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3/31/2011

ANIME REVIEW: Queen's Blade

After about a month I finally finished watching the anime series “Queen’s Blade”. I’m probably going to get some hate from saying this but the truth is that I really liked it. It’s about a group of girls, each with her own back-story, participating in a fighting tournament to gain the title of “Queen of Gainos”, the name of an entire continent where the events take place.

It is an ecchi anime, meaning that every girl was created to be very beautiful. Most of them will have big breasts, wear little clothes and will normally have the camera aiming at their panties and things like that. The series takes the ecchi factor really seriously, meaning that besides telling a story and developing the characters, there’s going to be a lot of emphasis in showing the girls and their bodies.

What I watched were two complete seasons, each one with twelve episodes. I’m not sure if there’s going to be a third one. The very first episode in the series is actually quite bad, makes no sense at all and presents one of the weirdest characters to the public, a demonic girl named “Melona” with pink hair and some hands covering her breasts. She actually attacks her opponents by spilling acid from them. Yes, you read right, acid. That definitely does not leave a good impression but after the second episode, things start to make more sense and the important (and more “normal” girls) start to appear and take more screen time.

The main protagonist in the series is a princess named “Reina” from a city called Vance. She is an adventurer by heart and after being tired of the rule of her father, she decides to leave the castle and start traveling around the continent to get stronger and win the Queen’s Blade tournament to become the ruler of the land. She has one older sister called “Claudette”, a red-head woman who controls lighting and a younger sister called “Elina”, a blonde girl who uses a spear in battle and seems to be in love with Reina because she is the series’ excuse when awkward lesbian moments happen.

Most of the episodes in the series will focus completely in Reina’s progress through her fighting abilities, her friendship with the other characters and the places she visits in her travels. There are other important girls like the common samurai named “Tomoe”, a thief called “Risti” and the queen of the continent herself, named “Aldra”. Unlike other series in the genre, male characters are very uncommon. I can only remember two from the top of my head and they almost never get screen time. So technically, Queen’s Blade will not suffer from the common and way too used “harem” environment.

There’s also a trio of villains who are some of the most famous characters in the series. The Melona I already mentioned, a very young looking girl called “Airi”, who wears a maid outfit and uses a scythe as her weapon, she can literally suck the life out of her opponents. And the final one is “Menace” a beautiful girl who used to be the empress of an Egypt-like kingdom called Amara (which she’s constantly trying to build back). She wears a very small Egyptian outfit and uses scepter that is literally alive, having the spirit of a pervert cat inside it.

While the story is not innovative and is full of anime clichés, it’s not bad. There’s a good balance between story-telling, battles, presentation of new places and girls and of course, the ecchi moments. The truth is that anyone used to watching Japanese animation will probably predict how things are gonna turn out while halfway through the series. Queen’s Blade is very entertaining; none of the episodes are boring. There’s a lot of humor here and there, usually coming from a very silly angel called “Nanael” who is in charge of supervising the battles for the tournament.

But, besides the good stuff, there are a lot of things people will consider uncommon and even disgusting (even for an ecchi series). There are some characters that will try to please really weird fetishes that if you don’t have them, will seem very awkward and uncomfortable. Fortunately, these girls will not get much screen time and are not very important in the story.

Queen’s Blade is a really (in) famous series especially over the internet.  If you like to collect figures like me, you’ll notice that some of the best anime figures and statues out there are characters from here, which is considered to be the flag of the ecchi genre and is almost always used for high-quality material. 

So, for closing comments I can say that the series is good. It’s definitely aimed at the male public because like I already said, it has a lot of ecchi content and it takes it very seriously. But the story is entertaining, the battles are good, has a lot of good humor and the characters are interesting for the most part. It only has 24 episodes, at least for now, so it is very short and will not take long to watch completely. I totally recommend it.

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