First Impression: Magatsu Wahrheit: Zuerst

In the capital of a retrofuturistic empire with Ancién Régime elements, a troubled emperor deploys the army and grants emergency powers to his senate, the Diet. In many places of the countryside, dinosaur-like creatures called “mutants” are attacking villages. The traffic in firearms is on the rise in all the Empire, and with it have come uprisings, crime, and discontent, both among the aristocrats and the general population. Enter Leocadio, a young recruit of the Empire´s army preparing for his first day at work. He will finally be able to earn a living now, after living for some time in the place of a friend, a widower soldier with many children and side jobs. On his way, Leocadio helps a transporter named Immanuel load some boxes and, by mistake, they include one that, unbeknownst to them, carries smuggled firearms. And thus, Immanuel is arrested at his destiny under the emergency laws, then rescued when the firearm smugglers come to recover the cargo. Leocadio’s unit, commanded by the suspicious Heruman, is sent to catch them. A battle begins and Immanuel, on impulse, kills a soldier to save a red-haired smuggler girl. The soldier killed happens to be a friend of Leocadio…

What a treat! As you can see, there is a complex political tapestry presented in a clever, agile way, with interesting possibilities everywhere. Mutants, magic, politics, weaponry, first job, duty, the army—you name it. The characters look human and relatable, the conflict between the smugglers and the Diet isn’t clear-cut, and arguments could (and probably will) be made for both sides. The initial episode works hard to demonstrate what kind of place the Empire is and what is like to live and work here, with elements of the Napoleonic period, the Meiji era, the Renaissance, and even WWI. Leocadio and Immanuel, both sympathetic and relatable characters, have been set against each other by circumstances, and the rest of the cast seems promising. And there is also the fast-paced, modern-looking opening paired with Maon Kurosaki´s theme I Can Do Anything if I Can Save You,” along with the details, the people in the street, the architecture… So far, this is my favorite episode of the fall season. Magatsu Wahrheit strikes all the right chords for me, and I can´t wait to see what happens next.

Magatsu Wahrheit: Zuerst is streaming at Funimation.

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