When last we saw the beautiful buxom warriors of Samurai Bride, an anime series based on the Samurai Girls light novel series written by Suzuki Akira, their world was facing destruction by an ominous dark force, in the first season of the the series anime adaptation. A basic rundown of the series is as such — the setting is an odd mix of futuristic sci-fi and Japanese history broadly based on the characteristics and influential personages from the Sengoku, or Warring States period of Japan.
The anime series takes the same characters and follows a completely different plot than the novels, so therefore it exists in its own universe, if you will. At the center of the story is Buou Academic School where the children of the most influential families in Japan train to become samurai. For a more detailed examination of the series on the whole, and season one, readers can see my review of Samurai Girls to catch up.
Naturally, the ladies and Muneakira, the Samurai General, all survived their impending doom, or else there wouldn’t be a second season, now would there?. And what we get here in the second season, Samurai Bride, is a lot more of the fun, sexy fan service, comedy, action, and great animation that the first season provided. Of course, the girls are all facing a new challenge, this time out, and that is, well, impending doom – surprise, surprise. This time it comes in the form of a group of resurrected Dark Samurai challengers who arrive at the dojo looking to battle the powerful Yagyu Jubei, the only problem is, after the last big battle, Jubei hasn’t been able to transform into her Master Samurai state anymore. So, the Dark Samurai Miyamoto Musashi, a strong, honorable warrior who is looking to fight other strong opponents, allows them one month to get the “real” Jubei ready, but not before one of her partners, Hōzōin Inshun, puts a curse on Muneakira that not only blocks him from holding his kitana, but will spread to cover his whole body and kill him unless it is removed. That challenge may not be the biggest problem facing the group, however, as it slowly becomes clear that the Dark Samurai women may have a bigger agenda, and that is to obliterate Greater Japan.
But never mind the doom and gloom, Samurai Bride keeps it light and sexy, with the season opening up with the dojo having been converted into a Maid Cafe (think lots of opportunities for slinky outfits, upskirt shots and the usual bath scenes), and, for whatever reason, the amiable Jubei befriending two of the Dark Samurai girls the group have to fight. Then there are new characters added to the mix, new Master Samurai (can you guess who?) and the usual opportunities for clothes-shredding action.
This is another gorgeous transfer offered by Sentai Filmworks for the second season of this series in a rich, crisp, and clear AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement of the digital animation. What little video noise there is, is an artistic choice rather than a deficiency.
Japanese and English soundtracks are offered up in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit). There isn’t much to say outside of the fact that the stereo imaging is good as well as the dynamic range and that the Japanese voice actors trump the English ones by a wide margin. Jubei (Yūki Aoi) sounds many times cuter in Japanese.
You want fan service? Well you got it in spades with the Samurai Bride episode shorts included here.
- Samurai Bride Shorts:
- 2.5 – Sasuke & Musashi at the Public Bath (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:44)
- 4.5 – Kojiro in Maid Training (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:07)
- 5.5 – The Best Swimsuit (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:01)
- 7.5 – Project Big Boobs (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:42)
- 10.5 – D’Artagnan’s Report (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:57)
- 12.5 – The Maidens on the Beach (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:42)
- Japanese Preview (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:27)
- Japanese Blu-ray Promos (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
- Clean Opening Animations
- Clean Closing Animations
- Sentai Filmworks Trailers
- Disc Credits
The Definitive Word
Samurai Bride continues the cutting edge animation style, with just a slight upgrade stylistically, that defined the eye-popping first season of this franchise. Add to that the cute characters and numerous comedic opportunities, and this remains a top draw series.