Review- Samurai Brides- the Complete Collection (Ecchi, Fan-service, Nudity, NSFW)

Samurai Bride Complete Collection 05

Anime Reporter scratches his head over Samurai Bride: the Complete Collection (12 episodes), the sequel to Samurai Girls, and brought to you by Kobun, the director of the original series and the studio behind not just Samurai Girls but also Elfen Lied and Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero. So, you know… expect some action and more than a little topless jiggling to follow.

Or, you know... whatever.

Or, you know… whatever.

Brace yourselves… here we go.

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Those unacquainted with the first series will require a little bit of back-story. Muneakira Yagyu is a General. Now, in this instance, this doesn’t mean that he’s involved in the military; rather it refers to his power. He can awaken the powers of a Master Samurai, essentially tapping into the powerful potential of any female samurai that he happens to kiss. That’s right; we’re already entering fanservice territory. Now, Muneakira is just returning from some time away travelling after he and his female companions saved Japan. What he returns to is not the respectable dojo of his family, however, nope, in his absence it’s been converted into a Maid Café, (you know, like Hooters, but with everyone wearing French maid outfits). Apparently the dojo has fallen on hard times and, in order to make ends meet, this has become an inconvenient necessity. As if becoming a maid café wasn’t enough of an excuse to put anime boobs on display trouble, four Dark Samurai return from the dead to settle an old score.

Samurai Bride Complete Collection 01

The deadly quartet places a curse on Muneakira, promising that he has one month to defeat them, or lose everything to his curse. Muneakira and his beloved samurais will have a month to assemble more allies to their cause, take a lot of baths and perhaps, if there’s time, unlock the secret to the most powerful Master Samurai of all, the Samurai Bride.

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Samurai Brides has a pretty strong premise, ancient Samurai spirits battling it out with a young generation of super-powered samurais, but the plot is stretched incredibly thin to make room for justifying increasing displays of nudity and excuses for characters to grope each other. The saving grace for this ecchi fanservice is that the nudity goes hand in hand with humour and the show doesn’t try to take these aspects of its plot too seriously. There are some attempts at more serious character interaction and emotional development, but these feel quite forced and unnatural given the surrounding events. The veritable harem of samurai warriors is expanded somewhat to include a busty character obsessed with breasts, a “man-hater” obsessed with large breasts and a monkey… who can transform into a fairly naked girl.

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Really, the actual evil-fighting, training and samurai-bride plot elements could be wrapped up fairly neatly in three or so episodes, with the vast majority of events being comprised of Ecchi-time.

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The animation is actually quite lovely, with bold dark lines giving characters a somewhat antiquated look which perfectly captures the idea of samurai battles in a modern setting. Battles are colourful and imaginative. The biggest problem is remembering that the bad guys are supposed to be bad guys and that there’s actually a curse and a plot to doom them all, when entire episodes are more concerned with details like who’s the best waitress in the maid café or a friendly competition that sees rival maid cafés fighting it out in a number of events for a grand cash prize.

Obligatory bath-scenes feel extra obligatory in this series.

Obligatory bath-scenes feel extra obligatory in this series.

Also included on the DVD and Blu-ray release are a series of short animations, which, more than humour, are really interested in making the characters abandon any shred of subtlety from the main story and are basically just three-minute instances of fantasy-fulfillment.

No, really, this series was actually made by the same people who brought us Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero.

No, really, this series was actually made by the same people who brought us Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero.

Make no mistake, this is a show which puts soft-core nudity at the front of its priorities, with humour a close second and things like plot and character at a bit of a distance. You’ll notice that my final score takes “fanservice”, i.e. nudity into consideration. That’s really for one reason. If you’re not interested in this show as a chance to ogle some cartoon breasts, then trust me, you’re not interested in this show. The final score was calculated with the target audience in mind.

Basically, the audience for this picture...

Basically, the audience for this picture…

Samurai Bride is available on DVD and Blu-ray from 6th July 2015 from the lovely folks at Manga Entertainment. For more information, take a look at their website and follow them on Twitter.

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Plot:                                         5

Characters:                              5.5

Action:                                     8

Humour:                                  7

Ahem Fanservice           8

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67% – To Love and to Fan-Serve – Samurai Bride isnt the most original series out there, but it packs in a decent amount of humour and action, even if the story leaves quite a bit to be desired. Also boobs. Lots of them.

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Posted in Anime, Anime Miniseries, Anime Series

Review- Assassination Classroom Volume 03

Assassination Classroom Volume 03 (1)

Anime Reporter heads on back to the class where anything less than killing your teacher is a failing grade for Assassination Classroom Volume 03 (chapters 17-25). Now, just in case you haven’t come across this series before, you can find my reviews of the first two volumes here and here

Assassination Classroom Volume 03 (4).

We’re just getting to the point of serious story development so heed the following bizarre merman’s message of spoiler-awareness!

manga Spoiler

When Volume 02 finished up, there was a spot of trouble involving the kidnapping of two students and, with Korosensei distracted by the plethora of activities available on the class trip to Kyoto, there aren’t a lot of options. The students in the same group as the kidnapped girls follow Korosensei’s all purpose handy-dandy guide to school trips to track down the despicable kidnappers. This storyline also means the beginning of a new tone for the series. While Assassination Classroom has thus far used quite a lot of innocent humour and silliness to charm readers, things start to touch on some very dark material here and it’s hard to shake that tone even after this particular plotline ends. That’s not to say that the Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series, Reviews

Review- Bleach Season 15 Part 02

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Anime Reporter delves back into the world of Bleach for Season 15 Part 02 (episodes 330-342). For a look at the first part of Season 15, you can find my review here.

Also, since we’re over 300 episodes in, I do acknowledge that this spoiler alert is redundant, but here I go putting it up anyway.

Spoiler Warning

The last instalment of Bleach threw a few different elements into the mix. We saw that Ichigo had sustained some pretty lasting damage from his earlier battles and we know that he’s one day going to Read more ›

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Posted in Anime, Anime Series, Reviews

Review- Assassination Classroom manga Volume 02

Assassination Classroom Volume 02

Anime Reporter returns to school for Volume 02 (chapters 08-16) of Assassination Classroom. If you’re not too familiar with this series, you can find my take on Volume 01 right here. It’s still early days for this series so there’s not a huge amount of spoilers here that could ruin the plot, but I’m still going to have to give the following warning: manga Spoiler Following on from the last volume, we saw that a new player was being brought into the mix; a professional assassin. She, Irina, makes her appearance pretty early on in the volume and sets about doing everything she can to charm Korosensei to get close enough to destroy him. Her methods are effective, her plans are elaborate and she is utterly ruthless. Assassination Classroom Volume 02 (3) Needless to say, she doesn’t stand a chance. Irina becomes an aggressive and permanent part of the classroom, with a continued eye on taking down our favourite tentacle-teacher. Assassination Classroom Volume 02 (1) We also get to see more of an in-depth look at exactly how Class E is Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series, Reviews

Review- RWBY Volume 01

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Anime Reporter continues the colour-themed coverage with Volume One of RWBY, which is apparently supposed to be pronounced “Ruby”. This series is produced by Rooster Teeth, the same team behind Red Vs. Blue, but very different in tone.

RWBY Volume 01 01 Red

The name actually refers to the names of the four chief protagonists; Ruby (who wears red), Weiss (who wears white), Blake (who wears black) and Yang (who wears yellow). These four, and a handful of others, are brand new students at Beacon, a school devoted to training youths to become Huntsmen and Huntresses, the people responsible for hunting this world’s monsters, Grimms. Grimms come in many forms, from the pointy bear-like Ursas, the werewolf-like Beowolfs and even some giant scorpions.

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The new students are adapting to their lives training to tackle gigantic monsters and protect humanity, but quite a few of them also seem to be adapting to spending time with other people their own ages. The majority of characters feel like they were taken directly Read more ›

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Posted in American Series, Anime Series, Reviews

Review- Red Vs Blue Season 11

Red Vs Blue Season 11 00 Title Screen

Anime Reporter gives you the scoop on Season 11 of Red Vs Blue, the action-genre parody based on the Halo universe of video games.

Red Vs Blue Season 11 01

Now, in the interest of a fair review, I should acknowledge that I’m not totally familiar with Red Vs Blue. In fact, the only thing I’d seen from the series before was their Guide to the Internet, which I remember thinking was pretty funny when I first saw it.

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I didn’t exactly have the same experience with Season 11. I, again, fully acknowledge that people who are more familiar with the series as a whole might have quite a lot of insights into the ongoing story that I don’t. That said, I don’t think that can negate some of my larger problems with the series.

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Red Vs Blue sees the main characters, appropriately divided into different shades of red and Read more ›

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Posted in American Series, Reviews

Review- Assassination Classroom manga Volume 01

Assassination Classroom manga Volume 01 cover

Anime Reporter starts up another series; Assassination Classroom, the bizarre high school tale brought to the world via the mind of Yusei Matsui. Volume 01 contains the first seven chapters of the series, which is really about six and a half chapters more than it took for this anime reporter to feel like he was on to something pretty special.

Special and funny and very, very cool.

Special and funny and very, very cool.

Assassination Classroom is centered largely around Class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School. The E class, largely considered to be the hopeless dregs of their school, are given their own ramshackle building in another part of the campus where they can’t possibly drag the rest of the student body down with them. Dreamers, delinquents and, well, kids who just aren’t that good at school make up 3-E class, but each of them is highly motivated to do one thing; kill their teacher.

Assassination Classroom Volume 01 (7)

While it’s hardly unusual for students to perhaps wish something bad would happen to their teachers, this isn’t exactly the same thing. You see, 3-E’s teacher is a smiley-faced, tentacle super-being who can quite casually move at mach20, recently blew a giant hole in the moon and has assured the world’s governments that in a year’s time, he’s going to blow up the Earth. Naturally, the reaction to this Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series, Reviews
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