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Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

September 7, 2010

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.

E_HRSG_01_01

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.

E_HRSG_01_02

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.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2010 10:49 pm

    Interesting, will definitely look into this!

  2. September 7, 2010 11:01 pm

    I’ve been wanting to see this one. I really like the interesting character designs and the ecchi content doesn’t hurt my interest as well. 😀 I’m interested to see how the mixed technology works out.

    I’m one who actually enjoyed Queen’s Blade. I think it’s because I wasn’t expecting much of a story when I started watching the show, it surprised me in the end that it wasn’t so bad.

  3. biotoxic permalink
    September 7, 2010 11:56 pm

    This preview episode has really got me excited to see what happens next. Loving the art style; it’s both refreshingly different and beautiful to look at.

    I certainly can’t wait for this to start next season, and it’s got me more interested in the Samurai Girls universe – one which I’ve not really been following.

  4. Devastator001 permalink
    September 8, 2010 2:08 am

    Hmmm… will prolly pick this one up after HOTD. So far no fave girls yet from this series, but I’ll prolly pick one as the sereis progresses ^_^

  5. September 8, 2010 4:36 pm

    An interesting start I really liked the animation style.
    As Rie Kugimiya fan I got an instant liking to Sanada
    Its also good that the male lead character seems to be no wimp.

    too bad that Hattori was such a looser in this episode and I bought the figure of her from Alter 😄

    well I hope they won’t overdo it with the fanservice in the show

  6. September 8, 2010 7:03 pm

    @Wolfheinrich
    The first episode was quite promising!
    @OtakuDepot
    The mixed technology was surprising, first a steam train and rather old architectural style buildings to then suddenly see a digital camera… I almost thought it was meant as an outside context joke.
    @biotoxic
    The visual style is refreshingly different. I also like how it successfully emanates a different atmosphere and enables the ecchi content to be less obvious, focusing more on the visual artistry, comedy and action.
    @Devastator001
    Indeed, judging by the opening, half of the characters weren’t introduced yet, guess that’ll take a few episodes.
    @Fabienne
    Well “Queen’s Blade” always did away with a male lead so “Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls” might have gotten the typical shounen or harem lead treatment but looks like he’s got some spine. Oddly in a few scenes his demeanor looks a bit inspired on Spike Spiegel or Vash the Stampede.
    Hattori’s just a lovely toy for the others’ guilty pleasure! 😄

  7. Pheonix03 permalink
    September 8, 2010 11:40 pm

    Visual style was great and helped emphasize the action and the characters. My only concern lies in the male lead, while it’s refreshing that he is strong, I don’t like harem anime in the slightest. Though this could not develop into a harem anime, so I’ll continue to watch it, as the series does show a lot of potential.

  8. September 9, 2010 9:38 pm

    @Pheonix03
    Yeah, not really clear how much of a harem series it will be, though if it goes in any harem direction, it will surely be one with a ‘fated’ pairing with Juubee.

  9. September 11, 2010 12:46 pm

    This is an anime I have my eyes on for this season. It looks really nice. However…

    “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.”

    This kind of has me on edge. I’m not in the mood for dark stuff right now so I might hold off on this.

  10. September 11, 2010 9:24 pm

    @Yi
    Might be prudent to scope out the first few episodes, not sure yet what direction it will take.

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