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Manyuu Hikenchou – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「運命」 (Unmei) by AiRI
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

「千房 離反す」 (Chifusa Rihansu)
“Chifusa Defects”

If I’m not going to give this anime an impartial and unbiased first look, is there anyone else out there who will? Chances are no, so if you’re still interested in hearing me out, bear with me for a moment before jumping to any predetermined conclusions. Strap yourself in. This is a long post.

First up, this series doesn’t shy away from the fact that it uses breasts as a central part of the story. I know that, you know that, the producers know that, and heck, even your mom probably knows that, so let’s kick that obvious observation wayside and have a better look at what Hood’s Entertainment and director Kaneko Hirako (Seikon no Qwaser) have taken on this season. The short answer is a challenging adaptation of an adult-themed anime that not only uses a plot device that will lead to a lot of fan-service, but does so in a setting that doesn’t involve high school romance in any way whatsoever. In terms of the actual fan-service you’ll see, it’s not a whole lot on the normal televised broadcast, as Hood’s Entertainment has taken it upon themselves to provide a censored version, much like in Seikon no Qwaser II last season, where all the nudity is covered by blinding white lights and any suggestive sounds from the characters are completed muted, often in favor of louder background music. The benefit of this approach is that we’re able to see enough to realize what’s going on (without seeing it all), which can’t be said about excessive zooming or complete black screens that broadcasters resort to. The end result is still fairly watchable.

In terms of animation production, Hood’s Entertainment isn’t a bad studio by any means and their work here speaks for itself. Next to feel, they’re probably the only other studio who dares take on an adaptation of this nature, specializing in it and generally producing something relatively good. From the character designs, voice acting, soundtrack, fast-paced action, and overall screenplay, it’s as if the producers all unanimously thought, “Hey look, we know we have a controversial series, so let’s ignore all those weird looks that we’re bound to get and make the best adaptation we can.” To that end, they went straight for the seiyuu who have experience in this risqué roles and even the samurai setting itself, casting Kotobuki Minako in the lead role as Manyuu Chifusa, Toyosaki Aki as her faithful attendant Kaede, and Mizuhara Kaori as her sadistic older sister Kagefusa — all of whom starred in the not-too-different Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls last fall.

Add in Noto Mamiko who starred in Queen’s Blade, and some other well-versed seiyuu, Takagaki Ayahi (Mikako in Sora no Otoshimono) and Fukuen Misato (Yami in To LOVE-Ru), and we have a full-fledged female cast that’s on par with any “normal” series out there. They even went out of their way to get Hikasa Youko (Mio in K-ON) to voice a minor character in this first episode, Oume (though that’s likely due to her “masochistic experience” as Hana in Seikon no Qwaser). So from purely a production standpoint, it’s worth noting that Manyuu Hikenchou isn’t a poorly made series that is completely banking on the “breast factor” to sell Blu-rays to random buyers. It’s actually a surprisingly well-made series that is intended for viewers who are looking for an adaptation of this kind. Because let’s be honest, if anyone really wanted straight-up sex and nudity, they wouldn’t waste their time with occasional uncensored fan-service and go for the real deal, either animated or otherwise. (Anime BDs also cost 5,000 yen (~$50) on average.)

With that in mind, this isn’t a “don’t knock it until you try it” type of message, as everyone should already have a pretty good idea as to whether they’re mentally and/or morally okay with watching a series of this subgenre. All I’m trying to get across is that it doesn’t seem fair to have such a narrow-minded point of view and quickly call this series “trash” without even understanding what it entails. After all, we have people from all walks of life who are arguably absolute drains on society and I can say we should just get rid of them all since they’re less productive than the people who created this manga and anime, but it wouldn’t really be fair to cast judgement on them so swiftly. Nobody likes double-standards, so I try to give every type of anime a fair chance and see it for what it is. If nothing else, it makes for better blogging that some readers will appreciate.

So what do I think about Manyuu Hikenchou? Well back in the Summer 2011 Preview, I said the premise about a fictional Taihei Edo Period where breast size is a status symbol and there exists a secret Manyuu Clan manipulating the Tokugawa shogunate from the shadows using their breast “cutting” techniques is completely absurd, even by Seikon no Qwaser’s breastfeeding standard of absurdity, and that sentiment hasn’t really changed after this first episode. However, I was better prepared for the ridiculousness, having read the early parts of the manga that were covered here. Because of that, I was able to take in the animation production, character personalities (i.e. voice acting), and overall feel of the series much better, and I have to admit that it has all the elements of something that I would immediately watch, even if something other than breasts were used to drive the main story. At the same time, it’s pretty unsettling to see poor helpless women tied down and in tears have their breasts mercilessly “stolen” (reduced in size) by the likes of Chifusa’s father Munenori (Ono Atsushi) and the self-proclaimed “breast hunter”, Kagefusa.

The depiction of cruelty is quite powerful, even if the form of it is completely far-fetched, and really hit home when Kaede was subjected to the same treatment after trying to flee the village to help Chifusa in her quest to overturn the twisted influence that her clan has on the world. I dare say it was unnerving enough to make me take some pleasure in seeing (and hearing) Kagefusa have her breasts reduced in return. That feeling of satisfaction helped offset the fact that Chifusa’s breasts grew as a result — another ludicrous yet relevant development that reaffirmed she has a higher level of Manyuu Arts hidden within her. Adding to the absurdity was Chifusa revealing some of the secrets written in the Manyuu scroll, which includes regaining bust size by having a loved one massage them. I make no claim to try and defend the outlandish storyline, but if they’re going to use this wacky premise, I can’t really blame them for going all out.

If you’ve read this far, be rest assured that I don’t really have a stance toward this type of show one way or the other. I think they fill a niche, bridging the gap between fan-service-filled anime and straight-up hentai, and they’re ultimately something that you have to decide for yourself if you’re adventurous enough to watch. If you’re on the fence about it, I do have one recommendation though. Don’t watch it. This isn’t for you. Personally, I had no problems sitting through both seasons of Queen’s Blade and Seikon no Qwaser because of the cast involved, so I really don’t have any problem doing the same thing with Manyuu Hikenchou. In addition to some surprisingly good visuals, I really like how we have some key cast members from Hyakka Ryouran in the lead roles, who are also the seiyuu of two K-ON characters, Mugi and Yui. There’s no typecasting Minako and Aki that’s for sure. Good opening and ending themes by AiRI, who sang the 30-Sai no Hoken Taiiku ending theme, are pluses as well.

Update (07/17): In case anyone’s wondering, AT-X’s broadcast eight days later is mostly uncensored but not completely uncensored.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「二つの足跡」 (Futatsu no Ashiato) by AiRI
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

July 11, 2011 at 11:15 pm
61 comments »
  • July 11, 2011 at 11:27 pmKoroshiya

    If they start to use this whole breast size thing as an allegory for how women are superficially treated based upon their looks and various other social context then call me back otherwise not my cup of tea (I have read the first chapter before deciding this).

    • July 11, 2011 at 11:43 pmDa5id

      To contrast this post, and to give a clear example of how this show polarizes the audience:

      When the get it uncensored, call ME back.

    • July 12, 2011 at 3:08 amDeafvader

      Just to let you know, big breads wad not always a popular thong. It’s culture change like how in the past fat and not thin women was the ‘ in’ thing. Will wait for the next ep to decide. Too many other anime to catch. If the plot and action does not improve… And the focus is the same as angel blade then I’m out. Watch action for action, plot for plot, and hentai for full blown censored ecchi. Why the need for a bit of everything but not a whole lot of one thing? Just my personal view.

      • July 12, 2011 at 9:01 ambunny

        Think you meant “Queens Blade” :p secret revealed lol

    • July 12, 2011 at 11:29 amStranger

      That’s what I was thinkin’ too, when I first heard about this series.

      I’ll stick with it and see if it actually follows suit.

  • July 11, 2011 at 11:51 pmLuxorcist

    • July 12, 2011 at 7:04 amlkaze

      I watch it but all this is too bright for me, let’s just come back later when uncensor come.

  • July 11, 2011 at 11:56 pmEliteF22

    I think I’ve heard of an asian myth about specific ways for women to increase their busts by massaging them different ways. Doesn’t make the Manyuu scroll sound completely absurd to me considering at one time people really did believe such things were possible.

  • July 12, 2011 at 12:08 amClick

    I managed to make it through Seikon no Quaser I and Queen’s Blade, I absolutely loved Hyakka Ryoran, but this series really isn’t for me =/

  • July 12, 2011 at 12:10 amActar

    Now that’s really interesting. It turns out it’s a magic slice that shrinks them. I thought they actually cut off the breasts of.

  • July 12, 2011 at 12:16 amKurisu Vi Britannia

    I got attracted here by the boobs. I’m not going to lie.

  • July 12, 2011 at 12:17 amPandAEmiC

    THE LIGHTS! THEY ARE BLINDING ME!

  • July 12, 2011 at 1:10 amlzanagi

    I can’t believe I read the entire thing @~@

  • July 12, 2011 at 1:26 amxcswmboy

    I’m fine with the anime, I just stopped watching cuz of the censors. If I’m going to watch this, it will be the uncensored version like Seikon no Quasar.

    • July 12, 2011 at 6:12 amKarmafan

      Same.

  • July 12, 2011 at 1:58 amDude

    Yeah I’ll actually hold out until Qwaser II and this one comes out uncensored.

  • July 12, 2011 at 2:31 amewok40k

    …talk about most common superpower…
    anyway I think I cant fit another series into my watchlist unless it is earth-shatteringly good…

  • July 12, 2011 at 3:30 amCroos

    まぶしい!!

    Setting that aside. Nice review. My bad thoughts about this anime suddenly disappeared. I was going to write bad things about this anime like Show Spoiler ▼

    but this lines punched it away:

    Because let’s be honest, if anyone really wanted straight-up sex and nudity, they wouldn’t waste their time with occasional uncensored fan-service and go for the real deal, either animated or otherwise. (Anime BDs also cost 5,000 yen (~$50) on average.)

    RIGHT ON DIVINE :D

  • July 12, 2011 at 3:46 amEspada

    sigh~ disappointing

  • July 12, 2011 at 4:05 amKatsu

    I read the whole thing because I respect Divine’s opinion and I’ll try watch it for its other values even though I took notice of it first because of ” BOUNCE ” >.<" Nice post..

  • July 12, 2011 at 4:14 amwhoo_whoo_you_KLAC_it

    yo yo yo come really i’m been on manyuu side since mention preview then the trailer & etc yet seeing ep.1 really look good.

    give we got deal with “solar flare” on it who knows maybe unedit version on the way in few weeks or wait till dvd/blu discs?

    overall seeing really i say this good to watch give i’m one of who stick with till the end.

    so yea it’s manyuu season to watch.

  • July 12, 2011 at 4:30 amReno

    IF the main plot is about boobs and so on but the producer censor boobs and so on what the point in watching the show at all? Ruined.
    Maybe they web streaming this like Qwaser at least? Better a 360p crap that these ridiculous and useless ray of lights.

  • July 12, 2011 at 4:38 amMrTerrorist

    This is how i will describe this anime to anyone:

    In the voice of Don LaFontaine aka The Guy who voices in movie trailers:

    In A World, where breast size means power, money, and fame. An evil clan uses their ancient powers to ensure the rich and corrupt will always have bigger breasts while the weak and innocent will never have them. But one woman, a defector, will fight against her clan and the corrupt system to protect innocent women of all breast size.

    I can’t believe i just wrote that. lol

    • July 12, 2011 at 10:35 amNesfe

      So its the japanese version of Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess.

  • July 12, 2011 at 6:04 amNekore44

    meh… chicks with those watermelon juggs are a real turn off for me. I like breast that can fit comfortably in my hands, not those I need to carry on my back.

    =^.^=

  • July 12, 2011 at 6:07 amsaviourshadow

    awesome

  • July 12, 2011 at 6:11 amKarmafan

    I gave up on it because all I kept seeing was white light censorship everywhere. I will wait and watch the uncensored or DVD when it comes out.

  • July 12, 2011 at 6:30 amGrant

    Those bright, lime-bordered flashes of light must be the worst censorship ever.

    • July 12, 2011 at 7:15 amSeishun Otoko

      My thoughts exactly. I quite enjoy the sheer absurdity of the premise and it did give me some good LOLs, but the blinding white lights are such an eyesore.

    • July 12, 2011 at 8:16 amTez

      Agreed. I stopped watching when they censored the crazy chick after she shot the main character. she was just walking with her cloths on and there was big yellow streak of light in front of her. WTF!?

      If the show is this censored what the point even showing it? It’s like Soprano’s on A&E

  • July 12, 2011 at 8:00 aminfinite

    If this came out when I was 1st getting into anime I would be overwhelmed by the content. But now that Im more educated in the anime culture I can watch fan service series and enjoy them without a guilty conscious. Anf the beautiful thing about it is that if you think this show sucks you have the choice to not watch it.

  • July 12, 2011 at 8:15 amBass.EXE

    Yo dawg I heard you like tits so we put some tits in your tits so you can jiggle while you jiggle

  • July 12, 2011 at 9:44 amRockmanshii

    Nice post nice post.
    I think I’ll watch the uncensored version when it’s out. I wonder if I won’t forget about it though.

  • July 12, 2011 at 9:45 ambullrogg

    if the censors weren’t as bad as my roommate told me it was i’d watch this as weekly, but seeing those lines…>_>.

    i’ll wait for a blu ray release and just watch it all in one go; if only it was released on AT-X or something like Queen’s Blade was.

  • July 12, 2011 at 10:18 amMad_Dog

    this is even worse than SnQ, fucking dropped like a sack of bricks.

  • July 12, 2011 at 10:19 amJRyan2K

    This seems like something to give a watch, tho I am already hating the way they are censoring it (with the bright lights)! At least do it in a half-decent way, like how they did with Samurai Girls (I loved how they used the ink drops, think that was artistic) and do it consistently (seemed like a character was standing there one second without any light bar, then they cut to another character, then back to the first and all of a sudden–a light bar appears! No clothes were missing, but now it has to be censored? Really?!

  • July 12, 2011 at 11:01 amKingdragun

    AT-X would be broadcasting this uncensored? D=

  • July 12, 2011 at 11:52 amAlec

    just by looking at the pictures, I can already see this anime is gonna fail, like Queens Blade

  • July 12, 2011 at 11:54 amOmega

    “If I’m not going to give this anime an impartial and unbiased first look, is there anyone else out there who will?”

    One of the reasons why i love RC. Which is why this blog deserves the legendary status.

  • July 12, 2011 at 12:05 pmdarklad64

    hmmm i didnt really like it but i guess ill need to check out the next ep

  • July 12, 2011 at 1:03 pmjingoi

    Is AT-X going to show it uncensored or will there be a uncensored webcast?
    While I wait for this uncensored I will find headphones to watch SNQ II webcast.

    • July 12, 2011 at 1:27 pmDivine

      I get the feeling AT-X will be relatively censored just like it was with Qwaser II, but we’ll have to wait another week to find out. Their broadcast is 8 days behind.

      • July 12, 2011 at 2:10 pmReno

        Is a webcast impossible? Qwaser was streamed online and was good even if the quality was very bad.

      • July 12, 2011 at 2:53 pmDivine

        It doesn’t look like Anime One will be streaming Manyuu Hikenchou.

  • July 12, 2011 at 6:18 pmGambler

    I totally forgot about the censored version vs at-x when I got the ep. After 2 seconds of white flashes, I remembered. Just wait for next week.

    Anyway, I watch shows like this for the comedy. Nowadays I consider fanservice to be quick scenes of panchira or the beach/onsen episode. Whenever something “new” shows up on Queens Blade or Qwaser I just think “wow, Japanese people came up with this.”

  • July 12, 2011 at 6:21 pmThe M0on DOgg

    I’ll wait for the ATX version. If it’s censored, then I drop out. And WTH! is with executing women in Large 24 and 14? Is it THAT violent?

  • July 12, 2011 at 6:48 pmwhoo_whoo_you_KLAC_it

    no it just chopping the “manyuu” to flat side really in this anime they can chop your “manyuu” to flat.

  • July 12, 2011 at 7:45 pmbunny

    good god, it’s like Basilisk Ninpochou Service-version!

    • July 12, 2011 at 7:52 pmDivine

      Hmm, that’s actually a pretty good analogy.

  • July 12, 2011 at 10:32 pmGuardian

    Want to watch but will wait for these god-awful censors to be removed. Hopefully ATX will show the good stuff, like in Qwasar. I refused to watch anime that’s been butchered for ‘moral sensibilities’. I thought Japan only aired anime late at night when most kids are supposed to be in bed anyway.

  • July 12, 2011 at 10:48 pmShirt

    You really open us up to a lot of anime, Divine. Thank you.

  • July 12, 2011 at 11:07 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    Ey-YO!!!! D! I READ THE WHOLE THING HOMIE!!!! and this is what i got from it….Booby, booby no booby Ba Booby censor. but Booby Boooby nah boobie is pretty cruel ask any “real life girl” and they’ll say “although they might booby tig’ ol’ bittys and act like it aint true” to have boobys that are smaller than a DBL D reduced without warrant would Trouble them IMMENSELY!!! let me say that again IMMENSELY!!!! this is a main COMPONENT of a WOMAN’S POWER, and if they say otherwise. they are BOOBALY LYING TO YOUR FACE. saw the trailer for this and it looked BOOBTASTIC!!!! cant wait for the uncensored version…to watch anything less is idiotic…..can we agree on that?

  • July 13, 2011 at 6:41 amwhoo_whoo_you_KLAC_it

    yes more mention of manyuu really this is like the hidden goods of summer season to watch.

    all on the manyuu wagon to watch MANYUU season.

  • July 13, 2011 at 8:38 amOdeus

    ARRRG Blinding white light!!!

  • July 13, 2011 at 4:30 pmcode fanboy

    (sigh) I seriously hate it when they censor everything like this, it gives people less reason to watch it. That’s why I stopped watching shows, like Seikon no Qwaser, now a days. Had they not used censorship, those shows would have a LOT more popularity.

  • July 14, 2011 at 6:47 amZaku Fan

    Agreeing with a lot here, the bright light censoring is pretty bad. As expected there were some lulz worthy scenes. Some of the scenes would actually work (like the villager girl scene) if the premise wasn’t just so funny. The BGM, VA and atmosphere was pretty good. The premise was just too overpoweringly LOL though.

    She should just make thousands of copies of that scroll and give them away. Would work better.

  • July 14, 2011 at 1:02 pmSoraNoKaze

    It has a nice OP so I might check it out.

  • July 15, 2011 at 11:55 amRaiel

    I watched ep 1 because I happen to like breasts.
    How would guys feel about a show where large penises were status symbols and the ruling class went around chopping/stealing penises?
    I found this show to be both objectifying and misogynistic.
    The opening scene is even of the villain raping her victim before “chopping.”
    This show is truly obectionable in ways that make Qwasar and Kiss X Sis seem like family friendly fare.

  • July 17, 2011 at 7:03 pmDivine

    In case anyone’s wondering, AT-X’s broadcast eight days later is mostly uncensored but not completely uncensored.

  • July 22, 2011 at 8:35 pmVsin

    I dunno, I read through a fair amount of the manga, and I honestly find the plot to be kinda boring. It’s essentially your generic shounen episodic “I help random people while traveling” base, with tits everywhere. Only real reason I’m even interested is because I have this horribly annoying Breast Expansion fetish that I can’t seem to ditch. Yeah, it’s for fap material.

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