The studio that brought us Ikkitousen and Queen’s Blade, Arms, is out with another anime. Why is there studio name even called Arms? Not only are there many more obvious choices to choose from, but arms aren’t very high up on the list of favorite female body parts according to men… unless that’s your fetish.
Weird sidebar aside, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls has a very unique style, which I think will ultimately help the show fight an uphill battle with fans that see this as nothing more than the most fanservicey show of the Fall 2010 anime season. It has a unique cel-shaded-meets-watercolor style to it that feels appropriate to the sort of samurai/feudal roots the show draws from (even though it’s in the 21st Century). Just check out the first sequence with the girls destroying airplanes; some awesome action like that is surely in future episodes. The show also uses ink blotches, both as a way to show the intensity of the action on screen and as a strategic censoring mechanism. Shows recently have been “face-palm” when it comes to censoring, but I kind of think it looks cool how censoring is done in HRSG, specifically in scenes where the camera or the breasts are moving.
I’ve seen pics, but never really watched Queen’s Blade. When just seeing the screencaps is the best part of the anime, you know exactly where the budget was being spent at. When an anime’s bust chart is more important than the plot, it’s a bad series. My point is, I went into Samurai Girls thinking I’d get more of the same, but with ink blotches instead of steam. The thing is, you get what you expected. So why would I stick with this show, and why should you watch?
The animation is one reason worth watching. Another reason is Yagyuu Muneakira. Wait, so the one guy on the show is why you should watch? Jrow, this some prank bloggin? No, and here’s why. Shows like Ikkitousen and Queen’s Blade made a girl the main star, and those characters weren’t exactly dynamic by any stretch, so it’s a nice change of pace to see a male lead here. And not just a male lead, but a competent male lead. He doesn’t suffer from “Sahashi Minato Syndrome” (SMS), he’s a strong samurai and he just doesn’t seem like the guy who’s overly timid and uncapable of making his own decisions.
The other reason is, while obvious, does deserve a bit of explanation is the girls. I get that the girls of Queen’s Blade had different sizes, different emotions, etc., but something about the cast of females in Samurai Girls has more interest to me. Sanada Yukimura (voiced by the fantastic Kugimiya Rei) is a great hyper-active loli character that adds a sense of humor to the scenes, mostly crediting Rei’s delivery, and Sen is an interesting girl given both her little S&M thing with Hanzo and her blushing while Muneakira praised her skills. Queen’s Blade cast (and therefore total bust size) just got progressively larger, which made it tough to really focus on the female characters and have an appreciation for them outside of boobs. It seems that with a core group of 4 girls (Sen, Jubei, Sanada and Gouto) and other girls, this cast should be overall more enjoyable.
Getting to the first two of twelve, episodes 1-2 cover Muneakira’s arrival to Japan and the arrival of Yagyuu Jubei. The first episode was good in that it setup Muneakira as this really interesting guy that wasn’t just some fumbling idiot finding himself in the middle of a battlefield. The second episode dealt more with Jubei’s arrival, how much of a badass she is in her evil form, and how cliched she is in her more human/childish form. It’s the only real annoyance I have with the show, but if it can create a situation where Jubei’s boobs are dangling over Muneakira’s face, then I guess I shouldn’t complain so much. Sanada being around adds a comedic element that actually works pretty good within the series. Hanzo adds a little bit of humor in her scene where her glasses indicate that maybe a threesome happened. The action in both opening scenes of 1 & 2 are just dynamite.
This blog was primarily an introduction to the series with a rather brief synopsis of the first two episodes. If you like ecchi, action and stylish anime, keep up with Samurai Girls and check the blog for future postings.