Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Queen's Blade: Wandering Warrior/The Exiled Virgin (Kuīnzu Bureido Rurō no Senshi)

There is no other anime that I can think of that contains such an over the top amount of fanservice and yet retains a compulsive watchability. That is an odd thing for me to say if you know my typical viewing habits. Generally speaking, I like drama anime and gritty action anime. Comedies aren't a big part of my collection, but there are a few exceptions here and there. I mean, Girls Bravo is borderline hentai compared to so many other shows, but I do have it on DVD anyway. 

However, there is one show that leaves Girls Bravo in the dust in terms of fanservice and that show is Queen's Blade. It's not even a contest, really. In the first five minutes of the first episode of Queen's Blade a character shoots material-dissolving acid out of her nipples. Then at the end of the episode her boobs get clogged-up (don't you hate it when that happens?) and grow to the size of Goodyear Blimps before exploding. 

This show is for mature audiences only, folks.  

There is another character that wears a live snake as her underwear. Yup, you read that right. She is pictured here for purely demonstrative purposes, too. Because even I wouldn't go so far as to post the acid-nipple scene. So you'll just have to deal with snake lady.

I have always believed that fanservice is overrated. But I don't think it can never be a bad thing either as long as it doesn't destroy the mood. I mean, boobs are good things, right? So while I don't mind seeing them, I don't watch anime (or anything else for that matter) just for boobs. Otherwise I'd be kind of a creep. And I really did steer clear of this show for a long time because I had heard about how over the top it was and I kind of figured this show was some sort of lesbian porn or something. Not that there's anything wrong with that. To each their own, right?

But this show isn't lesbian porn. Although there are a helluva lot of yuri overtones as well as a metric shit-ton of naked boobs being shown. There are scarcely any male characters in the show and that is obviously an intentional thing, too. So this is close to being lesbian porn, but it's not. 
That's not sexually suggestive at all, is it?

Women fighting each other like badasses in almost see-through armor is the simplified premise of this show. Now just how armor can be effective when it is about the size of a bikini or smaller I don't know, but it is best to just sort of accept the rules of the anime world presented here. 

However, this show really is about more than boobs. It is kind of like Xena: the Warrior Princess meets Game of Thrones. Although I suppose I am stretching my credibility a bit by saying that. With the mind-boggling amount of bouncing and jiggling going on I know it sounds difficult to believe that there could be any characterization or any sort of plot development in the works. But there is more to this anime than you might think.

The main character of this show is Leina Vance and she is the heir to Count Vance's throne. But she doesn't want to take over and runs away in order to find her own way. Inevitably, she enters the Queen's Blade tournament with the hopes of becoming a stronger fighter. Along the way she meets Risty the Benevolent Bandit of the Wilderness, Echidna the Elven Mercenary (snake lady), Tomoe the Warrior Priestess, Irma the Assassin of the Fang, as well as a bunch of others who seek to enter the Queen's Blade Tournament to become the Queen. But first they must actually make it to Gynos/Gainos alive or else none of them will realize their dream of becoming queen. Each of these characters do have a backstory and some are more likeable than others, but they all seem interesting and that is a plus. 

If I had to choose my favorite character in this series it would probably be Echidna. Especially considering what she did at the end of the first season to help out Leina. Plus she has a snake for underwear. 

Standing in the way of the heroic characters (aside from various skirmishes with each other) are Airi the Infernal Temptress, Melona the Protean Assassin (acid-nipple lady), and Menace the Ancient Princess. Their sole job is to disrupt the Queen's Blade. They are subservient to the unseen character Swamp Witch as well. 

I suppose that's enough plot description for now. This show does have enough action, fights, and characterization to at least make this a decent story. It really is an epic journey. Yeah, there's boobs (and lots of them), but there's some story, too. Although I will say that Melpha and Cattleya are just ridiculous when it comes to their boobs. Those damn things are huge. I don't even understand how they can move with those things hanging down. At the very least they should have a case of scoliosis or something. 

Anyway, the first twelve episodes of this show were a breeze. I find myself happily starting season two and wondering what is going to happen. Since this show debuted in 2009 and is fairly well-known among certain circles there's obviously a few things I know will happen, but thankfully not all of it has been spoiled for me. 

If you think this show might be for you then it probably is. If you think it isn't then it probably isn't. 

P.S. - I knew Hirano Aya voiced a character in this show and I thought for sure it might be Leina, but she actually voices the annoying angel Nanael. Nanael is kind of like this show's Jar-Jar Binks character for a while, but there actually comes a time where she shows that she is capable of whipping some ass and doing more than just being annoying. And the "holy milk" she has to carry with her and keep from spilling is just... Well, I don't even know what to think of that. Nanael is a hoot, though. And I personally don't find her anywhere near as annoying as Leina's sister Elina. 

Now on to season two, Queen's Blade 2: The Evil Eye.

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