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.