「愛の戦士、登場」 (Ai no Senshi, Toujou)
“The Warrior of Love Arrives”
It looks like we’re on a master samurai parade with the way Muneakira is locking lips left and right, but if the opening sequence is any indication of things to come, this should be the last one we see for at least the next while. Whatever the case, the introduction of Yukimura’s childhood “friend” Naoe Kanetsugu (Toyosaki Aki) made this episode an absolute riot to watch. These girls sure don’t hold back with the insults, nor the hazing-like treatment in Yukimura’s case. Ironically enough, Hanzou was the one flipping out over how shameless the talk about peeing on an earthworm and having it return the favor was, when she would probably pounce on the opportunity to be Sen’s sex slave in a heartbeat. As for Kanetsugu herself, I love the haughty and almost snobby attitude that Aki plays her with, because she really makes it sound like our warrior of love is asking for it. That of course is aptly followed up by her getting what she deserves for rubbing bust sizes into Yukimura’s face, as the latter busts her ass master samurai style. “Fushaku Shinmyou!”
On that note, the whole having a personal saying to transform into a master samurai bit makes these girls seem like magical ones. I did rather enjoy how it went off and was made fun of for what it is though, namely when Jubei was trying to find one of her own. From meal sets to other references to food, I just loved her cute antics and how she completely sidetracked everyone’s seriousness on the matter. To help balance that out to a degree, there was a bit more of Yoshihiko and Charles bringing some more relevant plot developments, even though that only really resulted in Kanetsugu’s pretty shoddy attempt at becoming a spy this time around. As someone who’s taken a real liking to how unexpectedly funny this series has turned out, I honestly wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was about time someone called out Muneakira for building up a harem even if he wasn’t making a conscious effort to, and Kanetsugu provided just that with the way she’ll speak her mind — something she tends to do whether or not anyone’s around. She’s a true failure of a spy in every sense of the word, but an absolute genius at entertaining me for a good twenty or so minutes. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of her in future episodes.
Other than that, I got to hand it to this series for making characters’ delusions a lot funnier than what they’re fantasizing about. While I’ll admit that it was a bit awkward to hear 19 year-old Kotobuki Minako moaning in pleasure (and doing one heck of a job I might add), the actual things that go awry in those dreams and subsequently in reality are so whimsically funny that I find myself thoroughly entertained. What’s interesting is that there’s actually plot progression happening at the same time, be it how Sen’s fantasy became reality and awakened the master samurai within her, or Yukimura’s insecurity over her breast size leading to Muneakira’s headstrong way of trying to understand her feelings. In short, this is a harem series done right. The male lead isn’t terribly annoying or weak spirited and only really serves as a means for all the girls to behave “mischievously” around him. Ultimately, it’s all in good fun, though a blushing Sen and a beach episode next time might make it FUN fun… if you know what I mean. *nudge nudge*
* I prepared five full-length shots for this post, so those interested should feel free to look for them. 🙂