After experiencing the numerous trials encountered on her journey, Reina has grown as a warrior. Determined to take part in the Queen's Blade tournament, she arrives at the capital city Gainos, where Queen Aldora awaits. There gathers a number of beautiful warriors who, like Reina, are there for the Queen's Blade.
Amongst them is Reina's sister, Claudette, determined to restore the glory of House Vance; Tomoe and Shizuka, who are both fighting for their homeland of Hinomoto; Nanael who has been ordered to participate by the Archangel; and the subordinates of the Marshland Witch.
All these beautiful fighters who gather in Gainos have been one objective, to win through the Queen's Blade, the tournament to select the strongest, most beautiful queen. Who would ascend to that glorious throne? That can only be determined via battle.
So Queen's Blade is back with a second season. If you watched the horrendous first season, you're probably doubting whether you should start Gyokuza wo Tsugu Mono or not. Even I have to admit that I put off starting this season because I didn't want to sit through another 12 episodes of a jumbled up story that relied purely on fanservice. Thankfully, this is nothing like season 1. Pretty much the only similarity between season 1 and season 2 is that there's still an insane amount of fanservice. But Queen's Blade now isn't an anime that you want to laugh at for being so bad.
Gyokuza wo Tsugu Mono is...actually pretty good.
Instead of an almost episodic plot containing random fights that didn't help progression at all, this season has a solid storyline. Every episode, two Queen's Blade contestants battle it out, and one, of course, is eliminated. Progressing through this kind of story makes it tremendously better and enjoyable, because you're not just focused on Reina and the girls who want in her pants the whole time. Throughout each and every episode, you get a sprinkle of a lot of characters doing a ton of different things, which I believe is one of the biggest reasons why this season's story is great.
No, I'm not giving this a high score just for the boobs and ass (although the girls are admittedly super hot, which is obviously good for an ecchi anime). One of the best things about the art is that the story is actually set in a Medieval world this time around. I really adore the styles that were in the Medieval times, so I appreciate the gorgeous detail in the backgrounds and such to make it actually look like it belongs in that era.
Queen's Blade has outdone itself again. I fell in love with the soundtrack for Rurou no Senshi immediately. Surprisingly enough, I like Gyokuza wo Tsugu Mono's soundtrack even more. The opening is a beautiful piece of work, while the ending is upbeat and fun to listen to. Voice acting is fantastic as always. Voice acting was phenomenal, which is something I didn't expect out of a show that prides itself on fanservice. There was a particular scene where Tomoe cried out in despair, and to this day I remember it giving me a humongous chill. I'm still shocked that a simple scene in Queen's Blade actually made me shiver just because of the incredible voice acting. I'd also like to note that Miyu Takeuchi's voice was simply perfect for Aldra.
Thank God, Reina isn't just an annoying idiot anymore! You can tell how much she matured, and it's great. I found myself rooting for her this time, while last season there were plenty times where I wished she would die and Tomoe would take the spot as the main character. Reina isn't the only one who matured-- Tomoe ends up growing up due to an unexpected twist, Listy...well, Listy has something that happens to her that I can't say without spoiling, Nanael is still Nanael except a little (and I only mean a little) less stupid, and even Claudette becomes a likeable character since she's not a humongous bitch anymore. The characters aren't just certain stereotypes put in to please viewers, they actually have their own personalities now.
Even though the fanservice is still off the scale, I can't help but like this series. As a straight girl, I can't say the nudity really did anything for me, but it also didn't dampen my enjoyment of the show either. Most importantly, this season renewed my faith in Queen's Blade. Instead of dropping it after trudging through the two seasons like I initially thought I'd be doing, I definitely plan to watch any future installments.
If you're hesitating to watch this because you're thinking that it may be as atrocious as the first season, please give it a try. You'll see the vast difference after watching just one episode, and I'm sure you'll appreciate Gyokuza wo Tsugu Mono regardless of whether you liked Rurou no Senshi or not.
I agree that watching the first season of Queen's Blade may not be of much help while considering watching season 2; however, it is actually much better than one may have expected! Granted, there are LOTS and LOTS of fanservice (weird camera angles, jumping breasts, ripped clothes and suggestive poses), but if you don't mind fanservice (or if you even embrace it!) and give season 2 a chance, you'll see there are a lot of things that makes it worth to watch.
The story continues right where it was left on season 1 and the Queen's Blade tournament finally gets to its final stages. There
are many characters with their backstories being told or expanded. Also, there are many cool matches during the tournament and Aldra's (the current Queen) role makes the whole thing much more interesting. The overall atmosphere in this season feels much more medieval and fitting to the tone the show wants to set. It is worth to mention that Reina's character improves A LOT! I point this out since I believe she was one of the main reasons why I couldn't completely enjoy season 1, but after watching season 2, it all makes sense.
I don't wanna give any specific spoilers, so I will just say you shouldn't expect characters to be as shallow as in the first season since everyone has a role to play in the plot. So just give it a try and hopefully you'll love this season as much as I do!
This is a review of the Blu-ray version of "Queen's Blade: The Evil Eye" (Queen's Blade: Gyokuza wo Tsugu Mono) released by Media Blasters in 2011. It was viewed with English voice overs.
"Queen's Blade: The Evil Eye" falls into the category of fantasy action adventure with a significant degree of ecchi content. It is the sequel to “Queen’s Blade: The Exiled Virgin” (Queen’s Blade: Rurou no Senshi).
The age rating on the Blu-ray packaging is listed as "16 AND OLDER" while some other sites including this one list it at 17+. Scenes with female topless nudity occur in every episode.
Some episodes feature very suggestive poses or actions as well, but nothing overly graphic. The fantasy outfits that some of the females wear have little beyond the equivalent of thongs for their lower region, and copious amounts of skin are displayed often. There is combat violence in several episodes, and some deaths occur, but it isn't overly graphic.
Very brief history of the Queen's Blade characters:
When watching or reviewing Queen’s Blade, it's important to realize that this series did not take a traditional route from manga to anime. Queen's Blade started out as a series of game books and a popular line of PVC figures before that.
The show spans 12 episodes. While the original series introduced the contestants and covered the events on the way to the tournament in the capital city of Gainos, this series focuses on the Queen’s Blade tournament and some other events transpiring simultaneously. The first episode is a bit of a throw-away, as it spends a significant amount of time re-explaining information from the original series, and then focuses on the women finding lodging in the city. However, after this, the action heats up quickly, and most episodes feature one or more Queen’s Blade battles. Some of the combats are a bit predictable, but there are several surprises along the way. The episodes also show some behind the scenes actions taken by various characters while fights are transpiring or during the downtime between the battles.
The story in “Queens Blade: The Evil Eye” is significantly better than the simple, sometimes thread-bare tale that formed the basis for the original series. There are some unexpected character developments along the way. Some characters that were enemies in the past are forced to team up, and in a couple of cases, allies become enemies. The banter between some of the characters is very well-done, and the interaction between some of the combatants is very entertaining.
Nanael has a different role, now being a contestant rather than some kind of referee. This role suits her much better, and allows her serve as more than just comedy relief. Instead, multiple characters provide bits of comedy during this series.
There are some weaknesses in the story. At one point, Echidna is identified as one of the remaining characters vying for the title, but then she suddenly seems to be forgotten. The only plausible explanation is that she pulled herself out of the tournament due to some of the events that affect her and another character, but this is not clarified. After seeming to be built up as one of the stronger competitors in the early episodes, her absence in the later episodes seems like a glaring oversight. In addition, the Swamp Witch is never shown, so we never get any more insight into the character that sent the trio of Airi, Melona and Menace to enter the battle.
Some of what I wrote in my review of the first series is still applicable for this sequel:
The "Queens Blade" characters are among some of the most strikingly beautiful women to appear in anime. Although a few characters are younger, most of them appear to be adults, and the artwork and animation captures this very well. The outfits most of them wear are extremely skimpy, but most of these match the armors depicted in the original game books. As a result, I give them very high marks for staying true to the original source material.
Anyone that doesn't understand the reasons for fantasy-based outfits existing in a fantasy world should probably stay away. Please find a documentary on the history channel about period armors if that's what you're looking for. This isn't it.
The series introduces a few new characters, such as Aldra and Nyx. While Aldra is a potent villain, Nyx seems to serve little purpose beyond comedy relief, and being an early round loser in the tournament. I would have really liked to have seen Nyx developed more and not made into such a submissive character.
Some of the characters undergo significant changes from the first series. As mentioned, Nanael is now a contestant. Risty undergoes a drastic change and becomes a key character in the later episodes. Meanwhile, Airi and Melona also end up changing allegiances somewhat. Several other characters show varying degrees of character growth through the series. By the end, nearly all of them have undergone some measure of change, some much more significant than others.
The series still never explains why Airi is wearing a maid outfit, nor does it explain why a specter would bother to exert energy to cover herself in such an outfit, which is apparently what Airi does - when she gets weak, her clothes become transparent layer by layer.
Art / Animation: 8/10
Most of the characters, and animation are extremely well-done. The art seemed a bit weaker at times than the prior series, with slight variations to the character design, and at times, simpler animations. Most of the fight scenes are pretty well done, but too many of them end up with the “cloud of dust” situation where the climax of combat becomes masked by effects or objects that block our view of the characters. This is a cheap way to reduce the cost of animation, but it tends to leave the viewer unsatisfied.
Similar to the prior series, the angles often emphasize showing the female characters busts or butts. At times this can be distracting, but this is in the theme of the original game book art which tend to feature a lot of ecchi poses for the characters.
Sound / Voice: 9/10
The song during into credits is largely forgettable, but the rest of the audio is great. There are different versions of songs used during the end credits, and some of those are rather cute. The background music and sound effects during the episodes is good. The voice acting seems to have improved as well. I especially liked the English voice acting for Echidna and Claudette – the actresses for those do a fantastic job.
I was not sure if this would be able to live up to the quality of the first series, but it actually exceeded it. Between the improved story, some key changes to characters like Nanael and Risty, and some very entertaining scenes with intriguing characters like Echidna and Claudette, there was is a lot to enjoy here. At times, it seemed like the show might push the envelope on the ecchi content too far, yet it never crosses the line into something else. The result is a series that does a fantastic job of capturing the Queen’s Blade characters in all their glory.
Final verdict: 8/10
The high amount of ecchi content may be a turn-off for some viewers, which is unfortunate. Underneath all the eye candy lurks a very interesting and entertaining show. I’m amazed that the outlandish Queen’s Blade characters which first debuted in game books and then in PVC statues could become brought to life in such a highly watchable and enjoyable anime. This is a must see for fans of the Queen’s Blade franchise, and is worth seeing even for those that aren’t.
As I continue my newfound anime journey, I find myself constantly stunned at how adept these things are at conveying deep emotions seemingly out of nowhere. I started Queen's Blade like 99% of everyone else: for the *assets* of the characters and the promise of some questionable interpretations of the way gravity works. I stayed because of a great cast of characters with a huge range of motivations all interacting in unique--and oftentimes hilarious--ways.
The first season was a big mishmash of character introductions, like a series of early Marvel Cinematic Universe films compacted into twenty minutes and sprinkled with an overload of jiggly...ah...camera angles.
But The Evil Eye brings everything together in the same way Avengers does: by playing established personalities off each other flawlessly, with loads of comedic relief and some powerful moments of gravitas.
I know from experience that it takes serious skill to pull off tone shifts, but Evil Eye nails it time and again. Naneal specifically embodies what in my opinion sets this medium aside from everything else: she's carefree, has dubious motivations, and is driven by past failures and yet totally seizes the stage and outshines the other players by simply being herself. The fact she's a side character and not the protagonist really makes the interplay even better, but simultaneously she's written and voice acted so well she's more than just a joke.
My ONLY issue with Evil Eye (and Exiled Virgin too) is some at-times poor, choppy animation. I presume most of the budget was directed at "realistic" physics of anatomy, but it should have been directed into a few more movement frames during fights and general character motion. But you can't have it all.
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