After the first episode that wowed with style and hinted at a lot of fun, can the second episode carry it on?
What They Say
Naked Body Reincarnation
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
There's something to be said for a show that opens up with action. It's something that even with the big name action shows that we don't see all too often as they either want to recap or do a little character drama. Samurai Girls opens up its second episode right into the fight against Yagyu and it delights in a way that feels just right. The first episode of the series gave us a really neat design to it with the characters, backgrounds and the overall use of the heavy line work as well as copious amounts of fanservice. Add in a really interesting setting and it has a lot going for it, if it can rise up above being all about the fanservice and action and give that proper hook to make it richer. And to be able to sustain it.
Yagyu and her skills give rise to the claim that she may be a master samurai, something that there aren't all that many of and none that aren't under the control of the Tokugawa. The opening fight really is nicely intense and powerful overall, especially as lives are threatened and Muneakira is able to alter things simply by his force of presence and voice, though that hints at larger things about him. His arrival has certainly thrown the school into a spin and his meeting with Princess Sen Tokugawa only adds to that since it points to the kinds of connections he has to the others. Though it's not exactly a completely friendly relationship the two have as he almost ends up with her spear through his head at one point.
While a good part of the first half is about the action, the second half delves into more character material. There's an amusing punishment plan sequence that basically has one of the girls being cooked willingly without realizing it, but for the most part it pits samurais against ninjas with a bit of wordplay and bravado. All of it starts moving things towards familiarization with each other from the opposite sides and then to the idea that there's something larger coming that may take all of them to deal with. Hints of a shadow of some sort overtaking Japan through a vision is something that causes concern among those of this day and age in this timeline and has them taking each other a little more seriously about their futures. But food is the order of the day and sitting down to get to know each other a bit first in that friendly high school kid kind of way.
Moving into the second episode, there's a lot to like here but it's still coming up short in one key area for me. Something about the core story itself, the way the characters interact at times, hasn't clicked all that well. It's playing up the harem show in an action form, which is nicely done, but we're still in that early stage where there's too many characters and their personalities haven't been dealt with enough to really latch onto anybody. It's all moving forward in a slightly awkward way, but what's carrying at the moment is the style of it all, the nicely applied use of fanservice comedy and the visuals overall. Samurai Girls has the air of importance about it and a really nice blending of past and present, but it hasn't gelled together just right yet, but it is getting there.
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.