Review: Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls 1

Yagyuu Muneakira, Sanada Yukimura and Gotou Matabee.

At first glance, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls has a lot going against it. It’s based on a figure series which depicts various historical samurai as busty girls. It’s being animated by ARMS, who are responsible for such shows as Queen’s Blade and Ikkitousen. AT-X will be broadcasting an uncensored version, with plenty of nudity to go around. By all accounts, this should be another brainless fanservice-fest that only the really, really hardcore otaku will enjoy.

Or is it?

The old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” is applicable here. I actually watched the first episode of Samurai Girls and enjoyed it. Why? Well, despite the conclusions some of you have drawn from my HOTD hatred, I actually like fanservice-heavy shows. I’m a healthy, heterosexual guy in his mid-twenties… why WOULDN’T I enjoy staring at nubile samurai women parading around in skimpy outfits? What I don’t appreciate is when such shows tack on a paper-thin plot into which the writers put no thought or effort. Just because a show has bouncing boobs doesn’t mean the story has to suck!

And you know what? Samurai Girls actually has a decent story. It’s set in an alternate version of the present day, where the Tokugawa Shogunate still rules over a feudal Japan. The main protagonist, Yagyuu Muneakira, is tranferring to a military academy at the base of Mount Fuji. There he accidentally meets Sanada Yukimura and Gotou Matabee, two female samurai who are opposing the ruling Shogunate. After a nasty run-in with the school’s Shogun-endorsed militant student council, Yagyuu casts his lot with the rebels, setting the stage for a feudal battle of shifting loyalties in a high-school setting.

This intriguing story is only one aspect Samurai Girl‘s enjoyability. The tasteful fanservice, gorgeous art style and memorable character designs make this show is a visual treat, and the writing is serviceable enough that you won’t be bored out of your skull waiting for the next ecchi scene. Granted, there are still some big flaws… but this show has definately piqued my interest.

Find out more after the break.

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Review: Highschool of the Dead 9

This is a guest post written by The Austin Critic. Check out his blog here!

I don’t get Highschool of the Dead. There are times when it’s trying to be a gritty zombie show, and other times when it’s a completely over-the-top, fanservice filled action show. For example, the previous episodes had scenes which featured realistic weapon handling and a few uses of strategy, giving me the impression that this was a realistic portrayal of the zombie apocalypse. The next minute however, the main characters suddenly gain the abilities of Schwarzenegger and start dodging bullets, using weaponry, driving CG military vehicles into hordes of zombies and plowing through countless undead with melee weapons. It also doesn’t help that the fanservice just stops any chance that anyone could take this show seriously. This episode was further proof that this series is having an identity crisis, as one minute it decides to show the mental conflicts that Saeko has gone through before and during this zombie apocalypse, only to completely discard this serious subject matter with fanservice.

Read more after the break.

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Review: Highschool of the Dead 7

lol BOOBIES!!!!!!

Let me tell you something about myself that you may not know: I don’t like living in a bubble. I tend to browse other anime forums and blogs, because I like seeing what other critics have to say about the shows I’m watching. Often times I’ll find at least one intelligently-stated point that I didn’t think of, which is always a fun experience for me. However, as I was looking over comments about Highschool of the Dead, I noticed that there tends to be a pattern in the backlash toward negative reviews. Some fans believe reviewers like me aren’t being fair to the show.

“Why are you judging it so harshly?” they ask. “It’s not supposed to be deep or meaningful or smart. It’s trying to be silly, flashy fun!”

And you know what? Maybe they have a point. Maybe I’m approaching the show all wrong. I mean, if its goal is to be shallow, pandering, inconsistent and misogynistic, then why should I criticize it for hitting the mark?

Truly, I have seen the light; and to celebrate my epiphany, I’m making this review an extra-special one. I’ve decided to put as much effort into it as the writers of Highschool of the Dead put into their show.

*ahem*

It’s stupid, it sucks, and I hate it.

What? You want to know why I don’t like HotD #7? You think what I wrote is far too brief and vague to be of any use at all as a review?

Well of course my review is shallow, boring and worthless. It’s supposed to be! Since I’ve clearly met my goals perfectly, it wouldn’t be fair to post negative opinions about it.

Suck it, critics!

Review: Highschool of the Dead 6

"Hold on, Takashi. I think I see a quarter."

So, remember when I said last week’s episode of Highschool of the Dead was the worst one yet? Allow me to amend that statement.

Episode 6 is even worse, by a large margin. It’s misogynistic, insulting, stupid, and some of it doesn’t even make sense. In was a complete and utter waste of my time, and I probably lost a few hundred brain cells just watching it. I kid you not, it’s quite possibly one of the worst episodes of any anime I’ve ever seen. And that’s counting Angel Cop.

So if you really want to know why HotD has inspired such rage in me, click the jump.

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