Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox

Title: Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rating: 6.5/10

Summary: Hideyoshi is a normal modern middle-schoolgirl. However, she is one day transported to a world very similar to feudal Japan, with the exception that there are no men! There, she meets Oda Nobunaga whose ambition it is to unite all the land under her rule and gather together the “Legendary Crimson Armor”.

Review: Probably one of the anime that blinded sided me and made me eat my words from days long past (a few weeks). But who could blame me with such a perfect setup for heavy ecchi, moe, and no storyline? Thankfully I’m not one to complain about being proven wrong by an anime. Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox (or for some Battle Girls: Time Paradox) turned out to be a pretty decent anime to watch for the Spring 2011 season. It didn’t have nearly as much ecchi as I expected. Although the story wasn’t top notch and the feudal Japan scene is overplayed, I enjoyed watching it week after week. Admittedly it did take a few weeks for things to pick up and really get me interested. It was a nice change of pace from the other anime out during Spring.

I think one of the strongest points of Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox was the art. As I said in my first look it looks like a modern Inuyasha. Same setting except for the exclusion of demons. Then again, some of the characters were pretty scary when they got mad. The thing that stood out to me was the lack of CG. In anime nowadays you see CG being thrown left and right. Not saying that is a bad thing, and many anime do a good job keeping their CG in check by having it blend nicely with the hand drawn portions. The change of pace of having no CG was actually quite relieving. I’m a bit tired of seeing the obvious transformations and changes because let’s face it, a computer can never match with something hand drawn (riddled with errors or not). Even the fight scenes, where most anime tend to use CG, were completely done by hand. Everything had rich, bold colors which I love oh so much, and great animation. The choreography for the fights were exciting to watch along with the special effects. There weren’t many fight scenes which made the them all the more special. The anime utilized some great effects with moonlight, fire, and other such natural elements. The character designers were great and individualized. Each of the lords had their own unique armor and overall look. My personal favorite was Nobunaga. Not because of her quite revealing armor or being voiced by one of my favorite VA’s, but rather her cape. Everyone knows capes give you +5 cool points in an anime. Another thing I noticed was the improvement of quality for the final episode. Most anime tend to half-ass the final episode leaving obvious unfinished work. Yet another nice surprise by Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox.

The storyline was a lot better than I expected. However, that isn’t saying much considering I expected next to nothing when I first started. So to put things into perspective I’ll just give you a general explanation as to what I liked and disliked about the whole bit. Now of course there is the whole “all girls realm” and time traveling in general that has its quirks. Apparently in this fantasy realm filled with beautiful women the explanation of birth is given as such: babies come from bamboo. Obviously pfft. Not a big deal, and I just brushed it off to the side because I was already surprised the anime bothered to explain that minor detail. To avoid the whole time travel mystery the creators obviously just threw Yoshino into an alternate dimension. Again another tactic used to avoid the whole “That’s not how time travel works n00b” flaming (because everyone knows trolls are experts on time travel). Of course with such an amazing a different realm there is also the topic of falling in love. Pretty clear that everyone in the realm is a lesbian of some sorts. Some were a bit more forward than others. I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t take everything to the extreme as I thought they would. There was the single episode that basically had girls falling all over each other, but without that it wouldn’t be anime. It is pretty obvious to tell that the comedy wasn’t top notch, though it did have me chuckling here and there. Compared to a lot of other series out that season, I would say it did a pretty decent job. Would I recommend it as a comedy? Probably not. One thing that has stuck to my mind since this anime ended was the lack of backstory. You obviously can’t get much with only thirteen episodes and numerous new characters showing up each episode. However, there does seem to be some breathing room for a season two, one that may just focus on the character I was interested in the most: Shiro. What can I say? A talking male dog in an all girls realm peaks my curiosity. Back to what got me into the story other than my strange attraction to strong women, Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox actually became quite a bit darker in the later episodes. Common themes such as betrayal, life threatening situations, and theft gave the anime more impact. I wont say that it was all unpredictable, but it was nothing to scoff at either. When things started really heating up I began to enjoy the series quite a bit more. The fight scenes remained entertaining till the end, followed by a cute moral message. I’m not sure why I found such a linear, predictable, cliché anime so entertaining, but I did. I wanted to dislike the anime as much as the next average viewer, however, I found it quite difficult to do. It was something about the character models and cheesy humor that had me coming back.

The soundtrack was also pretty good. It reminded me quite a bit of Samurai Girls back a few season. Which makes sense since they took place in similar times in alternate dimensions. I guess the running theme also follows similar soundtracks. I don’t think I sat through the opening and ending every time, but I didn’t mind having it on in the background as I multitasked or simply too lazy to click the skip button because leaning over and clicking is hard work. I wouldn’t suggest checking out the OST though, it wasn’t all that great.

Final statements: I feel that my initial low expectations played a large roll in the score that I gave this anime in the end. It may even be the reason I consider it a low priority watch. Nonetheless I wont change my rating because I did enjoy this anime in the end. A decent story and good art seems to be the start of a good mix. Oh and also shows that you don’t need heavy ecchi in these types of anime to get ratings.

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