Title: Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Bride
Genre: Action, Comedy
Summary: Second season of Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls.
Review: I’m sure most of you who watched this season also watched the first season of Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls which I reviewed earlier. I was actually looking forward to this season because I didn’t expect it and I quite liked the first season. It was ecchi but I could get past it with the great artistic censorship instead of the overplayed white light or black screen. The story was also pretty decent and the action was epic. Hyakka Ryouran also had some great character development Unfortunately the second season didn’t follow through with the same expectations I had from the first season. Not only was it overly ecchi once again (probably worse-so), the story was pretty lack-luster and the final battle didn’t catch my eye as much as the first season. However, it did still have some great art and soundtrack so it wasn’t a complete loss.
I’m focusing on the story since the art and soundtrack didn’t change all that much. Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Bride started off poorly to say the least. It was kind of nice getting back into the swing of things and seeing all the characters again, but it didn’t have the same impact of as many other anime out there. The hook was using the art to show off the girls and try to bring a more ‘relatable’ feel by having them run a maid café to make up for lost funds. It wasn’t the worst story and it gave me a chuckle that they brought about paying for repairs after a devastating fight with Gisen. But that’s all the story was worth, a chuckle. They decided to continue with it for far too many episodes than needed. While they did introduce the extremely powerful Dark Samurai, it didn’t make up for the amount of pointless episodes we had to endure. Of course the Dark Samurai didn’t seem to be that threatening considering they left the group alone to power-up for month and put up a bigger fight. I was actually expecting a comeback story where the team loses in a terrible defeat and need to train in secret to combat the new ruling Dark Samurai. Instead they just continued with their café for several episodes while one of the Dark Samurai became their best customer and chatted with them casually. It wasn’t until halfway through the season do you realize who the true threat was.
Once the actual story started things got a little better because there were quite a few more fights. There was minor character developments here and there but nothing that significantly changed the plot. It was a bit sad to see so many new characters since the start of the anime that didn’t get more than a fifteen minute spotlight, if that. None of the Dark Samurai really had a backstory about where they came from, who they were, or how they became a group. I use the term ‘group’ lightly because they fought amongst themselves a lot to either combat boredom or let out a bit of steam. However, the one thing that annoyed me the most were the pointless characters. I forgot how annoying Kanetsugu could be. They tried to make you sympathize with her by making her seem like she was truly hurt by everyone’s taunting, but when you think about it they don’t do it unprovoked. She screams for attention and does the most irritating things to get it. The most pointless character, however, had to be the return of Gisen. I never understood her role in the entire season other than dropping tidbits of information about the samurai bride. The series also decided to cop-out and give everyone these master samurai powers because of the new idea of samurai bride becoming the ultimate fighter. I would have liked the slow buildup of an epic fight like in the first season but Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Bride didn’t deliver. It hurts me to say that I wish I left this series off in the past and didn’t hope for a good follow up for an ecchi action anime.
Final statements: I wish this season turned out better than the first but I should have seen this coming. I feel any anime that have an ecchi theme will always slowly get worse as seasons go on. The characters that caught my attention in the first season became stagnant and made the show difficult to watch. The first half Samurai Brides also had a thrown together plot that should have ended much earlier. It wasn’t until the last three episodes when Samurai Bride started to get a little interesting, only to cut itself short and end with a whimper. If you have watched the first season, stick with that and consider this one an avoid watch.