By Dustin Cabeal
That title is a mouth full, and I can’t wait to butcher it on a future episode of Super S – Anime Podcast. All joking aside, the title is what got my interest in checking this anime out, which is probably why it's titled as such.
What made me stay until the end was the story and animation. On the story side of things, as much as it wants to pretend to be a ramped-up Samurai story, it’s a sports anime about sword fighting and the fighting techniques that go along with them. Some might miss that fact, but anytime a story goes into detail about the techniques being used, that’s more in line with a sport’s anime than a fighter. The other part is harem high school romance comedy.
This is the part that offers nothing new. It’s the typical storyline that follows a new guy at school and pits him against all these established bad ass girls/women, and he beats them all. For some reason, they then fall in love with him, as if to say all you have to do to land a woman is to show your superiority. Typically, I tap out early on shows that have this as their foundation, and that could very well be the case here. It’ll be how this storyline is handled that will determine it.
I will do one minor spoiler for this next part, it’s honestly nothing you won’t see coming nor will you be surprised by, but you’ve been warned.
The story begins with five women with swords having a meeting about a new transfer student. They establish that he’s a delinquent and that he was kicked out of his last school for a huge brawl. A brawl that left him quite injured. A sixth woman appears and warns them not to underestimate the man, and we see a flashback. We see this same flashback later, and it’s alluded that the two characters have a past, but the details are to be revealed. The leader, who wears a demon mask that is fucking awesome, says that she will “correct” the boy herself.
Meanwhile, our new guy just minds his business hoping everything goes peacefully until a dude dressed like a lady tells him to be careful. Then he notices that all, of the dudes, are dressed like ladies. Our main guy heads to homeroom where swords are promptly pointed at him, and they explain the rules of the school. Basically, boys need permission to do anything at the school which is why the other boys dress as women, so they can be free to do what they want but have to act like women at all times. Our new guy declines this option and decides to run out the clock on homeroom, which leads to the demon mask girl chasing him and them fighting for the rest of the episode. The harem element comes in when the dude asks her from some details on how she knew what his secret technique was called and another girl clubs him on the head, which leads to him kissing the demon mask girl.
The humor is great. Seeing all the dudes dressed as women worked for the setting. The main guy's antics were also funny, especially when he called out a girl’s underwear color. The plot is paper thin. They way they present it, is honestly a little confusing, but his options are freedom as a girl or none as a boy. The entire premise is set up to make this guy fight against it, which is fine. I have watched shows with worse setups, but again, not for very long.
The animation is a strange beast. At times it’s beautiful, and the characters are just amazingly designed, but when it comes to the comedy, it gets crappy and cheap looking. All the dudes that are dressed as women look the same. They even show them before and then after and it doesn’t match up very well. It’s unfortunate because I don’t care for this visual style of comedy. At the very least if the quality didn’t intentionally dip, I could tolerate it more. The fighting was decent and easy to follow. There wasn’t anything in particular that was awe-inspiring, but again, decent and entertaining.
I enjoyed this first episode for sure, but there are a lot of red flag warnings that have gone up and made me cautious about this series. I’m not sure if I’ll make it to the end or not, but for now, it’s got my time and my eyes, and that’s the most it can hope for at the moment.
Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism E.01