There's an evil creature called Aratama that attacks people, and a group of Miko has been exorcising those creatures using swords since olden times. Those who wear uniforms and swords are called Toji, who are officially called Tokubetsu Saishi Kitoutai (Special Ritual Maneuver Team) in the police association. They are officially approved to wield the swords by the government officials. The government has established five training schools consisting of junior and senior high levels for the female students to attend. They spend their student life normally, and use special skills with the swords when they're doing missions to protect people. In the spring, these five schools are to take part in a competition. Among the girls who train for the competition, there's a girl who's a bit more passionate than any other girls. Where would the girl with the sword aim?
I'll get right to the point:
Stop trying to convince yourself this is a generic schoolgirl battle anime, because it's just not. Anyone with any love for kenjutsu or any knowledge of the way samurai think should spot this series' not-screwing-around nature immediately.
At the time of writing this review, I've seen 4 episodes, and I feel the need to write an early review to help counteract the uncalled-for prejudice the anime has been garnering.
Spoilers for episode 01 ahead:
Right from the get-go we're introduced to an interesting political structure and logistics within these specialized swordswomen who're trained to fight the demonic menaces called aradama.
scene on the street with the creature (that gives very strong reminiscence to Ga-Rei Zero) introduces a rather normal concept in a rather average way. Afterwords it snaps it's focus to Kanami, where she's immediately shown to be highly skilled and top of her school.
Then we have Hiyori. Now her immediate impression is your typical stubborn-as-hell egotist, however if you pay attention she puts hands together in respects to an altar showing a picture of someone who can only be assumed to be her mother or perhaps sister, indicating that she's lost family members. Her character is rather interesting, because given time we learn that her demeanour is absolutely and completely justified given circumstance.
Back to Kanami; she's a diehard kenjutsu fan, which somewhat sets the tone of the target interest group (ie kenjutsu/samurai fans, not moe battle schoolgirl stuff). Kanami is a kenjutsu prodigy, a diehard fan, and keenly interested in many different sword styles, thus studies them out of passion. Her love for swordplay, plus her intelligence and wisdom, makes her a very formidable opponent that can read and counter her enemies with brilliant precision. She also has the talent of having a very quick eye and mind, able to pick up on subtle details at lightning speed and respond to them equally fast, which is absolutely indispensable for a swordmaster. Her keen eye and quick wits plays a significant role in what comes later.
The episode quickly proceeds into a tournament, however this is merely a bait-and-switch for the real plot, and mainly used for character skill introductions.
Back to Hiyori again, we quickly find out why she's been getting so much attention up until this point: Hiyori vs Kanami. Our fist clear definition and stone-setter of how bait-and-switch the show really is. Hiyori used the tournament just to get close to Yukari, the leader of pretty much everything going on. She immediately pounces Yukari with all her strength, only for Yukari to pull swords from hammerspace faster than Hiyori's faster-than eye movement, to counter the assassination attempt like it was nothing.
Upon nearly being executed for pointing her blade at their leader, Kanami makes a profound decision.
Kanami, in a mere instant, barely tracked Hiyori's movement, sensed her conviction, and was able to respond in time to save her life with the personal excuse of wanting to fight her. Wanting a proper match with someone she admires as a potential rival is the initial self-justification, which very much sets the tone of the show:
Act on instinct now, assess later. (very samurai-like)
As the show progresses, we see the characters review what happened then and investigate why they did what they did in that moment. You will find that Hiyori's conviction and Kanami's gut instinct to trust conviction over rules of allegiances is very true to the nature of an experienced swordsman and samurai.
This anime was a very pleasant surprise when I watched it the first time, I saw all this happening, realizing it in realtime, and I was impressed. If the show keeps it up, I may write a full indepth analysis of all the altercations throughout the series.
Give this anime a shot, ignore it's nonsensical rating, don't associate it with schoolgirl battle anime, because it's not; it's more of an on-the-run and quest-for-truth type of story.
I don't get the eh reviews and eh scores i'v seen for this.
While the show isn't anything amazing or new. It does keep my attention throughout the the show so far.
If there is any complaint i'd have to say it's the animation. I'v seen better, But at the same time i'v seen worse. I tended not to pay it much attention and focus on the story.
They have some Yuri themed feels to the show. But it's nothing like Fluff Yuri shows we've seen in the past.
I found this to be just a very fun show to watch. It's no Violet Garden
but enjoy it.
So after coming watching episode 8. My opinion has greatly improved from the show just being a good show. I honestly am very much enjoying this.
While in my first review i did of this i barely went into detail. Here i want to go into more.
The show has two good things going for it " Story" & " Characters"
The story is really interesting and is what is keeping me hooked while watching. There are revelations that manage to be interesting but not be earth shattering reveals. I feel that this is one of the best ways you can keep a show. If every episode we were getting some new and dumb big revelation then the story would easily start to loose focus and the audience would start to loose patience.
The revelations about characters mothers i feel are one of the most interesting. I even surprisingly like the mothers from what little we've seen.
Finding out that one of the characters we've been seeing throughout the 8 episode is actually one of the MC's mother when she was 17 i really like.
I also kind of wish the mothers weren't actually dead in this. The mother that is appearing in the MC's dream is by far my favorite and hope we get more of her.
The characters are all pretty interesting. At least for the main cast of female characters. It would honestly be a pain for me to actually say who i disliked the most out of the group of girls.
The two most interesting are the Main MC ( Sounds redundant i know ) But i'd say a good contender would be the silver haired loli type character that shows little to know emotion. I find it interesting seeing her start to actually become independent and start to think for herself and make friends.
The action in this is not that great to be honest. And that's kind of an issue when one of the points of the show is to be centered on action. The sword fighting tends to be boring and i find myself the least interested in this area compared to when the characters are just talking and walking.
Something else i was wanting to mention but forgot in my original review is that the Music in this isn't bad at all. It's actually pretty nice. Not the greatest of this season but i still found myself listening to it.
The entire story is just getting better as the show goes on and that's how a story should be. If a story uses all of it's excitement at the start of the story, Then it will just be a down hill from there
I honestly recommend this show to anyone that has any interest in these types of stories.
I didn't think I would be hooked by some anime based on a bishoujo mobage. If you have seen some mobage adaptation like Ange Vierge, Battlegirl Highschool, Schoolgirl Strikers, etc, I understand your concern how Toji no Miko will likely be a bad adaptation.
Trust me, so far It's not, and will likely not be.
The animation and art is good. The characters are cute and charming. The OP, ED, and BGM are good too. Good enough so I don't have to skip the OP and ED. For the OP, I love the animation, as for the ED, I love both the pics and the song.
strength of this show is the enjoyment. Why?
The greatest flaw of bishoujo mobage adaptation is how they force the anime to develop 10+ girls in a cour. It didn't work, and won't work.
Worse, in battle-centered ones, they often add fight scene more than necessary. Fight scene that needlessly long for how it serve no purpose while neglecting world-building and character development. The prime example of this one is the third and forth season of Symphogear.
Toji no Miko has neither of aforementioned flaws and so far have been successful in maintaining a good episode composition. The ratio between character development, world-building, and fighting scene is good. You won't get tired of needlessly long conversation, nor unneeded fighting scene.
Last but not the least, the main character here, while somewhat naive and a sword-fight maniac, is not a pussy. She is brave, cunning, and strong. Most importantly, she is unexpectedly more mature than her age. Thus, you won't have a hard time watching 3 episodes of depressed protagonist fretting over little thing before starting to do his obvious role and duty. She is manlier than most male protagonist (not physically, of course).
Hiyori will fall for her eventually. hahaha
I hope you give this show a chance. It's worth your time.
Welp, have I never seen a series start-off so decently by until even the proceeding episodes made me question: "Why am I still watching this trash of a show?"
Immediately, Katana Maidens: Toji no Miko feels underwhelming, and basing off from people that have criticized it for the story plot to the animation, so much so that they have brushed it off being nonsensical about it. My two-cents worth is of no difference either, because what the series showcases now, it still doesn't feel like we're getting the gist of the story amidst its story-building aspect.
My thoughts are like of Studio Pierrot's quality when it
comes to handling the majority of Shounen anime we've come to love all these years, and sadly and bluntly this series can best be described as the start of 2018's version of Hand Shakers.
The "Sousei no Onmyouji" vibes come back with this series, (instead of a couple) but with girls acting as Toji, at first participating and representing their respective schools to earn the right of welding katanas and fighting off creatures known as Aradama that lurks around people and in the process, protecting them.
The problem with the story in its unfolding plot, as the story progresses so does the action, and oh boy, is it unworthy of its presence. I get it that it's a 2-cour, but to drag the story so far as to show us in this way: "We have the questions, you have to find the answer for yourself." is just plain bad straight out from the box. Just hope that the storytelling improves from here on out.
The main girl gang of 6:
Kanami Etou the bright and morning star but sometimes clueless,
Hiyori Juujou the demeanor and calm-but-composed that lusts for revenge,
Itomi Sayaka the chibi but strong Toji,
Yanase Mai the big sister,
Eren Kohagura and Kaoru Mashko, friends from the same school, equally strong together.
For now though, the series doesn't do a good job fleshing out the potentials of the main girl gang (at least though in actions but subtly), but eve with the antagonists who are hell bent on eliminating the protagonists, the clear part is in the good vs. evil, but more than that, the meat of the story doesn't so justice for the characters whose struggling in their own way. Another failed miss-opportunity here.
Welp (for the second time), did I ever though that Studio Gokumi handled this on the fact that both art and animation are mediocre at best, the use of CGI implanted made what was already done good worse. Maybe it is due to certain budgets for making this show seemed like what it was, but overall it was rough, cheap and fuzzy.
The OST here is nothing special, especially when you have the series CVs come to collab to make both OP and ED for the series. It's sounds alright I guess, but it's plainful, distressing moments are invoked into what the series is lacking the flare, and overall just gives it a bad reputation.
Should you continue? I guess if the sequences for the first few episodes are appealing then continue on, if not, this will be another easy drop for those whom have yawned over the boring yet lagging storytelling that leaves us in disorientation about how to take care of your own and the others around you.