Thursday, April 2, 2009
When the climactic moment of a show's premiere episode is an evil bunny girl's boobs blowing up and exploding like a balloon, you know that you can't take it seriously. Scratch that- from the first fight among said bunny girl and two other scantily clad warrior women, I knew that this would be, at best, a campy t&a action-adventure with a gloss of high fantasy.
Taking it for what it is, it wasn't entirely abysmal, though. (Granted, I watched this episode raw. There might have been some especially atrocious dialogue I didn't catch, but I was pretty much able to follow the story. It's not like this is Evangelion or anything.)
Anyway, the story is about Reina, the second eldest daughter (out of three) of a powerful earl, who is traveling on a journey to fight in the Queen's Blade tournament. In this tournament, women and teenage girls over the age of twelve may volunteer to fight each other to gain the title of queen of the land. Anything goes, as long as there's one queen standing in the end.
Before Reina can reach the tournament, she gets attacked by a pink-haired bunny girl whose boobs shoot acid (me: "Wtf. o_o;;") that destroys Reina's sword and most of her clothing (although conveniently, her body is left completely unscathed). As the bunny girl starts to choke Reina, a red-haired warrior woman name Listy saves her by knocking the bunny girl down a ravine, causing her to melt into a pile of goo. (She'll be baaaack.)
Listy takes Reina back to her home, where Reina is greeted by her cool, competent, yet scantily clad older sister Claudette, and cheerful, more-than-slightly-too-happy-to-see-Reina, scantily clad younger sister Elina. For some reason, Claudette has Listy locked up in a dungeon while Reina returns to her welcoming home. That night, Listy escapes from her jail, stealing some money and a suit of armor (it barely covers anything, making it obviously designed for a woman *rolls eyes*) and brings it all to Reina. Reina hides Listy while everyone in the castle is searching for her, and Listy escapes after leaving the armor with Reina. Reina cuts her hair and dons the armor in preparation for her next escape to travel to the Queen's Blade tournament. As she turns toward her window, she sees the psychotic bunny girl, who attacks again in a massive explosion.
Claudette finds Listy and faces off with her, while Reina fights for her life against the evil bunny girl. lol Of course, Reina wins. I won't say how, but it results in the bunny's girl source of power, erm, exploding. Reina wakes up the next morning on the shore of the lake that surrounds her family's castle with Listy. Listy holds up a bag of the money she took, to Reina's consternation, which they are going to use to get to the Queen's Blade tournament. Cue the credits playing high fantasy music while showing images of other contestants making their way toward the Queen's Blade tournament.
Honestly, while this show was undeniably made to sell body pillows and skeezy figurines, it was still vaguely entertaining (in the sense of The Brain That Wouldn't Die), since it doesn't take itself too seriously and provides plenty of "wtf" moments. The characters were actually okay (I largely didn't hate them), with Reina being a pretty decent lead- much more so than her annoying sister Elina who holds the lead role in the manga version. If she had been transferred to a better show (in which the camera didn't pan over her boobs every 5 seconds), she would still make a decent protagonist.
The one thing that favors this show and contributes to the characters' tolerability is that they all look their age. The women all look and sound like adults, hallelujah! In fact, I was startled a few times when I heard some of the moderately deep, natural-sounding voices some of the women had (like Claudette and Listy) instead of the usual perky helium aural assault found in many series today.
As far as the first episode goes, it wasn't the bottom of the barrel. I expected worse.
Note: I watched half an episode of Strike Witches, which redefined my idea of "scraping the bottom of the barrel", the day before I watched this. Chances are, that contributed to this series seeming that much better.
Next day revision: After watching the finale of the far, far, far better Clannad ~After Story~ last night, I tried (but couldn't finish) watching this subbed...the dialogue really is atrocious. Save your time and look elsewhere for anime starring super-powered fighting women.