Introduction: My anime reviews are simply for fun and my opinion of a series. Therefore, they should be taken light-heartedly. :`) I do my best not to throw in huge show spoilers either. I may elaborate, but I won't directly give anything away. Also, many things about me and this journal have been discussed in the Introduction entry here, if you're interested. The bolded words in the middle of my reviews have been fully defined in the Introduction or in the Anime Terms entry here . Lastly, for a full list of anime shows that I am reviewing, visit my Ultimate Anime List entry
★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★
★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★
Setting: This anime is based off the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. That story centered around ancient China during the 14th century in a war, turmoil, and bloodshed-y era. There's a lot more to it, but that's the jist. If you want to read more about the classic novel then click here. Take that novel and turn the characters into a fanservice female cast and you have Koihime!
Plot: This show has so many angles, I often wondering WHO is the target audience. Koihime†Musou (or KM, as I'll refer to it) was based off of a visual novel followed by a strategy video game. The game, in turn, was based off of the classic Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Obviously, KM is a Fighting series considering that its premise was taken from strategy game... which was taken from a book about the hardships of war. Strangely, this show FEELS like a Slice-of-Life. I think everyone will agree, for the most part, that a Fighting series and SOL and defined as being different genres, yet this show feels like it has aspects of both. I really can't say why. If I had to speculate, I'd say it was because this show is such a parody at times that it comes across as more humorous than dramatic. Who knows if that was the intention though? There's fighting, developing friendships, heavy ecchi and slight yuri at times, and general feeling of going on a journey in the plot.
I looked at this show as FIRST a parody and then as a Fighting series/SOL. It was parodied after the novel, but it also had some anime shows thrown in there. I'm unsure of every anime that was parodied, but I did recognize "Sailor Moon" and "Strawberry Panic!". A character who wears a disguise and goes by Butterfly Mask... She fights for love and justice! And basically just swoops in, picks up someone in distress, and runs off with them. Sound like anyone else we know? Unfortunitely, I've never read the classic novel, so any references to it were completely lost to me. Although, the show is still enjoyable even if you're watching it with a blind historical eye. Also, it may have been just me but I kept getting "The Legends of Zelda" theme song in my head when they'd head off for an adventure.
With all of that being said, I'm just going to state my opinion of the show briefly.
Positives: It's definitely funny and entertaining for the most part. There are some heart-warming scenes too. I don't generally like Fighting series, but the fighting scenes aren't prolonged, and I was never bored during the action moments. There are a massive amount of characters, so you'll find at least one person to like.
Negatives: Lord, if there were ever a prototype for an ecchi harem series, this would be it. It's such an abundance of fanservice and yuri. It's as if these girls were the last ones left on the planet, and they have all secretly decided that they want to procreate with each other. Actually, the majority of flirtations, inferences, and sexual innuendos are targeted towards the main character, Kan'u. Even though, there is some shameless flirting among some towards others, this show is technically not a yuri. Nothing is ever SHOWN to be happening, but there's no denying that some things are definitely going on among certain characters. Which characters are actually yuri is up for speculation. Personally, I think some of them need to take a cold shower, especially the character Sousou.
I mentioned in my "Strike Witches" Review that there are two types of yuri. This yuri is no doubtedly targeted towards the shounen audience. You won't have relationship building as much as seeing one of the girls fall into another girl and have them lay on top of each other on the floor in a sexual pose for an abnormal amount of time. The main problem with the show, in my opinion, is that it wasn't quite funny enough to be a true comedic parody. There wasn't enough serious fighting to be an absolute fighting series. There wasn't enough relationship building to be a heart-warming shoujo yuri series. The ecchi that was present was too much for someone who HATES fanservice to ignore, but there wasn't enough of it to please someone who watches a show because of it. So you'll have someone who says, "Ugh, their breasts are ridiculous proportions, and they're all one step away from sleeping with each other." And you could very well get someone who says, "That's it?... There isn't any yuri actually going on!" As strange as that sounds, this show borders on many different directions and never quites lands on one. If you watch it without any expectations, then it's a lot more enjoyable. In fact, I laughed several times.
There are just TOO many characters to define. You'll find characters ranging from the Genki Girl to the WBTY to little Lolitas. Just about every episode introduces one or two characters. Some of the development is lacking because of the massive amount of characters. The good news is that we follow the protagonist, Kan'u as she meets each of them. Therefore, we are slowly introduced to everyone as she is. That still doesn't mean that you won't get confused towards the end of the series about whose kingdom has which character though. Here is a wikipedia list of all of the characters and brief description of who they are. I'm just too lazy to make one here. I will, however, discuss Kan'u.
Kan'u is your typical action girl on a journey of justice. She's sworn to avenge her brother and rid the world of bandits. (She REALLY reminds me a Xena.) Her weapon is awesome. Which reminds me, each character has their own weapon and talent. The majority of them carry scythes-like weapons or staffs though. Kan'u is known through-out the land as the beautifully dark-haired bandit fighter. As a running gag, no one assumes that she is the bandit hunter because "rumors tend to get exaggerated" aka: she gets insulted that she isn't as pretty as the rumors say by just about everyone. For someone that's treated as "average" looking, she certainly gets a massive amount of yuri attention from the other characters that she meets. She wins the record for getting put in the most awkward situations with the other female characters who are pursuing her. I made an amusing game for myself while watching the show. "Who will hit on Kan'u next? How will they do it? And how will she get out of this situation?" That part of the show was actually very amusing.. to me anyway. (Maybe I have secret perverted sense of humor. I have been watching a lot of fanservice lately, but I digress.)
That's really all I have to say about the show. I've watched the second and third seasons, "Shin Kohime†Musou" and "Shin Koihime†Musou Otome Tairan", but I plan to watch them again at some point. The website in which I was viewing them, had half of the third season loaded under the second season. It was so confusing, that I ended up watching most of the episodes out of order. I will say that the artwork is actually consistent with all of the seasons. Often times you'll see a severe and distracting artistic shift, but this one looks the same through out. If the characters weren't drawn so fanservice-y, I'd like the character designs more. (However, not all of the characters are drawn in that way. The younger ones have normal body proportions.) All of the seasons have the same feel of a journey, and there was no downfall from the first to the third season in my opinion. Did I enjoy this show? Well, I was interested enough to watch the second and third seasons. In fact, I'm interested enough to watch them again. Just because I mentioned that the series seemed perpetually placed on the border of different directions, doesn't mean that you won't enjoy it. By all means, give the first episode a watch before making any decisions.
Side-note about the title: Normally, I'd try translate the the title. However, I'm running short on time. I do know that "Hime" is a word for princess or lady of a higher birth. "Koi" literally means carp, as in the fish. However, it can also mean love for the opposite sex or a longing feeling for a specific person. The word "Musou" stands for Warrior(s). (Although, I've also read that it stands for Outstanding, Incredible, Extraordinary, etc.) When you get to the following seasons, the word "shin" is put in front of it. I'm fairly sure that shin is used as heart/mind/spirit or faith. Basically, I use it as another word for "integrity" in this instance. You can take those translations as you will.
Favorite Characters: Hmmm... I liked Sousou. Haha. Wow. I really am a Covert Pervert. Although, I'm taking away the "covert" part by admiting it. It's okay. I'll deny my CP ways in the next entry again. I did like little Chouhi too though. I've decided to add "Covert Pervert" in my anime definitions considering that's another anime type that I've seen. I probably won't go back in my older entry reviews and identify all of the CP characters. But then again, I may if I have time. Those characters are simply too amusing to ignore.
There were many funny quotes, but unfortunitely, I'm late for class. I may come back and update this entry more. It was a little rushed. However, I do think I blabbed on enough for everyone already. Lol. We'll just see how it goes.
★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★