NOTE: I recently switched from Mozilla back to Chrome, and today I suddenly can’t take screenshots anymore. This is something I experienced before, and I don’t remember how I fixed it, I tried other browsers and the result of the screenshots are below. I’m frustrated to no end… Anyway, unfortunately I won’t have images so you have to put your faith in me when I say the background art look splendid. :,)
Hi everyone. I was feeling under the weather yesterday and didn’t have the energy to write so apologies for that. Nothing major though, and I feel better. To make up for the missing post, I’ll be publishing two reviews tomorrow. Let’s get down to business, shall we?
Kaina of the Great Snow Sea is adapted from the manga with the same name. The original story belongs to Tsutomu Nihei, who is the creator behind Knights of Sidonia and BLAME!. Itoe Takemoto is the artist that adapts the story into manga form and POLYGON PICTURES handles the anime adaptation. POLYGON‘s works are a hit or miss for me; I quite enjoyed Knights of Sidonia or Drifting Dragons, but couldn’t sit through Ajin or Eternal Boys. Hence, I didn’t know what to expect from this series.
Did I know this series beforehand? Didn’t hear about it before.
What is it about? The world is silent and frozen under the thick blanket of snow, and the very small group of people who are alive, live above the orbital spire trees with extremely limited means. The only young person among them is Kaina, and he helps the rest of the people by hunting. The rest of the people are concerned for Kaina, as he’ll be left alone when others pass because there are no signs of others.
So, although he has certain suspisions, color Kaina surprised when he sees a young woman floating up in a basket from Earth that’s supposed to be uninhabited. She will surely be the answer to some of the crucial problems Kaina and others have but whether is she a safe person they can trust remains to be seen.
What to look out for? Safe to go in.
What do I think? This is a super interesting premiere, although it’s possible for people to pass it up, especially because it’s a full-CGI series from POLYGON.
The worldbuilding is great. Kaina’s labored breath in empty space, followed by the sweet melody immediately set the mood and drew me in. Limited resources mean practical clothes that are mended over and over, they have to be smart and resourceful when it comes to gadgets or accessories, people forming closer relations, and depending on each other. These details are shown rather than told, there’s so much you can take in about the way they live in the span of the first couple of minutes.
Signkeepers were a fascinating touch as well. They were people who wander from village to village to collect “billboards” that are metal warning signs in Japanese and tried to decipher them as if they were ancient tablets. Through these wanderers, knowledge about other villages would circulate with them, but now that the other trees have dried, the villages crumbled, and the last Signkeeper passed away after passing what he could read to Kaina’s teacher. All these details efficiently tell us that while we’re far into the future, there are still signs of the modern world as we know it surviving and the habits such as gathering around warm food still persist.
The fight scene and the overall action in the second half looked… well, NOT good. So when the view from above the Canopy looks so magnificent to the point you’d want to frame the scenery and hang it on your wall, it creates an inconsistency throughout the episode. However, if you can pass that part, I believe Kaina of the Great Snow Sea has a lot to offer. I can’t wait to see how their first meeting with Princess Ririha, the young woman who’s trying to save her home and ends up flying above the orbital tree, will proceed.
Also, that opening theme?? OBSESSED!
Will I continue watching? I will. Sure, it’s not as visually stimulating and it’s a shame that there’s already gorgeous CGI series from THE Orange Studios, but I’m intrigued by the premise and want to know what happens next! I hope a publisher picks up the manga as well.
What are your thoughts on Kaina of the Great Snow Sea, if you have seen it? Are post-apocalyptic science fiction settings like this are of interest to you? Meet me in the comments if you have anything to add, otherwise, see you tomorrow!
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4 Replies to “KAINA OF THE GREAT SNOW SEA — FIRST IMPRESSIONS”
I really enjoyed the first episode but I haven’t had a chance to get back to it yet – how far have you watched, so far?
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I’ve seen the first five episodes and while the quality of the production is still ‘meh’ at best, the world itself is still very interesting and I’m looking forward to the main characters exploring the inner workings!
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Awesome, that sounds good – I really enjoyed those hints of the larger world in that first episode
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