Samurai Girls / Bride
In an alternate reality of Japan (known as Great Japan), the nation remains isolated and very feudalistic. The greatest warriors are known as master samurai, heroic figures in Japanese history reborn in people of the current generation, although less and less in recent times. Yagyu isn't anyone special, until he finds he can create master samurai by kissing girls (more or less). Master samurai are tasked with protecting Great Japan from evils which are also reborn, but one is stirring which may be beyond their power. This may require the strength of the legendary samurai bride, but how does a girl ascend to that level? ... Keep it clean with your imagination.
It begins with a shaky setup, and by the second episode I was already bored. I honestly don't know how I made it through the entire show, but I think zoned out watching Samurai Girls. It's hard to put my finger on, but Samurai Girls was missing a key ingredient allowing me to connect with it and care about anything that happened.
The visual style attempts to replicate the look of a traditional Asian painting, using grainy textures, thick lines accentuating the artwork, as well as random paint splatters. While I wasn't particular on the effects, I could appreciate the unique look, and it adds nice flair. Where many anime use "white fog" censorship, this anime simply uses conspicuously placed brush strokes and ink blobs to hide the naughty parts. That aside I think the ink splotches dashed on the screen were overused and a little distracting.
Characters are typical for the harem assortment. Yagu is the central male who is the usual worthless nice guy all the girls fall for. A rivalry develops between the bossy jealous princess, and the under-busted genius girl. The way these two play off one another has its moments, but that's the best this anime offers. Other girls serve no purpose, although one is added as "comic relief" but is simply obnoxious. Other girls are later introduced, although none improve the girl collection.
The environment is a weird blend of traditional Japan, with sprinkles of super technology. Samurai Girls does a terrible job detailing the environment. Explanations about the world are given in dry tedious dialog, with very little shown. It's like watching to a war movie, but the movie itself featuring a guy reading a book about what happened. The environment poorly integrates with the usual idiotic harem content, so most of the anime comes down to "stuff happens, whatever". The story half ass meanders between harem antics and a plot by the shogun. It's predictable with fights that aren't very exciting, but thankfully no one stands around talking for hours in bad ass posturing as is often the case in these shows.
By the second season, Samurai Bride; the anime collapses under the weight of pandering garbage. A band of Dark Samurai are introduced, lurk in the backdrop but do nothing. The medieval Japanese dojo gets converted to a maid cafe because they "need money". Really? Then a monkey becomes a master samurai, turning into some kind of animal girl hybrid in the process. Really? The final battle isn't completely boring, so I guess there's that. Yah, really.
I didn't have high expectations for Samurai Girls, but it lacks justification for it's existence. It's well produced, with an attractive look, so from outward appearances you wouldn't expect it to be as pointless as it is. Disappointing that the effort couldn't be applied to something with substance, so I can't say I'd recommend it.
Sanada: Your swimsuit is indeed trendy. However. Boys are so dumb they have no interest in trends of the women's world.
Sanada: Tentacle attacks are the most effective on feisty swimsuit girls.
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