Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls – 02
「裸体転生」 (Ratai Tensei)
Given the month-long break since I covered the early broadcast premiere of this series, I had totally forgotten that we’re dealing with a samurai high school comedy here. Well this second episode quickly reminded me of that, and didn’t hold back on the action either with some flashy fighting exposition to get things going. Continuing on from the cliffhanger last time with the arrival of Yagyuu Jubei, things pick up dramatically with her laying the beat down on Hanzou, who learns that she’s up against a “master samurai” with a power level of five million. Yeah, forget nine thousand; Jubei’s clocks out at five MILLION. It looks like the only thing that keeps the reincarnation of that master swordsman in check is Muneakira’s cry out to her to stop, which regresses Jubei back to a child-like state with no fighting ability. It also happens to conveniently strip her butt naked by shredding all her clothes, which isn’t a horrible side effect depending on how you want to look at it.
With a quick change in gears following Sen’s arrival, the series showed its first real signs of the romantic side of things, namely Sen’s feelings towards her childhood friend Muneakira, which she doesn’t do a very good job of hiding. During all that, the humor kicked in much more than I was expecting it to, with Yukimura and Matabee’s facial expressions towards the vice president’s childhood romance getting things rolling in that regard. While a bit drawn out, Yukimura and Hanzou knocking heads due to their inability to get along also proved to be pretty entertaining to watch, particularly because Kugimiya Rie has a way with high-pitched trash talking. Gotou Saori wasn’t too shabby either, making me wish I could see footage of the two of them going at it in the recording studio. Matabee getting quickly won over by an outdoor bath added to the hilarity, whereas mention of Yukimura’s feng shui 「風水」 premonition provided something in the way of the actual story revolving around Jubei’s arrival. In particular, she saw images of a dark shadow cast upon Great Japan with Jubei at the center of it.
The revelation wasn’t the most compelling foreshadowing in light of all the silly antics going on, but it did add a degree of seriousness for a (very) brief moment. That moment was immediately shattered when Jubei woke up hungry and started behaving like a child again, though I was completely smitten by the seemingly limitless range that Yuuki Aoi possesses with her voice to even care. For an 18-year-old seiyuu, she sure has made her splash in the anime industry and almost certainly will be on everyone’s casting consideration lists in the upcoming seasons. Needless to say, this girl can act and makes it look effortless. In terms of characters, Sen’s older brother and president of the student council, Tokugawa Yoshihiko (Sakurai Takahiro), made a brief appearance alongside Nia, better known as Charles de d’Artagnan (Koshimizu Ami) by those not so close to her. In addition, Yoshihiko let off that he’s up to something, which isn’t all that surprising since he is the heir to the current shogun (i.e. the leader of Great Japan). More on that will likely come in future episodes, while things ended off here in a fan-service-oriented direction with an inspection of every crook and cranny of Jubei’s body to see if she has the mark of a master samurai. Lo and behold she does, so naturally the next phase is to find out exactly who the heck she is.
Production-wise, I’m still really liking the ink-splatter and bold outline stylistic touches, as it gives a very different feel to the series almost immediately. The humor in this unusual over-the-top samurai setting goes a fair way in changing things up as well. Rounding the package out is the fan-service, which actually isn’t that detracting from the series. I’m almost inclined to classify it as a art style in this censored version because of its somewhat “tasteful” way of going about it. I haven’t seen the AT-X broadcast of the first episode aired three days ago to see if it’s uncensored, but I don’t really care to either as I actually like how something is left to the imagination this way.