Queen’s Blade 2
Sharing a simple meal with a group of orphans that live with a nun in a derelict, run-down church, Reina is shocked at discovering the poverty and despair among the citizens.
She is almost moved to tears when one of the orphans offers her what little bread she has to eat. As daughter of the wealthy Count Vance family, she had never witnessed this distressing part of the world she’s living in.
Overhearing Listy and the nun talking about gold that Listy brought back, Reina argues that Listy stole the gold from the Vance family, which was righteously acquired because the count’s family protects the people.
Knowing Reina won’t believe mere words, Listy tells the girl to simple believe what she has seen with her own eyes and Reina recalls the poverty, famine, suffering and misery she saw throughout the city.
Leaving the orphanage the next day, Listy confesses to an uncertain Reina that her own goal is to win the Queen’s Blade tournament, after which she’ll use the power gained to help the people and free them from their suffering.
Grateful she’s been able to open her eyes to the truth thanks to Listy, Reina continues their journey together.
A short interlude shows us the angel Nanael flying around at night, frustrated that she can’t find any warriors around.
Under the same cloudless night sky where the moon shines bright, a lone kunoichi infiltrates a temple complex, heading for the miko Tomoe, who is lost deep in thought while bathing.
Startled by a voice suddenly greeting her, Tomoe reacts in a flash and overpowers the intruder. Holding a sharp blade at the kunoichi’s throat, she realizes it is her friend Shizuka.
Forced to stay behind while Tomoe has an important meeting with their leader about the Queen’s Blade tournament, Shizuka is quite bored and gives the other priestesses assigned to keep an eye on her a hard time.
Revealing she’s prepared to fight for her country and Mikado’s sake, Tomoe does question the money grubbing nobles that influence and direct Mikado, the young girl burdened to lead the country.
Tomoe understands that the clan of priestesses is bound by oath to protect the country, even if its leaders are corrupt. But if she wins the Queen’s Blade tournament, she could make changes for the better.
The quiet night is disrupted when waves of burning arrows descend on the temple complex, setting everything ablaze.
Observing the glow of the raging fire from the city afar, the leaders revel how their plan seems to be going well. Afraid that the warrior priestesses might threaten their stronghold on the country and it’s young leader Mikado, they brought in the Koumanin ninja clan of assassins to eliminate the priestesses.
The horde of ninja quickly defeat most of the warrior priestesses, their leader succumbing to wounds incurred while protecting Tomoe from a fiery explosion. Gathering her remaining allies, Tomoe prepares for a final stand-off against the ninja clan, but she’s shocked when the ninja cast away their own lives to morph their bodies together into a giant demon toad.
Desperately battling the giant toad, many miko succumb. Seeing her comrades fall, Tomoe heads to the temple, intent on using the powerful katana enshrined there against the demon.
Meanwhile, Shizuka faces the ninja leader, who’s all too happy on getting rid of the kunoichi that was once part of the Koumanin clan but turned her back on them to join Tomoe.
Seemingly cornered, Shizuka gains the upper hand and dispatches the ninja, revealing that they could never succeed where she too has failed, to defeat Tomoe, for Tomoe’s strength is unparalleled because she does not fight for personal gain or strength, but to protect those dear to her.
Desperately battling the demon toad, Tomoe dares not use the katana but when one of her last surviving friends dies in her arms, she finds the strength and resolve needed to draw the sword and slices the demon in half with one swift strike.
The temple complex in ruins, Shizuka finds Tomoe crying over the bodies of her fallen comrades, she takes the priestess with her and together they leave the country.
A nice episode, while it still contained explicit images, mostly bare breasts, it was far less intrusive than the first episode which is a good evolution, especially considering this episode had a noticeable increase in animation quality for most of its scenes.
Some character scenes had terrific animation and the miko versus ninja battle scenes were also well animated, better than what we saw in last week’s action scenes.
The opening and ending animation was quite nice, though I’m not entirely convinced by the music used, didn’t seem to fit that well. Interestingly, the opening animation sequence emphasizes a show down between Reina and Tomoe, hinting those two are the series’ leading ladies that will be destined to face each other to win Queen’s Blade.
Not quite sure I want to see Reina and Tomoe facing off like that as they’re both adorable girls and endearing characters, my favorites so far. Though I gather that plot’s success will depend on how well everything that leads up to it is written out.
Liked Shizuka in the anime series, her light-hearted, teasing character forms a fitting contrast to the serious Tomoe. Seems to be quite different from the original “Queen’s Blade” game where Shizuka is said to be a ruthless assassin only interested in her own personal gain. Definitely do prefer her character as it is portrayed in the anime.
What also contributed to the nice chemistry between Tomoe and Shizuka are their respective voice actresses.
The serious, serene Tomoe is done by Mamiko Noto’s who also voiced Kotomi from “Clannad”, Nodoka in “Mahou Sensei Negima” or Yakumo from “School Rumble”.
The playful Shizuka is voiced by Hitomi Nabatame, who also voices Kanade from “Candy☆Boy”, Margery Daw in “Shakugan No Shana” or Mikoto from “School Rumble”.
The two play off nice with each other.
Adore Reina and Tomoe so far, like Shizuka too and the character pairing of Tomoe and Shizuka we were introduced to this week seems to have more chemistry together than than Reina and Listy.
Must say that while the ecchi factor is still high, especially with the nudity in the ending sequence, the animation quality increase as well as a more solid -albeit still generic- plot elements give hope that this series may turn out better than what is originally feared by many.
The series shows promise so I’m curious to see how it will turn out.