Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls
Got round to watching the pre-airing of “Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls”, the anime adaptation of Hobby Japan’s 40th anniversary project 百花繚乱 SAMURAI GIRLS which also has a light novel and manga incarnation.
You may remember Hobby Japan from the “Queen’s Blade” visual combat books and its subsequent anime adaptation. As one might expect from the publishers of the “Queen’s Blade” franchise, “Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls” is all about beautiful warrior maidens whose looks are as lethal as their blades.
From the opening animation throughout the entire first episode right into the ending animation, scenes showcasing the different girls shapely bodies are numerous and ecchi fanservice is aplenty.
Nonetheless, this first episode of “Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls” feels quite different from “Queen’s Blade”, mostly due to the unique visual style by animation studio ARMS which is a welcome surprise.
Using a flattened color palette married with thick lines and shapes, it creates an intriguing mix between wild, lively artistry and subdued, dark moody atmosphere. It feels and looks everything but the usual animation styles we see, which considering the more fanservice oriented nature of the series is an interesting choice.
The fact the series takes place in an alternate reality that mixes older technology like steam locomotives with advanced gear like digital cameras makes for another intriguing element.
The first episode features lots of ecchi humor and martial action. While I liked the lighter, entertaining aspect of humor mixed with superficial combat, the final scene suggests it could evolve into towards a more serious, darker martial battle series.
The show has an impressive cast of voice actresses, with Aoi Yuki who did Kannagi in “Sora Wo Kakeru Shoujo” as Juubee, Rie Kugimiya who voiced Melona in “Queen’s Blade” as the feisty Sanada, or “Maria†Holic“ Mariya Shidou’s seiyuu Kobayashi Yuu as Matabee, Koshimizu Ami famous for Holo in “Spice & Wolf”, Kallen in “Code Geass” voices Charles d’Artanian,…
Will be picking this series up when it starts next season as its unique visual style and other elements promises it could be quite an interesting show that improves on some of “Queen’s Blade” its weaknesses.