Anime Review: Koihime†Musou

koihime musou anime


Year: 2008
Length: 12 Episodes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Ecchi, Fantasy, Historical, Martial Arts
Studio: Doga Kobo

Synopsis: After witnessing the death of her family at the hands of bandits, Unchou Kan’u has devoted her life to protecting the innocent by exterminating any group of bandits she comes across. Over time, Kan’u’s deeds become famous throughout the land—even if she herself remains unknown. During her travels, she runs across a young girl, Chouhi Yokutoku, whose parents suffered a similar fate as Kan’u’s. Finding companionship through their similar pasts, the two girls take a vow of sisterhood and continue to wander the land, determined to bring peace to wherever their journey takes them.

During Kan’u and Chouhi’s journey, they meet and travel with several people who are sympathetic to their cause, such as the noble Chouun Shiryuu, the headstrong Bachou Mouki, and the calculating Shokatsuryou Koumei. From problems with local lords to groups of ravaging bandits, Kan’u and her friends do what they can to make life a little easier for those in need, wherever they may be.


STORY

First off, I should mention that this anime is loosely based on an eroge visual novel that I haven’t played. From what I’ve read, it seems that many things were changed in this adaptation, but I’ll just judge it for the anime it is and not for the visual novel that it isn’t.

When I first heard of Koihime†Musou, I was reminded of a couple of other anime that I reviewed not that long ago, Ikkitousen and Sengoku Otome, but I’m not sure that Koihime†Musou was as entertaining to me as either of those anime.

I think that’s partly due to the story, which is pretty bare-bones and uninspired. The story sees Kan’u traveling the land and serving justice to any bandits she comes across, and there isn’t much more to the story than that. Along the way, Kan’u meets a few other girls that decide to join her on her travels, but the story just didn’t feel like it was leading up to anything significant. Even the climax of the season felt disappointing, and I was left wondering if that was really it. The lack of a main antagonist certainly didn’t help, and no amount of lords and royalty were enough to adequately fill the void.

So the story development was almost nonexistent, but at least I thought this anime had some decent comedic moments. You’re unlikely to confuse it for a real comedy, yet I liked the lighthearted tone and didn’t mind the lack of serious melodrama. Over the course of the season, the story definitely struggled to hold my interest, however, I don’t think I’d go as far as to call the story bad. Mediocre? Sure, it’s just that Koihime†Musou plays it really safe, and even if you were to mentally check out halfway through any given episode, you probably wouldn’t be missing anything too significant. Uneventful is a way to describe the story of this show, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if some people find it kind of boring.


CHARACTERS & YURI

Moving on to the characters, even though there are quite a lot of supporting characters, I found almost all of them to be overly forgettable. Like Ikkitousen, this anime draws inspiration from the feudal lords of China, but having characters of the same name only made the Koihime†Musou versions pale even more when compared to their Ikkitousen counterpart. It’s like that across the board.

Kan’u is the main character, and as the main hero of the story, I think she was among the most likable characters. That said, I thought Kan’u lacked any real stand out qualities, and I expected more charisma from the lead. It doesn’t help that Ikkitousen‘s Kan’u just oozes charisma, so whenever I saw this Kan’u, I couldn’t help but think how much more I’d enjoy this if it starred that other Kan’u.

Charisma is something that Rin Rin was lacking, and because of that, she was probably my favorite character in this anime. She basically becomes Kan’u’s adopted little sister, but she’s just a feisty little troublemaker that makes things more entertaining. Bacho and Shiryuu were another couple of characters that I enjoyed (and not just because Shiryuu may have had her way with Bacho while she was sleeping), but the revolving door of supporting characters didn’t do this anime any favors.

Instead of focusing on some of the more entertaining characters like Sousou and Reiha, we get introduced to many other girls that barely leave any sort of lasting impression. A bigger cast doesn’t always translate to a better cast, and I would’ve preferred if this anime didn’t feel the need to introduce every girl and then not give them much of reason to be there.

But the main reason that this anime is getting reviewed is because of the previously mentioned Sousou, who along with her subordinates, just seem to be as gay as can be. In addition to her underlings, Sousou also makes no secret of her desire to get Kan’u into bed (and she almost does it). I’d say that forcing your subordinate to lick the sweat off of you is enough to get yuri fans’ attention, but Sousou still never fails to come across as anything less than a capable leader, and I liked that she wasn’t just a joke of a character. Like some of the other characters, she wasn’t involved as much as I would’ve liked, and that keeps this anime from getting a higher yuri score.

Out of all the aspects of this anime, I feel like the characters were the best thing Koihime†Musou had going for it, I just didn’t like that despite so many characters being introduced, only a few stuck around long enough to really add something worthwhile to this anime. There are two more seasons of Koihime†Musou that aired after this, so maybe those underdeveloped characters will finally get their chance to shine. I’m probably going to end up reviewing those seasons as well, so we shall see.


ANIMATION & SOUND

When it comes to the animation and sound, I don’t think Koihime†Musou fares that much better. The fighting is rather lackluster, and since action is among the genres listed, it simply didn’t impress me whatsoever. Given that this anime is from Doga Kobo, I probably shouldn’t be surprised by that, yet I expected the action to be better than what it was. From time to time, the show transitioned to a chibi style that gave it some much needed personality, and this I liked. The cuteness levels aren’t too high, and the same can be said of the fanservice. Sure, there are some busty girls, onsen scenes, and the occasional panty shot, but it’s all pretty tame compared to current anime standards.

As for the music, it was totally forgettable. The overall tone of the anime was light and playful, and I think the music reflected that. Not even the battle scenes were enough to help make the music stand out, so this was another example of the production values of this anime being pretty mediocre.

TOTAL ENJOYMENT

Overall, I think Koihime†Musou turned out to be the very definition of mediocre. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either, and if I didn’t feel obligated to review it, this is another anime that I probably would’ve dropped. The bland story and average characters helped to make this a mildly entertaining show that I’ll probably forget about pretty soon, but not before I can review the second and third seasons, so that’s something for you all to not look forward to. 😛


POSITIVES

[+] Lighthearted without being too silly
[+] Has some fun moments
[+] Nice to see an assertive yuri character like Sousou in this


NEGATIVES

[-] One of the least entertaining Doga Kobo anime I’ve seen
[-] Underwhelming story
[-] Too many characters get introduced then forgotten about


Story: 4
Characters: 6
Animation: 5
Sound: 5
Total Enjoyment: 5


13 thoughts on “Anime Review: Koihime†Musou

  1. This anime was my very first anime I had ever seen. It was an experience to say the least haha. I really want to re-watch it soon. I feel like the nostalgia would be pretty entertaining.

    Like

    • It seems like it didn’t turn you off to anime, so that’s good.

      There are probably people who finally tried watching anime, but they ended up watching a terrible one and never watched another…

      I’m not sure what my first one was, but I think it was a really good one like Death Note or another really good one. I was lucky. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think because I didn’t know shit about anime at the time, I found it entertaining for what it was. I liked the warrior ladies who kicked arse and the humour made me chuckle more than it made me cringe. If anything, it made me curious as to what other sorts of titles there were out there.

        Like

      • I do remember my first time! “Alakazam the Great” Summer of 1961 at the local kiddie Saturday Morning Matinee movie house. I really liked it even then but I think it was 30 or 40 years before I ever saw another, and I don’t remember my second one. Disney was certainly a match in the art work department, but Hollywood stories were rather cut and paste as they are now. As all those know who have been into Anime, the stories can get rather uniquely weird at times, FLCL or Ergo Proxy or even Simoun, Flip-Flappers, or Yurikuma Arashi, like “Let’s do the Time Warp again!”

        Like

        • After reading the first couple of sentences of your comment, I was thinking to myself “Woar! It’s brave to just proudly mention the kinky manner in which you lost your virginity!” It was the wording. I’m disappointed in myself for thinking these impure thoughts… 😀

          So you’re a senior, eh? I never would’ve guessed it. You and shade should get along great, since he’s also an old timer. 😛

          And that could be a good idea for a Let’s Talk About post. “Let’s Talk About Your First Time… Watching Yuri Anime”. If it happens, I’ll be sure to mention how it was all your idea! 😀

          Like

  2. Ah this one , stopped watching , contains stuff that i consider trash
    You said you liked the gundam miko? The author of the manga seems to have issues with the blue haired characters , i dont know if you knew but he/she whatever made a trash “ecchi” “yuri” wannabe , i hope you didnt knew lol
    In case someone wants to avoid that manga im referring to , it has at the beginning the blue haired character crucified or whatever
    Now moving to something i like because this post was all negative , did you read “looking up to magical girls”? Im liking that one (im not WOOO AMAZING , but it is good and its improving)

    Like

    • The show was alright, but I hated the mecha parts. Would’ve been so much better without it. 😛

      What do you call discrimination against people with certain hair colors? And why blue of all colors? It’s an injustice. 😛

      And I’ve never heard of it. 😛

      Like

  3. I’m not sure why, but I had a real soft spot for this series. Possibly because of “Butterfly Mask”. I laughed way harder than was warranted at her scenes, especially when she literally just misses the action. I would never call it a could series, but I was invested enough to watch all 3 seasons and care about the outcome. I honestly liked it way more than Ikkitousen and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to explain why. I guess I just like polearms and halberds and stuff.

    Like

    • Probably the funniest thing in the entire season for me was when Rin Rin had no idea it was Shiryu behind the mask, and Rin Rin said something like she doesn’t know how the masked girl knows her name, but it bothered her that people would think she knew a weirdo like her. 😀

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s