The Price of Smiles has a lot of things going on with it good and bad.

It's a futuristic mecha show that attempts to talk about a lot different issues - all of which are good points but at times fails to deliver them well enough to bring forth emotion on them.

Lets talk about animation first. Through out the season the animation swayed back and forth. It never was unreasonably bad to the point of being unwatchable but sometimes it was enough to be noticed. This also tended to happen during critical moments in the show where you don't want to be distracted. However visual wise the show looks very good and keeps the feel of being in a constant state of war in the visuals.

Music wise the show doesn't stand out to me but is definitely not slouching. The OP is fantastic and I never skipped it. The ED less so but it was still enjoyable. Background music is used as needed and never really stood out to me but clearly was good at accenting major events and emotions in scenes that it needed to.

Now lets talk about story and content. Not too be spoilery here I will say that the show delivers unexpectedly at times. Episode 2-3 especially were hard to watch. I will say the VA for Yuki is out of this world.

Her scream at the end of episode 2 is just chilling. While there was more screams, such as Stellas in episode 10, nothing compared.

This show touches a lot of topics that war themed. The loss of loved ones, the horrors of battle (made even worse with machines), coping with loss, and even the environment (yes really). The show attempts to touch all these topics at various times with varied success. When it gets it right, it really gets it right too - when its wrong it just seems to fall flat.

The plot twist introduced midway through the show drives the story forward to its conclusion. For that I give the show a decent score for pacing. However at times it felt like we were meant to care about certain characters only to not be given enough time to really do so. The ending too was also a bit of cop out but was foreshadowed long before.

The shows format of focusing on each side of the war independently while still progressing the plot is good. They could of easily rehashed each episode from the other perspective but instead they gave it enough over lap to actually keep things moving. The story really gives us a hard time deciding which side to be in through most of the show.

All in all, the show is decent. When it hits the right beats things really work out. At times though you are left wondering what exactly the studio was thinking. For Spring 2019 I definitely feel this is one of the under appreciated shows that aired - it kept the balance of good and bad (with amazing highs contrasted with tolerable lows) but still keep me interested to the end.

79 /100
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