Ken En Ken: Aoki Kagayaki Ep 1 [First Impression]
Eva’s First Impression
Well, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did since I knew absolutely nothing about it besides it being based on a game. That being said, it certainly wasn’t perfect. You can tell they were trying to cram as much stuff into the first episode because the both Yin’s ‘chance’ encounter with Yun, and Zhao’s encounter with the Empress were both rushed and weren’t exactly fleshed out as much as they could have been. Actually I would say the whole scene when Yin obtained the uh, scroll (for the lack of a better word) that can summon Yun was poorly done. It was so random, that it felt almost forced. They basically had her walk into an abandoned house, fall through the floor and bam she’s in this hidden chamber where there she finds this glowing pot that gives her such powers. It is an understatement to say, this could have been executed a lot better.
They were quick to establish what could potentially play out as a tragedy between childhood friends, who will find themselves as each other’s oppositions. The three of them were separated after their village was attacked by the Taibai Empire, and neither sides knows the others are alive. We have Yin and Ning, sisters who are street performers, constantly on the go since they towns grow tired of their same old routines
(if that’s the case, they ought to change it up). And then there is their friend Zhao, a wood-copper slave, who taught himself how to engineer and read the blue prints by using the scrap pieces of the Constructs they built.
It surprised me a bit how they actually bothered to leave out the big event of the empire attacking their village. This probably would have been better to include in the first episode to properly establish what happened, how they were split up in the first place. But I think it would have also helped give us insight on why is that even though Zhao believes they were killed, but it seems as though he doesn’t actually harbour a grudge against the empire for it, which is a bit perplexing to me considering how we are supposed to believe they are dear to him. It will be very interesting to see how he will react when he learns they are alive, and fighting alongside the rebels. The Constructs that he will eventually design will certainly be the ones going after them.
What’s also important to note, is whether or not Zhao will get swept up in his passion of creation and fail to heed the warnings from Chief Engineer Mo, of a dangerous design (the Zengtian) that shouldn’t be built, before he burns all of his blue prints and betrays the empire by fleeing to join the rebels. He is effectively replaced by Zhao, who is saved by the Empress he had unknowingly befriended, and who promoted to the noble status. Empress Long Chen sees his potential and passion for engineering, so she is giving him the tools and education needed for him to fill the void.
Speaking It is unclear how old Empress Long Chen is, she certainly has a baby face, but when she’s in her role she is one to be taken seriously. I wonder what is going to become of her relationship with Zhao, as right now she sort of settled into the role of being his ‘little sister’ since he claimed he was too old for ‘childhood friends’. I wished she and Zhao had more time to properly establish a more believable friendship, unless she was merely interested in his abilities as a self-taught engineer.
Meanwhile, Yin has a fated encounter of discovering and obtaining a new power, where she can summon Yun, a “living” weapon crafted using the art of Mujia. Yun is able to seamlessly take down the Constructs, but is certainly not invincible. It was super cool to see how she can take on an alternative form and the transformation sequence was stunning to watch as well. On top of obtaining a Yun as her ‘servant’, Yin is also able to wield a powerful sword capable of deflecting the Constructs’ projectiles and taking them down. She and Yun are the two unsuspected unknowns that completely threw the Generals off their game plan, who were ordered to capture the former Chief Engineer Mo, while saving the village from being wiped out entirely.
The OP sequence also has me really curious of what will become of Ning. She is already an interesting character with unique capabilities of her own as she learned how to wield a sword with her feet as part of routine for their street performances. She lost her arms, and currently use Prosthesis of a sorts in its place. This episode, she was sort of reduced to the ‘damsel in distress’ role, where she wasn’t actively able to contribute to the fights. As of right now, it is only Zhao and Yin whose roles have more or less been established.
I suspect once the dust settles, we will be given a proper explanation on what exactly are weapons that are crafted by the art of Mujia. There is also much to learn about the new weapon that the Taibai Empire wants to build, the Zhengtian. It described to be a fortress powered by unlimited power source “black fire” found within a Kuican Ruin. Once it’s completed, nobody will be able to stop it.
Overall despite its obvious flaws, I am still very interested in seeing the direction this show will go. Again, with little to no information out about this series, I am very much going into this completely blind, which certainly adds the element of surprise!
Possibility of Blogging: Moderate – I will start off by giving this show three episodes so I can weigh my options!
Possibility of Watching: Moderate