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Senran Kagura - First Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 17 January 2013 21:47
A young shinobi named Asuka carries out a daring mission - with mixed success. The following day, she returns to Hanzo National Academy in Asakusa, Tokyo, where she secretly trains with four other would-be-ninja classmates, and where their afternoon fieldwork - to clear a shopping mal of troublesome delinquents - holds an unexpected surprise in store for them...

I had this one pegged as being the Highschool DxD of the season - the fast food equivalent of anime, completely devoid of nutritional value but oh so guiltily enjoyable. I got the first half right. Our all-girl team of ninja-in-training come complete with magical girl transformations, summonable creatures, and outfits that are totally impractical for what they're proclaiming to be - so the wackiness is certainly there - and they appear to be matched by an equal-and-opposite team of evil ninja girls ("Serpent Academy"? Subtle.), but there's a distinct absence of a sense of fun. Which is really what you watch this sort of show for.

It also only goes halfway in a lot of areas. When you're playing in the same ballpark as Highschool DxD or Ikkitousen, you can't really get by on half-measures - you need to go to town on the violence, reveal all (steamed up, of course) in the bath scenes, hold nothing back. Senran Kagura pitches itself as a T&A battle show, but delivers minimal T&A (to this reviewer who's been desensitised by other recent shows) or battling, really.

THE GOOD: Pretty.

THE BAD: If you're going to do this sort of show these days, you should really do it in style. Except Senran Kagura doesn't quite have the cojones and doesn't. Also: ENOUGH WITH BLONDE GIRLS WHO CAN'T RESIST GROPING OTHERS' TITS ALREADY.

Three-episode rule applies, because a bit more of the bad girls and how they play with the show's dynamics could change my mind. But I doubt it.

Senran Kagura is streamed by FUNimation (North America only).

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