Simoun – Episode 4

Let’s return to the fantastical Simoun! With the first three episodes in the bag, we’ve established a solid dramatic platform for the show to come. Neviril’s misgivings about her role as a priestess were given plenty of room to breathe in the show’s compelling second episode, while the somewhat more straightforward third episode gave us a clearer picture of the overall team. Some initial character conflicts are clear enough already, and there’s a well-founded divide between the new cadets, who all seem eager to prove themselves, and the old guard, who are still dumbstruck by the idea that their guardianship is no longer just ceremonial.

On top of the overt narrative, we’ve also got the show’s intriguing mix of gender and overall societal critique, a far-reaching metaphor that, in spite of its fanciful details and general creative ambition, ultimately helps ground the show in some universal thematic conflicts. I’m very intrigued by this show’s world, but for all that stuff to land, we’ll first have to be sold on its central cast. So let’s jump right in, and see if this ragtag bunch can come together into a real team!

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Simoun – Episode 3

Today we’re returning to Simoun! The first two episodes of this show were very good and very different from each other, and I’m eager to see where it goes next. The premiere itself was a pretty stunning affair all around, demonstrating a terrific balance of worldbuilding and narrative movement while introducing us to a very unique world. The second episode further illustrated some of the specific tenets of that world, putting concepts like the inevitability of visiting the Spring in stark personal terms. This world feels like both a fully realized fantasy and a clear parallel of many of our own world’s charged topics, and I’m excited to see where this story goes next. Let’s get right to it!

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Simoun – Episode 2

Let’s get back to Simoun! Simoun’s first episode was an astonishingly rich premiere, packed with compelling worldbuilding and intriguing thematic subtext. The twin pillars of the holy land’s strange, martially-focused theocracy and its gender-related cultural assumptions gave me a whole bunch to dig into, and on top of that, the episode was also just fast-paced and beautiful. We were given enough natural hints to draw up an alluring portrait of life in this world without exposition ever overrunning narrative, and I’m already somewhat invested in several of our apparent lead characters. Fantastic premieres are a lot more common than fantastic shows, but a great premiere is certainly a good way to start. Let’s see what episode two brings!

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Simoun – Episode 1

Alright, let’s get started on Simoun! I don’t actually know all that much about this series, but I know enough to have it placed on my internal shortlist of must-see anime. By reputation alone, Simoun seems to be one of those fragmented classics that end up on a lot of personal lists but never really receive all that much public recognition. Mari Okada seems very good at creating those kind of “this messy show is my ENTIRE SOUL” stories, and that plus an interesting aesthetic and a story that apparently takes a very unique approach to gender identity seems like a very fine recipe. I’ve tried to keep myself relatively ignorant of Simoun’s twists, and I’m excited to see where this adventure goes. Let’s get to it!

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