Queen's Blade 2: The Evil Eye
Reina and her friends (and enemies) reach the city of Gainos, right in time for the Queen's Blade tournament. As the tournament progresses, it becomes clear that there are deeper and darker (durhur) secrets behind it all.
I think one of the fringe benefits going into this show (well, aside from the obvious) is that, once you get past the first season, you can at least rest safely in the knowledge that the quality of said season will not diverge much from the first.
And the first season? It turned out surprisingly well. I might be sitting here, trying to come up with a good explanation of why a show that started out with girls peeing themselves, shooting acid milk out of their breasts and later being defeated by blocking said acid milk-shooting breasts so they expand until they blow up, and... just... how do you recoup from that?
Taking the story somewhere is a good start, actually. And having the decency to continue that story and, more importantly, finishing it, is even better. Because that's what Queen's Blade 2 actually does. Granted, this season is mostly about the tournament itself, so needless to say, the fights are the main focus. This... might not be so good, because said fights were really badly animated in the first season, and this one does nothing to improve on this. The damned thing is that Queen's Blade isn't badly animated, but the lousy fight choreography and complete lack of decent camera work makes the fight scenes look lazy and generally terrible. If they put as much effort into the fights as they did the fanservice and the animation thereof, Queen's Blade 2 could've been a pretty kickass show.
Thankfully, the art is as good as ever, and just as stable as in the first season. I really liked the character designs in the first season, so needless to say, that carries over as well. And the characters themselves are, of course, their old lovable selves. Our main team, consisting of Reina, Tomoe and Risty quickly settle in. Nanael is still her somewhat annoying self, though she has the chance to show some startling competence for once, and as for Elina, she's still her... uh, sibling-molesting self. There are also some new arrivals, like Nyx, a girl who carries a living tentacle staff from who she shares a very Stockholm Syndrome-ish relationship with. (As in "it shoves its tentacles down her throat, and she apologizes for it". It's actually one of the more unsettling parts of the show, amazing as that might sound.) And we also get to meet Aldra, the current reigning queen, and one with a dark secret and a nasty, scheming streak a mile wide.
And for the most part, Queen's Blade 2 keeps a nice, steady pace and refrains from becoming (too) stupid. Even more surprising, some of the twists near the end of the show are actually quite well thought out, but on the flipside, some of the things the characters do make absolutely no sense. But hey, on a lighter note, Echidna gets the chance to show a softer side of herself without losing her edge of badassery. You might be wondering how she lost that mean, villainous streak of hers, but that's only because you ask too many questions, fool. Next you might be wondering why Airi suddenly felt the need to look after Cattleya's son despite playing for the evil team.
You might also wish dubs on better shows than this, but dubbed it was, and decently so. Some of the voices are still kind of high and dry, but there are some who really ace their roles in this show. Lisa Ortiz nails Echidna's saucy tone with an undercurrent of menace (not the character), and even better, Bill Timoney still excels as the hilariously perverted Setora, mainly known as Menace's living scepter.
OK, so Queen's Blade will never be known as a work of genius. (It might be known as a work of a total pervert, but we don't need to go into that.) Still, much like equally booby shows both before and after, Queen's Blade 2: The Evil Eye manages to keep the qualities from the first show intact and even improve itself, however slightly, by coming to a conclusive end that feels neither token nor overly convenient. Let the first season be your litmus test; if you liked what you saw, then Queen's Blade 2 is a pretty safe bet.
Funnily enough, the sequel kind of wraps up everything and places the show squarely in the middle of three-star territory. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Some of the aspects of this show can get a little unsettling, like Nyx's relationship with the tentacled staff that goes by the name Funikura. But even beyond that, Queen's Blade is generally not known for playing nice.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Queen's Blade 2: The Evil Eye © 2009 HobbyJAPAN / Queens Blade EX Partners
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