Chained Soldier episode 1 aired on Thursday, bringing about what could go down as the degenerate anime of the Winter 2024 season. The ecchi in Chained Soldier is undoubtedly the commercial draw for the series. Even though the premiere was rather tame in that department and the production wasn’t anything groundbreaking, it was still a fun watch from start to finish and that’s what the series entails — pure enjoyment.
There isn’t much to go off of with the first episode of Chained Soldier other than plenty of character exposition, a rather simple and easy-to-follow plot line, and a sprinkle of humor thrown in there. There’s no doubt the series has a target audience. However, another anime adaptation of Takahiro’s work has me amped and one thing we can always count on to deliver is the hype action.
Much like Akame from Akake Ga Kill, the main character in Chained Soldier, Kyouka, also fights with a sword in comparison to everyone else, and it’s all from hard training. But that’s what I love — everyone has their own little ability to make things interesting and none really grab from Takahiro’s other works, even Hinowa Ga Crush. Kyouka is already a wonderfully established main character that proved to have much more to learn about and is immediately hard to hate. Everyone from the 7th Squadron brings their own uniqueness to the series. If anything, it’s Yuuki that’s the corny one to me.
I think the best part of this series I’m going to enjoy is that the isekai part of the series is already immediately swept under the rug. Yuuki is transported to another world and that does fall in line with the isekai genre, but it never once felt like it since the writing actually ties in both worlds to each other. So, I already love the characters (for the most part). Hiroyuki Yoshii did a phenomenal job with the character designs and matching them with Yohei Takemura’s original designs in the manga.
I feel like Chained Soldier is going to have a few girls on our Best Girl of the Season final poll when all is said and done. I can’t say the same for Yuuki being on any best boy list but maybe his new badass form and a few more fights here and there can convince some people. The powers were showcased without hesitation and didn’t need much explanation– that’s a good thing. For a series focused on other routes, it’s best not to muddy things up where they don’t need to be.
I think the premiere did a really good job with Kyouka and having her voice actress, Akari Kitou, also sing the opening theme was a nice touch. There’s room for good character development and backstory with her. I can’t say the same for the others but there’s undoubtedly going to be plenty of debates among the fans about which female character they love the most for many different reasons. But for now, Kyouka is number one as she should be.
Chained Soldier Episode 1 Production
To be blunt, the production for the episode wasn’t the greatest among all of the recent Winter 2024 debuts. The CGI was already expected when we saw the trailers for the series and its delays were more than enough to prove that the production was already a mess from the beginning. The color design and voice acting made up for some hiccups in the animation department. Some things are just nitpicky, but overall, it was solid.
While outsourcing for the episode and delays in the series can give some cause for concern on what future episodes entail, what we see is the final product either way. Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 had serious production issues yet the animators and episode directors still gave it their all and gave us what I voted for as the best anime of the Fall 2023 season. I still lean towards Ishura having the better season premiere on, well, every level. Regardless, Chained Soldier still gave us a hype season premiere and that’s what I liked to think of most.
Chained Soldier Episode 1 Wrap-Up
The ending is a much different change of pace from the opening, and that really threw me off. Both are going to have to grow on me a bit throughout the season but right now, I just can’t see myself taking that ending seriously given how the series is a dark fantasy action. The bright and vibrant colors don’t go well with the tone of the series at all like the opening does. It definitely didn’t shy away from the fanservice. All in all, though, it was a fun episode and I think it adapted the manga in a pretty good way.
Episode 1 rating: 7.5/10
If you enjoyed Chained Soldier episode 1 then be sure to vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 2 of Chained Soldier will be Thursday, January 11. HIDIVE is streaming the uncensored version of the anime.
Image sources via HIDIVE
© Takahiro / Yohei Takemura / Shueisha / Magic Defense Corps Public Relations Department