If I could use three phrases to summarize this episode (and Regalia thus far), it would be “sisterly bonds,” “mecha battles,” and “minimal explanation.” I get that this show is an anime original and that the first episode exists to draw viewers first while the following episodes serve to explain the world the characters live in, but I feel that Regalia is really reliant on action scenes and unexpected developments to keep the viewer’s interest.
The series opens up with a flashback to 12 years ago, in the Kingdom of Rimgarde. There’s a mecha battle between Red and Pink while a loli in white is a lab subject. Red gets hit by beam from heaven. White Loli looks at her much taller sister and calls her Ingrid before getting caught by the blast. However, Red basically just shrugged the explosion off. There better be an explanation about this later on. Right now it just feels like they were trying to distract viewers with flashiness.
Then the series jumps to present day. The girl who was seemingly piloting Red, Rena, is alive and well, but she hasn’t aged. Like at all. It turns out she’s also the older sister of Yui, the stacked blonde girl. Rena’s sulky faces are pretty good!
The two girls talks about Yui’s plans over tea. A girl named Aoi arrives and tells Yui that the schedule was pushed back, leaving Yui with 2 hours of free time. Yui proposes for the two of them to go on a date. Rena makes a big show of resisting, but the result is as expected. Before leaving to go to school, Yui is caught staring at Rena’s ring. Yui then muses about the ring being unable to fit her finger anymore.
Rena heads to a cafe and starts waiting for Yui, who is on her way by train. The White Loli from the opening scene then suddenly appears. Rena follows after her and the two exchange a few words. The White Loli, otherwise known as Kei, tells Rena that she should come with her to find out what happened 12 years ago on Rimegarde. After snuggling up to her sister, Ingrid, and telling Rena that she’ll be waiting for Rena, Kei and Ingrid disappear. As a side note, Kei’s voice reminds me of Onjouji Toki from Saki Achiga-hen or Kafuu Chino from GochiUsa, even though none of these characters share the same VA.
Yui finally arrives and is waiting at the cafe. Rena calls her and tells her something came up. The waiter chooses this opportunity to give Yui Rena’s present (seems like Rena planned ahead). Rena tells Yui to wait for her and promises to come back someday. I hate this kind of development, by the way. What happened to communication? Rena is an idiot!
Rena goes to the harbor, which is apparently the meeting place to meet Kei? I have to grasp at straws here since Kei didn’t say anything about a meeting place on-screen. She bumps into a man who claims he’s Kei’s messenger. However, the thug wants to fight Rena and summons a mecha, which he calls a Regalia Gear.
He calls Rena inhuman, which irks her. Yui arrives to see Rena standing in front of the rampaging Mecha. After the thug declines her offer for the two of them to fight elsewhere, Rena summons Red while Kei watches from a nearby bridge. Turns out Red is actually called Magna Alecto. Since Magna Alecto is much sleeker compared to the thug’s mecha, she’s bound to kick his ass. If I learned anything from Star Driver, the more feminine the mecha, the stronger it is. Rena then quietly says goodbye to Yui.
And then Rena promptly gets her ass kicked. Maybe she really doesn’t want to fight, or maybe because she was on the defensive, or maybe the writers needed a reason for Yui to get involved with this mecha fight.
Yui rushes over to Rena, who is knocked unconscious. Alecto has disappeared. Kei recognizes Yui, calling her Yuinshiel Asteria. Perhaps Yui is a big shot of some sort?
Yui condemns the thug as Rena comes to. The thug just scoffs and swings at Yui as Rena screams out her name.
The two then just stop time. Or they teleport. Or they are having a conversation inside their minds. We aren’t given any explanation, really, which seems to be a reoccurring pattern. Rena hugs Yui from behind amidst a field of flowers. She apologizes for leaving Yui behind and says she can’t be with Yui anymore. Rena claims that she is not human, that she is the core of the red mecha, Magna Alecto. Yui isn’t having any of that!
The two then jump back to present time. Magna rematerializes and punches the crap out of the thug. Rena appears out of thin air and instructs Yui on what to do. Cue one-sided thrashing in Rena’s favor. While his mecha is getting messed up, the man is revealed to be a cyborg. After Rena claiming that the fight is over, he says both he and Rena are monsters and that they’ll fight until they’re both ground to dust. Yui disagrees and the two of them FINISHES HIM.
After the thug disappears like a pencil in a magic trick, there’s a role reversal with Yui hugging Rena from behind. Kei walks away.
Some officials are watching a video of Rena throwing it down with Cyborg. Aoi is in the room, looking worried. The two sister pilots from the opening scene are shown stuffing their faces as the newscast report of the mecha fight plays in the background.
Ingrid sighs and looks at a briefcase containing vials of some sort. Seems like she’s working with a mysterious green-haired girl and some old guy.
The scene jumps to Rena and Yui sitting by the ocean. Rena confesses that she thought she’d never see Yui again. Yui laughs, then goes up against Rena, saying that Rena blew off their date and that she better make up for it. Then Yui pulls out the present and asks if she is allowed to open it. It’s the same kind of ring Rena has on her finger, but now as part of a necklace.
Then the OP plays. After the song is finished, there’s a press conference with the Empress of Enastoria.
Maybe I’m being a bit too harsh on this show. It’s only the first episode, after all. I’ll be watching next week, too, so please tune in next time!