OP: 「Shocking Blue」 by Miku Itou
「素晴らしき刃、鬼瓦輪」 (Subarashiki ha, Onigawara Rin)
“The Magnificent Blade, Rin Onigawara”
So what happens when you take matriarchal utopia, mix it with Prison School, and shed any semblance of seriousness? I have no bloody idea, but Busou Shoujo Machiavellism sure takes a stab at it. Previewing this series left me with the impression of parody in place of conventional story, and the first episode certainly did not disappoint.
Part of what kept Busou Shoujo’s opener so amusing for me is the clear lack of sh*ts given. The show certainly raises and eyebrow or two with its setup of armed girls and emasculated men (sure living up to the show title isn’t it?), but never really ventures off in the explorative direction. Rather this setup is used as a foundation to accentuate just how different the main man Nomura (Hatanaka Tasuku) is from his new school of “choice”. Rather than some societal commentary—and believe me the arguments abound here—the feminism wet dream succinctly defines Nomura’s enemies and the obstacle to his peace and quiet. These girls hate men (i.e. what men stand for), so when the flirtatious Nomura rejects their demands and faces off against them, the situations and jokes write themselves. Guaranteed Rin’s (Takada Yuuki) defeat and her hilarious first kiss—don’t deny, you know it’s her first—wouldn’t have been as funny without that delicious, radicalized mindset driving her actions. Makes it all the better too that the pint sized Char Aznable screams tsundere with a cute side begging for some exploration. Not like Nomura will have any trouble with that.
The intriguing bit regarding this series, however, is the surprising emphasis on fighting. This honestly is the sole part I cannot tell if Busou Shoujo actually treats seriously, or goes all in just for maximizing the parody points. We go from the ubiquitous technique names part of a dizzying array of martial art schools (i.e. parody) to semi-realistic lessons on the effects of balance, muscular contraction, and torsion (i.e. seriousness)—it’s quite the interesting mashup. Although I’m biased in favour of any show tickling my anatomy itch—and I love me my anatomy—the concept arguably works here because of that parody visage. Giving Rin’s Mirror Breath or Nomura’s Spirit Bullet a dose of truth makes the whole thing funnier because we know they could technically work. When Rin actually cuts Nomura and draws blood, it accentuates the overall comedy because of the situation’s sheer ridiculousness. Without that veneer of plausibility, a lot of the humour here likely would not have worked. Of course it’s unclear just how well this setup will continue working, but with a varied cast of girls (and bears) I think we won’t be lacking for new material anytime soon. Hell I’m looking forward to see just how secretively crazy Satori (Nishida Nozomi) actually is.
While not much may have happened story wise this week, next time should delve us further into this
forced peaceful world of coexistence. With Rin beaten you can be sure another Five Swords member will jump forth for correction duty, while we have yet to find out who the Empress actually is. Given there is also a clear connection between Nomura and the Empress, you can be sure the fun and games are only just beginning. Will Nomura find his freedom, will the Five Swords win? Just have to keep on watching.
ED: 「DECIDE」 by Tenga Goken