Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re a nerd, so you should be familiar to a degree with the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the media (films, video games, etc.) that it inspired over the years. If you’re like me, you might even have read the book four times and love it for nursing your wounded soul when you left for college and were so homesick you thought you’d die. (On the other hand, if the name Three Kingdoms doesn’t ring a bell, here’s a quick overview of the novel on Wikipedia.)
So who’s the genius who had the brilliant idea of taking this hallowed piece of litterature’s fearless warriors and replacing them with buxom pubescent girls in thigh-high stockings who wield halberds twice their height? I don’t know either, but here I am watching the product of this dubious stroke of genius, a new anime TV series called Koihime Musou.
This is Three Kingdoms with girls. Yep. Hardly rocket scienctist watching material, it goes without saying, and at times downright sacrilegious: take the above Guan Yu panty shot, for example. Or how about when Zhang Fei asks Guan Yu how she grew such massive mammaries and the latter replies, with a hint of genuine Three Kingdoms pathos, “If you have aspiration in your breasts, they’ll grow bigger!”
Insert ASCII face palm dude here.
Then again, that’s the brand of over-the-top, ridiculous bravado and straight-faced heartfelt emushion that made the historical novel so awesome, and Koihime rightfully incorporates it. Hell, during their first meeting Guan Yu and Zhang Fei spend an entire day fighting. (Zhang Fei, by the way, is a twelve-year-old pink-haired girl with a kitty hairband whose expression mirrors his own. Here’s to a thousand Chinese historians spinning in their graves.)
The worst part (or the best one, depending on your point of view) is that Koihime Musou isn’t terrible. On paper the idea sounds on par with sending a bottle of nitroglycerine to Michael J. Fox as a Christmas present, but Koihime Musous‘s execution is, uhm, on the adequate side of average, I’ll admit. Animation’s colorful, and the character design encapsulates the heroines’ personalities so effortlessly that I could tell, just from watching the opening credits, who Zhao Yun, Zhuge Liang, and others were supposed to be. Music must have been forgettable, since I’ve already forgotten what it sounded like, ditto for opening credits. The ending theme and credits, however, are a laugh riot as the Shu girls eat dinner while the other kingdoms’ chicks parade behind them.
(Technical aside: It appears Koihime excised Liu Bei from its narrative, but that shouldn’t be much of a blow to the story: the character was writen solely to serve as an example of third-century Chinese humility and virtue in a world of amoral chaos. I reckon any anime where the Five Tiger Generals wear high heels and do their hair and makeup first thing in the morning can manage without the moral backbone he’s supposed to provide.)
The cuteness overload factor should be traumatizing me into fleeing away from Koihime Musou as fast as my human legs can carry me; but in the end, it’s Three Kingdoms, albeit after it underwent a face lift and breast augmentation surgery, so how can I not watch? If things go well the show could end up being more about the characters and their struggles than the laughable “action-packed” anime adaptation we saw in the early 90s. At worst… blech, I’d rather not imagine what a strident Cao Cao with bitch tits and purple hair could do to my sanity. I’ll set my train wreck alarm to episode three.
Today’s Karen is: BWUH?!?