Blu-ray Review: Armed Girl’s Machivaellism – The Complete Collection

Fist-fights, School Girls and a school for delinquents; what could possibly go wrong? Well in Armed Girl’s Machivaellism that would be a strict student council body that is armed to the teeth with weapons. Disregarding this eventful introduction to the school of Aichi Academy what can one expect from MVM Entertainment’s Blu-Ray release of Armed Girl’s Machivaellism – The Complete Collection? Well let’s find out.

Synopsis:

When Aichi Coexistence Academy converted from all-girls to a coed model, the female students were so concerned about male misbehavior that they armed themselves! Now the school is ruled by the lovely but lethal Supreme Five Swords, and the boys are forced to dress and act like girls or suffer the razor sharp points of the Swords’ anger.

Unfortunately for the Swords, new transfer student Fudo Nomura thinks that sounds like a total drag, and he might just have the martial arts chops and rapier wit needed to slash through the Swords’ defenses and carve a new niche for himself in their feisty feminine hearts! It’s a whole new kind of slice of life High School Drama, extra heavy on the “slice”, as one Bad Boy meets some very Dicey Girls!

Our View:

Based on the manga of the same name, and animated by animation studio Silver Link Connect, Armed Girl’s Machivaellism is a unique series which sees male delinquents put into a female focused school in hopes of correcting them to follow the rules. The punch-line here is that all of the female students are armed with weapons and the ‘Supreme Five Swords’ maintain the high order and ‘correct’ male delinquents. It’s not your typical ‘student life’ anime but it does provide a refreshing story with some nice comedy, a developing harem and some familiar personalities that –to me at least – are samiliar to characters within SENRAN KAGURA.

I had no real expectations of Armed Girl’s Machivaellism; but just after the first episode I knew this was going to be an interesting series – even if the animation itself is rather simplistic; but colourful. Armed Girl’s Machivaellism follows the journey of Fudo Nomura, with the emphasis on the No, who after engaging in a fight in his previous school is kicked out and sent to the Aichi Coexistence Academy. This academy, as previously mentioned, is used as a way of correcting bad behaviour and this is managed by the Five Supreme Swords that consist of Rin Onigawara, Mary Kikakujou, Satori Tamaba, Warabi Hanasaka and Tsukuyo Inaba; each of which with their own unique skill set and personality.

Regardless Nomura is only interested in a ‘peaceful’ life of freedom and quiet; but this dream is destroyed with the arrival of Rin Onigawara and her persistence of trying to correct Nomura to be like the other male students; which sees them dress up as females. For the most part Armed Girl’s Machivaellism is a simplistic story of Nomura fighting for his peace and as such each episode – until the halfway point of this twelve episode series – is Nomura fighting each one of the Five Swords so that Nomura can obtain a pass that would allow him his said freedom. As mentioned each member of the Five Swords has a different personality and fight style; all of which brings out the best of this series.

Initially that’s all that Armed Girl’s Machivaellism has to offer; but as the second half of the series starts to progress we begin to learn that Onigawara and Kikakujou have developed crushes on Nomura ever since their gracious defeat while the other Five Swords also show a ‘friendly’ interest in Nomura’s personality and his unique fighting style. It’s at this point that the darker tones of Armed Girl’s Machivaellism begin to surface with the Empress, who turns out to be the person that defeat Nomura in the past, going on a rampage on the school grounds. It’s up to Nomura to overcome his fears and stop this threat from destroying the friendships that he has helped forged during his time at the school.

Armed Girl’s Machivaellism offers an interesting story indeed but at its core it is simply a violent swordsman themed anime series with comedic and fan-service elements thrown in for good measure. This isn’t a bad thing as it has a well-rounded approach that is easy to take in and fun to watch; although the different types of sword and fighting styles – of which text appears on screen – can be overwhelming. The highlight of Armed Girl’s Machivaellism though is not the story; but its characters and their personalities – most of which i easily compare with SENRAN KAGURA.

As an example Rin Onigawara, much like Murakumo from SENRAN KAGURA, is shy and hides behind her mask as a result of her mother while Satori Tamaba, who has a twised personality and an empty expression, reminds me of Hikage from SENRAN KAGURA and Sonozaki Shion from When They Cry. The biggest similarity though is the Empress who closely resembles Kagura (True Form) from SENRAN KAGURA with her claw focused punching attacks and determined expression. Despite these similarities the characters stand-out and evolve over the course of this twelve episode series and bear fruit in the stand-a-lone OVA episode that takes place after the main events.

Extras:

As with most anime titles of this calibur the amount of bonus features is limited and with this release of Armed Girl’s Machivaellism viewers are treated to the bare minimum of promotional Japanese materials and textless opening and closing songs.

As MVM Entertainment have opted to use disc masters authored by Madman Entertainment in Australia, as opposed to disc masters authored by Sentai Filmworks in North America, we do not receive any trailers for other anime show; but the fundamentals of the disc menu and layout remain consistent with the mastering process by Sentai Filmworks. Either way this release only contains the bare essentials of bonus content.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:36:17 (Disc 1), 1:36:57 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Armed Girl’s Machivaellism tells the story of an unlikely hero named Fudo Nomura. A simple guy who has been trained both hand-to-hand and sword fighting techniques during his childhood but wishes for the peaceful life of freedom and quiet during his high school life. This freedom is put at risk when he is sent to Aichi Coexistence Academy for ‘correction’ and as such the Supreme Five Swords of the school, who have total control on how to disciple students, make in their personal business to convert him to the ways of the other male students; by following the rules they set.

Unfortunately for the Five Swords Nomura is no push-over and as such over the course of these twelve episodes we see Nomura defeat and befriend the Five Swords in order to obtain their stamp which would grant him access to the outside world. These battles not only dictate bloody violence, which for a school campus that was perfectly fine with this seemed incredibly surprising, but character development with each of the five swords and their closest friends. Alas the real battle begins when the Empress finally shows and all truths are revealed. It’s a simplistic start with a deeper meaning and makes for a nice change of pace from the norm; but naturally the highlights are the characters and their personalities rather than the story that is being told.

In regards to this Blu-Ray release, which discs mastered by Madman Entertainment, then it is business as usual for those familiar with Sentai Filmwork licensed titles. In this case strong visual and audio presentation (even if the animation is pretty standard) with subtitles presented in Yellow text (as well as White and in smaller font when multiple people are talking). Those hoping for an English Dub will be glad to hear that one exists and while it is another mediocre dub produced by Sentai Filmworks it does have (occasionally) some strong performances from the vocal cast. No real complaints here; just a normal presentation in both English and Japanese audio.

Overall Armed Girl’s Machivaellism is a welcome surprise and a nice addition to the UK release catalogue. It’s different to the norm and despite its questionable story it offers a strong sense of character personality and some good comical moments; just beaware of the fan service (although these are actually tasteful) and you’ll enjoy what this show has to offer. A simplistic series with a well presented release is what this Blu-Ray release of Armed Girl’s Machivaellism has to offer; but its all good fun and worth checking out.

Score: review-stars-4

Armed Girl’s Machivaellism – The Complete Collection will be available on the 4th February 2019 on Blu-Ray via MVM Entertainment UK.

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.

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: