Review: Lord Marksman and Vanadis [Blu-ray]

Release Date
6/6/2016
Format
Blu-ray CE / DVD
Studio / Publisher
Satelight / All the Anime
Certificate
15
Language / Subtitles
English, Japanese / English
Episodes
1-13 + 14 ONAs
Discs
2
Run Time
312 Minutes

Lord Marksman and Vanadis is a title that never crossed my radar until now and I had honestly never heard of the series so it came as a surprise to see it being released by All the Anime. I had my reservations about Lord Marksman and Vanadis based on All the Anime’s synopsis and wasn’t surprised in the least by what I got.

“Tigre, a young noble, is captured by a beautiful female general from an enemy country. Though enchanting, her curves aren’t the only dangerous thing about her. She’s backed by an army of desirable warrior-goddesses called the Vanadis. Can the valiant Tigre survive the action-packed blend of fantasy and fan service!?” – All the Anime

Based on the synopsis given by All the Anime my enthusiasm going into Lord Marksman and Vanadis was not high. Other sources paint a slightly different story and the light novel the series it’s based on certainly sounds a lot more interesting. However, it’s clear from the outset that Lord Marksman and Vanadis is a generic fantasy full of huge-chested beauties with little in the way of engaging story or interesting characters. The characters themselves are pretty stereotypical and dull. The series doesn’t shy away from its very clear aims of cramming in a tonne of fan-service. The constant boob jiggling for no apparent reason can get very off-putting, unless that’s your thing, in which case there’s plenty to enjoy.

The fan-service takes things to the next level pretty early on when Limalisha is bitten by a snake, where else but on her bosom. Of course, Tigre (our main protagonist) in order to save her life must rip off her clothes, manhandle her ample assets, and then suck out the venom. The whole scene played out more like a full-on romp rather than a life-threatening moment and is completely forgotten literally moments after it happened. There are quite a few instances like this throughout the series that serve zero purpose except pure fan-service – poor show.

While the premise of the original light novel is quite interesting the series itself has very little substance. Everything that happens within the series is clearly only there for the sake of increasing Tigre’s harem. This would be fine if the series paid a little more attention to the storyline however this is not the case. The story does begin to pick up somewhat after the halfway point but not enough to keep me from zoning out during the rest of the series. One of the few areas that the series does do well in is the animation quality. Got to make all that fan-service look good, right? Apart from the few uses of CGI, generally restricted to large battles, the series is pretty good looking. It features some good character designs and uses a lot of vibrant colours.

This release does feature a good selection of extras but it feels kind of pointless when the series itself wasn’t enjoyable. Along with the 13 episodes of the series, there’s a 14 episode ONA called ”Tigre and Vanadish” Chibi Theater. Each episode lasting around 2 minutes featuring chibi versions of the main characters. Other extras include Episode Commentaries, Promotional Video, Blu-ray/DVD Commercials and Textless Opening and Closing Animations. If you’re planning or have picked up the Blu-ray Collector’s Edition then you’ll also get a 40-page artbook that contains information about the world the series is set in.Lord Marksman_Ltd Ed Blu-ray_Open

Verdict
I find this release to be a bit of an oddball for All the Anime as it isn’t the kind of series I would have expected them to release. It’s a shame that the light novel series that this anime is adapting seems to be highly rated as Satelight has decided to go the heavy fan-service route while leaving scraps of the story to fend for itself. If you’re looking for an engaging story then you won’t find it here unfortunately but there’s fan-service aplenty if that’s your thing.
5
AVERAGE