Poisoned to death by her own betrothed?! Eunha didn’t wake up in a novel’s story just to get killed off again as an unfortunate extra! To change her story she needs a cover… 6 months pretending to be the fake fiancée of the novel's male protagonist, Duke Noah Wynknight. But will this cold-hearted, angel-faced demon of a man really help her avoid another ill-fated ending?!
As a big Raeliana fan, I was excited to see an anime adaptation being announced. Of course, I was a little skeptical of its quality because anime studios have the tendency to rush shojosei series in particular into one season. And when Raeliana was announced for 12 episodes, I was crossing my fingers that they would not rush the pacing or try to cram the entire series into one season. Fortunately so far, that doesn't appear to be the case. The art style is pretty, a majority of the manhwa scenes and dialogue are being animated, and the OP + ED are good. I love the voices that they chose for the cast. However... that's all the good things that I'm able to say. The animation is Bad. The characters move around so stiffly, and the wide range of expressions that were shown in the manhwa don't translate well to the anime's art style. The CGI is off putting, especially during the dancing scene with the two leads, and although you can hear background characters talking, the dreadful shading on everyone makes it feel like scenes are empty. Does the show only have a few tracks to their disposal too? Will I still continue watching this show and possibly a second season if they make one? Of course! I want to like this show because I love Raeliana, and I want more shojo series adapted. But it's difficult when you take a fan favorite manhwa and strip it of its charm and expression. Judging by the art style for the Doctor Elise adaptation, I'm going to assume it'll suffer the same issue. At least I have the WMMAP donghua to look forward to. Final verdict is you'll have a better time reading Raeliana than watching it.
TL;DR The show had such an interesting premise, it's a shame that the world building never occured and that the characters were never flushed out. This PowerPoint is rather dreadful. This show is a red, skip it. But go listen to the OP, it's good. Raeliana! A Japanese anime based on a Korean web comic about pho-European nobility squables. What do the nobility want? What dark secrets will be revealed? Who is scheming and what are their grand aspirations? Well hang on to your seats cause we won't be answering any of those questions. This anime is riddled with issues. To begin, the story, if you can call it that, starts out with a fascinating premise similar to Villainess but seems to take a darker turn, until it decides that taking no turns and not moving at all is a better route. 7 episodes in and I couldn't tell you who the antagonist is, what any nobleman wants, or even what goals anyone could shoot for. The show tries to seem secretive but, as demonstrated by the quick cutting of the only two plotting characters we knew, doesn't hide anything behind the curtain. It is merely one thing led to another with little world development, fewer antagonists, and less things to focus on. Animation, you mean PowerPoint presentation. The animation features some select scenes of fun lighting but almost no movement whatsoever. It's not Twinkle Nora Rock Me bad, the colors are nice, but almost no one moves ever. The lack of animation, once you notice it, cannot be unnoticed. At least the backgrounds look ok. Sound! The OP is super good, so is the ending song. Does anything else stand out? Nah... Characters, spoiler? This show drops the politicking like a lead stone and immediately shifts to the most forced romance possible between Raeliana and Noah. The issue? There is negative chemistry between them. Honestly feels like this was written for young pre-pubescent girls who like guys who are edgy and Noah is meant to be edgy because... well... the show tells you he's edgy. I have no evidence to back up Noah actually being edgy. Ironically, the chemistry is so bad that Raeliana's character swings all the way from terrible to somewhat funny as she seems to be almost aware of how terribly dreadful the character interactions are. Those are the main characters, as for the other people in the show, we know that they exist and occasionally we are told, never shown, that they might be a certain way. The characters are all flatter than the animated world they inhabit. Overall verdict: Despite an interesting premise, the show becomes bogged down due to its lack of a driving plot, boring characters, and burdensome PowerPoint style animation. What could have been an interesting story of intrigue, love, murder, and survival, became an awkward romance where no one's motivation is clear, events happen from convenience, and a plot that matches the animation style for smoothness. Regrettably, this show is a red, skip it unless dreadfully bored. But go listen to the OP, it's good.
As a fan of the manga, I was thrilled to see it adapted for the screen. While the show isn't perfect, I found it diffcult to understand why some viewers were so disappointed. After all, the anime is largely faithful to the source material and contains just the right blend of romance, comedy, and suspense to keep things interesting. To be fair, the animation can be a bit wonky at times, but not enough to detract from the story. There are also a few plot points which aren't fully explained, but given the ending there will likely be a second season to elaborate on what wasn't explained the first time around. Overall, I thought the anime adaptation was solid, especially compared to the shoddy treatment other shoujo manga have received. If you're a fan of rom-coms or just looking for a light-hearted romp, I recommend you give Raeliana a shot.
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