Queen’s Blade 3
After the warrior priestesses’ temple was assaulted and burnt down by the Koumanin ninja clan, Tomoe and Shizuka traveled overseas and have arrived at a tropical beach.
Before continuing their journey, Shizuka takes ample time to sample the local fashion of two piece swimsuits and eat refreshing ice cream.
Questioning Shizuka’s clothing choice, Tomoe is quickly dragged into a swimsuit store and forced to try on several cute swimsuits.
Hearing the sound of clashing weapons outside, the girls rush to the window to discover an aerial orb is broadcasting a Queen’s Blade battle. While they observe the tournament, the top piece of Tomoe’s bikini comes undone, much to Shizuka’s enjoyment.
Far away, Reina and Listy head towards the city. Suspecting Clodette has not returned yet from the castle, Listy uses guile to talk themselves past the guards into the city by advertising Reina is Count Vance’s daughter.
Unbeknown to them, Clodette has witnessed everything and strikes a deal with the mercenary elf Echidna whose target is Reina.
Settling into a hotel, Reina enjoys their peaceful moments in the city, dragging Listy along to a market and a clothing store before they have a meal in a local tavern.
Curious about Listy’s plans after this, Reina asks her again if she won’t consider continuing their journey together instead of parting ways as Listy has intended.
When a snake suddenly slithers along over their table, the girls freeze up and fail to notice Echidna used this diversion to lift Listy’s purse.
Forced to pay their debt by doing the dishes, the girls despair over how to get enough money for their lodging and other needs. Listy plans to resort to less noble means to gather the needed gold, but Reina says she’ll make enough money in a legal way by participating in a women’s mud wrestling tournament she saw advertised.
Able to win fairly easy against the first opponent, Reina has renewed faith in her own strength.
However, while Reina’s first match took place, Echidna approached Listy, enticing the thief to raid the vaults while everyone will be tied up watching Reina’s second match.
The second match pits Reina against Echidna herself and the elf quickly overpowers Reina, putting her in one muscle tearing and bone breaking wrestling hold after another. Wanting to savor Reina’s cries of agony to the fullest, Echidna drives the audience out before she goes on torturing the now helpless girl.
As if Reina’s tremendous suffering isn’t enough, Echidna even has her venomous snake bite the girl, bringing her to the verge of death before finally releasing her deathly hold and administering an antidote.
Awakening hours later in the wrestling pit, Reina feels lucky to be alive but curses her lack of strength.
Quietly hoping she will find comfort with Listy, Reina is shocked to see their lodging room is empty, Listy skipped town without leaving her any word or note. Reina drops down on the bed crying.
When the sun caresses her face the next morning, Reina finds renewed courage and decides to continue the journey by herself.
While still an enjoyable episode, I didn’t find it nearly as good as last week’s episode, quite noticeably the animation, plot as well as character rendering took a significant drop.
Actually the first part of the episode with Tomoe and Shizuka’s bikini at the beach comedic filler and Reina’s plethora of cute faces was a lot more enjoyable than the latter half, which featured the battle of Reina against Echidna.
Those light-hearted, funnier scenes were very entertaining and had that same atmosphere we saw throughout “Koihime Musou”, which is all about watching cute girls have silly fun, topped with a zest of ecchi.
The duo Tomoe and Shizuka pulls that off well, especially with Shizuka being voiced by Hitomi Nabatame, who also did Kanade from “Candy☆Boy” and is able to infuse Shizuka with that same playful, teasing personality trait.
Wasn’t too keen on the explicit nudity during the wrestling match as well as the overly present ero-masochistic theme when Echidna was making Reina suffer with those wrestling holds.
Seems while they wanted to show Reina cling to Listy and having to learn how to stand on her own two feet, that whole plot wasn’t executed very well, especially since they had spent too much time showing off Reina in cute, moe demeanor to then turn to the dramatic so fast.
The pacing felt wrong, certainly with the dragged out battle where Reina is in continuous agony.
Looks like next week’s episode we’ll see Reina face Clodette. But how will the young wandering warrior fare against her powerful elder sister?
Too bad they weren’t able to reach the level of the second episode so I hope they pick up the level next week, else the series may spiral quite fast into mediocrity, which would be a shame since they have enough to make it work as a decent series.
If not, then I’d rather see them turn it into a lighthearted comedy like “Koihime Musou” instead of the series taking itself too seriously.
For the sake of my sanity, I won’t even question why such a medieval world has modern day beach resort bikini and swimsuit stores….