Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls - Review

Story: 7/10
I just love the premise specially the fact that it was set in an alternate Japan during the 21st century where the Tokugawa Shogunate is still in power instead of Imperial rule being restored. The descendants of famous samurais and historical figures during the Tokugawa era are present in this series in their gorgeous female depiction. Also, those hot samurais with only their katana on hand, can destroy and defeat modern weaponry.

Not only is the premise engaging but also the plot is also quiet good though sometimes it gets side tracked just to deliver the comedy that this series promised. Every week I was always excited to watch the next episode of Hyakka since bit by bit we get to unravel the mystery behind Juubei's identity, we get to meet new characters, we were also introduced to antagonists that surprisingly changed sides at the end that eventually unravel a bigger and badder enemy and we even got one hell of a plot twist at the end. I have to admit that during halfway of the series I somehow lost interest since it moved away from the main story and focused more on the ecchi and romance that seemed pointless thus giving the story a little progress. I could forgive that since the last three episodes make up for it by focusing on the story on hand and I have to commend that even though this is an ecchi show it has a good story to support it unlike other ecchi shows. Honestly, I got a feeling that this could have turned out much better if they give more focus on the story....oh well, I think that will have to do for an ecchi show.

The ending was really spectacular, I was left grinning like an idiot during the whole episode specially when Juubei and Gisen clashes their swords. I also felt sorry for the cute Juubei and a bit enraged by what happened to her. It is really breathtaking but open ended that I think there's a possiblity that it'll have a second season *cross fingers*

Characters: 8/10
Almost all of the characters are memorable except for Muneakira since he's a shy guy and can't seem to make up his mind (like many other ecchi protagonist) but the good thing is he's not a weak guy and he's quiet skilled. Sure there are a LOT of side characters but they are fleshed out very well and play their own parts. I can't believe Kanetsugu defeated Juubei in a popularity contest since often times I find myself wanting to strangle her since she's quiet irritating but I have to admit she's quiet cute specially with that huge useless hammer of hers. My favorite characters would be Juubei, Nia and let's not forget Sen-hime.

Animation: 9/10
Oh this is the best part of this show. Like I said from my First Impression, that the unique animation style of this series had captivated me. With that heavy lines and powdery textures of the background that gives the series a feudal yet modern feel, it's like I'm watching a Japanese painting come to life. The real thing that made me tolerate the ecchiness of this show is the ink blots. It might have been distracting to other people but it was a blessing for me since I won't get awkward of scenes where the clothes are getting ripped off (Banzai!! to the inkblots). It is also a unique way of showing the intensity of action scenes.

Since this series is targeted to the male audience, the character design is really gorgeous and unique (I love the hair style of Juubei, I hope I could draw something like that). The girls are really an eye candy and you'll fall in love with them just by looking at some screencaps. I also have to praise the design of the weapons, the girls have a variety of weapons that fit each characters. Another thing, the costumes and the accessories of each of the characters are unique that it already became their trademark (ex: Kanetsugu's hammer and Ai(love) hairpin), what a very incredible detail.

Sound: 8/10
Both the OP and ED song had grown on me. The OP makes the atmosphere of every episode action packed and seems to promise a lot of action. The ED on the other hand is quiet catchy and cute. I will never miss a chance to hear at the end of every episode specially that it is accompanied by very attractive, naked girls that makes my nose bleed after watching it. The bgm are appropriate in a certain scene and it is played in a very good timing. Specially during the very action packed last episode, the bgm makes you feel on edge and excited. The voice acting on the other hand is really good since we have a good line up of seiyuus. They were able to make the characters come alive though in the case of the seiyuu of Muneakira (Daisuke Hirakawa) I don't like the way he screams since it felt strained but other than that he's also a good voice actor. I also have to praise Aoi Yuuki's performance as Juubei since she could easily swithc from cute to deadly hot Juubei without flaws, I really can't believe she's the one who voices those 2 personalities of Juubei.

This series sure has its share of ups and downs but it was definitely enjoyable specially the action. Sure sometimes the story is a drag and some scenes are even a waste of time but I can't deny that this show is awesome simply by its animation, characters and even the sounds. I really can't believe it that I was able to finish an ecchi show since I usually drop this kind of shows after a couple of episode. I'm really glad that I gave this show a chance and I am rewarded.

I will definitely recommend this show to everyone even to those like me who does not like watching ecchi shows. I think to those who enjoy shows like this, they just have to watch the uncensored version to fully satisfy themselves and fully enjoy this show. Also, to those looking for action with very attractive samurais this show is definitely for you

Overall: 8.2/10
I'm definitely hoping there will be a second season!

until then...


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