Guys… I literally forgot yesterday was Saturday… Anyways apologies for forgetting to write, and I should also let you know that I’ve watched the second episode in the mean time, so my thoughts come from the combination of the two.
Some background details! Sugar Apple Fairy Tale is originally a light novel written by Miki Mikawa, with illustrations from Aki. It has two manga adaptations where one is written by the original author and the art is done by Alto Yukimura with only two volumes. The current manga released by Yen Press is written and drawn by Yozora no Udon. That’s… a lot of adaptations. Now we have the anime done by J.C. Staff, which is a studio well-known by many.
Did I know this series beforehand? Didn’t know about it but the promotional image told me that I’d definitely like this series.
What is it about? Anne is a sweet young girl who just lost her mother. She was a Silver Sugar artisan. Ever since humans colonized the land faeries lived upon harmoniously and enslaved them, they also took over the production of refining sugar apples into silver sugar, which elongates faeries’ lifespan. Now that Anne is 15, the legal age of adulthood, she embarks on a journey to become an artisan herself.
The road, however, is full of dangerous people and animals, and in order to protect herself, she buys a warrior fairy. Her journey with Challe will put her naive “faeries and humans should be friends” belief to the test.
What to look out for? Slavery, stalkerish behavior, blood.
What do I think? Let me start by pointing out some negatives so I end my review on a more positive note.
Sugar Apple Fairy Tale, maybe because it’s a light novel adaptation, has serious pacing issues. There are a lot of details to this fictional world, the human-fairy history and their current situation, and the confectionary that is crammed into a very tight timeframe. It feels too much and a bit convoluted.
This ‘urgency’ to cram a lot of info bleeds into the pace of the characters’ interactions as well, so the relationship or conversations feel less natural and more forced. I haven’t read the source material, but the impression I get from the first two episodes is that the adaptation would turn out better with some shaving off or leaving out.
At its core, there are two main themes Sugar Apple Fairy Tale is concerned with; Anne’s journey to becoming an artisan and her owner/slave dynamic with a fairy, and the overall trading of faeries as an extension. It does sound ambitious, however, the first episode did a much better job of handling it than I expected. Anne’s naively ignorant “Why can’t everyone just get along and be happy?!” idea constantly clashes with Challe’s reminder that they can never be because he is held captive against his own will by Anne. Fairies are forced into submission by plucking out one of their wings, and Anne is holding onto Challe’s. Specifically, the scene where Anne was mesmerized by how beautiful Challe’s remaining wing looked and she was about to touch it when Challe snapped saying “Don’t touch me! Everything other than what you hold in your hands is mine,” was quite powerful. Throughout the episode, he insists on a language that strictly preserves the dynamic they have and have Anne command him instead of allowing her to “request a favor”. If anime spreads this self-awareness throughout the cour, that would be quite interesting to see.
Visually, the series is great. I’m loving the aesthetics of Anne’s clothes and character design, the peachy cute/dark gothic contrast she has with Challe (call me basic), and the overall warm, pastel colors with sparkly fairy wings really appeal to me. The soundtrack helps set the mood and is pleasing. I definitely see myself waiting for the release as an album because it’d be perfect to listen to when reading. It’s easy to guess right from the first episode where the whole thing will go, but I am willing to go on this journey nevertheless!
Will I continue watching? I will continue watching! What I’ve seen looks okay so far. I do hope the pacing will get better, though.
I apologize for the lateness once again and I hope you enjoyed what I have for you! As always, I’m inclined to hear your thought and whether you’ve seen this series and if so, what you thought about it. Let me know in the comments and see you tomorrow with yet another first impression!
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