You wanted ninjas? You wanted action? You wanted fanservice? But mostly, you wanted that last thing? You got it.

Senran Kagura is a silly show about female ninjas fighting, but what it’s really about is jiggle physics. This is a hard show to introduce because it’s so shamelessly it’s own thing, it’s so silly and without objective redeeming value, but it’s also so big-hearted (/big-chested) and optimistic as to be likable even when it’s dumb. The girls may constantly be filmed from low angles, chest angles, be part of underwear montages, have naked transformation poses, and get their clothing shredded, but—

Er. What was my point?

Point is, Senran Kagura is like that ditsy girl who’s always spouting clichés and usually doesn’t have enough self-awareness, but sometimes she does. I mean Senran Kagura does. No show could be this relentlessly positive with such a silly reason for existing without a sense of humor, and its original creator has that at least. I can’t really defend Senran Kagura, it’s not good, but at least it’s exploitative in a happy-go-lucky way, and at least its female characters (see: its entire cast) have agency. So that’s good? Better than many of the alternatives, at least.

I’m not talking about what happened in this episode because there wasn’t much, and because plot isn’t the point of Senran Kagura (only PLOT). Main character Asuka (Harada Hitomi) meets her friend Yumi (Hara Yumi)—who I think we met during that one OVA—while the antagonists from the first series, including Homura (Kitamura Eri), are doing a part-time job so they can afford turkey. Then some “good” ninjas show up, only they want to beat up the other good ninjas, and they do that. Honestly, do you care? That’s not why we’re here. They’re going to have to do a couple more episodes on this conflict before I bother remembering what these new girls want. It sounds stupid anyway.

No, Senran Kagura is here because of fanservice, and lots of it, along with a positive worldview that makes it go down smooth. It ain’t a show I’ma run around bragging about watching, but what can I say. Sometimes you want a silly fanservice comedy for reasons not dissimilar to wanting a fluffy slice-of-life. It’s uncomplicated. It’s relaxing in a silly way. It’s not good, but it’ll do. Senran Kagura is back.

Random thoughts:

  • For all the silly platitudes and clichéd lines, there was some wisdom to some of them. Likening power to a sword and a shield is pretty good, but I liked when Yumi noted that, “Too much work is exhausting. And too much play won’t make you stronger.” Actual life advice there. Rest is as important to self-improvement as the actual work of improvement is. That’s advice I should pay more attention to myself.
  • Riko? Reg?! Nanachi!

My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, the last two posts: Celebrities’ Political Opinions, An Author’s Review of: Freelance Heroics.

Full-length images: 08, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 30.


OP Sequence

OP: 「SCARLET MASTER」 by Sasaki Sayaka



  1. It is amazing how this blog (randomc.net) and Tenka Seiha (tenka.seiha.org) are the only two major anime websites (that I know of) that still go on despite the years

    the rest of my favourite anime blogs that I used to follow more than 10 years ago gradually disappeared over time (either because it cost too much money to maintain them, because the owner lost interest in having one, or becuase copyright claims)

    but here they are, still strong
    you have my respect (especially randomc, which existed since 2004. Tenka seiha since 2007)
    thats more than a decade of anime entries, that is true dedication

  2. Good to see the girls back, and good to see the nips. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember them being in the first series.

    That being said, groans a plenty. Yet again, we have the definitive victors from the previous season get completely destroyed by the mystery baddies that just randomly pop up from no where, with their haughty exposition, but not really telling us anything. Those baddies who are so strong, not even one hit is landed. Queue the training montages, the forced “I need to be stronger” crap, resulting in the ultimate culmination of the ones that couldn’t even land a hit unleashing some new power (after being beat down and stripped yet again) to be victorious, resulting in the “baddies” not actually being bad, and becoming friends.

    But still, nice tits!

  3. Well, this show is all about Boobies and Fanservice with “Bikinis”, but the cliffhanger at the end is the true purpose, right?

    80% Fanservice or Omake and then “out of the Blue” the introduction of the Arc for this anime…

    Well, i do not mind it. But less Boobs had work out too.. But oh well, perhaps they think this is more fail save proof

  4. I used to “defend” Senran Kagura as a series that earned its fan service through a decent story, great character moments and a good amount of humor but as time went on it started to focus more and more on fan service while pushing the good balance I thought it did well to the side. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing overall, it’s probably what most fans of the series wanted, it just isn’t what I loved the series for. I’m really curious where this series in going to end on the spectrum of story vs fan service and I’m just happy to see more of these characters so I’m still in for sure.

    It do find it “strange” that some of the animated SK material shows the breasts instead of covering them with beams of light, strange clothing and other comedic high jinks but that’s video games vs anime for you and again, it’s probably what most fans and the director wanted.

  5. ep 02:

    – Well, my feeling about this.. 2 Step backward and 0.5 step standstill (the same clifhanger)

    Right now i would not recommend it in any way, except of Fanservice.. Was the Story side always this thin in the past, then today it vanished for the sake of Boobies and Fanservice.. their own “ecchi” eat them up

    Well, i do not believe episode 03 will turn better or the tables for me..


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