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Koihime†Musou review

September 26, 2009

With the new anime series “Shin Koihime†Musou” set to air soon, wanted to review the first “Koihime†Musou” anime that originally aired last year. Both are anime adaptations of eroge that go by the same name.

The story of “Koihime†Musou” and “Shin Koihime†Musou” is loosely based on the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” novel. A noteworthy change compared to the original tale is that nearly all of the famous characters from “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” are female in “Koihime†Musou”.

R_KoihimeMusou_01

The first anime adaptation took another surprising novel approach compared to what we are used to for anime series that are based on eroge. Instead of showing us a male lead that all the female characters fawn over and desire to be with, the “Koihime†Musou” anime forgoes this classical harem and simply omits the male lead character from the eroge.

The anime instead focuses more on popular character Kan’u Unchou and the other girls she befriends on her journey to bring peace throughout the lands torn apart by conflict.

With its all-female cast “Koihime†Musou” pulls the card of comedy and suggested yuri relationships. Though most of the yuri implied scenes are either humoristic in nature or pure fanservice, alas at no time are serious relationships really thoroughly explored, save for the bond of sisterhood that forms between Kan’u and Chouhi.

In most of the yuri scenes, Kan’u is the token victim, whether she’s being teased by Chouun, embarrassed by Chouhi or openly pursued by Sousou. As episodes go by, you can’t help but wonder who will go after Kan’u next or which yuri tinted situation will befall her.

R_KoihimeMusou_02

That being said, “Koihime†Musou” focuses mainly on humor, while there is a certain amount of action it’s primarily used to drive the overarching plot of Kan’u trying to bring peace to the people.
Briefly put, “Koihime†Musou” is really all about watching this group of cute girls sharing laughs and adventures on their journey together.

As such the series is largely episodic in nature, each episode telling a different tale of how Kan’u and her traveling party befriend someone new, defeat a foe encountered on their path or have other adventures.
Those adventures range from working at a restaurant, to participating in a martial arts contest, an eating contest, fighting bandits, solving a kidnapping case,…

Next to Kan’u, the series revolves mainly around her companions Chouhi, Koumei, as well as Sei and Bachou when they are present in her party. I had hoped Ryofu would play a bigger part but alas she was only featured briefly.

Although Sei is featured in many episodes, during the latter half of the series she strays from Kan’u’s party and appears less which is a shame since her character’s interaction with Kan’u always provides ample laughs.

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Except for main characters like Chouhi, Koumei and Bachou, most of the girls do not especially have any meaningful character evolution, so they remain rather superficial characters. But given the nature of the series, this isn’t really bothersome.

The final episodes sees Ryuubi, the only male character appear. Although he initially seems to be able to seduce Kan’u in typical romance harem series style, he quickly ends up earning Kan’u’s wrath and disappears from the series.

Perhaps this is a hint that Kan’u ends up choosing a life together with her female companions where no man is welcome or needed? Who knows… but in the spirit and atmosphere of the series, this leads to a very fitting conclusion with a nice epilogue scene under the sakura trees.

The animation in “Koihime†Musou” was quite good, throughout the episodes there are multiple scenes of the characters in cute chibi forms. All of the female characters are portrayed with unique hairstyles and lavishly decorated and colored outfits. The cast is physically diverse, from tall, long haired beauties with large bosoms to smaller, flat chested girls,… all to cater the different tastes of the audience.

Since the series focuses on the girls, they receive the best animation and detail treatment, usually a feast for the eyes and the DVD version of the episodes got additional touch ups and a few more steamy scenes here and there.

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The soundtrack is average, it supports the series nicely and features an upbeat opening song and cute ending track. Especially when watching the closing sequence, you get that feeling “Koihime†Musou” is more a light-hearted action comedy, nothing too serious or dramatic.

With this more comedic style, peppered with action and ecchi scenes, “Koihime†Musou” was how I had hoped “Queen’s Blade” would have been to in terms of style and atmosphere.

Instead of desperately clinging to cheap fanservice methods such as explicit breast exposure, “Queen’s Blade” might have been far better if it had played that ecchi card in a style similar to “Koihime†Musou”, with more suggestive scenes and humor in them, like for example the scene between Reina and Nowa.
Alas “Queen’s Blade” goes for the cheap explicit approach, while it no doubt attracts a certain amount of viewers it’s too bad in a way since I feel that it’s lost potential.

Am looking forward to “Shin Koihime†Musou”. A sort of spin-off or more a retelling of the original “Koihime†Musou”, the “Shin Koihime†Musou” eroge focused less on Kan’u and also emphasizes more on characters like Ryuubi Gentoku (though female this time, unlike the male incarnation from the first “Koihime†Musou” anime). Seems like Ryuubi will be one of the main characters in the anime adaptation as well.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2009 11:49 pm

    My favourit Character out of all the Girls was Choun Shiryu and I really liked the ditzy antagonists whose name ive forgotten.I cant remember if it was Soso but they had a very Team Rocket like approach 😛

    The series featured too many lolis for my taste but yeah it was a a fun ecchi series

  2. September 28, 2009 12:38 am

    I started on this series some time ago but had not have a chance to follow up on it. It didn’t seem like a serious show to me so I figure it will just get on the end of the to do list. Have to admit the girls are quite cute though.

  3. September 28, 2009 4:21 am

    I remember watching this and getting bored shitless by the third episode. Though that may have been because I was assuming the show would be closer to its eroge roots; so maybe I’ll give this another chance one of these days

  4. September 28, 2009 4:35 pm

    @Blowfish
    Well what I also like about “Koihime†Musou” compared to “Queen’s Blade” is that it’s more balanced that way, it has characters fit to cater most tastes in the audience.
    @Wolfheinrich
    Well it’s not a serious show at all, which is what I like about it. Instead of trying to be something too serious and explicit like “Ikki Tousen” they pulled the card of pure entertaining comedy of watching those cute girls in humor scenes with some action and ecchi stuf.
    @Snark
    It does stray from the source material, but I think that’s also one of its strengths. By being a silly comedy with some action and ecchi scenes it forgoes some of the pitfalls an eroge adaptation may have such as overdone harem scenario, explicit fanservice,…

  5. biotoxic permalink
    September 30, 2009 8:21 pm

    I really liked Koihime†Musou. It wasn’t anything serious and good fun to watch. I can’t wait for Shin Koihime†Musou to begin broadcasting.

    BT

  6. October 1, 2009 9:38 am

    I’m ashamed the re-telling will focus less on Kan’u. I really like her. 😉

    Despite that, I’m looking forward to it. I hope the fights will be more epic and less predictable. lol

  7. October 1, 2009 10:39 pm

    @biotoxic
    It was indeed a fun show. ^^
    @optic
    If it follows the game then yes, Kan’u will feature a lot less but I got the impression from the promotional clip that this new anime might actually pick up right were the first series left off. We’ll see!

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