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The Price of Smiles Discussion Thread

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  • [Winter 2019] The Price of Smiles Discussion Thread

    Widgets Magazine
    エガオノダイカ

    A fantasy show about two girls from very different worlds who are smiling, and fighting quite hard to keep on smiling.

    Airs: Friday, January 4, 2018

    Studio: Tatsunoko

    ANN Entry
    My Anime List
    Official Site
    Crunchyroll

    On a planet far from Earth, there is a kingdom full of smiling faces. Princess Yuuki is 12 years old, and about to enter a sensitive age in a person's life. Everyday, she cries, laughs, and sometimes, her heart throbs with excitement. All the while, she lives merrily in the royal palace.

    Filling her days are her loyal vassals: her tutor Reira, Izana who assists in political affairs, the leader of the chivalry Harold ? and then there is her childhood friend and aide Joshua.

    "Yuuki! If you have spirit and guts, you can do anything!"

    "?No, not this again! Joshua, be nobler!"

    Stella is 17 years old and a capable, reserved soldier. However, she is always smiling ... for smiling is essential to living.

    This is a story of two girls born on distant planets.


    Notes
    As usual, please try to follow these three easy forum courtesy habits when replying:
    1) If you're the first person to post about an episode in any given week, please respond to the root post (this post) and indicate in the subject line which episode you're posting about.
    2) If someone has already posted about an episode before you, please respond to that post (or a relevant reply to that post). Keep in the right subthread.
    3) Don't use the "Reply to Thread" button because it causes your reply not to correctly inherit the subject line of the post you're replying to. Just click "Reply" to the post you want to reply to.

    For more guidelines please refer to this thread.
    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Haru, My Roommate is a Cat
    Watching: And Yet the Town Moves, Super Sonico, Hayate the Combat Butler season 2, Toonami Stuff
    Simulcasts: FTL, TOA-I, TSL, SAO, KTF, CQK, KMF, DAL, TSH, PNL, More TBD
    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

  • #2
    Episode 1

    Capture the flag.

    Well, not much happens in the beginning as it's just a prelude for big things to come. Princess Yuki is introduced as someone who smiles and is looking to establish and maintain peaceful relationships with her neighbors, all while the soldiers get introduced led by Joshua as they engage in a game of capture the flag in mechas. I realize that Tatsunoko isn't exactly known for their animation quality as I felt it was off for the match, but it still had some decent drama to it. Anyway, things figure to get more interesting once Stella and company arrive, and that's when I'll really know exactly what this show is trying to be as I just don't know after this episode.

    So like always, trial rules apply, and with this being one of the first shows of the new season knowing absolutely nothing about, I can't gauge it's prospects without watching a little bit more of this.
    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Haru, My Roommate is a Cat
    Watching: And Yet the Town Moves, Super Sonico, Hayate the Combat Butler season 2, Toonami Stuff
    Simulcasts: FTL, TOA-I, TSL, SAO, KTF, CQK, KMF, DAL, TSH, PNL, More TBD
    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

    Comment


    • #3
      Episode 2

      This is no cause for smiling.

      After an episode dedicated to training, the real battle is on, and in the end Joshua was KIA'd, leading to Yuki to break down. As it turns out, the empire isn't exactly in the wrong as they are running out of resources and on the verge of collapsing due to their large size. That was just a sudden punch in the gut there seeing Joshua go out so quickly. Next time, it's Stella's turn to get finally get her time in the spotlight. Yuki's story just felt underwhelming, and I'm hoping that Stella's story turns out better than this as unlike with Yuki, Stella has to go out on the battlefield herself looking to smile in the face of the situation.
      MyAnimeList | Avatar: Haru, My Roommate is a Cat
      Watching: And Yet the Town Moves, Super Sonico, Hayate the Combat Butler season 2, Toonami Stuff
      Simulcasts: FTL, TOA-I, TSL, SAO, KTF, CQK, KMF, DAL, TSH, PNL, More TBD
      The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

      Comment


      • #4
        Episode 3

        Fighting to survive.

        And now, the war is told from an imperial soldier's perspective as last time, it was mentioned that the Empire is trying to stay upright with resources dwindling as it had become too big for its own good. Stella's job is to blow up a plant and steal a device that could help out with food production in the process, and while they made friends with some kids who are just hanging around as outcasts, after seeing how ruthless these guys can be they have another opinion about them. Stella is between a rock and a hard place here as while she will follow orders, she's having doubts about them. Quite a nice way to humanize these soldiers that aren't exactly doing this because they want to rule the land, but it just goes to show how tough war is on everybody. This show is certainly better when it focuses on the Empire rather than the Kingdom.

        So I'll give it one more episode before deciding what to do with this show. It looked like a sure-fire drop at the beginning, but after this episode, it's not so obvious of a decision.
        MyAnimeList | Avatar: Haru, My Roommate is a Cat
        Watching: And Yet the Town Moves, Super Sonico, Hayate the Combat Butler season 2, Toonami Stuff
        Simulcasts: FTL, TOA-I, TSL, SAO, KTF, CQK, KMF, DAL, TSH, PNL, More TBD
        The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

        Comment


        • #5
          Episode 4

          It's going to be really cruel if the OP that gives some hope turns out to be a lie. In any case, we learned some things, maybe too many things. Then again they likely wanted us to learn so we could dread future events.

          I think what's going to be interesting is what if anything is going to help Yuki and Stella bond. Will be interesting to see if Stella does in fact get assassination orders. That could be one thing that leads to it.

          This is definitely one of the better shows this season. Granted I'm only watching 12 shows, three of which are shorts. So more like 10 shows. Also in this case I am just counting the new stuff that started this season.
          "So be it you have control of the world, but I will rule the universe! The power of Sword and Axe!"
          Avatar: Tatyana of Romancing SaGa 3

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Episode 4

            Can't save everybody.

            So the kingdom and empire had previously agreed to stop fighting and share their technology, but there were some who just wouldn't agree to it and these terrorists caused quite a lot of destruction in the wake. The king and queen were killed, and if it weren't for Layla, Yuki would have been dead as well. And Yuki makes a tough decision to try and rescue those who haven't evacuated town, but that ended in failure going to make Yuki realize that this is the nature of war. Just a tough break there going to show that Yuki is way to naive to rule the kingdom.

            So with that, the trial period has expired, and I'm not sure if I'm going to keep this show or not as it's on the bubble. The show has been great when the focus was on the empire, but not so much with the kingdom. I'm up for giving it an extended trial period at the very least.
            MyAnimeList | Avatar: Haru, My Roommate is a Cat
            Watching: And Yet the Town Moves, Super Sonico, Hayate the Combat Butler season 2, Toonami Stuff
            Simulcasts: FTL, TOA-I, TSL, SAO, KTF, CQK, KMF, DAL, TSH, PNL, More TBD
            The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

            Comment


            • #7
              Episode 6

              It would not be surprising that the giant canyon shown in Episode 6 was used as a metaphor for something in the story. However, it can also be used as a self-referential metaphor for The Price of Smiles as a whole series. Namely:

              You can cleave a giant part of the series - like half of the cour - from the rest, and not cut anything from the actual story.

              I have been holding off posting anything about The Price of Smiles because I wanted the series to present me with a solid, concrete reason that I could use to explain why I wait to watch each episode to stream every week. Unfortunately, after watching Episode 6 I am confident the series will not provide me with one.

              For half of the series, we have been setting the backstory and describing the characters - except everything that has taken six episodes to do could have been easily condensed into under three without losing anything except the sense that the writer does not know where the story is going. While the backstory is fairly interesting, the characters have been unfortunately memorable. I know that ANN's review regarded the episodes with Stella and her comrades as better than the rest, but that is not a supportable position. ALL the episodes, and all the characters, have failed to shine. Aside from the lack of a narrative to push the series forward, we have the princess and her loyal subordinates, who come of as incompetent idiots (Even the supposedly experienced officers - you knew enough to post defenses to guard a salient that the enemy could use to flank your position, but you did not bother guarding it enough to stop what was tantamount to a raiding force from exploiting your weakness?); as well as Stella and her comrades and superiors, whose only motivations are 'we're greedy jerks who want your stuff.' That is literally the sum total of the invaders' motives thus expressed. Perhaps it is fitting that Stella appears to be such a flat character even to her comrades - because everyone in the series is!

              The Price of Smiles suffers from the gravest sin that a form of entertainment can have - it is boring. Very boring. If the local sun went nova, at least it would give the viewer the excitement of seeing both sets of completely flat characters get incinerated in the stellar flames, after which the viewer could presumably do something much more worthwhile. You know, like watching paint dry.

              For what was suppose to be Tatsunoko Productions' 55th anniversary celebration, having something that was not boring would have been the minimum expectation. The audience should not have to suffer from what we got.

              C.T.
              You never know who you might be walking next to one day - LT Michael P. Murphy, USN, MOH, 28 June 2005 - Penn State Class of 1998

              Comment


              • #8
                Episode 8

                So we're eight episodes into the series and based on the pacing this should be two cour, but it's one cour. Stella and Yuki still haven't met so the OP/ED is probably a lie or the two will meet for 10 seconds and then end credits of the last episode will roll.

                In theory, I like this show, but the problem is in what I mentioned. The first cour is only going to truly work if it's followed by a second cour. Otherwise there will be huge disappointment by the end.

                You know what else? It feels like we're basically repeating the motions. Life for Yuki's side sucks. Stella's side is fully of glory. Yes, Stella does get a bit of suffering on occasion, but for the most part everything goes right for her. Still that moment in episode 7 might be a sign things will change?

                Oh and here's my guess about Chars. Chrars, Charr, Charred. Yeah they probably ruin the land in the long term or make it even worse as some have suggested. It's either that or some Captain Planet analogy.

                "So be it you have control of the world, but I will rule the universe! The power of Sword and Axe!"
                Avatar: Tatyana of Romancing SaGa 3

                Comment

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