This blog post is mostly a first episode recap of what happens in episode one because of SO MUCH introductory plot development. Episode one continuously layers perspectives and information until the inciting incident throws the protagonist and the audience into the heart of the conflict, tied down by a number of strings regarding back story past and present day events.
The story takes place in a small island country called Nil Kamui, borne between the power struggles from Kouran of the east and Donatia on the west. Our protagonist, Ibuki, is descendant from the royal line of Imperials, however he has no intention to succeed his father nor take up arms because he feels Nil Kamui has need for King. The introductions don’t stray far from irony and by the end of the episode, Ibuki’s entire outlook on life will change.
In this world, Seven Dragons exist, the Red Dragon who guards Nil Kamui, has acted out and attacked its people since the last war. As a result, the country of Kouran is planning an expedition to slay it in order to secure power and control. Multiple perspectives are introduced, some soldiers are planning a revolutions, in a cave near the orphanage, a girl is bathing in the river; later in the market, Sir Swallow, a knight, and his companion Meryl are exploring the market streets. Meryl reminds Swallow that power tensions linger in the country. War doesn’t seem a far cry from this every day tenuous peace. Swallow claims he’ll be joining the Red Dragon expedition out of obligation to his contract with the Black Dragon.
The main issue with one of the Seven Dragons pushes a number of characters to take action. There is a huge bulk of information the first episode puts forth and even opts for a huge paragraph summary of Nil Kamui on the screen card that divides the episode between breaks. Here we find out that the royal family reigning over Nil Kamui should have unique powers, blessed and protected by the divine. “The blade-less sword, Ryugatou, living proof of the Imperials, has been lost for ages.”
The multiple perspectives gives us a good idea of how many parties are affected and involved by the existence of Nil Kamui. As Ibuki and his friends from the orphanage are bargaining prices, Kouran’s troops parade down the streets. Kouran boasts a Dragon Eye artifact that will give them the upper hand against the Red Dragon. Ibuki senses the power of the Dragon Eye and sees the Red Dragon in his sub conscious who tempts him with a pledge. In the middle of Nil Kamui’s market, the Kouran forces announce the expedition against the Red Dragon. Rebels charge into the market and a fight breaks out between Nil Kamui and Kouran. A girl atop a winged beast soars into battle against Kouran. The Dragon Eye artifact attaches itself to Ibuki and the words of the Red Dragon ring into his mind again.
Ibuki remembers the battle where his family and kingdom were burnt to the ground by Kouran. The Red Dragon finally demands a contract with Ibuki, recognizing his royal blood and promising him power to achieve his wishes. All Ibuki wants is to protect his friends and keep the peace. Ibuki wants the power to save his friend Mashiro and is determined to change the world but in his pledge he must sacrifice Mashiro’s life. As a result, her soul will forever be bonded to the blade and him. OH DAMN THINGS HEAT UP IN EPISODE ONE ALREADY and Ibuki gets to work immediately, taking down a huge Kouran soldier. The battle is EPIC. Everyone is shocked and intrigued by this new development that an Imperial still exists, that Ibuki’s created a contract with the Red Dragon. Ibuki meets Eiha, a member of the revolution. Ibuki officially introduces himself as the future king of the island of Nil Kamui.
I honestly don’t remember the last time an opening episode got me so riled up. Needless to say I’ll be following this series weekly for this season. No questions asked.
What are you pondering today?