In a land where a queen is chosen every few years solely by winning a tournament, there can be no short supply of formidable opponents. For one woman warrior however, an early defeat clearly shows her that she is lacking in experience though she may be bountiful in body.
Fortunately, while defeat could spell one's doom, her life is saved by a powerful stranger. But unfortunately for this savior, less-than-pure motives and shrewd family members mean her reward is a prison cell. Her release is prompt when the unseasoned warrior she saved, tired of her current lifestyle of nobility, sets off to prove herself.
Story: 5 (what you end up getting is a half hearted attempt at putting a script together.)
Art: 8 (high artistic accuracy to the original artwork is very rare especially at this high of detail.)
Sound: 7 (Excellent voice work is somewhat hindered to a sub-par manuscript.)
Character: 9 (Sure it might not sound all that original on paper, but...)
Enjoyment: 10 (Pure proof that sex sells, why mess with an age old secret.)
OVERALL: 39/50 = 7.8 (Love it or hate it, this is just an anime made strictly for the fans.)
According to MAL users via word of mouth, this anime is pure 'crap' because it appears to have
no story. To be technical in accordance to MAL's scoring system, the 'story' only counts as 20% of the 'overall' score. That is if the 'reviewer' consideres a non-wieighted scoring system. So that means a VERY poorly told story can still amount to mounds of fun and entertainment if the other elements of the show are in good standing. Such is the case for Queens Blade: Rurou no Senshi.
___What Is Queens Blade___
Before we go in to great detail about the show, a LARGE majority of the viewing audience have no idea what the hell they are watching. Queens Blade is basically an expansion to the Lost Worlds universe. Lost Worlds is a pen and paper game designed by Alfred Leonardi and originally published in 1983 by Nova Game Designs. Currently, Flying Buffalo owns the rights to the Lost Worlds universe and is based in Arizona.
The most current series of books, of all female fighter-types, under the title of Queen's Blade, published from late 2005 by Hobby Japan. These 19 books, have generally proved to be just new ecchi illustrations for existing combat matrices (from other Lost World books), rather than "new" characters. As of December 2007 a second series, Queen's Gate, was introduced, featuring characters from Japanese visual media, and in October 2008 Hobby Japan announced four further characters in a sub-set of the original series. (source: Wiki)
Each character book consists of 50 illustrations with the specific character in various positions according to the context of the text (i.e. dodge, thrust, uppercut, receive damage, etc). Needless, to say there's a lot of clothes shredding and exposure in the artwork.
The story in the anime is loosely based on the campaign book: "Queens Blade Beautiful Fighter Retsuden [Adventure Record of Nomadic Soldier]" (in japanese クイーンズブレイド 美闘士列伝 「流浪の戦士冒険記」) The campaign is basically an alternate rule set and conditions from the normal Lost Worlds books. The show tries to follow over a dozen different girls on their attempt at becoming the queen of the land. That itself is a recipe for disaster as there are so many characters to introduce in only 12 short episodes.
It tries its best to get everyone up to date with the players but it ultimately falls short as people come and go in a blink of an eye. So what you end up getting is a half hearted attempt at putting a script together. And for a rushed script, it isn't completely terrible. It just lacks the proper back story to get new viewers up to date to the Queens Blade universe. So it all just looks like alot of tits and ass and no fluff.
A best way to approach the storyline is to not compare it with other anime of the genre, but instead, compare it to those silly ending cut scenes in any fighting game. The main emphasis of the fighting game, is the mechanics, entertainment, and addictiveness. Such is the case of Queens Blade.
The characters art books were all designed and created by well known Doujin Artists (Mibu Natsuki), Key Animators (Kaneko Hiraku), and Character Artists (HIsayuki Hirokazu). Over a dozen artists conglomerated to make this series a sucess. And it shows very well through the various merchandising and even through the television series. Each character is drawn in painstaking detail thanks to the experienced artists of ARMS. You can't help but give props to the minimal loss of detail to the characters. Sure they show alot of skin but their outfits are very elaborate compared to the typical full body armor that most viewers are used to. Observing the high artistic accuracy to the original artwork is very rare especially at this high of detail.
The backgrounds, and static environments are just as good as well. You can actually experience their improvement over the years from Mezzo, to Elfen Lied, to Ikkitousen, and now Queens Blade. Even the background characters like soldiers and citizens have a high amount of detail, only a close minded fool would find flaws in it. Mad props, but my only gripe with the art value of this show is that some of the action scenes appear to be hindered by limited frame rates and 'skippy' attacks. You will know what i mean when you see it. It doesn't happen a lot, but it happens enough to notice it.
Another obvious visual effect is the gratuitous use of oppai (boob exposure). Its really there for fanservice and does its job very thoroughly. They show you alot right away and before you know it, if you were like me, it will most likely become second nature and doesn't feel obtrusive after a while. If you have a fear of boobs and/or get agitated when you see them in your tv shows, this is a good vice to get you accustomed to seeing massive use of oppai. I mean, what is so bad about boobs that would entice people to get angry and pull out their pitchforks and torches? This is the 21st century AND it's japan, oppai isn't going to go away. If you want to rage over a set of tits go watch EIKEN....
It appears that they tried to spare no expense with this anime, from top name anime production (ARMS is a member of Association of Japanese Animations), they also enlist an A-list cast of seiyū. Rie Tanaka, Mamiko Noto, Aya Hirano, and the list goes on. Their experience really shows in how they fit their voices fit their characters perfectly. Of course, with some of the more monotone seiyū (Rie Kugimiya and Yuko Goto specifically), its hard to visualize the characters when all you can think of is Shana or Mikuru. Bet that as it may, their excellent voice work is somewhat hindered to a sub-par manuscript. Its not the voice actors fault really so that is more of a story issue more than a sound issue.
Music and sound effects are of course top notch and really associate to the scenes very well. A lot of orchestral overtures and dramatic music to fill the fight scenes and such. Each battle rumbled with ferocity and battle cries echoed throughout my house. This is truly a show that is best viewed on a big screen tv with your 5.1 booming at a level 11.
Throughout my review, I've been harking over the great quality of the characters on all levels. Artistic quality is 2nd to none. The voice cast is something one can only describe as "a true all-star cast." And the originality can only come from the best minds of the anime/doujin world. It's amazing how they can take a simple super power (like shape shifting or super strength) and completely sex it up. Sure it might not sound all that original on paper, but to recognize the complexities of drawing 50 illustrations of the same character, incorporating 20+ special moves with strengths and weaknesses, heights, speeds, movement and many other things to fully make a character its own and have it balanced enough to have anyone win any fight(in reference to the combat books), really adds depth and detail to these relatively static characters.
The aren't just some pair of boobs that just became popular overnight, it's been a steady, increasing fanbase that has been building for the past FOUR years. From an extremely simple pen and paper game that any one can play (just as long as they can read), to the 100's of Queens Blade merchandise (including artbooks, doujins, over 50 figures, etc), to an anime series. Those who still cant understand how people can like this show, go look at all the anime merchandising websites and observe how many Queens Blade items are constantly sold out. Some people don't know there are as much (if not more) Queens Blade fans than there are Touhou or K-On! fans. Love it or hate it, this is just an anime made strictly for the fans.
Ah yes, good old fashion Queen's Blade. You know, I had considered writing a review about 5 minutes into the first episode but I have a code of honour. I cannot write a review unless I have seen the whole thing, and so I have watch the whole thing so that I may write this review... Would someone please come to my house and stab me several times in the face?... No of course not, you damned "sanctity of human life" pricks. Let's get this over with.
Story 1/10: In a world where metal ore is extremely rare crafting armor has become a very expensive task,
most blacksmiths can only forge tiny bits of armor such as a bra without going bankrupt and only a few nobles can purchase these armors. Enter Artorius, an aspiring young blacksmith with a dream, to acquire the funds to craft a full practical suit of armor by descending into a hellish underworld... Alright alright! The real plot is a bunch of female fighters have to go to the Queen's Capital to take part in a tournament that will crown the next Queen of apparently the whole world, the queen of course being the strongest and most beautiful (apparently you can be the strongest warrior in all the land, but if you're ugly you can just piss off, I can't be the only who thinks my plot idea was better?). As you can tell the plot is kinda shit, it does serve one purpose though, get a bunch of chicks to knock their armor off in combat and then jiggle around a lot, yeah the plot is a thinly veiled excuse to have half naked girls fighting each other, it's like a fifteen year old got a mad lib (adventure-fantasy addition) and every word he used was tits and ass, and they decided to make an anime out of it.
Art 3/10: Let's see. Generic template used for all the character so they not only look almost exactly the same compared to each other but all to 80% of all other anime characters in general? Check. Speed lines during action scenes because the guys using CG to make the whole show got lazy? Check. Absolutely nothing unique about anything in this show? Check. They made the tit's and ass look good I suppose which in all fairness is pretty much the only thing the anime is about so that keeps it from getting a 1/10 but it's still not very good, next topic.
Sound 1/10: First stop the music, it's incredibly generic to the point where you don't even realize it's there, it's not terrible mind you, it's just kinda there. It doesn't help that a lot of the time the overall mood of the song being played doesn't fit the scene well over half the time, this is what I like to call "lazy placement," they knew they needed background music so they got some standard fantasy tracks and slapped them where ever they thought it was too quiet. As for the voice acting, the dub is atrociously bad, I've seen fan dubs where every character (of both gender) were voiced by the same guy in his basement, don't watch it... Then again the sub isn't much better, it's one of the only subs where the fact I don't understand the language stopped me from realizing how bad the acting actually is. Maybe the acting could have been better if the writing wasn't so pathetic, I haven't seen writing this bad in quite a while, at least it does kinda distract from how bad the entire show is by being so bad you laugh at it.
Character 2/10: Actually some of the character development is fairly good, like when the main character witnesses some horrendous poverty and famine within her own lands and decides to do everything within her... Nope, never mind, they kind of forgot about that like a minute later. See the problem is the characters actually did have a lot of opportunity for character development and depth but it usually only last for like half an episode and then the character seems to completely forget about it and continue on happy as a clam with no problems. Probably because people would have a hard time fapping to character depth and thus just continue to focus on tit's and ass. I swear they should have just called this show "tit's and ass with sword." I give characters higher than 1 for have potential but not by much for doing fuck all with it.
Enjoyment 1/10: You know what I could be watching that's better than this show? Fucking anything! This show is porn without being as fun to watch as porn, I have plenty of place to watch actually porn Queen's Blade, if I was in the mood to jerk off I'd go there, not watch your half-assed attempt at making a hentai you can make more money off of by claiming it to be a real show so it's shown on TV. I watched it online so you made no money off me what-so-ever to begin with so eat my shit.
Overall 1/10: What more is there to say? It's a completely crappy show that had a minimal amount of potential with the characters that it never exploited like it was afraid that it might raise to at least the level of mediocrity, like it's somehow allergic to not being complete shit that someone who isn't aware of any actually porn site can jerk off to. Bad show Queen's Blade, ya should have just gone full out porn, at least then you could hide behind the excuse that the show is just meant to be porn and not reviewed seriously.
I would not normally write a review for a series like Queen's Blade, because I feel like it is not a series you need to read reviews on. It's either your cup of tea, or it isn't. However, reading through existent reviews, I feel like this show isn't getting the credit it deserves. Now, when people are saying this show is nothing more than giant boobs, bigger boobs, not clothes, and violence, they aren't kidding. This is pretty much as close to hentai as anime can get. However, I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you I would certainly go insane if every
show I watched was a mismatch of psychological jargon and plot development like Ergo Proxy or Boogiepop. Sometimes, you need a show like Queen's Blade or Ikkitousen, that has no plot at all. What it does have, is incredible art; studio ARMS has yet to fail me. Aside of Nitro+, they are probably the most polished studio out there right now. Queen's Blade is beautifully animated, and that said, the action sequences are pretty freaking awesome. Any action fans will be pleased with this. I haven't seen action scenes I enjoyed this much since I watched Karas. All said, Queen's Blade is great to watch if you don't really want to pay attention. It's pretty much plotless, but for something in this vein of anime, that is probably for the best.
Right off the bat I have to say this a guilty pleasure of mine and I enjoyed watching this a lot. After seeing clips and trailers online, I wrote it off as an immature, stupid anime that just served as an excuse to show a lot of nudity.
After watching the first couple of episodes, this was definitely confirmed (the protagonist has her clothes melted by ooze that shoots from an opponent’s breasts literally in the first scene, by episode 3 you’re watching what is basically a lesbian sex scene in a goo pit). However, I found myself thoroughly entertained, amused, and laughing all
the way to the end of the series.
I compare Queen’s Blade to an ecchi equivalent of a Michael Bay movie. It is not subtle. It is over-the-top, dumb, shallow, and lots of fun. It does not make any attempt to be anything else and makes it clear up front what kind of anime this is with no shame.
I found myself more and more awed with how blatant the camera would focus in on a character’s breasts or buttocks during a conversation, the obvious suggestive posing, the excessive nudity, the ridiculous outfits, and the exploitative fight scenes. Let’s not get into “milk” spilling. It is like the creators wanted to see how far they could go creating an anime without it being classified as hentai.
Other anime sneaks in this kind of fan service sparsely. The result usually makes me roll my eyes, especially in serious anime where this feels out of place and cheap. In Queen’s Blade, they turn this to 11 and stay there from beginning to end. It literally had me laughing at parts as characters were introduced with costumes consisting of less and less material.
I also have to point out the great character design. Yes, they’re all excessively provocative and leave little to the imagination, but you can’t fault them for lack of originality. The aforementioned breast-acid girl, Melona, has hair shaped like hands that cover her breasts. The hands are ‘alive’ and operate Melona’s breast to aim and fire acid (WTF? I couldn’t stop laughing). Where else can you find that kind of creativity in an anime? Another character, Echidna, has a living snake that serves as her underwear with obvious phallic innuendo. Again, this series has no shame and it is impressive.
It is this kind of character design that elevates the characters and story for me that would otherwise be somewhat shallow. The premise of a fighting tournament with main characters traveling place to place fighting new opponents could be boring, but coupled with the ridiculous character designs and fight scenes, I became invested.
I was actually interested in protagonist Leina’s journey as she had to learn to become a fighter while traveling the world and meeting all of these wacky people. She has a weird relationship with her sisters, particularly Elina, which I found entertaining. I also liked clumsy angel Nanael, in other anime I find this type of character irritating, here, she fits in. Later episodes focus in on the villains hanging out together, which is interesting to watch and funny.
Another thing I totally appreciated was the lack of male characters. I have a particular bias against harem-style anime and the tropes that come along with them. I would have definitely not been able to watch this series had it been about a male character with all these women throwing themselves at him while he did his damnedest to turn them down for no logical reason. Having a female dominated cast (I think the only male with significant screen time is that one boy) is one of the strengths of this series.
Since the main draw here is the nudity and girls, the series could have easily cut corners on production value. They did not, and for what it is, Queen’s Blade has above average animation and sound. The art is very good, the female characters are attractive, and the action scenes are well done. The music wasn’t bad either. I had the theme stuck in my head for weeks. Voice acting is good and the English dub was also very passable.
Although I can appreciate a dumb, over-the-top action film, that doesn’t mean a mean an anime or film can be good just by being overly bad or stupid. Using Michael Bay as an example again, a lot can go wrong with the execution (first Transformers: entertaining, the rest: bad). I usually hate anime like Queen’s Blade, but in this case I feel they execute the premise very well with high production value. Queen’s Blade is the type of absurd that I have no problem getting in to.
Queen’s Blade is definitely not for everyone. I can understand why a lot of people probably can’t get over how stupid and fan service-oriented it is. It is a guilty pleasure of mine and I’m not even sure if it intentionally was supposed to be as funny as it was. But in with the right mindset, I think you can enjoy Queen’s Blade and have a lot of fun watching it.
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