Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls
High school sophomore Yamato Naoe attends Kawakami High, a school where all disputes are resolved by fighting. He plays the role of tactician alongside his 7 other friends/classmates in a social ranking group of sorts in his school known as the "Kazama family". Chief among them is high school senior Momoyo Kawakami, Yamato's "teacher" who is from the legendary Kawakami school. She's said to be the second strongest fighter on Earth, only second to her grandfather.
Soon enough Yamato's once normal life (as normal as having a school where everyone fights and one girl continuously wanting to make out with you can be considered normal) is going to get a lot more hectic when some unsavory characters start terrorizing the country..
Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls is a series that tries to bite off more than it chew. It wants to be a tantalizing cheesecake series, mixing in comedy, martial arts, action, drama, and romance along with it. It even tries throwing in a plot between all the fan service and humor. The result is a series that doesn't really go 100% either way; it spends the first half as a cheesecake fan service comedy, and the other as an action show with harem bits thrown in. And if you can believe it, it's the first half that's more credible.
Still, the show is not without its good points. For one, the cast is mostly likable, and our male lead Yamato is refreshingly intelligent and open about his ideals. (Though sometimes too open.) Aside from him and Momoyo, we have four other girls. The first is Kazuko Kawakami, the sort-of adopted little sister of Momoyo who trains hard each day, running with a tire strapped to her back that Yamato often rides. Then we have Miyako Shiina, a childhood friend of Yamato's who constantly tries to have sex with him, as well as edit all his porn mags/videos to include herself in them. Third is Yukie Mayuzumi, a shy swordsman who uses a phone strap named Matsukaze to express her thoughts aloud that she herself cannot. She's a first-year who just joined Yamato's group. And last we have Christiane Friedrich, a German girl whose only knowledge of Japanese culture comes from Japanese jidaigeki drama, as well as Yamato. (She also just joined him and his group, too.)
Of much less importance to the group are the other guys who are part of Yamato's group. First up is Shoichi Kazama, nicknamed "Cap", who thinks up some of the ideas Yamato and crew use, most notably the first episode and episode 6. Ww also have the vaguely feminine looking, timid Takuya Morooka, as well as Tadakatsu Minomoto, the male tsundere of sorts of the group who's actually quite nice. We also have a robot named Cookie, who looks more than a little than Thursday from Disgaea, and is the series' mascot/comic relief of sorts. Cookie is the most prominent of the supporting cast members, and brings a few laughs here and there even in the series' darker moments.
The first episode of Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls is kind of interesting. It's basically a giant melee involving the entire student body, and it's pretty entertaining all things considered. There is also some fighting in episode 2, including future new villain foreshadowing. However, this is not the actual focus of the show at all.
After the first two episodes, the series then spends the two following episodes on Kazuko, Miyako, Yukie, and Christiane, having each of them interact with Yamato, as well as their individual feelings for him. There's lots of fan service and hit-or-miss comedy, with Miyako's attempts to seduce Yamato typically being the funniest (and weirdest/creepiest). Episodes 5 and 6 have the whole entire gang male and female alike together doing stuff, the latter involving certain-shaped shrines that make it quite clear that this series is aimed for teenage boys.
And for the most part, the early episodes of Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls are serviceable, though not outstanding. Some of Miyako's antics are kind of funny, and there's an amusing fight in episode 4, with Momoyo battling an opponent who looks more than a little like a character from the Darkstalkers franchise. However, the character of Ikuro - who basically goes around wanting to see women's panties - gets annoying quickly, and is rarely funny. Momoyo's violent relationship with Yamato, whom she treats like garbage most of the time when she's not beating the hell out of him in fights for her own amusement, is also not funny. But still, the show is still decent for the most part, thanks in part to a likable cast.
But then episode 7 comes.
Literally halfway through the series, Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls goes from a cheesecake fan service comedy to an action series with some fanservice/harem antics thrown in. It's just as jarring a chance in pace as it sounds. It wouldn't be so bad if not for the fact that the reason it goes on as long as it does is because of one really stupid character; Momoyo. Not going to spoil anything, but she eventually finds her fighting equal so to say, and with it comes the impossible, Dragon Ball Z-like fighting of smashing through things, throwing punches in mid-air, and landing hundreds of feet from the air and taking little damage (the latter due to Momoyo having the ability to heal herself). This goes on for several episodes, only interrupted by the other group of villains in this series, as well as Kazuko/Miyako/Yukie/Christiane trying to hump Yamato. Oh yeah, and Momoyo's inability to stop fighting ends up hurting most of her friends and nearly kills one of them, resorting in her attitude taking a serious, unbelievable 180 towards that particular one.
On the off-chance you wanted to actually watch some of the action in the second half, Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls penalizes you with flashbacks like every 5 minutes during Momoyo's fighting. Flashbacks with the villain, Yamato's past with his father who literally abandoned him, stuff about the Prime Minster, and so on. And when they aren't interrupting important scenes with these attempts at explaining plot points, we have pointless cheesecake involving the series' villainess and her (female) cohort, fondling each other naked. There is still some humor here and there from a group of lesser villains named the Itagaki family (one whom fights with a golf club), but it's not enough, nor is it all that funny.
But the absolute worst part of the second half is that the entire core female cast becomes blithering, perverted caricatures of what they were before. Even Momoyo gets affected by this, somehow becoming even more irritating and unlikable than before. (Which is an accomplishment, when you can consider she already did nothing but physically/mentally abuse people, flirt with girls to further pain Yamato, and is nigh indestructible.) Yamato's "great plan" in the final episode is a gigantic slap in the face to his character's intelligence, too. The only character not ruined by the end is Miyako, whose antics by then have run dry anyway.
So yeah, I got nothing. I suppose if you stopped at episode 6 of Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls, or skip all the battling in the second half and just focus on the cheesecake, you might actually enjoy this series. Having watched it all the way, all I can say is that its change of pace halfway obliterates everything positive about the anime up to that point. Good art and animation only gets you so far, as director Keitaro Motonaga (whose other anime direction includes Apocalypse Zero, LoveDol: Lovely Idol, School Days and the recent, illy received Katanagatari) proves. Just look up pics of these girls on the Internet or play the game instead, which I'm sure is much better written than this digital crap.
Crap. What starts us off a stupid but fun cheesecake comedy jarringly turns halfway into an action/harem series, complete with the worst cliches in both genres. Add a star or two if you're only here for the fanservice. — Tim Jones
Recommended Audience: The show is plentiful with its nudity (all of it censored on crunchyroll) and innuendo, the latter almost entirely provided by Miyako. Other suggestive themes (like the penis-shaped shrines in episode 6) clearly make this not show not for children, or younger teens. The last episodes feature action violence, though little blood is seen.
Version(s) Viewed: crunchyroll.com stream, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls © 2011 Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai! Production Committee / Minato Soft
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