The more I look at it, the more Vanadis jumps out as the Fall season’s biggest wildcard.
There are a few other shows this season that are based on eroge and will have some assumed nudity. And of course there are going to be shows that surprise with service the way that Gokukoku no Brynhildr or Rail Wars! did.
There are by my count three anime adaptations based on manga or light novels which contained nudity, but two of those three were non-erotic and simply had nudity of the weird/shocking variety.
That leaves just one series to be adapted from an erotically intentioned manga / light novel with nudity, and that show just happens to have one of the most impressive teaser trailers of the season:
Which begs the question, is this anime going to be too good for nudity?
Given that Satelight has only fully embraced nude content once before (MuvLuv), that dims the prospects somewhat. But then again, has Satelight ever adapted a nude manga or light novel and not gone for nudity in the anime? I’m pretty sure Satelight has a history of staying true to the manga, they just usually avoid manga with nudity.
With images like this from the Tsukasa Kawaguchi’s light novel…
…or the manga (also by Tsukasa Kawaguchi)…
With images like those, wouldn’t excluding nudity be a bit of a betrayal to the author’s original intentions? Neither the manga nor the light novel are afraid of showing nipples, even if both versions tend to be a bit coy about it.
It remains to be seen what kind of service level the anime will reach. The anime version has given almost complete creative control (director, composition, script) to Tatsuo Sato, who’s best known for his non-nude ecchi work in anime such as Basquash!, Bodacious Space Pirates and Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-ne. He did, however, write in two apparent nude scenes for Argevollen when planning out that anime in a series composition role. So he does have some recent ecchi experience to draw from.
It’s also worth noting that Madan no Ou to Vanadis (alternately titled Madan no Ou to Senki ) was published in the MF Bunko J label, a publishing group that contains numerous ecchi titles, among them Seikoku no Dragonar and the disappointingly tame Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance .
All in all, there are a lot factors that point both ways. My gut feeling is that the Madan no Ou to Vanadis anime will be too high budget and too mainstream to dare risk alienating casual viewers with nude content. Anime with nudity only rarely break into the stratosphere of sales numbers, and most nude ecchi series outright bomb. This also partly explains why the biggest and most profitable anime companies tend to avoid nudity like the plague these days. But then again, there really isn’t much of a track record of Satelight squandering opportunities like this before.
If this show does go the nude service route, it will be the most impressive looking anime to dip into an R-rating for sexy content since Vividred Operation which aired almost two years ago.
There are other shows that are more likely to show nosebleed service this season, but Vanadis has a chance to be one of those rare high caliber anime like Haganai or Strike Witches that services viewers AND makes a big mainstream impact as an anime. Of course, that assumes Vanadis will actually be a good show, which is hardly a sure thing. At the very least, this anime will be eye-candy, and one of the more interesting ecchi series to come along in some time.
The first episode is set to air on October 4th.