Saiunkoku Summer Ale – Less Filling, More Taste, Equally Patriotic

Hayate Yagami Salutes! (Has nothing to do with Saiunkoku Anything)

If one were to liken story-driven anime series to beer, Saiunkoku Monogatari would make a nice drink under the tepid breeze of summer. To me, however, that’s sort of besides the point. It is either delicious or disgusting. It either goes well with what I am eating and doing, or it doesn’t. It’s either affordable or overpriced.

In as much as I compare anime with beer at all, something like Windy Tales or Mushishi is by all means much more interesting; and dare I say, superior than beer, so the imagery wouldn’t work so well. To cop a line from Bokura ga Ita, those kinds of shows are like either like drinking hot cocoa after spending a turgid December day outdoors, or hearing your favorite song play on the radio on your drive home from work.

But I got nothing against beers. It’s just that since it’s such a prevalently consumed beverage in North America I figured a rather stock-genre show like Saiunkoku Monogotari would fit better as a comparison. When people praise this show for its deep intrigue and complex character relationships and expositions, to me it means simply that the original writer got its job done. It speaks little to the merit of the animated adaptation. That’s what these kinds of show are suppose to do, folks. It’s like NOT able to find an attractive girl in all of Negima: they went out of their way to avoid that problem. An added thing is just that this faux-Chinese historical thing just doesn’t do me any favors. I’ve had enough of it from just the live action stuff my relatives watch alone. Check the wiki, for crying out loud.

So only names like Kunihiko Ryo (my latest favorite anime soundtrack composer), Houko Kuwashima in a very demanding lead female role (I’m sort of torn regarding her performance though), and plus a generally un-hate-able assembly of big guns…NHK knows its conspiracy. It knows production value (for the most part).

And it goes down like a nice cold one. Take it as a warning and a suggestion at the same time. It’s slotted for 39 episodes, so it’s not a light commitment (though the first 7 episodes are self-contained). I’m knee-deep in this crap already, and it only took a day. We’ll see how this pans out.

紅秀麗 loves 桑島法子~

2 Responses to “Saiunkoku Summer Ale – Less Filling, More Taste, Equally Patriotic”

  • reslez

    Comparing Saiunkoku Monogatari to Mushishi and saying Mushishi is better solely because it’s original material would be like comparing Star Wars to Lord of the Rings and saying LOTR isn’t as good simply because it’s an adaptation. (And no I’m not saying either anime series is on par with either of those movies.) Finding fault with a series because it was adapted well from good source material kind of misses the point. One is damn fine original material and the other is a damn fine adaptation. There are plenty of crap series from adapted material (Gantz I’m looking at you — the manga is awesome, the anime not-so-much). I personally think Mushishi is better than SaiMono, but it has nothing to do with whatever SaiMono was derived from. And yeah I think the fake-China thing is overdone, but at least they get to wear those cute outfits. It beats Konoho headbands any day of the week. Fake China shoujou is almost one of those mini-genres of anime, like mecha or magic girl highschools or samurai vs ninja.

  • omo

    It has nothing to do with what the original material is. It has to do with the main draw of the genre convention. I never mentioned “book” here, did I?

    If anything, my point is that just because it’s an adaptation it means nothing in terms of how good the show is. So I guess I agree with you in terms of that.

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