The Price of Smiles aired its first episode on 4 January 2019! It tells an amazing story of two girls living on a planet somewhere in the galaxy and features big robots called Theurgear, which humans can ride to fight their wars. I will review this series and hope you will follow me through this adventure. I don’t watch much of the mecha genre and will review it for the first time, so I hope may of you will be patient with me, especially if I don’t use quite the right terms and words for things. Now let’s see what the first episode of this new genre offered!
Japanese Title: ソレイユの少女 (Soreiyu no shōjo)
Episode 1 – The Girl from Soleil
Meet the 12-year-old princess, Yuki. She is about to take on an important role in her kingdom, as she will finally have to take on her duties. When she is faced with the sheer amount of those duties, she decides to escape for just a day with her best friend (and ‘brother’ since they were raised together) and member of her guard: Joshua. Her first day as a princess isn’t easy, as she is being tested by other people who are helping her run her kingdom, like a girl called Yuni. Joshua can’t let anybody look down on his princess, so he challenges them to a battle in a Theurgear.
Princess Yuki, a 12-year-old girl
She gives me a strong impression of Sailor Moon. She does sound and behave a bit like Usagi Tsukino and is in the same way loveable. The best part is that she actually does seem to behave like a real 12-year-old girl who is forced to become a princess way too soon. She whines, wants to see her parents, and runs away doing other stuff. She faces everything with a kind heart but also naivety. I like her a lot!
I like what I have seen so far even if it wasn’t much. There has been a lot of talk about how people are on this planet because of an energy source called Chrarslapis. There are other countries that aren’t quite as fortunate and of course there are people questioning the need of a monarchy. I really want to know more about this world and how it is built and get deeper to the things behind it. I just hope it will be creative and offer no standard explanation like we have seen in other series before. I’m hopeful!
A secret war
As I understood it, Yuki doesn’t know her kingdom is at war and she happily (if unintentionally) sends away her best friend Joshua to fight there. He is her best friend, possibly her first love, and very much her only real family, as he was raised like her brother. So she is old enough to take on all this responsibility, to be tested by Yuni about her abilities and to make decisions about how to interact with a country she assumes she at war with. But don’t you dare tell the little smiling Princess that there is a war going on and nothing peaceful between the two nations! I already feel bad for Yuki.
Themes and Trivia
It’s so funny how they use Tokyo as a ‘map’ to play their little mecha training game. Not only do they make it sound as if this has been an eternity ago but Yuki implies that the city looks ugly.
Why a Monarchy?
I wondered why a monarchy would ever be considered in the future, if the current world doesn’t really have many that are effectively leading a country. It seems like such a romantic take on politics. The only reason I could think of was (that wasn’t simply because it is more like a fairytale) is that a king or emperor probably cares more about the people that keep him alive and fed than a president would, who is maybe only elected for a certain period of time. The king has to take care of the country or not only his people but also his family will suffer. We don’t know what happened to Earth or why they left the planet, but I assume that the leader on that mission was also the person who became the king on the voyage and who cared for all the people. Stability and continuity in a phase of inhabiting a new planet probably was more important than the democracy and like that it does sound like a plausible explanation for this scenario.
I have to say I really enjoyed the first episode, except that last bomb they threw in just before the ending. Princess Yuki is a character I like a lot more than I thought I would and I hope she won’t be hurt too much as the story advances. As far as first episodes go, I think this one was done very well, even though there were some political instances I could have not seen. I am sure they will help us understand the story at later parts. I guess in the next episode we will dive into the other half of the main cast, the girl called Stella! What kind of life does she have?