DVD Review: Majikai-Oh! Samurai Girls – The Complete Collection

majikoi_screenshot_3The anime adaptation of Minato Soft’s adult visual novel has arrived into the UK, but is it as raunchy as the Japanese only game? Find out in our DVD review of Majikoi-Oh! Samurai Girls.

Synopsis:

In Kawakami City, having a samurai ancestor and enormous fighting spirit isn’t just an interesting historical fact, it’s a huge part of how you end up being ranked on the social totem pole. That, in turn, bleeds over into the school curriculum – sometimes, literally. Fortunately, that’s something the local kids like Yamato Naoe have learned to deal with by forming small bands (of samurai, not the musical type). And while the delicate sexual balance of Yamato’s group seemed fine when there were three girls and four boys, the sudden addition of two more girls starts to send everything spinning out of control! Seven’s a band of samurai and nine is a riot as boys, girls, and naked blades all come together!

Our View:

From the offset Majikai-Oh Samurai Girls seems like a new-age samurai anime that will see two sides battle it out for victory, however in reality it’s a harem / ecchi based anime with uncensored nudity, sexualised comedy and plenty of fan service, all of which drowns out the developing story. The overall story being the developing relationship between main characters Yamato Naoe and his long-time friend Momoyo Kawakami as well as a terrorist threat from Weapons dealer and previous big-four member Takae Tachibana.

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The series kicks off with an impressive life-like samurai styled battle between Class 2S and Class 2F, whereby during this battle all of the main characters for the series are introduced. The reason for this battle is so that a class debate between the two classes can be settled as well as for combat hungry Momoyo to fight strong opponents. It is Shortly after this battle that Yamato confesses his love to Momoyo but is ultimately rejected by being told “you are not strong enough”. Because of this rejection Yamato does everything he can to prove his strength by using his superior intellect in future confrontations, however in the meantime the rest of the girls in the group try to prove their worth to Yamato by any means necessary, including seduction.

This leads to a continuing series of antics whereby the remaining four girls do everything they can to win over Yamato’s heart, with the boldest being Miyako Shiina, as not only does she heavily flirt with Yamato but she creates an Eroge based PC game for him to play as well as tries to seduce him in bed. The remaining casts of characters also try to pursue Yamato’s heart by using pure motives, such as the shy Yukie Mayuzumi who makes him boxed lunches throughout the series.

Its only at the half waypoint when the series begins to tip-toe over to its fighting roots by introducing weapon smugglers and a terrorist threat in the form of previous big four member, Takae Tachibana. Takae Tachibana, and her sidekick Saki Mimori, not only want revenge on Japan but they also seek vengeance on Japan’s no.1 martial artist Momoyo Kawakami, and so a destructive decisive battle between the students at Kawakami High School and Takae Tachibana’s group of smugglers takes place, with the victor deciding Japan’s fate.

Extras:

Just like most two-disc anime releases all of the extra features are located on the second disc and included we have several audio shorts, Japanese promo adverts, textless songs and trailers for other anime releases.

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The shorts are all around 5 minutes in length and provide audio entertainment with the characters re-capping on what has happened in the previous / current episode, with each of the shorts being only available in Japanese with English subtitles.

Trailers included are for Rosario & Vampire, Mayo Chiki and Ga-Rei-Zero, All of which are currently being distributed in the UK by MVM Entertainment.

Tech Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:47:06 (Disc 1), 1:59:29 (Disc 2) (13 Episodes)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dobly Digital 2.0 – 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Combining strong harem & ecchi scenes with fierce battles can be a great idea for an anime and one that can work rather well, such as Sekirei for example, however unlike Sekirei Majioki-Oh! Samurai Girls isn’t as enjoyable to watch with its over-complicated story and rushed approach to storytelling.

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I say ‘rushed approach’ as the first half of the series is all about the female characters trying to win Yamato’s affection, with extremely short appearances from Takae Tachibana and Saki Mimori, but it isn’t until the second half of the series when we actually see them in combat, with their true motives not being confirmed until the later stages of the anime. It’s only when you re-watch the anime that you realize that Takae Tachibana and Saki Mimori are part of the main story, however that is if you want to re-watch it given that overall show is rather slow and boring, but it does have its comical moments.

Story aside this DVD release by MVM Entertainment provides the picture & audio quality of what you’d expect from a DVD release with crisp visuals and smooth colours, as well as an English Audio track. Despite the audio being dubbed by Sentai Filmworks, which I usually find unbearable, the voice acting is actually enjoyable to listen to, however I still found myself defaulting back to its original Japanese version – but at least the option is there. The English subtitles can be turned off during Japanese playback and the inclusion of worthwhile extra features, such as the Audio Shorts and Trailers, does make this a rather ‘complete collection’ compared to other releases.

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The only real downfall to this release, other than the story being rather dull, is that the English Subtitles had some errors and it occurred throughout the show, most notably the common occurrence of subtitles listing “him” instead of “her”. Unless you are concentrating then it’s not something you’d automatically notice, but it’s worth pointing out, that being said the subtitling was most likely done by Sentai Filmworks / Madman Entertainment and not MVM Entertainment.

Overall Majkoi-Oh! Samurai Girls is a show that offers plenty of fan service, via the form of heavily sexualised Harem & Ecchi scenes, as well as some intense (but unenticing) fight scenes and shallow comedy scenes. If you enjoyed shows such as Sekirei, Freezing, Ikki Tousen and Samurai Girls then you will most likely find Majikai-Oh! Samurai Girls your type of anime entertainment.

Score: review-stars-2

Majikai-Oh! Samurai Girls – The Complete Collection will be available on DVD from the 20th May 2013.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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