Princess Nike is forgiven by Livius and is back in his good graces. The rival for her affections, Prince Bard, is still imprisoned by Livius’s command. Seeing Prince Bard as an important figure from Livius’s past, Nike works to help both Prince Bard and Livius to see past the bad memories they have together and move forward. Nike is called back to the Principality of Rain due to her ailing grandmother. Sensing trouble, Livius accompanies her. A plot by Nike’s family could potentially ruin Nike’s relationship with her family and separate her from Livius forever.
I enjoyed this set of episodes mostly because we get a bigger glimpse into Livius’s character after his mother’s death, when he ascended to the throne. It was great to get a “then” versus “now” aspect of Livius’ character development to realize just how much Nike’s presence and care has changed him. Prince Bard’s presence and resolution with Livius also brings a conclusion to that part of Livius’ past and allows him to move forward and forgive, possibly allowing him to properly move on from his mother’s death.
We also see Livius better understand and care for Nike as he visits her homeland and learns about another aspect of her life. Nike also now appreciates Livius and is starting to see him as more of a lover than just a lifelong friend. Watching them learn more about each other as they become closer and eventually start a romance is an excellent example of character development.
The World is Still Beautiful manages to outdo itself every episode. Although the formula can be a little tiring (Nike and Livius facing a challenge together, overcoming it, and becoming closer), the different aspects and iterations are refreshing. No matter what trials and tribulations they face, Nike and Livius are a power couple and it’s nice to have a romance outside of a high school setting in an anime for once.
Nike’s family’s response to Livius and the plot currently developing is agonizing, and of course Episode 10 left me on a cliffhanger. I was surprised at their reaction and the way they treat Nike and Livius’ relationship, and didn’t see who was behind the plot coming at all. I won’t spoil anything, but it’s great drama!
Thinking about the future of this anime, I’d like to think that a second season will be possible with a time skip or with Livius growing a little older. Livius’ temporal age is a huge block between Nike’s and his relationship ever solidifying as an adult relationship, Livius’ mental age aside. Sitting at Episode 10, I don’t feel a huge climax to the story coming and I feel that if the next two episodes are a resolute ending instead of leading to a continuation, it will be tacked on and not something I could easily accept.
That being said, the past few episodes are the biggest drama you’ll see in this anime and are worth the watch.