The premise of the show is somewhat complicated. First, we have to understand the setting as it takes place in a world where the Katjvarna empire has waged war against the Republic of Kioka. All sorts of reasons evoked this war ranging from politics, imperialism, royalty, etc. At the center of it, we have 17-year old Yatorishino Igesm (also known as Yatori), a prominent member of the Imperial House noble family. Along with her, there’s Ikta Solork, a womanzing man that also gets involved with military affairs. From the start, their character chemistry is undeniable and it’s known that they have a history based on their background story. Meanwhile, Yatori takes the High Grade Military Officer exam and things get complicated when she, Yatori, and others are stranded deep behind enemy lines. It gets even more complicated when Ikta recuses the young princess Chamile Kitora Katjvanmaninik, who also happens to be the third princess of Katjvarna. Talk about a miraculous coincidence.
In the meantime, we quickly learn that Ikta isn’t just a womanzing bum but also one with a strategic mind who is not afraid of taking risks. His heroic actions along with Yatori, Torway, Matthew, and Haroma earns them the title “Imperial Knights”. Their reactions isn’t exactly gratitude though so viewers will have to anticipate on the ‘why?’ I have to say, this series has a lot of mystery and most of it isn’t exactly so easy to decipher on paper. The political affairs and character dynamics itself are also part of that. First, we don’t know a whole lot about Yatori or Ikta. Both of them are very different in terms of personalities and background.
However, it is shown that they have a good friendship from the past as they once fought for survival together. Meanwhile, Ikta proves himself as a skilled tactician as he is able to come up with brilliant strategies for his party and on the battlefield. On the other hand, Yatori is a top student at her military academy and proves it with her unmatched fighting skills in particular with a sword. She also proves herself as a very hard worker, another contrast to Ikta’s lazy personality. However, both of them do have interesting ideals and reasons to believe in what they should be fighting for. It’s also noticeable that Ikta never really makes a move on Yatori despite his playboy ways. Instead, they share a rather unique friendship. Having being raised under strict circumstances, Yatori discovers new wonders about the world thanks to Ikta during her childhood. All she did before was studying and training.
At its core, the show does a fairly decent job at storytelling despite some pacing issues. Most episodes connect each other while some others focus more on characterization. As smooth as it can be, the show does have some fairly predictable moments especially with death of certain characters. I also have to admit the series does a good job at portraying mixed gender roles. Female officers aren’t always a major focus in military fiction but in this anime, it definitively captures their role and importance. In the meantime, the world building of Alderamin is also a strong factor.
Adapted by Madhouse, I was initially underwhelmed by the character designs. They honestly look like something made from a shoujo manga with their same faces. However, it’s pretty easy to get accustomed to them especially after seeing the characters in action. Remember, this isn’t a love series but a war story. Weapons are also adapted well with fine degree of creativity ranging from the steampunk vehicles, guns, mortars, and elemental spirits. On the other hand, character expressions bounces between impressive to underwhelming. They are fairly well done when characters engage in battle but during comedic moments, they feel more flat. I can’t say more than that though as this could be more of a personal perspective.
Well it’s not the best thing in the world but don’t underestimate the music aspects of Alderamin. The cinematics matches in par with the coordinated OST while battle segments are supplemented by the instrumental notes