Shin Koihime Musou Complete Collection (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Release Date: Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The cast grows by leaps and bounds as they set out on another journey and have to fend off a sizable war along the way.

What They Say
When there's trouble afoot in Ancient China, it's up to the sisterhood of steel to set things right once again. So, when a spell is cast on the beautiful Han official Kashin that begins to slowly turn her into a cat, it's up to Ryuubi, Koumei, Aiesha and the others to go forth and find the exotic ingredients to undo the enchantment before the felinization is finalized. And there'll be no time for pussyfooting around - at least Kashin certainly hopes there won't be - because this is just the beginning of an even greater plot launched by a band of evil eunuchs (though, given what they are, it's not as if they have much to do besides plot, and who can blame them for being a little ticked off?) Get ready for the wildest epic fantasy to ever combine panties, cat girls and elephant belly button lint in the same storyline as the ferociously all-female force from Koihime Muso and Shin Koihime Muso returns in their usual fine fighting forms in Shin Koihime Muso - Otome Tairan - The Complete Collection!

The Review!

Audio:
The audio presentation for this release is kept simple with just the original Japanese stereo mix encoded at 224kbps. This series isn't one that has a huge amount of a workout to it but there are some decent action scenes to be had and a fair bit of dialogue throughout it with multiple characters on screen at a time. It's nothing that stands out as impressive but it's a solid forward soundstage design that works well for what the show wants to get across. The music is where things stand out the most, but it's generally the opening and closing sequences that come across the best. The presentation here is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
 
Video:
Originally airing in the summer of 2009, the transfer for this TV series and OVA is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. The show is spread across two discs in a six/seven format which gives the whole thing enough space to work without any problems. The show has a very vibrant look to it with lots of bright solid colors that makes it pretty eye-catching. The colors come across are solid and with only a small amount of noise to it in some of the darker scenes and that's about it. There's a few moments of some minor aliasing during a panning sequence but it's not something that stands out all that much. There's a good bit of detail to the show, and especially in the OVA, and all of that comes across really well.
 
Packaging:
Shin Koihime Musou comes in a standard single sized keepcase which holds both discs with a flippy hinge inside for them. The front cover runs with the primary trio of characters for this season with Kan'u, Rin Rin and Ryubi in their uniform style outfits. You can tell a lot from a cover and what you need to know about Shin Koihime Musou is definitely here with the three of them and their smiles, designs and overall look. The logo is simple and straightforward but it has some really nice details to it in the background and I really like the font for it. The back cover uses the same kind of soft white and blue background to it that lets the really bright and colorful artwork stand out. The left half is given over to a nice character collage and a strip of small shots from the show while the right side has a decent summary of the basic premise of the show. The discs features are clearly listed, what little is on here, and the bottom is the standard production credits and technical grid that lists everything accurately. No show related inserts are included, though we do get an advertisement for the game which may be a surprise for some, nor is there a reversible cover.
 
Menu:
The menus for this release are pretty nicely done with an in-theme style that fits the show well. Each of the menus uses different configurations of characters on one side with a soft white background to it. The left side features the navigation itself with the individual episode titles and anything else that's available such as the extras and credits. Submenus load quickly and everything is smooth and problem free. They're not huge standout menus with their designs, but there's some good detail to it and it's much better than a lot of the early Sentai menus that we had gotten.
 
Extras:
The only extras included here are the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences.
 
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Following up on the first season, Shin Koihime Muso brings us another twelve episodes of time spent in second century China with a whole lot of women that wander around and cause problems while being surprisingly dirty. The template for the first season is largely followed here as they introduce more characters as well as a few little subplots along the way to tie it all together. I came away from the first season feeling kind of conflicted about it in that I liked the animation and enjoyed with some guilt the perverted side of it all but it was also largely fluff and unmemorable. Once an episode was over, you could forget about it easily afterward, never mind watching the whole thing in one setting.
 
The main series of twelve episodes has two main story lines that it wants to focus on with a whole lot of fluff in between. The first one is the introduction of Ryubi, a young woman who is on a quest of her own right now to find a family sword that goes back numerous generations. She had lost it after being accosted while walking home and even had the family style name stolen from her by a man who wants to use it for his own gain. Her quest has her coming across the group we're familiar with from the first season and several of them opt to help her along the way since she's rather defenseless since the first minute she's a few feet away from them, a group of bandits grabs her, tears off her outfit and starts threatening her. It's comical but twisted at the same time and it certainly doesn't say much for Ryubi.
 
The journey for Ryubi with a few of the regulars like Kan'u and Rin Rin isn't that much of a surprise as they continually get new leads on where the sword is and have to go through various games and challenges in order to get a little further, often to only find out they were tricked to some extent. This brings us back into contact with some characters that Kanu' and Rin Rin met before, so it reforges those relationships and adds a bit more to them as well since times have changed a little bit. Ryubi obviously does get her sword back later on and while it may feel a little anti-climactic, it's a basic little quest from the start that really just gives everyone an excuse to wander around for awhile and you'd almost swear they practically admit that at a few times.
 
The other story that runs through the set introduces us to three girls who all have as their name a variation of Cho in it that makes them the Cho sisters. They have an encounter early on with a man named Ukitsu who is something of a magician and he gives them the brief illusion of being famous singers. Much to their surprise, they're actually quite good at this and through a little help from Ukitsu in the background with a book he gives them, they opt to start touring. They get more and more popular as they travel around and even Kan'u and the girls come across them at one point which leads to them attending a concert and seeing just how powerful it all is to those that see it.
 
And therein lies the rub. Ukitsu gave them the book so that they could spread hatred throughout the lands which in turn would make the book more powerful. What they did instead was to build a very faithful army of followers that give them lots and lots of things as their concerts grow in size. This all actually leads to the main serious part, for lack of a better word, towards the end of the season as Ukitsu tries to figure out how to use this new army that's been created out of the girls concerts. It goes for the large scale movement of armies thing that you'd expect from this property but it poses more of a conundrum than anything else as those on the opposite side try to figure out how to defuse everything before it becomes total war. Cause that totally wouldn't fit in with the way the series works since so much of it has been about food and dirty girls.
 
That aspect of the series continues to be very weird, to say the least. While I expect a lot of fanservice and silliness with the OVA episode at the end that takes place in the present day and puts all the girls on an island resort, the second century material feels very unusual again with how dirty it gets. Having an extended scene with several of them sucking on popsicle-like treats was pretty bad since they played it up heavily visually but innocently with what they're saying. But it also goes blunt with a lot of upper body nudity, including some rough manhandling, and a whole lot of nude scenes, some of which really feel like they come up without any purpose in the slightest. And I'm usually for these kinds of scenes within reason, but they're just so constant here and filled with enough blunt pervertedness that it feels very out of place.
 
In Summary:
Considering how the first season went, I didn't exactly go into this with high expectations. It's the kind of show that I can't imagine watching one by one and really getting a lot of out of. It's the kind of show where you need to watch it all at once and just get overwhelmed by the simplicity of story and the bluntness of ts perverted nature. And then to watch the incredibly blunt OVA that has an octopus in it whose sole purpose is to tear bathing suits off of girls. The show does surprise in having two stories that actually work fairly well in tying everything together, but Shin Koihime Muso is all about the journey rather than the destination. And this is realized each time it reaches a destination as it's fairly bland overall. There's definitely things to like here as much like the first season the character designs are really good and I enjoy a show that doesn't hold back when it wants to be perverted, but you really have to be ready for it and know exactly what you're getting into. There's no subtlety here.  

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing

Review Equipment

Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
 

 



Mania Grade: C+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
MSRP: 49.98
Running time: 325
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Shin Koihime Musou