12 of 12 episodes seen
Koihime Musou is a loose, oh-so-incredibly-loose, adaptation of the legendary novel "Romance of the Three Kingdoms." The first thing that might strike you about this show is that all the characters (yes, every single one) are female. Think of it as a counter-balance, and complete reversal, of shows like Kaiji and Akagi, where every single character is male. (That's how I justify it to myself, anyway.)
Our main heroine, Kanu, embarks on a mission of justice and virtue. I think. Along the way, she helps many a troubled soul, and meets a wide variety of people, some of which join her on her journey. And boy, are there a lot of characters; and I do mean a lot. Your head will likely be spinning before the end of the first season. Forget about trying to keep every name straight in your head. (Especially if you, like me, don't speak Japanese.)
Luckily, character designs happen to be Koihime Musou's strong suit. Every single character is meticulously crafted, from the intricate outfits, extravagant hair-styles and entertaining quirks, you'll never find yourself bored watching, or listening to, the series' myriad of characters. Given that the show has an all-female cast which numbers in the dozens, this will likely appeal most easily to men; but I think anyone should be able to appreciate the attention to detail and sheer volume of variety that went into the character designs. As for actual personalities, they vary greatly; some being great, and some being stereotypes. The main cast, however, is a great deal of fun all the way through.
I'll be blunt and just come out and say it, this show is sexy. Really, really sexy. However, it is very rarely lecherous or overly deviant. The sexuality is almost always balanced with a healthy dose of humor, cuteness and self-awareness on the side of the show. You might be seeing a lot of gorgeous ladies in compromised positions and with revealing clothing, but the show knows when to pull its punches, and much of the humor plays into these situations. Most importantly, Koihime Musou doesn't just use its fanservice as a crutch; it doesn't replace actual quality with upskirt shots or hordes of bouncing breasts. It has charm and humor to spare as well.
The strongest point in Koihime Musou's defense is likely its comedic writing. It has a wide repertoire of jokes, as well as a solid amount of humorous situations. It honestly surprised me with its originality and cleverness; it's a far cry from the predictable brand of comedy that accompanies many fanservice-laden shows.
In summary, it comes down to Koihime Musou excelling not only above its peers in the fanservice/ecchi genre, but to a genuinely great experience. Its story might not win any awards, but it is sufficient to keep you entertained, and keep the focus where it belongs; on the characters and the situations they find themselves in along their perilous journey. With remarkably memorable characters, great humor and visual flare, Koihime Musou offers a complete package. And the sexuality, hey, that's just a nice bonus for anyone so inclined. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
In the distant future, warp technology has allowed humanity to explore the vast expanses of space, meeting strange races and populating other planets far away from our humble earth. They Were 11 follows Tada, a man who aspires to join the prestigious Cosmo Academy. As part of the final entrance test, all of the remaining applicants are split into groups of ten and put into actual starships to work together and survive for 53 days without outside assistance.
However, as soon as Tada and his group are safely aboard the starship, they notice something is amiss. There are 11 people aboard. Who's the odd man out? How did he get there, and what is he after? This is the premise of They Were 11, and I have to admit, that alone compelled me to watch this movie.
For fear of spoilers, I shan't venture too deep into the actual plot, which is definitely the main attraction. Seeing the group, riddled with suspicion and paranoia, make their way through day after day, all while facing different challenges and hardships will keep you on your toes. I wanted to find out who the 11th man was just as much as they did, and that's a sign of solid storytelling. Naturally, there are twists and revelations along the way, as well as a conclusive ending. (Which I suspect could be controversial, but I was more than satisfied.)
Let's talk a little bit about the characters. They're great. A varied bunch of personalities, some of them with alien appearances, customs and physiologies. Some get more time to shine than others do, but with eleven characters and only an hour and a half to work with, that's perfectly understandable. What we do learn about the characters in terms of background helps to not only flesh them out, but also flesh out the setting, as each character's tale lets us learn something about his homeworld, and its struggles and conditions.
Again, I find myself limited as to what I can discuss for fear of spoiling anything. I'll just say this; the movie has a lot of heart. There's a sweet charm to much of the character interaction, and a few humorous moments you wouldn't expect a movie like this to have to be found throughout. I appreciated them a lot; they provided both the characters and the viewers with a little break from the suspense.
While some viewers might be put off by the art-style, I find it delightful. It holds up well, and just looks damn good period. There's a lot of personality in every character design, and the setting is brought to life with nice backgrounds and subdued colors. The animation doesn't hold up quite as well, but it was never to the extent that my enjoyment was hampered at all.
Overall, "They Were 11" tells a unique, suspenseful and well crafted tale of survival and cooperation in dire and uncertain circumstances. It has heart, charm, an interesting setting, and will keep you guessing and smiling. It gets a strong recommendation from me; they rarely make'em like this, either now or back then!
13 of 13 episodes seen
The Story: 6
To be fair, the story is not the strongest point of the series, but it's certainly nothing to frown at. The plot progresses at a comfortable pace, and it is a heartwarming tale for the most part. Some events are a bit predictable, but it's never boring, and it doesn't drag on. If you're looking for an epic tale, look elsewhere, but for a harem, it's quite good.
The art and visual are very beautiful. The whole team of sakuras and the lively colors used throughout the series really do enhance the mood. The character designs are fantastic, which is what first drew me to the series. Aesthetically, it is a very pleasant experience. It is a harem, after all, and seeing beautiful women is always a plus.
The opening theme is very good, I think they chose a very fitting song for the series. The background music mostly good as well, some of it memorable, and some it just blending into the background. I personally thought the ending could have been better, though.
The characters often make or break a show, and Da Capo was no exception. I already mentioned the wonderful character designs, and this extends to their personality as well as their appearance. The male lead isn't perfect, but he is quite likable for a harem lead. Almost all of the female "contestants" are just lovable and cute, but each of them have their own special charm. Amakase was especially entertaining to watch, a great character.
It was a pleasant and enjoyable experience. It kept me entertained, and I grew attached to the characters. It is a high school harem, and it's pretty hard to stand out in this genre, but I think Da Capo did a good job of making a show that's both enjoyable and memorable. It wasn't out of this world, but it was good, and I'd recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a strong bias against harems.
Overall I gave the series 7: Good and enjoyable. I'm looking forward to enjoying the second season, and I hope you will too. Thanks for taking the time to read my review and happy watching. read more
3 of 3 episodes seen
As guilty a pleasure as one could get, Aika surely caters to those of us who enjoy fanservice. The story in and of itself is obviously far from impressive, but let's be honest, that's not what you're here for. You're here to see some cute, half-naked girls, which the show delivers; as promised. Oh, and more pantyshots than even the most perverted of us could ask for.
Story: 2/10. There's very little to be said here, like the original Aika, this is not the area in which the series excels. It's basically just "make up some excuse to get the show going."
Art: 6/10. The art is an obvious improvement from its predecessor (that's a given, I suppose) and it does look pretty decent, a huge plus since the series if indeed very focused on aesthetics. (Yes, I'm talking about the girls.)
Sound: 6/10. Aika has a good seiyuu, she does a fine job delivering her lines, which really does push the quality of the show up quite a bit. The music and sound effects aren't something you'd remember, though, and some of the minor characters do sound a bit uninspired.
Character: 5/10. Aika is likable. I much prefer the young version to the older, which I really didn't care much for. Her enthusiasm and somewhat silly nature, combined with an ability to kick some ass here and there makes an all-around decent character. Her sidekicks are very generic, though, an Asuka-like loudmouth and a typical silent-girl type.
Enjoyment: 4/10. This is purely subjective. As all enjoyment of art is, of course, but it really comes down to whether or not you like to see sexy schoolgirls fall over again and again, revealing their underwear. There is a bit of comedy thrown in as well, and it might hit home, though I found it a bit bland. On the whole, it's just a few laughs and some ecchiness, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, just nothing to write home about.
Overall: 4/10. I've seen much worse attempts at mindless fanservice. Aika: R-16 Virign Mission does have a bit of charm to it. I can't really justify giving it anything more than 4/10, though, as it's just a random 3-episode-pile of fanservice. I enjoyed it enough to not regret having watched it, if that counts for anything.
I do feel a bit silly, as this is my first review, but I wanted to pick a series which didn't already have 10 reviews written for it. Hopefully it'll help some poor soul make up his mind as whether or not to indulge his ecchi-cravings. read more