It’s time for a new season of crap. Thankfully, Spring is looking to be decidedly less crappy than the past couple of seasons! We can’t promise you that we won’t make some bad picks (we’re looking at you, Rideback) but here’s the first installment of our Spring 2009 previews.
Exactly as stupid as I expected. Capcom’s series of seriously campy brawlers featuring incredibly flamboyant versions of famous Warring States Period generals and a minimal number of girls becomes a seriously campy cartoon. You know you’re in for an intellectual television program when the show opens with a pretty dude clad in bright blue armor riding into battle on a horse with reins and a saddle styled like a motorcycle, spouting Engrish and wielding six swords at once. If you like shows about guys yelling at each other and shooting outfit-coordinated energy auras, you are in the right place, because that’s basically all that happens in this episode. Characters appear, spout their trademark lines from the games, then fling themselves into the sky like Dragonball and exchange completely ineffective blows. Make no mistake: this show is pure fanservice.
Amusingly, while the art style still isn’t anything particularly interesting, the show manages to look a lot more attractive and feature much more fluid animation than the animated sequences in some of the games. And there are a few moments where the animators get to play up exactly how campy and stupid the whole thing is, but that won’t sustain it for very long unless you’re like already a fan of the characters. And since they’re reusing character gags within the same episode, I figure even that will wear out its welcome before these twelve episodes are up.
Actually even stupider than I expected. Not that I was expecting much; the show’s based on a series of cheesecake gamebooks, so you can subject your fellow tabletop game nerds to your particular favourite flavour of Japtoon jugs during your nerd sessions. Oh, and the animation studio and staff involved all primarily have pornography, Plastic Little and Ikkitousen seasons to their names. But Queen’s Blade manages to slide under even the low-bar that Ikkitousen set.
This show’s about as close as you can get to pornography while still meeting cable/satellite television standards. The heroine spends more time topless than not in this episode, as she battles a monster-girl with giant Jello rabbit-ears. Said monster-girl uses her prehensile hair to squeeze her breasts and attack by lactating acid. I repeat: lactating acid. Oh, and there’s also some bullshit involving the heroine’s creepily-possessive sister and a
bandit treasure hunter and some angel girl who always seems to arrive late with the exposition and show us her underwear. Whatever, nobody’s here for the plot.
Every shot that’s not filled with tit is filled with ass, and the heroine pisses herself in terror twice in one episode (take that, Ikkitousen)! She finally defeats the monster girl by slamming her own, now-armored tits into monster girl’s, causing monster’s tits to balloon to enormous sizes from the acid back-up (I guess?) and then explode in a massive fireball. It’s probably worth watching this episode just for that scene, though I don’t think I’ll stick around for any more.
While most Macross fanboys ate up Macross Frontier like nude Lynn Minmay illustrations, we here at Colony Drop recognized it as the pandering dreck that it actually was. Kawamori is something of an exquisite hack, who’s managed to put his hands into a couple of great projects (Macross Plus, Macross 7 Dynamite), but the hope is that the influence of Thomas Romain tempers whatever batshit crazy garbage Kawamori tries to throw into this cartoon about Bigfoot Basketball — basketball with giant robots.
If one thing is certain after watching the first episode, it’s that this series will be absolutely gorgeous. I’m not just talking about animation quality, as that can always change as budgets fluctuate, but the design work throughout is top notch. From the Bigfoot mecha with cars for cockpits, to the detailed city backgrounds, to the eclectic character designs, everything here oozes style and it’s clear Romain wanted the series to have a unique look.
The show isn’t without its downsides — there’s the obligatory moé girl (and she’s in a wheelchair — sugoi!), the big-breasted sidekick a la Yoko from Gurren Lagann (but this one is brown) and the main character Dan looks like he walked out of a generic Shonen Jump series. It’ll be interesting to see if they manage to pull off something interesting or if it turns into a pandering suckfest like Kawamori’s last project, Macross Frontier.