Welcome peeps! The week is almost done, and I still have a planned Friday BL post for tomorrow and one last first impression to be up on Saturday. Look at me go! My blog has never seen such commitment from me, WordPress is probably in tears as I’m typing this. So without further delay, let’s move on to the review.
The Tale of Outcasts by Makoto Hoshino is a completed manga series with 8 volumes, 7 of them available in English. The studio behind the adaptation is Ashi Productions, known for producing some of the best-known series such as Macross 7, BLUE SEED, Gravitation, and one of my childhood favorites, You are Under Arrest!, to name a few.
Did I know this series beforehand? First time hearing about it.
What is it about? Set in Victorian England, the protagonist Wisteria is an orphan living under the custody of the local priest, who has her beg for money on the streets. Usually, people walk past her without even acknowledging her existence, so it catches Wisteria by surprise (or more like by fear?) to see a demon standing before and talking to her.
It doesn’t take long for her to befriend the immortal Marbas, who’s been dwelling on earth much longer than he’s liked to. As things usually are, this temporary peaceful life doesn’t take too long to crumble. Wisteria finds out that she’s to be sold to a noble, and it can signal one thing only, time for these to bid farewell.
What to look out for? Child abuse, forced labor, pedophilia, blood.
What do I think? As I always am, I’m a bit conflicted about this premier, but I remain hopeful.
This first episode feels too trope-y. Bad Guys are on the Cartoon Network level on the Evil Meter. Wisteria is thrown into one Bad Situation after another, and they don’t even have a spark of originality. Separated from family: check. The abuser who financially and physically abuses them: check. Being sold to another abuser who turns out to be a pedophile with a torture chamber: check. I’m inclined to say even 50 Shades of Grey did a better job than this.
I’m sure the paragraph above felt similar to some of you. Yes, The Ancient Magus’ Bride. Lots of people in the comments on Crunchyroll have already pointed out how similar they are. In a main-plot-points and human-magical being main characters sense, they are alike, alright. However, they feel very different. The character/fantasy world designs and the richness of the lore that supports the main characters work in The Ancient Magus’ Bride‘s favor. At least, for now.
I didn’t comment a lot on the production quality because it’s not much to write home about. There are a couple of fighting scenes and while there are parts that make the shortcuts taken by the studio obvious, the scenes overall do the job. They don’t look bad at all. The rest doesn’t involve a lot of movement except when Wisteria is being thrown around Bad People. In the end, neither the city, the interiors of houses nor the non-human characters have exciting designs or colors to them. But they aren’t an eye sore.
This paragraph contains a tiny spoiler about the end of the episode so you might want to skip it if you want to experience it for yourself. Toward the end, Wisteria enters into a contract with Marbas by offering her sight. Depending on how it’s handled, having a visually impaired main character might be interesting and something I see myself getting invested in. Not having read the source material, I don’t know whether their relationship will stay as traveling companions or develop into something more, but in the case of the latter, you might want to brace yourself for an age gap as Wisteria is around 15 I believe.
Will I continue watching? While I do have some reservations, I want to see how this story will unfold. I’ll be betting on the chances of it surprising me!
How’s the season been going for you up until now? Any immediate favorites? Do you think you’ll be giving The Tale of Outcasts a chance? As always, hearing from you would make me happy! As I have said, tomorrow we have Friday BL as per usual and on Saturday, I’ll meet you with my highly sought-after hot takes on Sugar Apple Fairy Tale!
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