Tigrevurmud Vorn, or Tigre for short, is the noble of Alsace, a small and generally irrelevant region part of the Kingdom of Brune. But eventually he and his men are called to serve in Brune’s armed forces. He is incredibly impressive as an archer, but regardless, he and the coalition he is apart of are defeated by an army from Zhcted being led by Eleonora Viltaria, Elen for short, who is a Vanadis, a war maiden bestowed nobility and rank by being chosen as the wielder of the Dragon Arms as per custom in Zhcted. He is taken as a prisoner and brought back to Elen’s territory of Leitmeritz, and as she seems to take an interest in him as an archer, she gives him some degree of freedom, and a bond is developed between them.
But things back in Brune things are getting complicated. The prince leading the force against Zhcted supposedly dies in the previous battle, sending the King into shock, and leading to a struggle for power between the two other main powers in Brune, Thenardier and Ganelon, a struggle that results in Thenardier attempting a hostile and brutal takeover of Alsace, which as it’s noble, Tigre feels a very strong responsibility to do everything in his power to prevent. Hence, despite being just a prisoner, he requests Elen’s assistance in defending Alsace. And surprisingly, after laughing at the audacity, she agrees. Hence, with the combined forces of Alsace and Leitmeritz, the Silver Meteor Army is formed.
But that’s only the beginning. The power struggle between Thenardier and Ganelon continues in full force, calling in assistance from other Vanadis from Zhcted such as Ludmila Lourie, duping chivalric forces, baiting foreign nations such as Muozinel to attack, as well as leading to poisonings, assassinations, and even greater conspiracies. But Tigre with the assistance of many others establishes just cause and continues to grow his forces as he continues his fight against Thenardier and to protect his homeland.
Madan no ou to Vanadis is an anime that I like at pretty much all levels. The overall plot with the politics between the various factions vying for power was done very well with a very large amount of depth and a tremendous amount of potential that could still be tapped into was. But there was still very much a just cause and definitely heroic side and a reasonably light tone, which I very much prefer. Below that the actual conflicts between the various factions on the battle fields were great too with a number of interesting tactics and strategies implemented throughout and I loved the way they were conveyed in a way that may not have been as flashy, but was incredibly clear. And below that there were the major individual conflicts, between powerful characters such as Tigre or the Vanadis against other powerful characters or beasts such as Dragons. Having the main character as an archer was an interesting choice, and certainly made all his major battles unique. The other characters were amazing in battle as well, such as the other war maidens Elen, Mila, and Sofie who also possessed a very diverse but awesome power set. These battles were all incredibly flashy and somewhat over dramatic, but overall they were all amazing.
Lastly, the characters themselves and the relationships between them were great too. Tigre was very competent and heroic, but he could very much prioritize and make hard choices when necessary without too much melodrama. Elen had a very surprising character for a noble, being too carefree, but she was a competent leader nevertheless, and had a very interesting way of handling things. Her rivalry with Mila was interesting too, seeing as how Mila was essentially her opposite trying her best to be a straight laced noble, but she had a more compassionate side as well. There were also a great set of side characters. Everyone seems to hate Titta, but I seem to like her for her dedication alone despite being way out of her depth. Lim serves as a good skeptic. Bertrand was incredibly loyal and his journey had a strong impact. Gerard and Rurick worked great together despite not getting along with each other at all. Regin was completely unexpected and certainly added a twist to things. Even the villains were interesting in how they schemed and fought so differently. And overall seeing Tigre navigate through his relationship with all of them, as allies or enemies, was incredibly enjoyable to see progress. Lastly, I also very strongly liked the character designs, which had a good amount of variety, and may be a bit over designed but nevertheless fit very well.
The animation quality and art style were good. The soundtrack was great and strongly contributed to the atmosphere of the battles. The OP was great as a Battle Song to get you pumped for the episode essentially. The ED was decent. There was some decent comedy when it was fitting, though not too much. The mini-specials were definitely funny though.
An incredibly interesting reasonably lighthearted war anime that does great on pretty much all levels.
I’m super happy the novels are getting translated. I very strongly hope they don’t get DMCA’d. I’m still holding out hope for a second season though.