteous and Honorable Man who uses his bow as a fucking shield and tries to shoot people with it at point blank range as if it’s a gun and that will do fucking anything while spouting off lines about how weak our new protagonist is because honor and all that.

This is Roy. You know Roy is evil, because he uses his bow as a blunt instrument so often they’ve made his a special one out of metal or something, because that’s easier than just carrying a dagger apparently.

Hortensia Saga is a very generic anime with very generic characters and a very generic setting. If any of the characters were in anyway interesting, I would recommend it despite that; using stock settings and characters can be very useful if your ultimate plan is to use them to subvert common fantasy tropes. Unfortunately, none of the characters are interesting. Even Marius, the totally-not-the-royal-child squire, is interesting only as a source of irritation. Watch Otherside Picnic instead. Otherside Picnic is great.

Or The Untamed. The Untamed is also very great.

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