I always have a problem when a show can’t seem to decide on a title. That usually means confusion in how to best present it. “The World is Still Beautiful”, also known as “Still World is Beautiful” (“Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukush”, “Even So, The World is Beautiful“) does somehow manage to avoid most of it, but not completely.
In this world, Nike Lemercier, 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 Sun King Livius Orvinus Ifrikia (Livius I) for her country, despite her own reluctance. She soon discovers that the King, who conquered the world in only three years after his ascendance to the throne, is still a child, both physically and emotionally. And being one of those ‘my way or the highway’ types, he potentially has never been told ‘no’ in his life. Well, Nike is going to break that record.
Also, as you can tell by the names of their countries, it rains a lot in the Dukedom (think of Seattle, but without good coffee shops), and hardly ever at all in the Kingdom (think of Phoenix, but without the Sun Devils football team). The story details the twin relationships of them trying to get along (the “Battling Bickersons” come off like lovey-dovey compared to these two) and external forces that didn’t really want this union to exist at all.
Now, the problem is that the people of the Sun Kingdom clearly love her more than Livius does or shows to her. He has a terrible back story, which makes his cold and cruel and petulant and honestly does not know how to really care for someone else. He is the king, after all. A lot of the stories are this culture clash and that Nike is older and far more mature than Livius, who really only knows a world of war and destruction and subjugation.
Albeit a romantic comedy with dramatic elements, it does follow the regular arc in that the real story doesn’t show up until the last four episodes.
This is a misapplied show. We knew there was going to be a period of adjustment and that she would calm his rage and he would make her less naïve, and that things would go in stops and starts, but it just feels contrived. She wants to love him but can’t. He wants to love her but won’t. Perhaps this is closer aligned with what happens with these royal marriages, but it just seems to be missing something I can’t put a finger on. Maybe if I felt there was more peril. Then, again, it just might be one of those all-around misfittings. It works in its own quirky way and just let it go at that.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Enormous eyes, even for anime)
Plot 7 (Nice idea, weak execution)
Pacing 7 (Moves along consistently)
Effectiveness 7 (It operates within its own rules)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 7 (Really strained ending)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Please call up the rain.