I, uhm, yeah. So…
I’m weak. There, are you happy? Koihime Musou has ensnared my feeble, weak-willed male mind. I couldn’t wait for a sub of the second episode so I downloaded the raw the second it came out. Go ahead, laugh all you want! Me and my horrible grasp of Japanese will be over here enjoying Three Kingdoms à la 21st century boobylicious sauce.
But don’t worry, I’ll share the most succulent tidbits with you, dear reader, if you but read on… Itadakimasu!
Before I dive into this week’s episode, I must confess: I lied. There is a word in the English language that can describe Koihime Musou. That word is camp. The Wikipedia article defines camp as a work that possesses a “perversely sophisticated appeal”, and I’m afraid that’s Koihime Musou to a tee. As the first episode showed us, Dogakobo, the studio that fathered this delightful nugget of alternate history, has managed to combine the epic narrative of a time-honored novel with all the earthly delights modern animation can conjure, and the result is almost perfect fanboy bait. But hey, it’s the good kind of camp, where you can tell the writers are giggling right along and not taking themselves too seriously.
To quote McDonalds, I’m lovin’ it.
Anyway, this week our two heroines Guan Yu and Zhang Fei journey to a nearby city where their reputation precedes them. The city’s guards have heard of Guan Yu’s exploits against bandits and take the pair straight to the city’s governor, Gongsun Zan, and her personal bodyguard/general, the blue-haired Zhao Yun. Just so we’re clear, Zhao Yun is a favorite of many, many, MANY Three Kingdoms readers, myself included, and in this episode she distracts a bandit by removing one of her white stockings and clobbering the poor bastard after giving him a flash of shiny, juicy leg. The lesson: one’s place in history is never guaranteed as long as there are anime companies digging for new settings.
There’s a bunch of bandits, a daring rescue, Zhao Yun’s leggy stratagems, a good deal of gratuitous bouncing, and once again a chibi routine to lighten the mood midway through. I don’t want to overanalyze the show for fear of trying to intellectualize something a kindergarten student could have come up with, but I found the pacing brisk and the girls are constantly demonstrating they have actual personalities, i.e. that they aren’t carbon copies of stereotypical female protagonists we’ve all seen a million times before. Major bonus points for the show in my boob. I mean book. Ahem.
The ending credits remain the most feckin’ hilarious part of the show and manage to make me laugh even after half a dozen viewings. They’re full of references that only Three Kingdoms enthusiasts will notice: Ma Chao picking a fight with Zhang Fei, Cao Cao walking by and snatching Guan Yu, Lu Meng stealing a rice ball from under Guan Yu’s nose, Lu Bu wiggling her hair-antennas… It’s those little details that tell me Dogakobo have done their homework and are taking the source material seriously. Okay, somewhat seriously.
Looking for a guilty pleasure for the summer season? Look no further. Nom nom.