ANIME & MANGA - Review
11:00 - 9th August 2016, by NEO Staff

Lord Marksman and Vanadis

Brunish Count Tigrevurmund Vorn (or Tigre for short) is almost certainly the world’s greatest archer – able to pierce a fleeing assassin’s foot at three hundred meters, there’s not a warrior alive who can match his skill with the bow. Unfortunately, even the world’s greatest archer isn’t much of a match for a magic-wielding swordswoman who controls the power of the winds! During the aftermath of a catastrophic battle, Tigre is captured by just such a woman, the indefatigable Eleonora Viltaria – a War Maiden from the neighbouring country of Zhcted.

Though the circumstances might be dire for some, Tigre’s skill impresses Eleonora (to say the least) and when Tigre’s homeland falls under attack from a rival Brunish faction, Eleonora lends him her help, her army, and of course, the power of her magic sword, able to wipe out even rampaging dragons with a single attack.

If you prefer your fantasy battle series to focus more on the bigger picture – the intrigues and the tactics of the battles themselves – rather than one-on-one duels, then Lord Marksman and Vanadis might just be the series for you. Although it has a fairly short run, the series manages to cram a lot of action, story, and sprawling battles into its 13 episodes. However, there are also a lot of scenes which seem to be devoted to fanservice rather than furthering the plot or developing the characters, which can lend the show a slightly jarring pace at times, making it difficult to want to watch several episodes in one sitting.

As mentioned, the character development tends to take a backseat throughout the series, and while there are some well-written scenes, and the relationships between the leads have developed greatly by the final few episodes, it still feels a little like the show doesn’t live up to its full potential in exploring the dynamics between the admirably diverse cast of characters.

However, when the series finds its feet, it’s definitely a great example of the genre. What starts out as a simple adventure story quickly becomes something more as various factions enter the field, each with their own machinations and power plays – which provide a nice balance with the fantasy violence that quickly ensues.

In fact, Lord Marksman has a little of something for everyone who enjoys fantasy fare – magic, intrigue, dragons, swordplay, and a light splattering of gore (those arrows aren’t just for show, you know). The art style and animation lend themselves well to the story as well, and though the series occasionally cuts corners in this department; for example by representing the battle scenes with tactical representation of stylised chess pieces moving around a map, it actually ends up being an elegant way of showing the viewer exactly what’s taking place – and once it rejoins the action, the series more than makes up for it with its smooth and detailed animation.

Though it has its flaws, Lord Marksman and Vanadis makes up for them with slick action, likable characters and an interesting story that doesn’t outstay its welcome. If you’ve got a hankering for a fantasy tale with a twist or two, then this one should hit the mark.

It’s not perfect, but a few hours in the company of this keen-eyed count and his companions would be well-spent.
SCORE: 3.5/5
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