The mystery deepens and Muneakira gets a much larger idea about why he's really been brought here.
What They Say
The Identity of the Master Samurai
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As Samurai Girls progresses, one of the things that's sometimes hard to remember is that this is a high school oriented show, just in an alternate world setting with a healthy dose of action. Having various characters now living with each other and going through some of the standard routines such as group dinners and the like, but in the setting of a traditional era style house, is off-putting. With the visual design of the show, having the characters in their various outfits, uniforms and the like against this very earthy and old style home feels like the mixture of very different things that doesn't quite click. We've seen it before to some extent in other shows, but the actual style of the animation gives it a bit more of an otherworldliness.
Jubei's arrival is the most controversial aspect in the kids lives right now as she's hoping desperately to live with Muneakira and to be friends with Sen and Hanzo. It's cute that she's even willing to take on the role of the family dog so to speak for the dojo and live in there, which of course leads to some rather interesting fanservice shots. This does eventually turn to something more interesting though as we start to learn about disappearances at the school with them being spirited away. There's a larger mystery here as it's happened quite a few times now and the higher ups have asked the school and the students that know about it to keep it a secret, presumably so as to not cause a panic but also likely because of some level of involvement in it.
With this revelation, Muneakira realizes why he was called in here to help out beyond the surface reason given and he takes to it easily. Rather than question it all, he accepts it and becomes determined, in a straightforward and not over the top way, to discover what's really going on and stop it. With his fairly anti-government stance and the subcurrent running throughout the show on this regard, having Princess Sen ask him about this and making it the reason he's there puts him directly at odds with things yet in a way sanctioned to find out the truth. The various levels at play here on the political intrigue side has a lot of potential to it and we've gotten some decent little hints about some of the bigger power players, including Sen's own older brother who will one day hold significant power within the Tokugawa clan as a general.
While we get a good deal of intrigue here and some fun little simple comedy, Samurai Girls also gives us a really good section of action to it as Jubei is unleashed once more and everyone else tries to get her to calm down. They're not powerful enough to do so and it's fun to watch simply because it plays up the smutty side so well with everyone losing their clothes in battle very easily. Jubei in her other form is a lot of fun to watch and the other women are all fairly strong in their own right, even if just in personality, without it being horribly over the top. And unfortunately, Muneakira gets shackled for awhile so he's forced to watch the women fight until their clothes get torn even more. It's a hard life, but one that has its attractions. Samurai Girls continues to be one of the more intriguing shows of the season and the one that is really and truly the worst named one as it's got so much more to it. If you're writing this off because of the name, give it a whirl and see what's inside that book rather than just the cover.
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.