As a rule of thumb, shows driven by fan-service don’t appeal to me. At first glance, Samurai Girls should be everything I dislike about anime. Impossibly busty women clad in barely-there clothing engaged in brainless slugfests don’t necessarily make for great viewing. Fortunately the series seems to recognize this and makes strides to set itself apart from the typical harem show. The series shows its appreciation of the samurai of which it is inspired, naming all of its characters after well known historic samurai. The knowledge pertaining to its roots show that it’s more than just a mash-up of the magical girl and harem genres.
Samurai Girls revolves around Muneakira Yagyu, a prodigious samurai who finds himself entangled in the affairs of several gorgeous women. When a naked girl named Jubei just happens to literally fall from the sky and into his waiting arms, they kiss, transforming Jubei into a powerful warrior. The act draws the attention of every female samurai, prompting them to track down the hapless Muneakira in hopes of unlocking their own powers.
The series’ focus on female samurai gaining abundant powers through a human conduit is an interesting approach that has seen sparse use recently. It’s not unique but its handled far better than expected and adds a welcome dimension to what would otherwise be essentially a Queen’s Blade clone (which also happens to be handled by the same production company).
The show’s creators manage to jam as much nudity as possible within the confines of the series 12 episodes. As you might guess, the plot is light and the action heavy. Eroticism is the selling point of the series and nearly every girl that wanders onto the screen is given a chance to flash her goods. This is an uncensored release so those with young toddlers would do well to put them to bed before flicking on the television.
The series visual style is a departure from the norm, using bold lines to make the characters standout against backgrounds painted over with CGI effects to give them an aged appearance. There are also instances when the screen is suddenly splashed with paint that was originally used to cover up the naughtier bits. Sadly the animation doesn’t measure up to the unique imagery. It’s merely average by comparison and fails to capitalize the visual effects.
Sentai Filmworks brings the series stateside courtesy of a three disc set complete with both English and Japanese language options. The series spans the first two DVDs with the third being reserved for extra features. What we get is beefier than normal anime bonus fare, including character sketches, four-paneled strips complete with voice-overs, six gag cartoons that are even more explicit than the standard episode content if that can be believed, and the usual assortment of trailers and clean animations.
Samurai Girls isn’t nearly as pointless as most fan-service laden series but it is fan-service none-the-less. The plot is lightly entertaining, though by no means original, and the visual style gives the show a unique flavor to call its own. Its loud and energetic and bursting with half naked women sporting flashy skill sets. If that description sounds appealing, then consider Samurai Girls watchable.