Koihime Musou, and Shin Koihime Musou were evidently popular enough to spawn another sequel, Shin Koihime Musou Otome Tairan.
In this third season
, the main players of Ryuubi’s camp take to the roads once more, traveling around, taking lots of baths, fighting, eating, performing in plays, meeting random challenges and misunderstanding basic bodily functions in ways that give rise to seedy, embarrassing innuendo. Just like the other two seasons.
It’s almost amazing when the story bothers to actually take on a chapter of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms because it so much prefers to be doing something else. Anything else. However, where the second season and the OVA pretty much threw out the original formula of a mix of service and Romance for all service and little story, this third season has recaptured three of the qualities that made the original not intolerable.
1) The sense of humor. In many senses there are two senses of humor on display during this season – the sophomoric, isn’t it *hi-larious* when girls trip and we see their underwear kind and the “god, this is so dumb that I might as well throw myself into it and make it work” kind. The former is on display with every episode, and the latter shows through every once in a while and usually makes me laugh out loud.
2) Fighting. It’s hard to remember, in the middle of all those baths and breast jokes that these characters are meant to be the great military heroes of the age. (I weep for Zhang Fe every time Rin-Rin talks.) We’re getting a bit more fighting in this series than I remember in the last one and I, for one, approve.
3) Yuri. You knew that had to be here, or why would I bother writing this review, right? In Season 1
, Chou’un/Sei was very gay and Sousou/Karin had a thing for Kan’u/Aisha. In Season 2, I think there was a teeny bit of Sousou and not much of of anything else.
This season we had a nice episode of Sonken x Ryomou (approved) and also a very silly reason for Gien having feelings for Ryuubi. Chou’un seems to care more about bamboo shoots than girls this season, but there’s always time. And Koukin and Sonsaku are an item, which is less awful than it sounds. :-)
What amuses me most about this season is that it pretty obviously has been altered for a broadcast, non-DVD release. Bathing suits are drawn on, as are fog, steam, bright lights and other clever but obvious ploys to cover the nekkid women. This amuses me and annoys. It reminded me of the last Tenchi series showed on Cartoon Network, where they sat in a bath and drank, like orange juice, with painted on clothes. It was so lame and obvious.
Because this is Koihime Musou, for every scene in which there is a fight, there are three where they bathe and two where they sing or dance or play dress up; you have to watch this with pretty low expectations. Do that, and you’ll find that this anime is basically ice cream sundae level of bad for you – not so bad every once in a while, but you wouldn’t want too much at once.
Art – 6
Story – 6
Characters – 6
Yuri – as high as 7 from time to time
Service – 9
Overall – 6
What actually galls me about this kind of series is not that the girls get naked all the time, but that it’s always played so coyly. If we’re going to look at breasts and crotches fine, but does it *have* to be so peeping tom-ish? Can’t we just looks at breasts and crotches and have done with it?