All I ever needed to know about Japanese history I learned anime.
What They Say:
It's been decided that Hideyoshi will help look for the legendary Crimson Armor. Also, this world looks like the Warring States era, but it looks like there's only girls... Hideyoshi stays with Nobunaga and Mitsuhide, but she's worried about whether or not she'll be able to go home. And then a weird dog appears. For some reason, the dog starts talking to her?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The opening episode of Battle Girls didn't exactly thrill, though there were some decent elements to it and some average but generally problem free animation. The story idea of a young high school girl being sent back in time several hundred years certainly isn't a new one, but it's one that can be well used depending on how you have them interact with history. Shifting Hide back to the time of Nobunaga Oda certainly isn't bad, though I wish they'd start doing things even further back to give us something new, but shifting Oda to a busty redhead wearing only some minimal armor kind of makes me sad a little. It's admittedly a standard idea overall, but sometimes you just hope that they'll break the patter a bit. At least they get her out of the school girl uniform and gym clothes pretty quickly here as she goes local. Not that she actually wears them much though.
Hide does actually act a little smart as she uses her history book that she has to read about Oda, which reveals that the Oda in the books is a guy, which makes her wonder if they're just historical cosplayers. It at least makes her seem a little smart. She does have her fish out of water moments though, such as when she and Oda ride to a village that was attacked recently and Oda tries to get them to swear allegiance to her in a way by calling them to her, but they've lost everything so they're not even registering anyone nearby. Hide shows her the way through kindness to reach them, but helping out and playing pop idol music from her cell phone (which will never run out of power, right?). It's a grand old time as everyone plays and works together to rebuild the village as Oda watches on. It does get Oda's attention pretty well though as she observes how the villagers all become drawn to Hide and her style of doing things, since it's hopeful and inspirational. It is hard to believe that a slacker like her would put in a full days hard work in rebuilding a village like this though based on what we saw of her in the present.
Battle Girls does spend some time on an unusual piece of the puzzle as she comes across the dog in the headgear again and learns that his name is Shiro. He does provide some useful information in addition to that as he tells her that she has traveled back in time, but also to the side in a sense to a different world, which is what explains the gender bending aspects that we've seen so far. And it also explains how a small dog can talk since he's from a different world himself where that's the normal thing. Shiro doesn't provide an info dump, but there is some nice dialogue between the two as he explains things out and Hide starts to understand what her situation is and to start thinking about how to get back to where she belongs. The eternal optimism of youth is in full display here.
Battle Girls does actually deal with the battle side a bit as the episode progresses and Mitsuhide spends some time training her a bit, with Hide in full on battle costume, where she shows some surprising moves but also a lot of goofiness. It's a nice point because most shows that deal with these kinds of time trips tend to have very ineffective girls when it comes to actually handling themselves. Hide has a lot to prove, but just the fact that she gets out there with enthusiasm to attack is a very welcome change. She's a nut, pretty goofy and silly at times and overdoes things, but she's willing and able to at least get into it. It gives me some hope with the show that we're not going to have a complete pushover over a girl and having the bit of background explained about the world helps a lot as well. While the first episode wasn't all that interesting, this one has increased my interest a fair bit.
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.