Hyakka Ryōran: Samurai Girls (百花繚乱 SAMURAI GIRLS, Hyakka Ryōran Samurai Gāruzu?),[Note 1][Note 2] also known as Samurai Girls, is a light novel series written by Akira Suzuki with illustrations by Niθ to commemorate Hobby Japan's 40th anniversary. The first volume was released by Hobby Japan on February 28, 2009, with ten volumes currently available in Japan as of December 28, 2011 under their HJ Bunko imprint. There are currently three different manga adaptations based on the Hyakka Ryoran universe published. An online anthology comic was serialized on Hobby Japan's media website Hobby Channel from June 1, 2010 and sold two volumes as of June 25, 2011; a manga adaptation illustrated by Junichi Iwasaki began serialization in the November 2010 issue of Monthly Comic Alive with two volumes currently available as of October 2011; and a manga adaptation began serialization in Hobby Japan's online manga magazine Comic Dangan on December 23, 2011. A spinoff manga called Hyakka Ryōran: Sengoku Maidens, illustrated by Yuri Shinano, was serialized in the March 2009 issue of Dengeki Daioh and ended in the March 2011 issue, with two volumes currently available as of October 2010. A 12-episode anime adaptation produced by ARMS ran between October and December 2010 on Chiba TV and other networks. At Anime Expo 2010, Hobby Japan announced that they are planning to release the light novels in North America in the near future. The series is loosely based on the Sengoku period or early Edo period of Japan, despite being set in the present day.
The series takes place in an alternate version of Japan called Great Japan (大日本国, Dai Nippon-koku?), in an alternate timeline where the Tokugawa shogunate remained active and has remained isolated from the rest of the world. The story takes place at Buou Academic School (武應学園塾, Buō Gakuen-juku?), an academy located at the base of Mount Fuji where children of military families train to become samurai warriors. The academy is in the middle of a power struggle between Yukimura Sanada and Matabei Goto of the Toyotomi faction and the powerful student council that rules the school, and Muneakira Yagyu, the owner of the Yagyu Dojo, and the mysterious Jubei Yagyu are dragged in the middle of the conflict. The series features famous historical figures from Japan's Sengoku period and early Edo period. The character Charles d'Artagnan also comes from the same age in Europe.
Muneakira's first Master Samurai, with the contractual mark on her chest. She also has a power level of five million when she transforms according to Hattori and bears amber eyes with vertical slits, but in this state she has shown a sadistic side, yet she is an honorable warrior who gives respect to those who have earned it. In her normal form however, she has no memories of her former life and has an obsession with Muneakira, whom she refers to as "onii-chan" (big brother) due to the fact that they share the same surname. She is also airheaded, innocent, and acts very much like a child, which is reinforced by the fact that she refers to herself in third-person. Her weapon is a daishō set, with the katana unusually colored. Her transformation phrase is currently unknown, instead she transforms every time she kisses Muneakira. However for the duration of her transformation, Muneakira is bound from moving by mysterious chains.
In the final episodes of the anime, it is revealed that Jubei's Master Samurai state is her true self, her current personality being created by an incomplete contract. Jubei's inner self also warns Jubei that kissing Muneakira once more will complete the contract at the cost of her current personality. In her final battle against Gisen, she dies sacrificing herself to defeat her by sending her into space. However, in the DVD/Blu-ray release it is shown that after the credits, she falls from the sky to once again share a kiss with Muneakira.
A 13 year-old student in the middle school section and the leader of the Toyotomi faction. She is Muneakira's second Master Samurai, with the mark of wisdom on her left butt cheek. Her weapons are a pair of huge battle fans capable of manipulating wind and can also use them to block enemy attacks. However, she has shown no control whatsoever over her powers when she is in her Master Samurai state, though she improves as the series progresses. She also seems to have feelings for Muneakira. Her transformation phrase is "Fushaku Shinmyo", which means "Self-sacrificing Dedication". Jubei's nickname for Yukimura is "Yukki" (ゆっきー, Yukkī?).
Yukimura's bodyguard and loyal samurai. Her weapon is a yari and can also use a small tantō that she dons as a hair accessory. She seems to have a weakness for hot baths, such as the case when she eagerly went to one as "punishment" from Hanzo, only to be stopped by Yukimura. Jubei's nickname for Matabei is "Beta-san" (べーたさん?).
Kanetsugu is the self-proclaimed "warrior of love" and a childhood friend of Yukimura. She was fully humiliated by Yukimura at a young age and still carries a grudge against her, and was sent by Sen's brother Yoshihiko to spy on Sen and Yukimura's actions. Her speech pattern is notable as she uses keigo. Her weapon is a decorated sledgehammer capable of knocking heavy gates and create fissures when slammed down to the ground. Jubei's nicknames for Kanetsugu are "Gutsugutsu" (ぐつぐつ?), "Gucchan" (ぐっちゃん?), and "Gucchorinado" (ぐっちょりなど?). Kanetsugu's appearance oddly resembles that of Vocaloid Hatsune Miku. Her favorite food is leek, also like Miku.
Muneakira's childhood friend and the eldest daughter of the Tokugawa Shogunate. She seems to have feelings for Muneakira, and acts very much like a tsundere towards him. She is a self-proclaimed spoiled princess and always seeks to get her way regarding any decision she wants to make. She gets extremely jealous of any girl who tries to get close to Muneakira, and generally acts upon this jealousy by flying into a rage, like when Jubei kissed him in front of her and later had him wear a full oni helmet so he could "reflect" at what the kiss he shared with Yukimura. Later, she reveals her true feelings to Muneakira and kisses him, thus becoming his third Master Samurai. Her weapon is a naginata decorated near the blade, and her transformation phrase is "Tenga Ryūrei", which means "Elegant Beauty". Sen's attacks usually revolve around thunder or lightning.
Sen's servant and head of the Student Council police, wearing a maid's outfit and glasses. It is hinted that she has deeper feelings for Sen and may be a masochist longing for her abuses. Her weapon is a double-bladed pole that can split into two individual katana, and she can shoot a number of shuriken, kunai or any throwable material under her skirt. Her glasses allow her to detect an individual's power level and also see through any man made materials.
Sen's older brother, president of the Student Council, and head of the Tokugawa Shogunate. He believes that he is doing the best for his country, while in reality he is a ruthless tyrant with a tendency to use and discard people, including his own sister. Yoshihiko had a brief relationship with Charles d'Artagnan until he used her in one of his experiments to create Master Samurai by artificial means. He had also used other girls in his experiments as well (who are, in fact, descendants of former Master Samurai in their lineage), planning to create an army of Master Samurai since there are very few in existence. In the anime, after realizing his feelings for d'Artagnan after she sacrifices herself to save him, he revives her by making a Master Samurai contract with her, and later teams up with Muneakira to defeat Gisen.
Gisen is a young girl sporting an eyepatch over her right eye that falls naked from the sky into Muneakira's arms, much like Jubei. She is initially friendly in her first appearances, but is shown to be very perverse when around Muneakira (whom she refers to as "Master"), wanting to "tuck in" his body parts (implying to be sexual intercourse), the reason being is that she thinks that the relationship between a general and a samurai is similar to that of a master and slave. Jubei nickname for Gisen is "Gittan", and Gisen refers to Jubei as "onee-sama" (big sister).
It is later revealed that she is a Master Samurai, with the concentral mark on her right eye. Her general is Amakusa Shirō, a powerful samurai who aspired to destroy Japan until he was killed by a group of rebels, and intends to revive him to destroy Japan once more. Her true personality is also revealed throughout the story, displaying her as a highly sadistic person who will stop at nothing to ensure her general's revival; she even attempted to take Jubei's body into her own to further the process. Her transformation phrase is "Inka Ryōran", which means "Indecent Flower Blooming Profusely", and her attacks usually revolve around ice. Gisen's right eye (colored red) can contol and manipulate people's minds, and she wields a blade that can turn into a scissor-like weapon.
Nicknamed Nia (ニア?) by Yoshihiko, d'Artagnan is a tall blonde woman from France who transferred to Buou Academy. She met Yoshihiko while she was doing oragami, and developed a romantic relationship with him. However, she was betrayed when Yoshihiko used her as a test subject to create Master Samurai by artificial means. Despite all of what has happened to her, she still bears feelings towards Yoshihiko, which was justified in the anime when she dies protecting Yoshihiko from some falling rubble while holding an origami of a samurai's helmet that was given to her by Yoshihiko in the past. She was later revived by Yoshihiko, having realized her true feelings, and becomes a true Master Samurai with the concentural mark on her left hand.
d'Artagnan's powers as a Master Samurai allow her to channel different elements by saying "Mode Change" and saying said element. However, because her Master Samurai powers were created artificially, her body suffers great strain from using her powers. Also, her aura differs from the other Master Samurai (sans Gisen), as it is violet as opposed to the standard black. She wields twin claymores as weapons, utilizing them to create elemental-powered attacks.
Written by Akira Suzuki and illustrated by Niθ, the first volume of Samurai Girls was released on February 28, 2009 by Hobby Japan, with a total of ten volumes released as of December 28, 2011 under their HJ Bunko imprint. At Anime Expo 2010, Hobby Japan announced they will release English translations of the novels in North America along with the Queen's Blade and Queen's Blade Rebellion game books in the near future in an effort to expand their business. They have stated they will release the series digitally through Apple's iBook store and Amazon's Kindle store before releasing them in print, which will in turn include figurines of the characters.
An anthology comic was serialized on Hobby Japan's online website Hobby Channel. The first chapter was serialized on June 1, 2010, with new chapters serialized on the 25th of each month. The first volume was published on November 25, 2010, and the current volume was published on June 25, 2011. A spinoff manga called Hyakka Ryōran: Sengoku Maidens (〜百花繚乱〜戦国乙女, ~Hyakka Ryōran~ Sengoku Otome?), illustrated by Yura Shinano, began serialization in the March 2009 issue of Dengeki Daioh, and ended in the March 2011 issue. The series is based on the Sengoku Otomepachinko games by Heiwa, and has no connection to the original series. The first volume was released by ASCII Media Works on December 28, 2009, with two volumes currently available as of October 27, 2010 under its Dengeki Comics imprint. A manga adaptation illustrated by Junichi Iwasaki began serialization in the November 2010 issue of Media Factory's manga magazine Monthly Comic Alive. The first volume was published on November 22, 2010, with a total of two volumes available as of October 22, 2011 under their Alive Comics imprint.
An internet radio show produced by Lantis called Hyakka Ryōran: Radio Girls (百花繚乱 ラジオガールズ, Hyakka Ryōran: Rajio Gāruzu?) aired betewen September 17, 2010 and January 10, 2011. The show was hosted by Aoi Yūki and Minako Kotobuki, the voices for Jubei and Sen, respectively. There are four parts, or corners, to each episode. Certain episodes featured guest voices from the anime series, and listeners can send in comments of the show on the air. A CD of the radio show, called Hyakka Ryōran: Super Radio Girls (百花繚乱 スーパーラジオガールズ, Hyakka Ryōran: Sūpā Rajio Gāruzu?), was released on January 26, 2011 by Lantis.
An anime adaptation produced by ARMS and directed by KOBUN was announced on the fourth volume of the light novels. The series ran twelve episodes between October 3 and December 19, 2010 on Chiba TV and TV Kanagawa, with later broadcasts on TV Saitama, Tokyo MX, TV Aichi, Sun Television, and AT-X. A preview of the first episode aired on Tokyo MX on September 4, 2010 prior to the official airing. The series serves as an alternate telling of the light novels, having a completely different storyline. Simulcasts were provided in North America by Anime Network on their video portal, and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. Six DVD and Blu-ray volumes were released by Media Factory between November 25, 2010 and April 28, 2011, each containing a six-part OVA series called Hyakka Ryōran Samurai Girls: Blushing Maidens in the Pact (百花繚乱 サムライガールズ 〜乙女♥嬉し恥ずかし将士の契り〜, Hyakka Ryōran Samurai Gāruzu ~Otome Ureshi Hazukashi Shōshi no Chigiri~?) along with a voiced 4-koma illustrated by Chiruwo Kazahana. The anime is licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks, and distributor Section23 Films released the series with an English dub (produced by Seraphim Digital) on August 23, 2011 on DVD and Blu-ray. The anime is also licensed in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment, and in the United Kingdom by Manga Entertainment. The English dub of the anime premiered on Anime Network's video portal on June 23, 2011, and ran until September 8, 2011. The opening theme for the series is "Last vision for last" by Faylan, while the ending theme is "Koi ni Sesse Tooryanse" (恋にせっせ通りゃんせ?) by Aoi Yūki, Minako Kotobuki, and Rie Kugimiya, the voices for Jubei Yagyu, Sen Tokugawa, and Yukimura Sanada, respectively.
"Last vision for last" was released as a maxi single by Lantis on October 27, 2010. The single features a song called "From Quiet Nectar to Red Nectar" (しずかな蜜より赤い蜜?), as well as instrumentals of both songs. A CD single for "Koi ni Sesse Tooryanse" was released by Lantis on November 10, 2010, featuring a song called "Hanasaku Samurai Love" (ハナサク☆サムライラブ, Hanasaku☆Samurai Rabu?, "The Samurai Love of Blooming"). A character song CD called Hyakka Ryoran Samurai Girls Character Song Station: Samurai the Show!! (百花繚乱 サムライガールズ CSステーション -SAMURAI THE SHOW!!-, Hyakka Ryōran Samurai Gāruzu CS Sutēshon -SAMURAI THE SHOW!!-?) was released by Lantis on December 8, 2010, featuring songs sung by Yū Kobayashi, Saori Gotō, Aoi Yūki, Rie Kugimiya, and Minako Kotobuki. An original soundtrack called Hyakka Ryōran Samurai Girls Original Soundtrack: Body, Mind and Soul (百花繚乱 サムライガールズ オリジナル・サウンドトラック ～沁・伎・躰～?) was released by Lantis on December 22, 2010 on a two-disc set.