Anime First Reaction: Hortensia Saga

Usually, I do a little intro for these… but I think there’s only one thing I can say in this case.

Do you want a paint-by-numbers fantasy anime?


Then watch this show.

Let’s Go!

First Episode Synopsis

In this world, there is a country called Hortensia. A guy stands before the king and goes beast mode… literally… killing the king and anything in its path. Also, there’s an uprising against the government, and the appearance of the undead… all at the same time!

In other words, shit got real in a very short amount of time.

We fast forward a little bit to the end of the events when Kenjiro Tsuda graces us with his presence as Maurice, brother of Fernando, a knight sworn to protect the king. He is seen delivering a sword to Fernando’s son Alfred along with the news that his father was killed by the beast while trying to protect the princess, Mariel. In classic fashion, he swears to avenge his father and undergoes training at Maurice’s hands.

Four years later, Princess Mariel has gone missing and Alfred he has grown along with a very effeminate-looking boy named Marius who becomes his right-hand man. They come across a man named Roy who had previously rebelled against the King and is decisively beaten by him until they are saved by Alfred’s uncle Maurice, only to claim that he needs to get stronger. That is, pretty much, the entirety of the first episode of this series.

Worth Watching?

MAYBE – Let’s go through the checklist here.

  • Fantasy setting that’s actually NOT an isekai? Check (thank GOD)
  • Boy who swears to avenge his father? Check
  • Weak protagonist that needs to get stronger? Check
  • Swords and Demons (and possibly magic?) Check
  • A dead king? Check
  • Effeminate looking boy? Check
  • Uprising in the kingdom and being the focal point of all adversity for our characters? Check!

I don’t know about you but this seems like any other run-of-the-mill fantasy anime series to me… except that with the amount of isekai shows being shoved in our face as of late, a pure fantasy-based anime… no matter how generic… is a very welcome breath of fresh air and I’ll take it!

While it is pretty vanilla, I still enjoyed the first episode enough to keep watching it. Also, it is PAINFULLY obvious that Marius is Mariel. I mean… come on…. The princess goes “missing” and this boy suddenly shows up with the same color hair, the same color eyes, the same facial features, and a feminine voice while wearing baggy clothes to conceal their figure with a name almost spelled the same exact way and you’re going to try and convince me that it’s not Mariel in disguise?

I mean… I’m a pretty crappy novice light novel author but even I wouldn’t try and make a mystery that obvious. I’ll actually be more shocked if Mariel isn’t Marius!

Still… I’m a sucker for pure fantasy shows which is why I loved past entries into the genre such as Tears to Tiara, Prism Ark, Grancrest Senki, Arslan Senki, etc. It’s very refreshing to see a fantasy series that doesn’t involve Truck-kun setting up the plot. So, no matter how generic this series is… in 2021 where isekais get shoved in your face harder than a pair of boobs at a gentlemen’s club once you flash a couple of 20s, I’ll watch it and enjoy it but I tagged this as MAYBE for those who want something more than just a generic fantasy series. If you want something with more substance, check out anything else but for me… I’ll keep on watching!

Plus we get Happy 2.0 (Fairy Tail) with more detail in their character design, moru! Talking cats are cool! Even if they’re named Puck and aligned with worst girl Emilia (and hate mail from ReZERO fans coming in 3… 2…)