I absolutely loved this anime. The charcters were all lovable and relatable (in my opinion). The animation was wonderful, and the songs got stuck in my head all the time. I loved the storyline and the developing love between Nike and Livius.
Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushiii otherwise known as This World is Still Beautiful is a surprisingly delightful treat. Looking at the synosis, it looks like a standard tale of boy meets girl with the boy being a jerk. It looks like pretty standard anime romance fair. And for the most part....it is. However, it is the standard romance done right. In many shojo romances i've found myself frustrated by the sheer stupidity of the main characters at times. In some anime romances problems and issues happen for petty reasons and the main characters take actions that are equally as petty. In this anime however, we have excellent character development with a romance formula that is not often used.
Very Minor Spoiler
*Instead of unrequited love or one character trying to win the affections of another, we see both characters fall for each other with the same intensity and almost at the same time. As an audience we see the characters fall in love and grow together. It's quite refreshing.*
END OF SPOILER
We also get to genuinely like most of the characters. I liked the Sun King and I liked the Rain Princess. He was a good guy with a couple of jerk moments in which he more than redeemed himself for. And the rain princess wasn't a ditzy damsel in distress. Nearly all the plot devices are cliche but a person is just so curious to see the interaction between our two characters that its almost easy to overlook.
One thing to note is that one of the characters looks substantially younger than the other. The sun king looks 12 and the rain princess looks around 16. There are a few scenes where this is reflected upon by the characters (differences in height, strength, etc). They are engaged so there are various cute moments when the king takes charge to "woo" his princess . I will say that the sun king might look 12 but he sounds and acts like a grown man. If this disturbs you then take off a point.
For the most part though, they keep everything relatively innocent (there are a couple of scenes that had me raising an eyebrow including the ending credits at the end of each episode. I'll just say the animators seemed to have an unhealthy fascination....)
The animation is of very good quality, they spent a little money for this. As for the sound, I felt they could have varied the songs used in the anime. There is pretty much one song that is used continually (you will know when you watch it). The song was fitting but I felt that they could have branched out and used at the very least different variations of it based on the situation. It just seemed a little lazy to me.
Overall its a solid anime. It has likable characters, good animation, nice sound, and the plot isn't too shabby. They wrap everything up pretty nicely. I wish there was more of an epilogue for our characters, but we can't have everything.
(68.55%) PRETTY AVERAGE:
This was just an anime that I came across looking through Crunchyroll. I will say that fantasy-romance anime do happen to be my favorites. I've already talked about how great the romance in "Dusk Maiden of Amnesia" was, and actually, this one wasn't too far from being as good as "Dusk Maiden". The World is Still Beautiful was pretty much a mixed bag for me. there were some things I thought were great, some things I thought were okay, some that were annoying, at least one of everything on the menu. I will say that the things that were great were really great.
(29.70%) STORY: (6.6/10)
The beginning of the show has a ship basically dropping the girl off at a kingdom called The Sun Kingdom, which to my understanding is basically the whole world minus one country. Our main character is, NIKE LEMERCIER, one of four Princesses of the Principality of Rain, a small country whose residents have the ability to summon rainfall by singing, as well as manipulate the air to be able to cut through objects like knives and swords. She and her sisters were called upon to marry the King of the Sun Kingdom. In an unfortunate loss at "Rock, Paper, Scisors", NIKE is sent to the country to meet the King. Being from a small and poor country, she has a tough time getting used to the people at this new kingdom. Eventually, she reaches the castle to meet King LIVIUS I, or just LIVI's request for marriage. She soon finds out that the "King" is just a child and is very unaware of the beauty of the world he owns. The first thing he asks her is to make it rain. She refuses and is thrown into a jail cell. She escapes easilly by cutting the bars on the door. Eventually the two start to warm up to each other, fall in love, and eventually marry.
Honestly, that's pretty much as deep I think I can go with this story summary. There really isn't much going on, which is okay since it is a romance anime. What I really love about this anime's romance is that, well, in a lot of other romance anime, the relationship usually starts off one-way, but here, almost the instant they meet, their feelings for each other are the same throughout the anime, meaning that as NIKE's feelings get stronger, LIVI's do, too. It it, too me, a more unique way to portray a relationship. Both characters play off each other very well and I'd say that this was the best part of the story.
Unfortunately, that is where my praise for the story ends. There were a lot of things that I had either seen before, didn't make sense, or that annoyed me. First off, the near the beginning of the anime, there is a plot point that was addressed that was never really accomplished. There was a part where LIVI asked NIKE to summon the rain. She answered talking about how it required the singer to be shown the beauty of the world around her so that she could get a feel for how she should sing. This sounded like it would have been a really good and emotional setup, but It's almost like the creators completely forgot about this plot point the next few minutes, because very shortly after, she summons the rain anyway. They actually address this once in the show, where LIVI asks why she was able to summon rain without her said requirements. She answered with yet another unexplained plotpoint, saying that it was because it was an emergency. This is, again, backed up by her being able to summon rain for pretty much every episode afterwards with no explanation or proof that she has been shown the beauty of the world.
There were a lot of characters and moments that were basically mood killers. Some of these were kind of funny, and some were just annoying. This included many predictable character introductions, comedic moments, and misunderstandings. Most of these characters were common stereotypes you would find in other anime. You had the rival girl who also has a crush on the male love interest, you had the "ladies man" character who actually had a small twist to, you had the anti-priest, the wise grandma, the jealous other guy, the other guy that the male interest gets jealous over. It's all here. None of these lasted too long, and the focus was still kept on the relationship between NIKE and LIVI, which was really what kept me from not liking this story.
(31.05%) CHARACTERS: (6.9/10)
The only interesting enough characters were the ones that should have been. NIKE is actually a pretty welcomed change too many main characters. For one, she's a female main character. Any time the main character in a non-magical girl anime is a female is an automatic plus. She is also not the "damsel in distress" stereotype that is usually associated with a princess. She can hold her own, and is also protective. LIVI... unfortunately, every time I saw "LIVI" in the subtitles, I'd almost immediately think of CAPTAIN LEVI from "Attack on Titan". Coincidences aside, I like how his emotions changed throughout the show. The fact that both of their interactions ended up with the same outcomes for both of them is kind if smart. I wish I could say that for the rest of the characters, but unfortunately, their presence in the story was so small that I can barely remember the names of them, with the exception of the butler, NEIL, who had a couple chuckle moments, but that's really it.
(7.80%) ATMOSPHERE: (7.8/10)
The animation was nice. However, nothing was really outstanding. Considering that this was released in 2014, I can't say that's a good thing. However, since it is a Shojou, I wasn't really expecting any stunning. The music, however was great. I liked the opening, I loved the ending, and the ost including the rain summoning songs were just beautiful. I didn't even mind that "Tender Rain" played in almost every episode.
I wouldn't say this was on par with "Dusk Maiden", but it was decent to watch. It's not something I'd probably be watching again, but I will say that I definitely am glad I saw it. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to watch a decent romance that they hasn't seen just to see a small bit of drama.
Secret Santa Review
The whole show is well paced though it lacks a main conflict. We get to see a lot about the main character's past and it contributes to the story. However, everything turns out too well. The power of love solves everything and there's not a bit of resentment in the characters who make the conflict.
The character's designs are pretty common, I don't remember any background in particular but the clouds and the animation in the sky is really good. One thing that bothered me a bit was the fact that they didn't work much on the singing, Nike's mouth could have moved more...
A little bit disappointed here. Being so essential in the development of the story, the music could have been better. I was expecting it to move me but it was just like any other show's music. It was not bad, though.
Once you get past the fact that the love interest is a child (I really appreciate the fact that Libius wasn't given a female voice), the whole relationship is well developed. We can see how the feelings of the main characters grow throughout the series. Their personalities were well established through their background information. Moreover, some of the supporting characters were really funny and didn't feel as if they were just to fill space.
A simple story with good characters, it's worth seeing it. If you are in the mood of a simple story to soften your heart, this series will be perfect for you!
This is the first review I have written in a while, namely out of laziness, and also because I have watched a great many anime lately that were perfectly mediocre, and not really worth saying anything about. I felt I HAD to say something about this one though, it was really that good.
Every so often, when I am in a more patient mood, I go back through my "won't watch" list here on anime planet and check to see if maybe in my jaded browsing of things to watch I might have missed something. I do this because on occasion I find a real gem I mistakenly marked off. Such was the case with The World is Still Beautiful, and I could not have been happier to have been so wrong. Masterful storytelling, a romance that not only felt real and gradual, but also with characters you actually WANT to fall in love. No falling down stairs with heads landing on boobs here. Instead you get a real a story for once about an unlikely relationship between two very different people, it feels natural and unforced.
The art style decent for it's time, characters where all likeable in some way with a few being downright lovable, (looking at you Nike) and the music was just wonderful. You might think I would get tired of hearing "Tender Rain" after 12 episodes but NOPE, instead I kept turning up the volume everytime Nike started in. I have watched a large number of anime, and I am usually quite generous with my ratings but only a handful earn a full 5 stars/10/10 rating. I mention this because I have seen a couple of reviews calling this anime "average". I have seen TONS of "average" anime and this was vastly superior. I wanted to give it an 11/10 but the rating system didn't like that, so a perfect 10 it is.
TL:DR Watch this, it's a fantastic anime and you will only be disappointed by the fact that it's not longer than 12 episodes.
*I am NOT a professional reviewer by any stretch of the word, and what reviews I do are not like others you might see here, I don't rate via individual parts but by the anime as a complete experience and usually just say whatever comes to my mind.