The opening episode of the broadcast series Majikoi: Oh! Samurai Girls (2011) hits the viewer like a flying body block as the students at Kawakami High fight an all-out intra-class martial arts battle. Yamato leads his team to victory by directing a cadre of powerful female lieutenants. Like with other past series similar to this Ikki Tossen/Samurai Girls/Tenjho Tenge/Freezing/Sekirei the series gives us a bevy of hard core fighting and for most of the females well endowed characters with their own quirky personalities that quickly endear them to you. The basis is you have a group of young high school friends most who are very talented martial arts or weapons fighters and again like with most harem animes most of the females all have a hidden or not so hidden feelings for the main male character of the series. Though what separates this series a little from the previous mentioned ones is that for the most part many of the characters have endearing original quirky personalities that seem to set them apart from some of the more usual harem animes. Also while there is actions and some drama in the series for most of it the setting is pretty light hearted as you see the rivalry between school classes, different schools and people think of it as a little updated Ranma1/2 subplot.
Majikoi Oh has come a long way from that first episode that played big with the battle sequence and introduced to a lot of characters. So far, this is one of the only anime I have watched that has both gained my attention as well as bring out some good laughs. The storyline is both very serious, but keeps a constant comedic theme all the way through. Sentai doesn’t hold back either. If they want to put a scene for mature audiences in, they do it, and they do it well. The main downfall of this series however, is the rehash of animation. If you ask anyone, they will tell you my number one pet peeve is flashbacks. 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.
So I’ve listed a few bad points and some good points. How does it measure overall? Let me tell you, I enjoyed Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls, even as I never got the sense that the individual characters were fleshed out as well as and the subplot explored as deeply as they could have been. Despite any weaknesses, however, the series is satisfying from beginning to end. This was just an endless onslaught of high school students fighting each other in a big battle, some winning, some losing, and after the first few minutes I lost track of who was who, who was on which side, and what the whole point of it was. There’s apparently a main character named Yamato, although I cannot recall whether he was even on the screen during the battles or not, he has such an unimpressive presence. While not as blatantly “echhi” as, say, Ikki Tousen or Queen’s Blade or other such anime offal, it’s certainly in the same “fine” tradition. Still, if you can get past those downfalls, you’ll find a lot to like here.
The show does provide for some good action elsewhere as Takae ends up going against the rest of the women as lead by Yamato. Dueling enemies start launching explosions and energy blasts reminiscent of Dragon Ball Z, as arms smugglers and half-human cyborgs join the fray. While the extras aren’t the greatest they are still good especially the short comedic specials. The actors and actresses for the Japanese subbed did a great job in their character roles and kudos to the English cast as well. The set is a little pricey but if you’ve seen some of the series online or like harem animes with hardcore female fighters with quirky traits then here’s a decent one to add to your anime library.