Series Review

Anime Hajime Review: Senran Kagura Shinovi Master: Tokyo Youma-hen

Original Run: October 12, 2018 - December 28, 2018
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Action, Comedy
Based on the Video Game Series: Senran Kagura

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Senran Kagura Shinovi Master: Tokyo Youma-hen. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

We return to Hanzo Academy, the prestigious school for the secret arts of ninjutsu. Asuka (voiced by Hitomi Harada), the granddaughter of Hanzo Academy’s founder, and her friends happily train to become the next generation of ninja.

However, a new enemy is lurking on the horizon. Asuka’s comrades are suddenly captured and held hostage. To ensure their safe release, the top students at the various ninja academies – both good and evil – must compete in the ancient Shinovi Master tournament to determine who is the strongest.

Asuka is desperate to save not only those who were taken from her but all her friends who now seem to be heading towards a dangerous trap.

Old grudges must be put aside to stop a much larger threat. Unfortunately, everyone’s idea of right and wrong threaten to undo everything before the fight even starts.

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Series Positives

Of all the series from the 2018 fall season, why on Earth have you decided to showcase Senran Kagura Shinovi Master: Tokyo Youma-hen (Senran Kagura 2), Odyssey?

To those of you who might be asking that question, I believe it a fair one since I was wondering “why” myself. The fact of the matter is, when choosing what to review from the most recent anime season, I always give priority to sequels of series I have covered in the past. Believe it or not, Senran Kagura is such a series.

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The original Senran Kagura was among my initial one-hundred reviews, and I promptly pushed it out of my memory. The first season of this series was by no means great, but it wasn’t an atrocious train wreck either. Its biggest crime was its forgettability. Thus, I foolishly assumed everything was done.

Low and behold, fresh off both the third anniversary of my review of season one and the sixth anniversary of its original air date, we have Senran Kagura 2.

Why?

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I won’t lie, I didn’t have high hopes for this season. The chances of it improving on the faults of its predecessor were low in my mind. If anything, this installment would be more of the same. Therefore, what was there to get excited about?

In one aspect, I was right. There was, indeed, nothing to get excited about. To my chagrin, though, I was wrong in thinking everything would be more of the same. As it turned out, everything was way, way worse.

This was not a fun season to sit through.

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Let me say this here: If the only thing you want from your next series is to watch naked anime boobies play around and occasionally “fight” each other, stop reading now. Senran Kagura 2 is the show for you.

Admittedly, I was fully aware abundant bare-breast fun times and panty shots were a route the sequel to Senran Kagura – a series adapted from a video game franchise with highly erotic elements – would likely go down. What I was not aware of was how that was going to be the entirety of this series. There was nothing else.

Or, at least, this show had nothing except for the character of Fubuki (voiced by Kana Asumi).

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Fubuki was a decent villain. And by “decent,” I mean Fubuki was way too good for this series. I vaguely remember the baddies of Senran Kagura 1 also being far better than the heroes. Fubuki either was on a whole other level, faced even more incompetent opponents, or both.

Like any memorable antagonist, Fubuki was a sympathetic character. Her entire goal – though extreme – came from a place which made sense. She wasn’t evil for evil’s sake. Instead, she grew into her role because of her past experiences. Her story was actually quite tragic, and she was never given a reason to doubt why she hated the people she hated.

Conversely, Senran Kagura 2’s “good guy’s” entire counter-stance consisted of, “Merh, I know you are but what am I?”

Poor Fubuki; she was completely wasted here.

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Series Negatives

Maybe this was due to me not remembering a show I watched three years prior. Or perhaps the sequel was just that inept. I honestly had no idea who most of the characters in Senran Kagura 2 were.

I knew Asuka and her group, as well as the rival ninjas they faced last season. As far as I’m concerned, though, everyone else came from nowhere. I’ll admit, it is possible these mystery characters may have made appearances in the multiple Senran Kagura OVA specials, and I actually don’t recall if I saw those specials or not.

Regardless…

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No, there is no “regardless.” There is no point getting upset over whether a character came from a series or a should-not-contain-crucial-information OVA. After all, except for Fubuki – and the character Yumi (voiced by Yumi Hara), but more on her in a moment – everybody in Senran Kagura 2 was the same person.

Everyone in this series was just a pair of boobs; and what diversity there was. There were big boobs, small boobs, round boobs, as well as dark boobs, pale boobs, and tan-lined boobs. Some boobs were flat, and some boobs bounced while a person stood perfectly still. A few of these boobs were loud, while others were stern. Most boobs could have been found being groped, and the rest were doing the groping.

Frankly, who gives a s@#$ where they came from?

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I think I made it all the way through half of episode one before I realized: I don’t care. I knew this was going to be one of those series where I would sound overly pompous if I critiqued elements such as story, animation, or logic. No effort went into any of those points, so why would I bother concerning myself with them?

Still, there is one thing I must mention and I must mention it because I don’t remember the last time this has happened – if ever.

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If I am wrong, please tell me. Otherwise, I feel it is safe to say Asuka is the main character of the Senran Kagura franchise. I mean, that was the role she played last season, and everyone in this season talked about her as though she was the protagonist.

However, I’m confused.

If Asuka was the true main character of Senran Kagura 2, why then did a person named Yumi (one of those characters who simply showed up out of nowhere) fulfill all the jobs which usually fall to the protagonist? Jobs which include, but are not limited to, fighting the climactic battle against Fubuki. Hell, Yumi was reasonably competent at doing everything Asuka probably should have done, and as a result, she served as a non-awful foil to Fubuki.

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Yumi was one of those pairs of boobs who had something resembling a backstory and a unique personality. Alternatively, Asuka was a person I sometimes forgot was even in this show.

To tell you the truth, I suspect Senran Kagura 2 will not meet the same lack-of-memorability fate as its predecessor. No, this is going to go on to serve as an example of what happens when an already weak series utterly fails at a grossly unneeded sequel.

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Final Thoughts

I never thought I would ever have to return to this series. There are too many shows out there which need and deserve a follow-up, and yet, here I am reviewing this.

This season was bad. This season was horrible. It was a total waste of my time. Don’t let it waste yours.

On top of its blatant lack of effort, it was sad to see a good villain wasted on this mistake of a continuation. There were only boobs on its brain, and thus, I suppose it was out of pure unfortunate happenstance this series managed to pull off something decent at all.

However, I won’t be losing much sleep over that issue.

Senran Kagura Shinovi Master: Tokyo Youma-hen is one you can happily skip.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Senran Kagura Shinovi Master: Tokyo Youma-hen? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

And if you liked what you read, be sure to follow me on my social media sites so that you never miss a post or update. Also, please share this review across the internet to help add to the discussion.

I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

Post Edited By: Onions

3 comments

  1. I’m just gonna say it as someone who is a fan of this series and…. yeah i for the most part agree with ya on this review. to give this series its fair credit the original 10 from the first season do at least have backstories and characters to them. unfortunately in recent years it is more about the in your face fanservice where even when it tries to be emotional in this season it pretty much fails and as a fan I can tell ya this series’ season 2 which is also kind of a problem in the games is that it tries to make 20 plus characters main characters which is why the focus is all over the place. this series can be well decent at times but even when it’s creator who’s often the producer admits his focus is on the fanservice well you get this mess.

    I’m trying to plan a topic on this on my blog but that’s gonna take time as this same creator Kenichiro Takaki has another anime based on a game that’s coming out in january called “Kandagawa Jet Girl” airing as an anime and it has a lot of the same problems as this and Valkyrie Drive(assuming you saw that too). the biggest problem this anime and Jet Girls have are they aren’t telling a story that’s been thought out, they’re trying to sell you a game which for season 2 was the mobile app game that came out in november i think of that same year. so until jet girls is over I can’t really go into the ups and downs of Takaki Kenichiro and his works till that’s over.

    Liked by 1 person

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