6 CommentsTwelve Days / By Scamp /

12 Days of Anime #3: Lucius shows off his archery skills


Thermae Romae is the best Noitamina anime to finish in 2012 (adding in ‘to finish’ because I’d rate Psycho Pass as being better). Sure it’s partly a commentary on how the timeslot continued its poor form from last year that its best show was some 3 episode flash anime, but that’s giving Thermae Romae way too little credit. It’s charming, funny, original but most shockingly of all, for something as short and based off such a silly premise, has this great little bit of depth to it that I love.

One of the running threads of Thermae Romae is how Lucius’s wonder at the technology of the flat-faced slaves starts turning into shame at how much it outclasses that of the Roman empire. He has grown up believing in his country and being proud specifically of its culture. It’s stressed in the show that one of the vital components of why the Romans are able to take over so much of the continent is because others become envious of their superior culture and want in on that luxury. The fact that these slaves so out-class anything his nation can produce, and that his attempts to mimic them are unpolished shadows of the originals, starts to send Lucius into a spiral of self-doubt and depression.

This reaches its peak when he’s walking around this festival-like area in a hot springs resort. He sees that they’ve got this entire open air facility that makes the baths of Rome seem uncivilised and barbaric in comparison. This girl who he’s with is so used to seeing this kind of quality she is unfazed by stuff that Lucius finds utterly incredible. That is, until they reach an archery stall. The bow is of terrible quality and anyone else who tries the game fails miserably. That is, until Lucius steps up and, even with the terrible bow, easily beats the game and wins the grand prize.


Walking around this festival area, clutching a giant dumb teddy bear, proud that the military capability of these flat faced people pales in comparison to those of the mighty Roman Empire. At that moment, Lucius was the height of moe.

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  1. Posted December 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Even though it’s length gave way to the atrocity known as Black Rock Shooter, I’m glad that Thermae Romae was only 3 episodes. It may be one trick pony, but because of the short running time it never gets sour. Even the flash animation contributes to the ditsy charm of the show.

    I still wouldn’t say that it’s the best noitaminA comedy, though. After all, wasn’t Guilty Crown “God’s gift to us all?”

    • Scamp
      Posted December 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I am never going to live down Guilty Crown, am I? Even though I correctly called Sword Art Online pre-season? Gah

      • Posted December 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        You know deep down, in your heart of hearts, that Guilty Crown was awesome.

        Also, Lucius is so moe~

      • Posted December 24, 2012 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Don’t worry man, everybody makes mistakes, haha. Yours was just really, really funny.

  2. Lanf
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    I loved Thermae Romae, but when trying to show it to my circle, they all stormed out within 30 seconds because they unwaveringly assumed it was historical and dismissed it due to the flash art. It’s quite annoying, because they liked the noitaminA train wreck that immediately followed it. What I’d give to change peoples’ tastes…

    • Scamp
      Posted December 24, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      You might have more luck with the live action movie? It has a hot guy as the main lead

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