OP: 「AI DO.」 by 橋本みゆき (Hashimoto Miyuki)
「剣妃、誕生」 (Tsurugi Kisaki , Tanjou)
“Birth of Samurai Bride”
It seems fitting that Juubei was the character that ties everything together in the end – after all, the series started with the same mysterious girl appearing out of nowhere and affectionately greeting Muneakira as her “Onii chan”. Juubei has certainly come a long way since the premiere of the first season – she has now come to terms with both of her distinct personas, and the amiable connection that she shares with those at Yagyuu dojo is utterly beyond doubt. The fact that Juubei was chosen to be Muneakira’s Samurai Bride shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone, and I’m not at all taken aback by the ensuing upshot that involved both the liberation of the Dark Samurai and the ultimate defeat of the Evil Spirit. The finale wasn’t especially groundbreaking – that much is clear, but the ending was undeniably the happily-ever-after resolution that we have all hoped for, and nothing would make me more contented than to see the bright smiles on everyone’s face as the curtain of the series finally draws down.
But before we can reap the harvest, there was certainly more than a whiff in the air of anguish and hopelessness – the Master Samurai were clearly no match for such an overwhelming foe and it was not until the appearance of the Samurai Bride that they even stood a chance. The first half of the finale was about as overtly sentimental as the series gets – for starters, we have one of the great misunderstandings of the show finally straightened out and it appears that Sen Hime is, indeed, the one true love for Hanzou! The induction of Hanzou into Muneakira’s harem has somewhat obscured the status of this beautiful yuri relationship and I’ll be the first to admit I find the recent development decidedly worrying. But to my greatest delight, all my concerns turned out to be for naught and Hanzou’s valiant attempt to protect her loved one was more than enough a testament of her undying devotion for Sen Hime – and no yuri-haters out there can convince me otherwise! Of course, it wasn’t just the two of them who were at the forefront of this grand showdown, everyone pretty much had their fair share of the spotlight this week and the over-the-top action sequences that ensued were truly a remarkable sight to behold – especially Yukimura’s Qi-enhanced “Adamant Yin-Yang Barrier”!
That said, it was Juubei’s grand entrance that marked the turn of tide for this legendary battle and the birth of the Samurai Bride was certainly the pinnacle of this finale – if not the entire series. I’ve mentioned before that this is a show that features some of the best-looking female leads and with the much-anticipated introduction of the Samurai Bride, it appears that Hyakka Ryouran has just one-upped itself! I’m not even sure why I like Juubei’s latest reincarnation this much – I’ve never been a huge fan of nekomimi, and the fact that Yuuki Aoi is no longer using her badass-voice hit me as somewhat of a disappointment. Still, I have to admit that Juubei has never looked this gorgeous, and it could be the combination of her long silver hair and the sparkling shiny aura that somehow makes her brand new image ticks. After all, Juubei has always exuded a childlike charm to her temperament and the cat-like attire has, no question, brought out the best of such saccharine allure! As so often is the case in Hyakka Ryouran, the non-stop action didn’t disappoint me the slightest and the incorporation of mecha elements – a jet pack, an eye-scouter and a massive gun-blade – into the Samurai Bride’s get-up makes the final clash seem all the more epic. The larger-than-life dogfight between Samurai Bride Juubei and Evil Spirit Musashi serves as a continuation to the brief face-off last week and their all-consuming showdown was most certainly a feast for the eyes – not to mention a perfect way to end this series!
It should go without saying that I’m very pleased with how things turned out and I don’t think anybody could have asked for a better wrap-up than this one. The finale has just about everything a fan of the series could ever want – there was action, ecchi, comedic lines, and most importantly, all of the main characters played their parts in the limelight this week. If this is, indeed, the ultimate full-stop, then so be it – it’s been a great ride and I hope you had as much fun as I did with the “Samurai Girls’ Story of Love, Courage and Kisses”!
- Is it just me, or does it look like he’s sucking on Juubei’s boobs – Yes, I know I have a pretty wild imagination!
- Some fine camel toes as your parting gifts – As much as I like Juubei in all her badassery, Sen Hime is still my favorite!
- Mandotory boob shot for the Samurai Bride transformation – Even I have to admit that those two are a pretty good match! Muneakira looks pretty dashing as the groom.
- Inko chan’s pretty busty for a loli – Yukimura would not be pleased to learn about that!
- “That’s a pretty fine ass, ufufu!” – Keiji is, indeed, a fine dandy, just look at where her hand is!
- Gisen wants to be a Samurai Bride too – Perhaps Keiji could become her General and while they’re at it, she should invite Nia along!
- A dere dere Musashi is pretty cute – No goodbye kisses for Juubei? Come on, you can do better than that!
- “I’m invincible, ohohoho!” – I’m going to miss you, Kanetsugu. And for what it’s worth, I think Kanetsugu’s way hotter than Hatsune Miku!
tl;dr: @SeishunRC – #HyakkaRyouran Samurai Bride 12: It’s been a great ride and I hope you had as much fun as I did! #Anime
Full-length images: 01, 07, 11, 15, 17, 19, 29, 31, 35, 39, 42, 45.
I loved the first season of Hyakka Ryouran – and apparently so did Divine who of course, selected the show as his choice for “Best of Anime 2010 – Exceeded Expectations”. It’s easy to pick out things that I like about the second season – for one, all of the major characters are now a Master Samurai and I don’t think there’s any question that they looked absolutely stunning in the new get-up! Hanzou, in particular, was a standout in this respect and her brand new image was undoubtedly a delight for the eyes – a traditional Japanese garment coupled with a zettai ryouiki (uncovered thigh) and a side ponytail! Then there’s the grand entrance of a new character and the re-introduction of an old friend, who have brought a handful of new sparks and some of the biggest laughs to the second season. I’ll be honest – I’m a huge fan of Maeda Keiji and the fact that she is a proud yuri-loving dandy just makes it all the more better. The return of Yagyuu Gisen was also marked with intense sexual intensity and her revel in the fine art of troll has made the series such a blast to watch – in fact, I wouldn’t think twice about calling her the funniest character of the second season!
Of course, it wouldn’t be Hyakka Ryouran without the usual mouthwatering fanservice and to that end, the show has exceeded my expectations in pretty much every way! There’s something to be said about ecchi that is so shameless and unapologetic – and more so than ever, the second season of Hyakka Ryouran doesn’t pretend to be anything else but just that. It wasn’t just the venerable Swimsuit Episode that had the fanservice on steroids, there were bounteous naked females featured in almost every episode, taking part in what I presumed to be pretty normal daily routines – massage, crotch-sniffing, motor-boating, tuning in Tokyo, splashing, jiggling and hugging! The ever-so-gorgeous Sen Hime was at the forefront of its fanservice exploitation and her exquisite body was quite a sight to behold to say the least – the fact that all the serious conversations had to occur in the bathtub certainly helps the cause! As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Gisen has also shown a tendency to misconstrue any thick and long objects as some sort of phallic eroticism, and her many attempts to sex up Muneakira was by far, the best laugh-out-loud moments of this season!
That said, there’s more to Hyakka Ryouran than just sex jokes, and the show can also be guilefully sentimental in the character drama department. Whether it was Juubei’s interaction with Inko chan, or Kanetsugu’s budding friendship with Sasuke, there was no shortage of warmth and emotional honesty to the material that succeeded at tugging our heartstrings. It’s amazing how much I like all of these characters – even as obnoxious as they can be. Sen Hime will always be my absolute favorite – her tsundere-like antics and S&M relationship with Hanzou hit my soft spot just right! But clearly, it’s not just the Tokugawa princess who sticks out, the entire cast – including the newly introduced Dark Samurai – was noticeably weird and wonderful, and it goes without saying that I’m going to miss all of them!
Production-wise, the second season encapsulated everything that a great ecchi comedy stands for – with their own unique twist, of course! There were copious amount of fanservice, great side-splitting moments, lovely character designs, a star-studded cast of seiyuu, terrific soundtrack by Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon’s Katou Tatsuya, a distinct visual style that features frequent ink-splatters, and as a cherry on top, non-stop Samurai action that keeps our adrenaline pumping! Suffice to say, I’m a big fan of the second season, and for those of you who has an acquired taste for ecchi comedy, I have no doubt you’ll find something to like Hyakka Ryouran – just remember to shut the door, put on the headphones, and be prepared to laugh longer and louder than you ever have!
- Hyakka Ryouran is the first series that I’ve completed as a writer of RandomC – I would like give myself a pat on the back for a job well done!
- This might come as a surprise to some – but Hyakka Ryouran is actually one of the more popular posts at RandomC and sometimes, the viewcounts even surpass that of Kakumeiki Valvrave. Clearly, I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with ecchi and fanservice!
- I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you – yes, even those who just look at the screen caps. My blogging experience wouldn’t be complete without your input and nothing gets me more excited than to hear from all of you!