Alternative titles: Esuka & Rojī no Atorie ～Tasogare no Sora no Renkinjutsushi～
Game Adaptation by Studio Gokumi
Escha and Logy are new hires at the R&D department of the Colseit branch of the Uncharted Areas Special Investigation Bureau and we join them during their first day on the job as they get a windmill back up and running, among other things.
Timmy’s verdict: A Decent Transmutation of a Cute JRPG
I had a fair bit of fun with this first episode of Atelier. While Iro was quick to point out all the obvious parts that were ripped right out of the game during our simuwatch together, everything still seemed to fit together nicely. The episode had a nice laid back and relaxing attitude to it as it introduced us to the cast and what they do. Escha and her sheer adorableness is easily the best character thus far but its nice to see Logy be a pretty nice guy for a change instead of someone hard to work with who is meant to add instant conflict to these early parts of the show. The pair have already had some cute moments together too, which is always fun. I can’t say I am expecting any intense dramatic or action packed episodes out of Atelier any time soon, but the easy going slice of life format it is in now was nice enough that I will be sure to keep coming back for more if it chooses to keep it up.
Iro’s verdict: Alchemical Cuteness
This was better than I expected, particularly because video game adaptations have a pretty lousy track record. My understanding is that the recent Atelier games are all very slice-of-life, and that easygoing mood translates well into an anime format. That said, most of the episode is pretty clearly ripped from the first hours of the game, in that all the characters are introduced rapid-fire and our adorable pair of protagonists are sent on an obvious tutorial mission. There’s even a montage of them questing to get crafting materials. If the anime can avoid being too game-y going forward, then I could see myself enjoying this.
Marlin’s verdict: She Blinded Me with Alchemy
No two ways about it, this show is absolutely adorable. Definitely the best video game adaptation I’ve seen in a long time. I always felt that rpgs had the best likelihood to translate into the animated medium, so its nice to see this work so well in motion. There are some moments where it’s so obviously a game, like the alchemy mixing and the short fight sequence, but thankfully they don’t overpower the narrative. The main characters have some great chemistry, acting understandably awkward for a first-time meeting without devolving into total idiots, at least not after the first minute. They talk to each other like normal human beings, and as time passes in the show we can simply tell by their language how much they’ve grown to trust each other as coworkers. They are also patently adorable as a potential couple, teasing it in a natural way that would make anyone gush over it. The world is also well set. Unfortunately they did have to resort to an “As you know” to get that ball rolling, but once they started describing it, I wanted to learn more. The castle in the sky is also a nice touch. Such themes of a floating relic have been used often, it’s probably tapping into that same desire that made people want to land on the moon. I’m still wary of this falling to one of JRPG’s many bad story habits, but so far so good.
Lifesong’s Verdict: Cute and Heartwarming
I was sure this anime wouldn’t be worth watching. RPG adaptations never work out right? Well it is too early to know how this will work out, but the first episode was surprisingly fun to watch. I came in expecting RPG cliches and I got a decent Iyashikei instead. Make no mistake, this is no Aria, at least not yet, but the sheer amount of joy and overall presentation fit the genre perfectly. I still feel like I would rather play the game, but that may have been inevitable from the start. I am considering watching episode two and that means it greatly exceeded my expectations. I will give it that much.