Shin Koihime Musou continues into the 3rd season with Otome Tairan. This time, they are out on a mission to find three very important yet nearly impossible ingredients to find.
The series starts out with a scene of Choujou and Kashin where Choujou called Kashin a traitor and forced her to take a strange pill, Nyanko-tan, which will turn Kashin into a cat if an antidote is not found. But like in any “curse”, there always lies an antidote that is hard to obtain. In this case the three necessary ingredients are; the persistence herb atop Mt. Taishan, the miraculous Koutou pill held by Koutou’s Son family, and the belly button lint of a Nanban elephant found only in Nanban.
Like many mystery/suspense/adventure movies, this is a very common theme and storyline to keep the viewers intent on finding out whether or not the antidote is found. Now with all shows, we all know to keep endings happy, they are bound to find a cure but it’s really the journey that makes each of these movies with similar plots differ.
Shin Koihime Musou – Otome Tairan has taken an all female cast, most of them being extremely well-endowed or overly top heavy dressed in beautifully colorful outfits which is usually the case in female anime characters. With the overflow of estrogen or rather the lack of testosterone, some scenes appear to be sexually suggestive even though they are all women but it can also be interpreted that they are just a really close family as all of them watch out for one another.
As they set out on their journey in search of these three items, they are met by obstacles to prevent the smooth journey everyone hopes for subconsciously. A journey without obstacles would be an uneventful one and one not worth writing about or producing into an anime. The girls are met with opposition, adventure, battles, etc. But most importantly, there is an element of humor. Even though they are on a serious mission, we find ourselves laughing more than we would expect with such a storyline. For example, episode 4 is dedicated to “Gien Falls in Love at First Sight” without any reference to their mission to save Kashin from permanently turning into a cat.
We are all too familiar with mystery stories where the protagonists need to find the antidote to produce a happy ending but if you are looking for something a bit more light hearted, Shin Koihime Musou – Otome Tairan is a great option for you!
Akuto Sai had great aspirations in life: He'd just passed the notoriously difficult test to transfer into the Constant Academy of Magical Arts and was aiming to become a high priest, an occupation reserved only for the most dedicated and righteous. Always courteous to everyone, he aimed to change society and steer the world in a better direction. He had even acquired a great asset by befriending Junko Hattori, a member of the well respected Suharaist family tasked with the protection of the empire for generations, as soon as he set foot in the city.
Today's his first day, after his trip to the school with Junko, he is taken to meet the artificial spirit Yata-Garasu with the other transfer students. Its purpose is to check everyone's physical status... and to let everyone know what their future job will be. Historically, almost everyone gets the job they want to do in the first place, so Akuto steps forward with confidence. However, after some hesitation and an awkward silence, Yata-Garasu announces without a doubt that Akuto Sai's future occupation is undoubtedly going to be... Demon Lord?!
With the whole school in a panic, the rumor that Akuto Sai's future occupation will likely involve leading an army of demons in an attempt to destroy the world, just like the previous self-proclaimed Demon Lord did a hundred years ago, spreads like wildfire. When his homeroom teacher introduces him to the class and everyone's general reaction is to scream at the top of their lungs, Akuto realizes he's got to do something to convince them that he has no intention of becoming the next threat to humanity. First on the agenda, it would be wise to try and survive the frenzied attack of the enraged Junko as she rightfully feels betrayed that the aspiring high priest she made a pact with is actually a mass murderer in the making. What follows is his daily struggle to defy his destiny, even though everything about him, his actions and his surroundings point to one thing and one thing only: There's no way you aren't the next Demon Lord, Akuto Sai!
With Takashi Watanabe, director of Slayers and Shakugan No Shana, at the helm, things are already looking up for the hotly anticipated Ichiban Ushiro No Daimao, the animated adaptation of the light novel series by Shotaro Mizuki. Add to this Takashi Kondo of Seitokai No Ichizon fame voicing Akuto Sai, and you know you have the perfect voice for a harem anime's manly protagonist! The anime is a savant blend of harem, romance, comedy, fantasy, school life and action with a colorful array of memorable characters, each with their own personal agendas, personalities and appeal. The delightful diversity of girls (and hair colors) on display is sure to please anyone's tastes in young high school beauties.
Indeed, there's no denying that the anime revels in its abundance of fan service and proudly tags itself as a harem anime, but there's definitely more to it than just the gratuitous (and, dare I say, as an unabashed fan of the genre, oh-so-delicious) detailed flashes of exotic creased panties and half-naked antics. Even though the characters follow known stereotypes, I strongly believe the greatest series are born when they know how to take familiar personalities and take them to new horizons, which is something Ichiban Ushiro No Daimao does with great success. To try and flesh out my point (pun intended), let's have a glance at some of my own favorite characters.
Akuto Sai: As the school's center of attention, he would like nothing more than to prove to everyone that he is actually a well-meaning, all-around good guy, but it seems anything he does becomes warped and gets misunderstood, which ends up solidifying everyone's belief that he's mad with rage and ill-intent. It doesn't help that he has little to no control over his overwhelming magical powers, leading to one too many unwanted craters (and strategically ripped clothes) on the school's grounds. Is he really all that inoffensive, though? I'd advise not to be around when he's being cornered.
Korone: Noticing Akuto Sai's notoriety and bad reputation, the school's headmaster asks for the government to send someone to protect and observe him 24/7. What came of this request is an extremely advanced female android, known as a “Liladan”, that calls herself Korone (presumably a reference to the chocolate-filled cone-shaped pastry of the same name). Although she initially appears as the typical emotionless robot girl type, she quickly starts showing a tongue-in-cheek mischievous side that quite honestly makes her the single most hilarious and fresh character of the anime. Subtle stabs, intentionally awkward sexual tension gags and general Akuto teasing are her specialties, always delivered with perfect timing and a straight face.
Fujiko Etou: As the ravishing, popular, respected and well-endowed head of the girls' dorms, she convinces Akuto that she is the sole person who truly understands him. Unfortunately, she is in fact the leader of an underground movement that uses black magic toward evil ends. She tries to take control of Akuto's mind so that she may use his Demon Lord powers for her own benefit. Once her true personality comes to light, we realize that she's a lot closer to the way we'd expect a Demon Lord to behave, she even comes with all the lovable quirks of the trade, such as a holier-than-thou attitude, uncontrollable laughter, paper-thin composure, getting her evil plans completely and utterly foiled and masturbating to the thought of Akuto demonstrating his magical powers on lowly thugs... Wait, what? What kind of Demon Lord takes a liking to the target of her evil plans?
Hiroshi Miwa: Every evil overlord needs minions for advice and to carry out their biddings, and Hiroshi enthusiastically stepped up to the task of becoming Akuto's first henchman. Except he never asked for one. After hearing of this Demon Lord and witnessing his brilliant (unwilling) declaration of war speech mere seconds after stepping into his class, Hiroshi couldn't help but be entranced by Akuto's manly spirit and openly declared his will to devout his life to the new overlord. The way he constantly misunderstands Akuto's sayings to have evil undertones never ceases to amuse.
With an intriguing premise, a great set of characters (that I only covered a fraction of!) with untold stories to tell, well crafted action sequences, magic spells eye candy, expertly delivered humor and a healthy dose of ecchi for the closet perverts in us, Ichiban Ushiro No Daimao plays all its cards right to be an undeniably entertaining ride. So give it a shot, and witness the birth of a Demon Lord!
Note: Anime may induce a strong urge to know more about sea cucumbers.
On Wednesday May 19, Bandai Entertainment announced that it will be licensing the two popular Haruhi spinoffs The Meloncholy of Haruhi-chan and Nyoron Churya-san. Haruhi-chan is a spin off of Puyo’s “official” gag manga of the light novels that was started in 2007 and presents a humorous chibi take on the series. Nyoron Churya-san is also an adaptation of another popular gag manga by Eretto which stars a chibified and childlike Tsuruya and all of her antics. Both anime spinoffs premiered on Kadokawa’s official YouTube channel in both raw and subtitled formats last year and will be shipped out on two DVDs next summer. The first season of the Meloncholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is available for streaming on Crunchyroll, and Yen Press announced last February that it will be publishing an English version of the Haruhi-chan manga.
* * * * * Akiba Pedestrians Allowed Once Again
On Monday May 24, Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward has decided to once again allow pedestrians to walk the streets of Akihabara, two years after the initial ban that was enforced due to the Akihabara stabbing spree that left seven people dead and ten others injured. Before the incident, the Akihabara “Pedestrian Paradise” allowed shoppers, otaku, and street performers to freely walk along the roads on Sundays and holidays. The days, times, and other details of the new Pedestrian Paradise are still in talks.
* * * * * Kaasan’s Creator Life Story to be Televised
Anime News Network reported on May 24 that actress Yu Yamada will star in the new TV series based on the essay Kono Yo de Ichiban Daiji na "Kane" no Hanashi written by Kaasan creator Rieko Sabara. The essay details the life of Sabara and the hardships she faced growing up in a poor household, dealing with constant bullying, and finally her path to becoming a manga author. Though originally meant for daughter, Sabara’s essay turned autobiographical book has sold 20,000 copies. Sabara’s manga, Kaasan (Mom’s Life) was adapted into an anime last year and can be seen on Crunchyroll.
* * * * * Full Metal Panic Final Novel Listed
On Tuesday May 25, ANN reported that a retail socialization sheet for the Full Metal Panic novels had listed the 12th and final volume to be released in Japan sometime in August. The 11th volume of Shouji Gatoh’s light novel series was already announced on the distributor’s site to be July 17th, and the finale of the series will be marked by a special giveaway campaign for its loyal readers. Full Metal Panic is widely known for its combination of military drama and high school hijinks. The first anime series was produced by Gonzo, while Fumoffu and Second Raid were produced by Kyoto Animation.
* * * * * Progress Report of Life Size Eva Bust
On Wednesday May 26, Fuji-Q HighLand amusement park posted its first video progress report on the life size Eva Unit 01 bust that will be the centerpiece of its newest attraction called "Evangelion: World - Life-Size EVA-01 Construction Project". The video update covers the drafting of the project as well as the initial sculptures that were modeled for the real life bust. The next progress report is expected to go live on June 9, leading up to the final debut of the project for June 23.
* * * * * Navarre’s Evaluation of Funimation’s Sale
Navarre Corperation had announced on Thursday that it has hired the services of Houlihan Lokey to assist in the “structuring and negotiating a potential transaction for the sale of Funimation Entertainment. Though Funimation has generally met expectations according to Navarre, CEO Cary L. Deacon has stated that the company will be “focusing its strategies towards distribution and software publishing business”. Due to the very different goals of Navarre and Funimation, the former has decided that Funimation would be better off in the hands of another owner. Whether or not this plan will result in an actual sale is still unknown at this time.
Did you know that Carl Macek, producer and editor of Robotech, was originally approached by DiC to adapt the Sailor Moon anime? He later turned down the offer when DiC insisted to eliminate any references to Japan in the series.
Tsunade comes face to face with Tendo Pain on the rooftop of the Hokage mansion. When Pain demands the Nine Tails be handed over, Tsunade refuses. However, Pain uses the Ningendo’s power to learn of Naruto’s current location in Mount Myoboku. Tsunade clenches at the sight of the growing number of casualties within the Leaf. But Pain, who condemns the Leaf’s arrogance as a major nation, makes the choice to deliver catastrophic damage against the Leaf Village to teach them what true pain is.
Joey can't stand after taking a serious hit from Kogorr. Heroman, seeing Joey in such a state, unleashes a power that hasn't been seen before. It's the power of him going out of control. Dr. Minami stands ready to stop the sphere, seemingly confident. But his aim isn't really to stop the sphere, that's just step one. With all the peoples of the world's fate on the line, humanity's battle with the Skrugg reaches its conclusion!
The headless rider, a member of the Dollars, saved someone with a katana. This fact makes the Yellow Scarves even more suspicious that the slasher is a member of the dollars. What's more, Masaomi starts to suspect that the remnants of Blue Square, the gang he once fought, are part of it as well. He visits Kadota's gang to find out the truth.