Yoshino Hide is an average girl who always seems to find trouble wherever she goes. One day Yoshino visits a local shrine to pray in order to pass her upcoming test. However, Yoshino sees a blue light coming from inside the Shrine and looks inside to find a mysterious person performing a magic spell. In a stroke of bad luck, Yoshino trips on a small bell and crashes into the shrine, prompting the stranger to catch her. Upon Yoshino's capture, the magic spell spirals out of control and sends Yoshino back in time to the Sengoku Era.
Yoshino then encounters Akechi Mitsuhide and Oda Nobunaga. But unlike what really happened during the era, Hideyoshino realizes that everyone in the world is female. She then decides to help Oda Nobunaga find the Crimson Armor which is said to allow the person wearing the armor to conquer all of Japan.
#1: "Atsuki Ya no Gotoku (熱き矢の如く)" by Tenka Tori Tai (eps 1-9, 11-12) #2: "Atsuki Ya no Gotoku ~Shinjuu Otome Version~ (熱き矢の如く～心中乙女バージョン～)" by Eri Kitamura (ep 10) #3: "Ashita e (あしたへ)" by Rina Hidaka (ep 13)
There are animes that i want to hate, but ended up enjoying it. Sengoku Otome is one of them. Adapted from a Pachinko series, it's one of those animes that i thougt will definitely suck, but ended up being more enjoyable that it does. I want to hate it, but in the end i ended up liking it.
The story revolves around Hideyoshi, the everyday dumb girl who got transported from modern-day Tokyo to gender-reversed Sengoku-era Japan and met with Nobunaga Oda and Akechi Mitsuhide, who are now female and are ruling the warring states in a world where no men ever existed and everyone is
a good-looking female.
And Nobunaga, being the person who wants to unite the whole of Japan, wants Hideyoshi to help her find the armour that will help her and Mitsuhide unite Japan as one. And from now on, every battle occured in the Sengoku Period becomes a slice of life anime.
Seriously, they take a Sengoku Period anime and turn it into a slice of life anime. Yes, that's what happens. Nobunaga, Mitsuhide, Masamune, and every other person from the Warring States period are now female characters from Hidamari Sketch, and instead of battling each other, they do things like kite flying, town building and "school plays". And it's all thanks to Hideyoshi, who brought Heisei-era pacifist ideas to the Sengoku Period.
Of course being the Sengoku period there are battles and fights, and yes the fight scenes are kinda cool. But they are nothing more than everyday occurences instead of major story arcs, so it's nothing big.
And i liked that. It's an interesting idea, especially when you have female versions of historical figures in this. I mean the lack of battles in this was surprising, but it add a nice touch to the series by replacing it with pacifistic ideas of competition. And that's really cool, i enjoy this take on the Sengoku Period.
And the characters are surprising likeable. Hideyoshi, while being an idiot actually does stuff that makes her likeable. In one episode, she helps rebuild a town that was ravaged by fire with the help of Heisei-era optimism mixing with Sengoku-era work ethics. That is pretty likeable and is a good use of Hideyoshi's character. instead of "LOL look at the dumb girl from the future", the writers use her to her advantage. Whereas, you got a female Nobunaga Oda who actually resembles closely to her real-life Male counterpart, being a person who is street-smart and has a liking towards foreign culture. Other characters like Mitsuhide and Masamune are okay, but Mitsuhide can be a nuisance sometimes, and she's basically the stereotypical "She Is Mine so you GTFO" character who has the hots for Nobunaga (Yeah, this is pretty much Yuri territory).
Fanservice-wise, it's just there. Unlike Highschool of the Dead, it doesn't try and shove their boobs and ass on your face. It just appears there. Yes, they are all wearing skimpy armour and clothing, but the director doesn't want to say "HEY LOOK THEY'RE ALL HOT SO GO AND FAP TO IT!!!!" so in the end the fanservice is minimal unlike Freezing or HoTD. That's good, and is a refreshing change from most fanservice/female-centric action animes we've seen lately. There is nude fanservice in the ED and several hot spring scenes but that's as far as it goes.
But the use of sound and music are bland to say. Sure, the music fits with the background, but it has a "meh" OP and ED, and it's not memorable to say. The OP is hummable but in the end of the day you don't even care about it. the ED is pretty sentimental and has a nice acoustic riff, but it still doesn't strike me.
The Art and visuals are nice for a TMS studio anime. They might not be great, but there are nice scenery moments and it does strike well with me. Character designs are really cool, especially when they're female variations of Sengoku Period historical figures. The female version of Nobunaga Oda closely resembles the Oda we see in Sengoku basara and Onimusha, but the rest of the characters look way younger than their male counterparts.
The seiyuus in this do fit their characters. Hidaka Rina does a good job as Hideyoshi and Megumi Toyoguchi is awesome as Nobunaga Oda, especially with that strong female voice she has. And then you have Eri Kitamura as Mitsuhide, a very serious but clumsy character which works with her style of voice. She hasn't voiced those types of characters lately, and it's nice to see her doing a different character.
In summary, Sengoku Otome is a decent, fun take on the Sengoku Period by turning a Male-centric history into a female slice-of life anime. i'm serious. It's basically that. I really want to hat it and call it shit but it turns out to be an enjoyable experience. it's kinda funny, and the characters are likeable. But you'll be disappointed if you're looking for an Onimusha/Sengoku Basara-esque story in this. it's a good "turn off your brain" anime, and it's a great guilty pleasure in the end. I Enjoyed it.
This anime is better than it has any right to be.
Made to celebrate the tenth anniversary of a pachinko machine, Sengoku Otome is an anime whose brilliance lies in the fact that it knows it's terrible. This allows it to be silly and fun without taking itself seriously.
It's very lighthearted, and has both surprisingly good writing and likeable characters.
- This is a yuri anime, there are no men anywhere
- There is some nudity, but less than you'd expect.
Bottom line: This is a fun show, and not to be watched with expectations of drama or action.
Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox is an anime from TMS Entertainment based on pachinko games. And to think, it hasn't been that long since I looked at Umi Monogatari, another anime based on a pachinko game. I don't get it, what is it about pachinko games that makes people think they'd lend themselves to a story? But Umi Monogatari was a good series, so maybe this one will be too. Let's find out.
We open up with Japan in the modern day, a middle school girl named Hide Yoshino, nicknamed Hideyoshi, stops at an old shrine to pray for success in her exams because she is doing
very badly in school and doesn't want to attend summer classes. While there she stumbles into a strange glowing circle where a feminine form is sitting and stumbles into an alternate world set in the Sengoku period. In this world there are no men and Hideyoshi runs into a burning village where she's rescued by Mitsuhide and Nobunaga. They take her to Nobunaga's castle because Nobunaga thinks she might be helpful in acquiring the pieces of the crimson armour... somehow. Hideyoshi decides to stay and help Nobunaga because she as no idea how to get home. This leads to all kinds of shenanigans.
Let's talk about the problems with the story. First off, there's not much point to having Hideyoshi as a modern day girl. They use it for a few “fish out of water” jokes, but it doesn't do much. Secondly, the entire population being female is dumb. Really, it would have made more sense if they'd just had it set in a world where women were the ones in power but men still existed. As it is they have to waste time with a stupid explanation for how reproduction happens and then just never bring it up again. The humour is pretty mixed too. While there are some funny moments, there are also a lot of attempts at humour that fall flat. For example, they have an ongoing joke about a talking male dog perving on the various female characters. It's not funny, it contributes nothing and it makes no sense. Why is a dog interested in human women? See, this is another reason that men should have existed. They could've made this character an old guy. Sure, it would still be stupid and cliché but at least it would've made sense.
On the positive side, there are plenty of jokes that do work, albeit they're in the minority. I also do like the way they handle the question of leadership and what makes for a good leader. It's a nicely done little side element. The series also does manage to have some competently handled sources of tension by using actual historical events.
The characters are a bit mixed as well. There's some really good stuff with Nobunaga herself and some of the side characters get some good moments. Unfortunately our main focus, Hideyoshi, is an obnoxious moron who spends more time getting rescued than she spends doing anything remotely useful. Most of the side characters are pretty one note too. Which wouldn't be so much of an issue if they played less of a role, but they consistently show up for the same few jokes. For example, Kenshin and Shingen have two ongoing jokes. They have a rivalry going and they're homo-erotic about it. It's kind of funny in one episode and it is funny in another one based on the execution, but most of their appearances don't really offer anything except for a reminder that they still exist.
There are some good aspects of the art. The backgrounds are pretty well done. The action sequences are pretty strong too. Then we've got the character designs, which emphasise mindless fan-service above making sense. These women are supposed to be warriors but most of them leave all their vitals exposed so that they can prance about in battle bikinis. There are also some art errors. There's a scene where Masamune Date goes from not wearing her eye-patch to wearing it, to not wearing it again. Where's an editor when you need one?
There are some good performances in this. Kitamura Eri in particular gets to show a great deal of range and does it very well. Toyoguchi Megumi also gives a good performance as Nobunaga. Akesaka Satomi is also quite good in this. Even the actors who voice more annoying characters, like Hidaka Rina as Hideyoshi, still manage to give competent performances. There is some exaggeration to them at times, but it manages to keep them mostly toned down and more realistic. The music is also nicely done.
We've got the les-yay between Kenshin and Shingen. Mitsuhide is also shown as being in love with Nobunaga and there are a few cases where they use “onee-sama” in its yuri sense. There are a few disturbing scenes with Hideyoshi. Disturbing since she looks and acts significantly younger than the other girls. Furthermore, she's probably supposed to be given that she's in middle school. To be fair, there aren't many scenes like that with her and most of them are done so that they're more ambiguous but there's still enough that it gets sketchy. The ho-yay factor is going to be a 6/10.
Sengoku Otome is not a bad series. It has some funny moments and some that are pretty good. However, it also has quite a few stupid moments, the main character is annoying and the art is overly fond of fan-service. Even though it's not a bad series, it's certainly not a good one either. In the end my rating is going to be a 4/10. It's below average. If you're really interested in seeing a comedic series about important historical figures as women, I'm sure there's something better out there but giving this one a try isn't a bad idea. Who knows, you might get more laughs from it than I did. Next week I'll look at Strike Witches.
Imagine for a moment that you're a Japanese schoolgirl. And imagine that you've just fallen into a room with a magic circle and a bright blue light. And then you wake up, and you're surrounded by people fighting with swords and lances, all of whom just happen to bear the names of the people in your history textbook on the Sengoku period. Can you guess what your first thoughts are?
Well, if you guessed, "I've time-travelled!" you'd be way off the mark. "How do I get home?" is a little closer, but by no means the most prominent question for Yoshino Hide, for whom the immediately
important problem is that her cellphone has no reception, closely followed by the fact that she's hungry. To be sure, she may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but readers who are paying attention may already have noticed the connection of her name to Hideyoshi, the lord responsible for unifying the warring factions at the end of the Sengoku period. This gives some indication of her importance in the episodes to come.
The most immediately obvious quirk of Battle Girls is that, with the exception of a talking dog (no, really), absolutely everyone in the series is female. Sacrificing the dignity of prominent historical figures by turning them into moe girls has, of course, been done before (Strike Witches and Koihime Musou as the obvious examples), but Battle Girls' idea of removing men altogether adds a touch of self-mockery that makes the whole situation even more amusing.
Moreover, it's actually written very well. Its style of over-the-top comedy is reminiscent of Kampfer, and is very well executed. There's a good dynamic between the three central characters, and there's a brilliantly colourful cast of side-characters. The fights are short and punchy, simultaneously displaying some nice visuals and choreography and poking fun at every other shounen fight you've ever seen. And in general, it's very well-paced, introducing characters, conflict and plot twists in succession, and tying everything up efficiently at the end.
The series' main problem is its mid-section, where the pacing breaks down a bit, and it gives way to a couple of episodes which advance the plot very little, and don't add much to the characters. If you mind about animation, it's also not terribly beautiful - the series was clearly made on a budget. Whether the subtext (and at times, text-text) yuri is a good thing or a bad thing is personal preference, but there's enough of that that it could affect your experience of the series if you're completely against the idea of girls pairing up together. As far as fanservice is concerned, there are a few obvious attempts to appeal to a male audience, but nowhere near as many as, say, Koihime Musou, and it doesn't really feel unnatural or mess with the flow of the series.
Battle Girls - Time Paradox won't make you think, and it won't teach you something new about life, but if you're looking for a really funny series that you can relax and enjoy, it's a pretty good bet. Best watched in company.