Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls – First Impressions

This series takes place in the 21st century, but there is still a Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan, and there are still samurai…on of the only things about them that seems to have changed is their fashion design. The first episode begins with a ridiculous exposition – strategic bombers being sliced into pieces by the katanas of (flying?) samurai girls in suitably over-the-top outfits. From these opening minutes, you know pretty clearly what you’re in for with Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls.

Also immediately apparent – this show has a gorgeous art and animation styles, and novel costume design. The characters have bold black borders, and the entire frame has a rice paper-like texture to it. Colors are usually desaturated for the (rare) quiet scenes, then jacked up for the action. There are times when the samurai aren’t fully clothed, and that’s where the innovative use of ink blotches comes in, to keep things nice and PG-13.

First impressions? Long on style, somewhat lacking in anything else. The first episode was mostly exposition…and exhibitionism. I can’t strongly recommend it for anyone, but style and design go a long way for me, so I’ll stick with this for the forseeable future. Rating: 2.5

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