Sunday, August 16, 2009

"Queen's Blade"-To Fanservice or not to fanservice?

Queen's Blade- Ruro no Senshi
Animation Production: Arms
Rating: R (Very suggestive themes, lots of boob/crotch shots, and innuendo...)
Premiered on tv in Japan: April 2009
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Ecchi

"Queen's Blade- Ruro no Senshi" or better known as Queen's Blade is an anime with lots and lots and lots of fanservice. So me being a girl my opinion will be vastly different from that of a guy. So..get ready! :D
The story circles around this event called "Queen's Blade", where every four years a contest is held for a new queen to be selected to rule over the land. The rules state she is only to be over the age of 12 years old and the contest is over when one person is either killed in battle or no longer has the capacity to move. Any girl/women from any country can compete and there is no limit on what weapons can be used.

So the episode starts off with a princess named Leina who tries to run away from a life of being married off to some random guy ;since she is heir to her family's kingdom thing. So she runs off and her sisters try to find her but to no avail, but Risty "the bandit of Desert Justice", yeah that's her title from the show, saves her from a demon named Melodana. Now the demon Melodana's boobs shoot out acid that dissolve only clothes and armor; not skin. I just thought I should point this out because that shows you what the show is all about. "Queen's Blade" is ecchi through and through. All the girls have super huge boobs, and there are just crotch shots, boob shots, boob-to-boob shots, everything that a guy or lesbian is into is in there.

There is fanservice everywhere. There is a mud fight in episode 3 between two girls, of course, and I think Leina's sister has a more than sisterly thing for her, and the characters arederived from every otaku's fantasy girl. You have your loli girl, a tough "I'm-out-for-myself' girl, the tragic princess, and even an elfen girl.

Because of the fanservice I did not like this at all. It just seemed extremely gratuitous and I wasn't really presented with a chance to get past the fanservice and try to appreciate the story, if there was one. "Queen's Blade" looks pretty, which must be a prerequisite to appeal to others, but there were just too many unnecessary boob/crotch shots for me to enjoy it.

I give "Queen's Blade" a 1 out 5. :(

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This thing called..."Shangri-La"

Animated by: Gonzo
Now playing on tv in Japan and online at

Alright! Well..what got me interested into this anime was the art which was done by Range Murata. He illustrated another of my favorite animes called Last Exile. Secondly, seeing that it was animated by Gonzo also made me want to check it out because even though they did tragedies like "Strike Witches" they also did cool stuff like "Last Exile", "Gankutsuo" and "Welcome to the N.H.K." to name a few. So I figure why not give Gonzo a second chance and watch Shangri-la. The outcome of that decision is...mixed.

Shangri-la is a story about a young woman named Kuniko Hojo who is fighting to survive in a world where carbon credits are traded between different countries and where the dredges of society are numerous and the privileged are the few. The poor reside on a land that for the most part is flooded and the city suffers from periodic missile showers from the city above called Atlas. Atlas is where the rich and privileged live and there are lotteries for the poor to participate in with the hope that they can live in the "Golden City" Atlas. Of course, the government that governs Atlas wants to only a few in but keep everyone else out; thus our heroine Kuniko fights to change that! Or something...

When it comes to how the show looks, it's pretty. The backgrounds are lush and the animation is smooth if albeit a little too simplistic at times. In one episode the quality of the animation decreased signficantly and I had to remind myself that I was still watching Shangri-la and not something else.
The music also leaves something to be desired also. The opening song is okay and the animation is fantastic but it hardly lives up to the ending song which I personally love! However the music in the anime itself is yawnfest and I was slightly upset about that...

Another thing that kinda disappointed me was the pacing of the show. But in hindsight that shouldn't be too much of a surprise because Last Exile suffered from the same thing. The show starts off strong at first but by episode 3 I found my attention wanning and caught myself asking, " Why am I watching this again?". I think the episode was just illustrating what life was like for the disadvantaged living in Duomo and I was just..bored. The main character was depicted as kinda flighty about what role she wanted to take and whatever obstacles they attempted to throw her way was just cliche. Seriously!! An old woman whose son was almost killed,until Kuniko rescued him, blames her becuase she's the reason(indirectly) that the town was placed in danger. Hhhrrmmm...>>

The premise of the series is interesting in that it is set against the backdrop of a world where the sea levels have risen and the forest and jungles have exploded in growth because of high levels of carbon dioxide.In order to keep carbon level low the world trades with Carbon credits to disuade people from emitting high levels carbon dioxide in the air and as a result there are some winners and losers. But the execution is lacking and I'm stuck wondering if the story will pick up or will it just die into oblivion like Studio Gonzo is doing reportedly.
Shangri-La gets an uninspired 2 out 5...

Don't like my review? Well please do head on over to and go to the forum to discuss why you disagree/agree. :)