Take a healthy dose of many popular shows over the years, mix, and pour into Battle Girls.
What They Say:
The Present Day. There's a middle school girl named Hideyoshino who loves fashion and cell phones. Her nickname at school is "Hideyoshi." Just before her exams, she realizes that her only hope is divine intervention, and goes to a shrine. There she is whisked away by a mysterious light...The next thing she knows, she is surrounded by female bandits who proceed to attack her! She is saved by a general with a gigantic sword. The general calls herself Oda Nobunaga...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Directed by Hideki Okamoto with animation by TMS Entertainment, Battle girls is a new thirteen episode series that deals with time travel. Okamoto is a veteran anime director with lots of work over the years with a variety of shows as an episode director and a couple as a showrunner itself. Okamoto knows how to tease as the show starts off with a trip to the past where we see feudal Japan as a village is being burned in an attack and in the middle of it is a cute schoolgirl with pigtails talking about how this is where everything probably started going wrong for her. It's a nice juxtaposition of things, even if familiar, and it gives us a bit of an insight right from the start about the style of the show.
The series focuses on Hideyoshino, who is often called Hide, and is your basic archestype at the start here where she's a good girl, not terribly good at school or studying and wants to do her best but lacks the focus and motivation to do it. Her ties to history are part of her nicknamed as she's called Hideyoshi by everyone, though it's not a term of endearment by most. Being your average high school student facing difficulty with her tests, and a very important set of them coming up, she goes to the shrine to pray in hopes of some sort of divine intervention. Of course, she gets something not quite the same when she discovers someone inside the temple that seems to be actually using magic, which sends her into klutz mode. And that's just the right ingredient for a time jump as she and the mysterious woman and transported back in time to feudal Japan.
Hide's time in the past has her coming across a woman she calls Akerin, but she has no idea who Hide is and just brings her back to her camp. Where the leader is an incredibly large breasted and scantily clad warrior with a ferocious attitude who claims to be Oda Nobunaga. And armor that moves far too easily along certain areas. The disconnect for Hide is pretty obvious as she can't wrap her head around the idea that something significant has happened by ending up there and the complete lack of reception. It's a little surprising the others actually let her live or keep her around for any length of time, but it's a sort of game for them in a way, though there may be more to her in their view because of local events going on there.
The show starts to open up the path to the storyline as it progresses and we see that Oda may have a use for Hide as she wants to acquire pieces of a crimson armor suit. Of course, Hide being a typical high school girl, the idea of collecting something puts the idea of shopping in her mind and she readily accepts. There's a strange disconnect in how all this unfolds with Hide in that she doesn't quite put together the position she's in nor the place, even when she sees the elaborate building when she gets outside and wonders when something like that was put up near her house. I hate to say it, but she feels like a slightly toned down Usagi from Sailor Moon more than anything else and her designs don't help to avoid that image either.
The opening episode of Battle Girls is a curious one since it riffs off of so much established material but doesn't define itself as its own property all that much. Schoolgirl thrown back in time a few hundred years, wearing uniform of course, getting caught up in local historic events with powerful leader (that's been gender changed too) and having a quest thrown out in front of her to deal with. All while not really grasping what the situation is at this point and sort of just going along with it, even though it's pretty dangerous. You can see Fushigi Yugi and Sailor Moon here and a few other shows as well but it's kind of a mellow opening episode overall. There's nothing here, outside of Oda's breasts, to grab onto. It's decently animated and covers all the bases, but it does it without any charm.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.