Hyakka Ryōran: Samurai Girls (Hyakka Ryōran Samurai Gāruzu)

Samurai Girls takes place in an alternate version of Japan known as Great Japan. Not only is it an alternate version of Japan but it’s also an alternate timeline where the shongunate is still active and has remained somewhat isolated from the rest of the world after Japan’s defeat by the US in World War II.

At the center of it all is Buou Academic School, an academy where children of military families are trained to become samurai warriors. The academy is the center of a power struggle between Yukimura Sanada and Matabei Goto of the student council that rules the school. Muneakira Yagyu is the owner of the Yagyu Dojo which is located at the academy and when he returns, he’s dragged into the struggle between the 2 factions. But it doesn’t end there for Muneakira, he also has a mysterious girl named Jubei fall out of the sky and into his arms, claiming to be related. Now Muneakira is at the center of the power struggle and has the duty of taking care of the mysterious girl and finding out who she is and the bond they share.

The 1st season was more of a traditional harem show with some fighting. A lot of fighting actually between the girls and against the ones who oppose them. They had the right amount of background on the characters and interaction between them to make them memorable and give you that character you want to follow through the show but the time on camera is divided almost equally vs. having the main girl and just a bunch of others.

The 2nd season was awkward as hell. The dojo was facing money issues so they turned it into a maid cafe. Luckily this was not the whole focus of the 2nd season but that did make it a bit awkward. Add in the fact that Jubei lost her other half and they had to try to get it back and it really did feel like it was a different show from the 1st season. In the end, the girls were still fighting over Muneakira and fighting a force that threatened to destroy all of Japan.

The characters of the show aren’t much different from the characters you’d find in a harem anime. They all have distinct personalities and different body types, etc. and fight over the leading male with one character who has a bond with him. In this case there are actually 2 characters with such a bond. The art has a heavy cel shaded style, something you don’t see in many anime. This may be the only one I can think of right now that has this style. The music is very fitting for the show, kind of a samurai type feel to it, including scene changes. The backgrounds and everything in the show represent the era almost perfectly, well not that I was around for the Edo period. The show is listed as ecchi though it doesn’t have too many of those scenes.

This is one of my favorites, I don’t know if it’s just because the art and style, I really like the heavy cel shaded style, or the show itself. But it seems to constantly be moving and adding new dynamics to the show. The show won’t be for everyone but you can at least enjoy the art style. I would say I enjoyed the 1st season more than the 2nd but still enjoyed both.



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