A twelve-episode anime series
Taking place in an alternate 21st century where the Tokugawa Shogunate still rules Great Japan, the generals of the country relied on Master Samurai's; very powerful women with special powers to fight their battles. As time passed, this breed of warrior has become more scarce. Muneakira Yagyu heads to the Buou Academy to meet with his long time friend Princess Sen, but he ends up in the middle of a battle taking place between students of the academy, and their rival Yukimara and her assistant who both represent Toyotomi. During the battle a girl falls from the sky claiming to be Jubei Yagyu before she passes out after the fight. Who is this girl? And what was that display of power? These are only some questions leading to the coming events. -summary
I really wish that I stuck with my gut and avoided this atrocious anime title like the Black Death. I've just about had it with Sentai Filmworks and their ridiculous line of anime titles. At this point in time, I've completely seen four of their titles and every last one of them rank amongst the worst anime I have ever seen including Samurai Girls. Despite not getting into the trailer at all, I came into this completely from a level-headed perspective. I gave this anime the benefit of the doubt and it made me literally cringe during the entire duration. Samurai Girls is almost completely devoid of all imagination, and it heavily relies on those same tired old harem comedy cliches. It features the same old mousy loser who's completely afraid of the entire female body, and is surrounded by a host of women for the flimsiest of reasons. The tired old love triangles, the girls who berate him for things that's not his fault, it just goes on and on. I am so sick and tired of this now.
In all honesty, and I'm not trying to come off offensive or like some type of elitist, but Samurai Girls is for that type of anime fan who either has no standards at all, or are completely new and really haven't experienced the absolute best titles the genre has to after. The only positives I can think of lies in the visuals and music score. The anime is indeed stylish with a heavy manga influence filled with dark lines, and very nice looking backgrounds that reminds me of Super Street Fighter IV. Visually, there's just nothing bad to look at here and the character designs are very sexy for the women. There's some great detail in the loads of fan service provided. In addition, black ink blotches frequently drop down to the screen, and later on in the series, they feature different colored blotches that really does look cool. The action scenes contain many flashes and light shows reminiscent of Bleach and Dragonball Z. The BGM which is provided by Tatsuya Katou complements the anime well, working for the action and comedy. Unfortunately, although these things stand out, they really didn't make getting through this anime any easier.
Samurai Girls was a chore for me. The visuals tend to overshadow the characters, plot, action, and story, because none of those things are anything special. The plot spins its wheels very early with little to no progression at all. The characters soon learn that the female samurai's can be transformed into Master Samurai's by kissing Muneakira, this pits at least three of them in this unoriginal, by the numbers love triangle that grows boring and annoying very quick with lots of bickering. To add to the lack of originality and completely insipid, the main character Jubei goes through a Lucy-esque of Elfen Lied fame transformation, from powerful samurai warrior to an infantile retard that is nowhere near as annoying as Nyu, but is annoying as hell in her own right. None of the characters were the least bit interesting to me. If it wasn't for the fact that they were named after real samurai's of the Sengoku and Edo periods, I would have never even known their names.
This anime features one comic relief after the other, and even though I chuckled here and there to the characters antics. I felt the writers were trying way too hard to be funny, and more than half of the time the jokes were completely flat. They get even worse due to the constant rehashing. The plot really doesn't show any progress until about the ninth episode and it still stutters, which makes the tacked on and rushed ending even more frustrating thanks to so much damn filler. The action, which should be a stand out, is made up of flashes of action and falling bodies, with way too many high energy attacks. The writers cut way too many corners, as there aren't any choreographed sword on sword exchanges, which is completely ridiculous for a show with a samurai setting.
There's no doubt that I personally believe I sat through a certified shitcapade, but what keeps these DVD's from being certified coasters, is that the anime never attempts to take itself too serious. There are no tonal shifts, it's a straight forward light hearted ride meant to be fun. But the problem is that it doesn't accomplish any of its goals in the areas it set out to excel in as far as I'm concerned. This anime is an ant amongst giants when compared to series close to its type such as Excel Saga and Slayers.
Samurai Girls is a very poor excuse of a samurai/harem show. The only area it really stands out in is the prodution values; character designs, flashy action moments, fan service, music score, and for me, this just isn't enough. I hated the characters, their played out interactions, non choreographed action scenes, that troll final episode. It was just a bad experience for me. I only recommend this to the very easy to please. If you enjoyed Needless and High School of the Dead, then you'll love this.
-Plot, characters, comedy, etc.
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A twelve-episode anime series
Movie Follow-up to the Anime Series
Director: Hayao Miyazaki; Release Date: April 15, 2003
Anime & Manga movie