In the Land of Leadale (Season One)

In the Land of Leadale Title

Cayna died while playing a VRMMO called Leadale and woke up to find herself living as her avatar in a world just like in the game. She had all her skills and stats, including her NPC children…

In the Land of Leadale (Season One)

What did you watch?

So, In the Land of Leadale was one of those shows that I picked based on the promo image and nothing else. It’s worked out quite well for me before, although it can occasionally go horribly wrong. Having made that decision, I allowed myself to watch the trailer and was pretty happy with what I saw. It gave me similar vibes to shows like BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense and I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, and who doesn’t want more shows like those? The big question now is whether it delivered on its promise? Let’s get into it and there will probably be spoilers if you’ve not seen the show.

In the Land of Leadale Episode 3 Cayna

What happened?

After a power cut turned off her life support system, Cayna woke in a new strange world that was oddly like the world of her favourite VRMMO, Leadale. However, it wasn’t exactly the same. It turned out that she had arrived there several hundred years after she had played it last. She still had all her powers and stats and in the game, she was free to move and live the life she couldn’t on Earth. She set out to explore this new world and see if there were any others like her.

Cayna soon discovered that her three adopted children from the game were alive and well. In fact, they were all incredibly successful and delighted to see her after all this time. For her, it was her first time actually meeting them so as you could imagine, it got kind of awkward, especially when she discovered that she had grand-children and great-grand-children. How would Cayna adapt to this new life?

In the Land of Leadale Episode 5 Cayna applauds the knights effort

What did you think?

This series was fine. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good. It had a very prominent slice of life vibe to it, but it also had some fairly dark moments that felt incredibly out of place. However, my biggest criticism of the series was that it didn’t seem to go anywhere. There was no goal, no urgency, and no real plot. It was just Cayna wandering around looking for her old friends’ towers and seeing if she could find any other players from the game. None of it really mattered. I’m not a big slice of life fan to start with so that side of things didn’t really resonate with me. There were some good moments, but overall it was a bit of a disappointment.

In the Land of Leadale Episode 5 Cayna getting mad

What was your favourite moment?

Cayna was best when she had some actual players to talk to and interact with. My favourite scene was when she travelled with Shining Saber, a player whose avatar was a dragonoid. Things started off awkwardly when Shining Saber picked Cayna up and carried her on his horse like a princess. That got all of his soldiers talking, however, the banter was great and it actually made Cayna appear somewhat human. For the most part, she would flip-flop between being kind and caring or angry and violent. Her mood swings were never really explored, unfortunately.

In the Land of Leadale Episode 9 Shining Saber gives Cayna a ride

What was your least favourite moment?

I think the thing that disappointed me the most was the scene with the zombies. As a huge zombie fan, I was looking forward to seeing Cayna battle a horde of zombies, however, we barely saw any and the fight against the skeleton pirate was over in seconds, which was something that the player, Exos commented on. That was an amusing moment that almost felt like a break in the fourth wall, but the entire zombie concept ended up being underutilized.

In the Land of Leadale Episode 10 Exos Cayna and Quolke

Who was your favourite character?

I find myself in a rare position where I can’t really pick a favourite and not for a good reason. No one really stood out in that way. I enjoyed all of the other players that Cayna met and she had some fun moments, but her instability and crazy mood swings were kind of offputting. As I said earlier, Cayna was best when with the other players which was probably when I was enjoying the show the most too.

In the Land of Leadale Episode 8 Cayna meets with Shining Saber and Cohral

Who was your least favourite character?

It would be too easy to say Skargo as he was incredibly annoying. However, I think the series really started to go downhill for me with the introduction of Luka. The show already had Lytt so I’m not sure what Luka added apart from being shy and almost vacant.

In the Land of Leadale Episode 10 Cayna Luka and Roxilius

Would you like some more?

I think this series had a lot of potential. Had they spent more time investigating how they ended up in a world just like the game and why they were appearing at different times it could have been really interesting. Similarly, had they focused on Cayna coming to terms with her new life and not just punching her children every time they said something stupid it could have been fascinating. However, they didn’t. They didn’t even give Cayna a purpose or a reason for this story to exist. I doubt I would watch a second season at this rate.

In the Land of Leadale Episode 11 Cayna surprised

What have you learnt?

I firmly believe that characters are the most important element in a story. If you get those right, the audience will tolerate them doing pretty much anything. You can even get away with a pretty flimsy plot. However, if you don’t have interesting, well-developed characters that people can connect with you can’t get away with it.

On top of that, Cayna had no drive. There was nothing that made her move forward and as such, she meandered all over the place. She didn’t have to find the other guardian towers and certainly not within a time limit. Cayna could have quite literally gone to sleep for another couple of hundred years and we would have had a similar story. There needs to be something that makes the protagonist get up in the morning. This series lacked any oomph.

In the Land of Leadale Episode 2 Cayna Hung over

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    • Yeah, probably. Think that’s why I tend to avoid them for the most part. I think this series had an interesting premise that could have made a really strong Isekai fantasy series.

    • I can see that. I preferred Killing Slimes over this one. The ensemble cast was stronger.

  1. As someone who loves BOFURI and the Slime Killer anime, I think In the Land of the Leadale is an OK anime. Your biggest criticism was also my biggest criticism.
    BOFURI feels like a grandiose road trip with memorable characters, memorable sights, and even memorable detours. Slime Killer feels like a bunch of fun day trips with memorable characters and memorable moments, but a couple of rotten apples. Leadale feels like a misguided road trip with unmemorable characters and unmemorable sights, but it wasn’t too bad.

    • Absolutely, BOFURI is the gold star with this sort of show. Slime Killer was good too.

      This series really had nothing to pull you through and, as you say, the characters weren’t memorable. It was fine, but I felt like it could and should have been better.

What did you think?