Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars – Review

Today I’ve got a review of… a deeply mediocre giant robot show. Regalia has some sweet robot fights and cool sound design, but its actually storytelling is pretty darn bad. I like the base concept of a giant robot show centered not on Masculine Power but on the nature of sisterhood, but Regalia’s writing was just not strong enough to capitalize on that premise. Still, it does have some sweet traditionally animated robot fights, if that’s what you’re into.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below.

Episode 1

Solid effects and giant robot animation

“Twelve years ago – the kingdom of Rimgarde”

Also really punchy sound design – you can really feel the impact and power of these robots, the consequence of them smashing against each other in the rubble of this city

“The Enastorian Empire”

The two sisters, right

Yui is the blonde, Rena is the tiny one

But the tiny one is “big sis”

Aoi seems to be Yui’s manager. Yui’s apparently an important figure

The animation is pretty strong, though the background art is so-so

Kei, a mysterious white-haired girl

More great traditional robot animation

Regalia Gear are the robots

The enemy mech has a retractable ball and chain

Man, Rena’s mech looks so sweet. Awesome cape

Good orchestral music too, if fairly archetypal

Magne Alecto is Rena’s other name, as the core of her mech. She’s not actually human

I like that Yui immediately shuts down this thinking. “We’re family. I want to be your strength, big sis”

A mecha show about two sisters fighting as one is a very good idea

The choreography of the mech, and these flame effects, is phenomenal

I like how agile their mech is, too

Lots of Ominous Figures to conclude this episode

Episode 2

Welp, Yui’s the Empress of Enastoria

She holds a press conference discussing the incident

Rena reveals she was the Regalia at the not-Bastarl incident, and they discuss how to potentially fight back against more mechs

The intimate scenes between the sisters are good

Retty, some other friend of Yui’s

This three sizes joke sure isn’t funny

Ingrid and the other white-haired bad guys want the Regalia, Rena

“The country versus my sister” is a fine conflict, but this country feels totally unbelievable

Very good mech design for this magic show battle

I do really like that Yui’s cabinet is actually supportive

The fight choreography remains strong, and these magic tricks gimmicks do make this fight pretty unique

Episode 3

The sound design continues to be very impactful

Whoa, some Eva-style mecha body horror as this fight concludes

A blue-and-white mech appears to fight Rena’s mech

More distinctive effects animation, too. Though this fight is super busy

SHADOW RENA. This narrative’s major beats are all pretty tired stuff

Tisis is the other mech. Tia and Sara, the little girls who like eating, are its pilots

Looks like we now get a comfy festival segment

Tia and Sara know Rena. Tia is another Regalia

This episode’s mostly just really dull. This show doesn’t do slice of life well

Yeah, this episode was likely intended to be “the world we’re trying to protect,” but just came off as really boring

Episode 4

Humanizing the white-haired antagonist crew. Ingrid and the rest of them

Abel, the older man, volunteers to head out

The green-haired kid seems like the worst of them

Ingrid Tiesto, the first princess of Rimgarde – she’s apparently just as she was 12 years ago at the incident

So her whole royal crew are now the white-haired bunch

Kei, the young girl, is also a Regalia

This larger setting definitely doesn’t feel real at all. It’s a monster of the week world

“If you continue to fight us, your people will surely suffer.” The thematic battle is the text itself, but it’s so threadbare. This world needs to be more real for this conflict to feel meaningful

Rena’s losing her cool

“Why don’t you let Yui help you, Rena?” This episode’s big conflict

This sequence of Yui visiting the bridge being repaired is very good. Helps give a sense of this country and its people as real things

Episode 5

This world and narrative are just barely there. Everything outside of the bond between the two sisters is so floaty

They decide to broadcast their battle with Butlerman to the whole country

Yui makes some kind of pact with Rena and Alecto

Pretty solid animation and choreography this fight

Abel bites it heroically, as was foretold

Episode 6

Time for a hot springs episode, I guess?

Sara and Tia spent 2,000 years searching for Rena

This show’s biggest problem continues to be the incredibly threadbare nature of its narrative and world. Only the things the show cares about at any given moment feel meaningful or real at all

They get contacted by another Regalia who wants to meet them

Meanwhile, the white-haired girls visit their ruined country

They arrive at what looks like a decrepit regalia warehouse

Again, there’s no connective tissue pulling these dramatic touchstones together

Ryu and Enki are the wielder and Regalia-bearer. Lowe is the regalia

“Erinius… three Regalia governing the power of revenge”

Lux Ex Machina is the big bad sealed monster, lol

Another of those shows defined by a shadowy group of bad guys who meet nowhere to cackle over their evil plots

They decide to go to Rimgarde to understand Ingrid’s feelings

And the bratty kid attacks

Episode 7

A mech battle during freefall is a sweet idea, and this scene executes on it well

The animation is also solid

The way Rena’s mech uses its scarves as appendages is also very clever

The main group exploring this ruined city is pretty charming

Also allows Yui to genuinely come off as the little sister

They arrive at Kei and Ingrid

Rimgarde was researching some new energy source, a mysterious advisor appeared who furthered their research, it turned out they were just looking to revive Lux Ex Machina

Ingrid tries to explain her motivation, but the mech attacks! Artificially concealing her sympathetic motives is pretty meh

Right, Johann’s the bratty kid

Kei turns into a golden mech

I do like how distinctive all the mechs are. They even have their own unique transformation motif – Rena with her chains, Tia with lightning, Kei with the golden crystal

This fight is just a lot of flashy stuff happening, though. No real back and forth

Episode 8

“That over there – it’s not the real Kei!”

They go on a journey through Kei’s memories

Johann is the evil scientist who progressed their research

“You must have someone you care about, too!” Yui trying to reason with Johann

“The three Regalia of Erinius are together. We can cause a resonance”

Kei is freed by the other two

Everybody fighting Johann now. How does this show go on for another four or so episodes?

Lots of sweet robot attacks specific to their models. If you’re here for that, the show is pretty good at it

And remarkably good effects animation

Episode 9

Time to remember Abel for his sacrifices, I guess

“Succession.” So now Kei and Ingrid are just part of the main cast? I guess?

“What exactly was Johann after?” Time for the true big bad, I guess?

Some fuwa fuwa scenes of Ingrid trying on a dress

This show’s humor sure is bland

Ingrid recalling Yui’s mother

“Why do we have kings?” Jeez, Ingrid

“What do you like about your country?” The story sure is going in some odd directions now that it’s run out of plot

Talking about royalty being a symbol of pride for the people

A nice conversation about mothers and daughters

Ingrid congratulating Yui in her mother’s place

JOHANN ARRIVES

TWO JOHANNS

FOUR JOHANNS

Mechs appear around the palace

Ah, his plan is the end of the world. Of course

Yui collapses

Apparently there really is some curse associated with being bound to a Regalia

All the regalia and their pilots except Rei get swept up into some portal

Episode 10

Opening with a repeat of the first episode, Yui cooking breakfast in her home

RENA HAS DISAPPEARED FROM THE TIMELINE WHOAOAOAOA

“Isolation” Dun dun dun

This is such slapdash storytelling. Just a bunch of “and then this happened” events. There was no reason to suspect any of this

Apparently Yui’s not the princess anymore. But she… still has a personal assistant?

I guess the colors are okay, at least

Ah, seems like everyone is forgetting Yui gradually over time

Use the special rings, Yui!

“They are reminders that you are family.” Family is sort of a theme in this series, I guess

She runs into Sara and Tia in some alley

Oh right, Lux Ex Machina. That was the ancestral monster thing

Lux Ex Machina is… a giant satellite with tendrils that surround the earth

“Little by little I’ve begun erasing people’s memories. Especially their memories of Yui.” This is the dumbest fucking story. This is seriously just “alright, does anybody have any ideas for what happens this episode?” “Uh, maybe everyone gets… selective amnesia???”

Episode 11

“Prison”

Noah, Tia/Sara’s sister, is another of Johann’s slaves

Gold-haired Rena teleports the other three back into battle

Sweet transformation animation for Tia this time

Johann’s monologuing about how tragic his other giant robots are

“Your sister will never go back to her original form… and it’s all your fault! Let that sink in… she’s left like this, all because of you!” Writing

Johann is suuuuch a boring villain

A brief memory of just after Yui’s mother’s death. The strictly familial material is easily the show’s strongest stuff, along with the animation of its battle scenes

These three mechs have a good gimmick – they can all replace each other in battle, making it almost impossible to exploit each one’s distinct weaknesses

Really nice flute-led orchestral trill for Ingrid’s mech going overboard

Ah, golden Rena is Alecto

Episode 12

I like the somber tone of this opening segment

Lux Ex Machina is a repository of human souls or something

So they blow it up

And then crush it

All the souls come back

Bad guy’s still laughing though

How can this still fucking be his plan they’ve ruined like three of his plans

Oh no there’s some ancestral monster in the center???

The three sisters are having a rough time of it

Very badass entrance by Yui and Rena

“The power of love and friendship.” There it is

“The only power anyone can rely on is their own.” And there’s Johann

He emerges out of the wreck of his big mech in a normal-sized mech

Episode 13

This is an admittedly badass confrontation. This show’s mech designs and powers are very good on the whole

The mech’s gone full black sphere

Gold-Rena is actually the source of power for all regalia, Lux

Yui asks Lux for an extension

Lux joins the team!

The show’s thematic core burns down to “working together versus being alone,” and that’s just… pretty trite

The three mechs join into one mech

Fantastic effects animation for the final charge

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