The World is Still Beautiful

Alt title: Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii

Vol: 25; Ch: 143
2009 - 2020
4.169 out of 5 from 1,060 votes
Rank #1,111
The World is Still Beautiful

Nike, the fourth princess of the Rain Dukedom and one who holds the power to call forth the rain, travels to the Sun Kingdom to marry King Livius on behalf of her country after losing a game of rock, paper, scissors to her three older sisters. Upon arriving at the Sun Kingdom, she discovers that the Livius, who conquered the world in only three years after his ascendance to the throne, is only fifteen years old!

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The world, apparently, is still beautiful irritating and aggravating. This story is like if a romance and politics did a meet cute as imagined by a 5 year old. Just, for reference: Livius and Nike are the King and Princess of the Sun Kingdom, respectively, the kingdom that conquered the entire world before the story starts. We'll get into the story later on, but here's some beautiful quotes from the series: Nike: There is no right or wrong, but "how things are" makes up "the world"... People cannot decide what is necessary. For all you wanting an epistemological analysis of morality, unfortunately, this is the "toddlers having a food fight in the cafeteria asking 'what is good'" version of it? And not in the Dadaist way. Livi: The most important thing isn't how to govern. As long as it's possible, you are free to govern with any system you'd like. Nothing has brought world peace quicker than kings consolidating power over others with good intentions, as intentions clearly are the only things that matter. Random Person: You're blaming yourself for whatever wrong you committed, but you're not god, you're just a normal human being. Being able to make mistakes is the privilege of being human. This might be more relevant if said person hadn't nearly murdered 1000 people, and through sheer luck only killed a few, destroyed an entire village, their entire economy, a major palace, and the vilage's livelihoods. To err is human, to mass murder is... divine? I'm omitting more quotes to avoid spoilers. We also goes through painstaking effort to try to justify why a 30+ year old man trying to marry a 12-year-old, prepubescent girl with the entire cast making sex jokes about the 12-year-old is actually morally acceptable. Am I being harsher on this than I would normally would be for a series? Absolutely, because The World is Still Beautiful tries to moralize predatory relationships and add themes of morality and governance and fails abysmally, rather than just accept this as part of the world the story takes place in. All this and our review hasn't actually gotten to the story yet. Story: 1/10 Nike, a princess from the Rain Kingdom is sent to Sun Kingdom to marry Livius, a fearsome, vindictive man who conquered the entire world in the 3 years since he became king. She's rebellious and spunky, unafraid to speak her mind and unwilling to be contained or held back, and contrasts with his dead eyes and general misanthropy. And her spunkiness lasts for at least 5 chapters, at least until she's worried that letting her soon-to-be husband know that her grandma is sick could inconvenience him, so she holds that in. Truly, speaks her mind. Then, we go on a series of adventures situations where Livius or Nike go alone to various places, Nike ends up becoming kidnapped, her captors fall in love with her, they may or may not try to sexually violate her, but she never loses beauty in seeing the world. Characters: 4/10 That's not to say there aren't redeeming parts of the story: Livius's arc when Nike is going through issues, delving into his traumatic past and his early life as king, is excellent. Early on, the series gives us some excellent depth into villains ahead of time, trying to show that they have their own, relatable motives leading them to do awful things. Awful things happen, which leads to others taking out their vengeance on others, which then perpetuates the cycle. And the series knows this, which is especially ironic given how it ends. There's also some development of characters and artifacts well before they become integral to the story, highlighting at least an effort to tie-in prior events. There's still many loose ends and poorly contrived plot devices, but an attempt was made. Let's ignore how Livius and Nike decide, despite being the King and Princess of the empire ruling the world, decide to do everything by themselves, with at most a few aides or retainers. There's numerous other contrivances that are hilarious in retrospect but are repeatedly played seriously, like how Livius weeded out corruption in the entire empire and conquered the entire world. Which is a shame, because the story started off on extremely solid footing and later was able to briefly recapture its initial charm with a darker take on Livius's past. SPOILER The last few arcs are when things really go off the rails, and become a series of relatively nonsensical escalations to a climactic finale, only to be undone like 5 chapters later. The arc starting with the Grand Duke kidnapping her is especially hilarious because it highlightts how nonsensical the worldbuilding is. Livius is the king of the entire world, and yet the villains are able to escape his jurisdiction in less than 2 days, 1 day mostly without moving and on foot. Technically, the place he doesn't have jurisdiction is a place under his domain under his military protection, but he can't send his troops there for political reasons. Anyway, it's from here on we learn that Livius has a manial evil half-brother who looks like an older version of him, set to destroy the world and bring it to a catacylismic end for um, reasons. After a series of misconceived escalations, the story ends with Nike being whisked away to the "hyperspace" outside of the world, where she is now the protector of the world, sacrificing herself for humanity. But because this is what she wants, it is not a sacrifice, it is her own kindness shining through. Except we need a happy ending, so Livius desperately finds a way to bring her back, and through the magicks of a Mr. Deus ex Machina (sir not appearing in this film), all the rulers of the world gather in his kingdom deciding to work together to bring a single girl back to the world. And appealing to all foreign countries (which foreign countries, I ask) working together to reunite Nike and Livius. And if that wasn't bad, it ends with the most vomit-inducing panel, a tearful reunion of Livius and Nike where she says... she came back to be his wife. Ah yes, truly our spunky, independent girl right here. Seriously, what was that? What? Was? That?

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