Yuri Anime: Shin Koihime Muso (English), Disk 1

November 4th, 2011

In 1951, photographer Ruth Orkin had an idea for a photograph. When she met student Jinx Allen, she knew she had found her model. The resulting photograph “American Girl in Italy” is now iconic. (For the full story of this photo, read An Image of Innocence Abroad from Smithsonian Magazine.)

Take a look at this photo. Click it to see it as large as you can.

Note the look on the woman’s face. Does it look pained, concerned? Scared? Now look at the men around her. Note them staring openly at her, with what they probably think is admiration.

Women readers – how does this picture make you feel? Men, how about you?

The feeling I get upon viewing this picture is the same feeling I feel when I watch Shin Koihime Muso. It makes me cringe.

There is Yuri in Shin Koihime Musou. Sousou only takes women to bed, she’s got the hots for Kanu. Kakuka lusts after Sousou. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are people out there getting turned on by the excruciating service in this series and it just makes me cringe with embarrassment for them, and for myself.

The Chou brothers have been turned into the Chou sisters who become pop idols. By episode 5, after we had heard that one song 6 times in less than 30 minutes, I put the sound on mute for a bit. That helped.

Ratings:

Art – Moe
Story – Peasant uprising against despots/fans of pop idols rioting. So similar.
Characters – It’s not their fault
Yuri – 3
Service – There are not enough numbers in the universe

Overall – For me, an excruciating 3. For fans of the series 8

I just have to keep reminding myself that, of the three Koihime series, this was by far the worst, and that, although it was hardly good, Otome Tairan was less bad and had better Yuri.

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15 Responses

  1. Filo says:

    That guy in the middle looks like he’s about to start literally wanking there.

  2. Felix says:

    “Loser FanBoy – Not enough numbers in the universe.” Hah! Personally I probably rate this a 6, kind of liked, recommend it to people that like series like it, it but yes definitively it had problems.

    I really think the main problems of this series is due to the fact that this was based on a hentai game with a male lead. Actually he was really nothing more then an avatar for the player to have virtual sex with anime girls. (Because I guess they didn’t think fanboys would buy a game with a female avatar to have sex with anime girls?) That why he was ditched in the anime, literally no personality.

    Also Erica, if you are looking for a suggestion of a non-fanboy bait series to watch to get the taste out of your mouth, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing has gotten rather amazing. I honestly don’t know how much actual Yuri there will actually be, but by all other metrics this is shaping up to be a really great series. It has three really great three female leads, the plot is a little more straight forward then the first series but there still is plenty of mystery, and the flying sequences are great. (Actually two of the leads spend most of episode 3 flying around, leading to a lot of wonderful character development.)

  3. Mara says:

    “…it just makes me cringe with embarrassment for them, and for myself.”

    I always feel really bad when I read stuff like this; you shouldn’t have to suffer that way about people who will still exist whether you acknowledge them or not. It does not seem right for you to waste your energy on something that is just boring like the bad episodes of Koihime. Is it really so essential that you push yourself to view things that make you so uncomfortable?

    PS: should point out that this statement is incredibly selfish of me as: 1) Reviews of stuff you enjoy are more entertaining for me to read and 2) I feel less guilty about all the effort you put into this blog when that happens.

  4. @felix – I know you’ve suggested that before. Can I ask you to consider writing a review of it? It sounds good, but I’m so behind on watching anime as it is, I doubt I would get to it for ages. So…will you?

    @Mara – Don’t sweat it! This particular cringe gave me the opportunity to bring a little classic American photography (by a woman well-respected in her field) to the attention of my readers. That’s worth the couple of hours I spent watching this disk. ^_^

  5. obake says:

    As a female it made me sick to my stomach. That poor woman looks like a rabbit dropped into the middle of a wolf pack, waiting to be ripped to shreds and devoured.

    Even though that photo was taken 60 years ago most women can attest that male attitudes haven’t changed that much.

    Even in Manhattan I’ve had to run similar gauntlets in construction areas. You always have that thought in the back of your mind that it’s you that caused it even though you know you didn’t. Scary and humiliating.

  6. @obake – You should definitely read the article, then, because Jinx thought she looked beautiful.

  7. Felix says:

    @Erica – Sure I could give it a try.

  8. @Felix – Terrific! I look forward to it. Use my typical format: Intro, synopsis, critical commentary if any, ratings, and send me the text – inline, not attachments, please – to anilesbocon01 at hotmail dot com.

  9. Anonymous says:

    As a guy, I didn’t realise how a beautiful woman could make us sport really silly mugs.

  10. Obake says:

    @ Erica-Interesting article. Was that the prevailing reaction of the times?
    Sort of “Bad attention is better than no attention at all” That if there was no reaction from the local primates you were somehow less a woman and desirable? Scary.

  11. Cryssoberyl says:

    Condemn me though many will, I can’t help but love Koihime Musou. It’s one of the most pleasurable of my guilty pleasures. I can only offer the following as an explanation:

    Character designs aside, and even though I know the female characters are only stand-ins for male historical figures, I love that the women in Koihime Musou are running the show. They are competent and respected warriors, engineers, bureaucrats, warlords, scholars, and leaders of their people. They fight, think, love, and live freely as they wish, and they are never, ever beholden to any man.

    There are also many moments of genuine female comradeship – and I don’t mean Yuri, although there certainly is that as well (I’ll save my admiration for Sonsaku/Shuuyu for the Otome Tairan write-up). I’m talking about friendship, respect, and mutual emotional support between women, and that’s something I always love to see.

    Now, it’s true that the show glazes this creation with an incredibly thick coating of fanservice. But, what can I say? When I eat cake, I’ve never had a problem with scooping off (i.e. ignoring) excess frosting when there’s too much.

  12. @Crrysoberyl – There’ll be no condemnation from me, certainly. I find myself unable to enjoy or ignore scenes like the extended faux blow-job eating candy sticks. I don’t scoop cake either – Either it works for me as a whole, or I don’t eat it. ^_^

  13. Lucas says:

    As a man, that picture made me sad. So many men just ogle like their looking at meat. That’s a person. Perhaps worth knowing, perhaps not, but a person none-the-less.

    Anyways, thank you for saving me from wasting time watching yet another crapping anime, or as I call ’em now YACAs.

  14. Jin54321 says:

    That is indeed a priceless, timeless picture that really captures everything it intended to. As for the show, how sad that in the hunger for Yuri and shoujo anime we need to grab the crumbs from the forever pubescent man-boys table. With the Koihime Musou series, I might not go as far as Crrysoberyl did in praise, but I agree with some points and I noted something; In reviews of Ikkitōsen’s (shiny ecchi instead of Moe-loli) you seemed to be able to enjoy it even though it had things Koi’ did not: a female lead with a 5 year old brain, the rape and murder of the only Yuri character in S1, constant molestation of girls by the boys and the most powerful girls losing fights to even secondary male characters, to name some of what made me ‘cringe’. In Great Gardians when the episode started with the slimy Saji fondling the bisexual girl once-was I was done with it. Even though your points on Koi’ are valid, for me the absence of male plots make it watchable and the 1st and 3rd run enjoyable if I try very hard to pretend it was made for us. So on Koihime Musou, like Ikkitōsen, I respectfully agree to disagree on some points.

  15. @Jin54321 – It comes down to two things for me: The characters in Ikkitousen don’t look 4-8 year olds with breasts pasted on and they beat the crap out of one another.

    I’m not saying it’s good, or better, just that the style grosses me out less. They are both series that pander to the worst in humanity. Your points are valid, and we can disagree about the series cheerfully. ^_^

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