Ever since I was born, I’ve been a big fan of boobs. They’ve always continued to impress me and hold my interest without ever becoming repetitive or jumping the shark. I’d be lying if I said boobs didn’t play their part in my enjoyment of the first episode of Samurai Girls, and that trend continued in the second episode. However, as wonderful as boobs are, it’s very difficult to make a show centered around them – other elements must also keep my attention so I don’t become bored during the times when there are no boobs around. Like the first episode, this one tries to fill in the boob-less scenes with some semblance of story. However, since the initial shock of the show not being terrible has dissipated, the little flaws in the writing are becoming more evident.
This episode picks up right where the last one left off: with the sudden appearance of a well-endowed, psychotic and seriously badass female calling herself Yagyu Jubei. Even a trained ninja with a helicopter skirt is no match for her because she can run through the air on ink blots and her power level is over five million, which apparently makes her a “master samurai.” However, none of this can stand up to Muneakira yelling ‘stop,’ and our protagonists end up in the custody the vice-president of the student counsel, Princess Tokugawa Sen.
More boobs after the break!
What I Liked
The Animation: The art style and fluid animation are both beautiful during the action scenes. Jubei’s superhuman movement is smooth and fast, although the tight camera angles deliberately make the action a bit confusing. Despite this, it’s never difficult to follow the characters’ movements, because the frame rate is good and the quality of drawing doesn’t diminish even during the frenetic action. Even the CG chains and wind effects blend into the art style wonderfully; I could only tell they were CG because they moved a bit more smoothly than the rest of the animation. Bad CG can really drag down the visual spectacle of an otherwise good action scene, and it’s rare to see it used properly, but Samurai Girls does a pretty good job.
Story: The story feels like it’s going to be epic in scope. They even hinted that it will extend to the international arena, so hopefully the writing team is up to the challenge. It’s pretty easy to predict some elements of the plot, but how it all fits together will keep me interested and guessing, provided it stays in focus. I’m especially interested in the historical divergence which prevented the power of the Tokugawa Shogunate from declining, because I’m a sucker for historical thought experiments. Fortunately, some of the plot exposition was more natural than the first episode, since it focused more on showing instead of telling; but rambling narration hasn’t been completely eliminated yet.
Script: First, I’ll clarify that I think the characters (except moe-fied Jubei) are at least interesting to watch and not completely generic or boring. However, the way that the scenes are written forces them to wear out some of their idiosyncrasies in gags or conversations which just go on for too long. They even begin to rehash things from the same scene; Sanada’s bickering with Hanzo, for instance, was amusing taken in moderation, but was dragged out for way too long. It felt like the writers were trying to fill up time, since this scene served no purpose other than to screw up the pacing. Muneakira’s meandering monologue about master samurai also caused the pacing to stumble. It could have been significantly shortened or omitted altogether, leaving time for more boobs.
Again, this is a mixed bag. The action scenes and the expanding plot were enjoyable, but the character interaction and fanservice scenes felt plodding and poorly scripted. I can appreciate the fanservice to a degree as long as the show first makes me a fan, which it’s doing reasonably well at so far, but many of these scenes just ran themselves into the ground. I have a deep appreciation for boobs, but I don’t appreciate being pandered to. While this episode maintains the quality of the art, animation, characters and interesting plot from the first episode, it does suffer from more severe pacing problems and awkward writing.