Summer 2014 Harem Hill, Week 4: Punching bag harem leads

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What’s the theme this week? A true hero takes milady’s punishment with grace. As always, let’s take a look at last week’s poll results:

week 3 results

Oooh, so close. One of these weeks, Rokujyoma no Shinryakusha!? will finally win… or lose. Whatever it is. But for now, Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance is up 3-0. With that out of the way, let’s now dive into the fourth week of the season.


Rokujyoma no Shinryakusha!? Ep. 4

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00:29 — The girls play one of those lottery games and win a trip to a hot springs resort. Why, of course they did. Every time one of these stupid lottery games show up in an anime, the grand prize is almost always a trip to some fancy inn. The most recent example? See ImoCho.

03:39 — We go shopping for swimsuits with the girls because, well, this episode is also doubling as the season’s requisite beach episode.

04:20 — More jokes about Theia’s flat chest, ’cause we just can’t get enough of them.

04:50 — The harem lead makes sure to ask Sanae, the ghost, whether or not she needs a swimsuit. She assures him that she still has one from a long time ago. Plus, she just can’t wear any regular bikini off the sales rack. It’s got to be an ectoplasmic lil’ number.

06:00 — Using alien technology, Theia helps the rest of the group save money by opening a gate directly to the hot springs resort. The harem lead then pats the flat-chested tsunderekko on the head to signify this approval.

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Yep, not even done with a wink.

06:32 — When they get there, it turns out the inn is nothing more than a rundown apartment building.

06:43 — And it turns out their room is just exactly what they’ve been living in this whole, entire time anyway. Hey, they shouldn’t have any trouble getting settled in, then! Still, is any of this supposed to be funny? Hoho, you thought you were going to have a fancy vacation, but… you’re not! What. A. Gut. Buster. Oh yeah, the room is haunted too. Are you laughing yet?

08:10 — Still, the gang heads to the beach anyway…

08:46 — The harem lead learns that Harumi is here too, because her summer vacation home is nearby. They may as well just have stayed home, ’cause nothing has changed whatsoever. Why even bother with the pretense of going on a vacation?

09:41 — The girls are finally in their bathing suits, and naturally, they draw the crowd. The harem lead’s girls are always the hottest girls around. No exception. Normally, girls would want to check guys out as much as guys check them out. But not in an anime. In anime, the girls are totally oblivious to any other guy but the harem lead:

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I mean, just look at Koutarou:

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What girl wouldn’t want such a magnificent specimen all to herself?

10:23 — Alas, despite the haremettes’ various cute and/or sexy bathing suits, Harumi-chan with her white summer dress and parasol combo takes the lead anyway. And of course she does. She’s your typical, boring, understated Japanese beauty. A girl like Kiriha might have giant breasts, which harem fans are content to masturbate to, but let’s not kid ourselves. Simply because she dares to wear a two-piece bathing suit, she is automatically considered inferior to someone like Harumi. A true Japanese waifu would never show off her goods like that in public for other men to see!

10:53 — The rest of the girls are jealous. So what do they do? They decide to beat up on the harem lead for, uh, not drooling all over them.

11:04 — The harem lead wonders what he’s done to deserve this fate. Harumi tells him he doesn’t try to understand women’s feelings. So if women are seeking your approval, you better give it to them or you get abused.

11:52 — Sanae looks a little gimpy.

11:57 — The girls look and see the harem lead laughing and enjoying his time with Harumi. How dare he! He’s supposed to stay buried in the sand and be miserable on this vacation!

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12:18 — So the girls threaten to split his head open with a large stick. Irrational jealousy is so funny! I’m so glad Rokujyoma no Shinryakusha!? has such a perfect handle on how women think and act. I now know never to go to the beach with my female friends, ’cause you never know if they are secretly in love with you, and therefore, would go yandere on you out of nowhere! Haha, women are so crazy.

13:23 — Those two guys in suits who had run the lottery are here too, and they’re trying to capture Sanae for some reason. I’m sure it’s a stupid reason. The rest of the girls do what they do best, so they beat up those two guys in suits.

14:15 — With two-thirds of the episode down the train, our harem lead finally gets to enjoy a dip in the hot springs.

14:31 — “Everyone else was getting along pretty well, too.” What are you? The Haremette Day Care Center?

14:40 — Theia confesses that she’s trying to “prove [herself] as a worthy successor in order to protect [her] mother, the current Empress.” Obviously, getting the harem lead’s loyalty proves you’re ready to rule.

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Someone then says, “So, you want apartment 106 to help protect your mother.” Someone just said that with a straight face. It’s not even a joke, ’cause tender, contemplative music was playing in the background. In fact, why don’t we just drag everyone’s sob story out in the open while we’re here. Sanae won’t stop haunting the apartment, because she’s waiting for her parents to return. Hint: they’ve forgotten all about you and they never loved you in the first place.

16:40 — We now see the girls fast asleep. I guess I’m mildly surprised the harem lead didn’t walk in on them while they were bathing in the hot springs. Mildly.

16:52 — A sleeping harem lead rolls over, and snuggles Ruth. He’s really dreaming about a beetle in a tree, though. Yeah… a beetle. Don’t ask. Naturally, the girl gets mad at a guy for not dreaming about her. So she beats him up. Then the rest of the girls get mad at him too. Top-notch comedy.

18:05 — Don’t worry, buddy. I’d rather dream about beetles than any of these girls too.

18:35 — Forced out of his room, our harem lead goes for a stroll on the beach and runs into Kiriha. I love how the girl’s breasts are practically falling out one second…

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…only to be covered up another second. Top-notch animation.

19:06 — Kiriha has in her hands a card she received from someone she liked. She just hasn’t seen this person since. I wonder who this person could be…

19:38 — Sanae sneaks up on the two of them, but when she surprises them, the harem lead’s special charms shock the ghost and send her flying to the ground…? Has he been carrying those wards on him this entire tim-… actually, I don’t care. Anyway, Sanae storms off because she’s offended he even has those charms in his possession. How many more times can the guy piss off one of his haremettes in just a single episode? Seriously.

20:43 — Those mysterious men in suits are still up to something. Up to something nobody cares about.

21:32 — The next day at breakfast, Koutarou and Sanae argue some more. I’m just a spirit. You’re just a boy. We’re destined to be enemies! Uguu, we can never be friends! So she storms off again. Oh boy, drama out of nowhere.

21:59 — The credits finally roll. So what have we learned this week, kids? We learned that it’s okay to flip your shit for whatever reason you want.


Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance Ep. 4

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— Just look at the determination in our harem lead’s eyes. This cross-dresser means business.

— In fact, what am I even looking at?

These eyes, man, these eyes. Who’s behind this anime, again? TNK? Who the fuck are they? Oh… ooooooooh… they produced School Days and Kenzen Robo Daimidaler. It’s all beginning to make sense now.

— Lots of still shots with action lines on top follow. I don’t know what’s funnier, to be honest: this show’s horrible animation, or the fact that something as highly-budgeted as Mahouka still had to resort to the same lazy trick.

— Meanwhile, you have Claire battling these spirits with nothing more than her whip. Needless to say, she isn’t doing very well:

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But I don’t know… I think we need more action lines to convey just how much danger she’s in.

— “Why am I so weak?” the girl wonders. So that the harem lead can show up in the nick of time to save you!

— Unfortunately, Claire’s impatient, so she uses that evil magic she had been given at the end of last week’s episode. In doing so, this… ugly thing comes out. Holy shit, nothing looks cool in this anime, huh? “Give me your poor, your tired, your ugly ass Pokemon-rejects,” says Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance.

— The new, evil spirit then corrupts all of the other spirits, causing them to turn against their masters. You get to see hilarious shit like this giant bird turd flipping the fuck out.

— Apparently, that ugly thing is a twisted version of Scarlet. Poor fire-cat.

— Kamito has no choice but to summon his loli sword and enter the battlefield himself.

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He tries to reason with the girl, but uh, she just says, “Shut up! I need power!” Good writing. Good dialogue. Good everything. Best anime of the season right here, folks.

— After a series of flashbacks, where we see more of Claire’s sob story, she argues, “Uguu, you don’t understand how lonely I am!”

— So the hero goes, “I’ll be here for you, idiot!” Naturally, Claire reacts with infinite grace by whipping him across the face. This is what it has come down to, folks. True love means allowing a girl to beat the shit out of you. You saw it first in Rokujyoma no Shinryakusha!?, and now you see it here in Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance. You ain’t a true Nipponjin if you don’t let your haremette beat you whenever she’s mad. Then naturally, once you get married, the tables are turned.

— Claire then has the nerve to ask, “Why didn’t you dodge that? I wasn’t trying to hit you.” Babe, I only threw the punch because I thought you’d avoid it!

— Our gentlesir’s answer? “Claire, I love your flame.” So whip me all you want! In any case, he re-iterates his desire to be her contracted spirit. Yo, asshole, you’re not even a spirit.

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Uh…

Twisted Scarlet is having none of this bullshit, though!

— Best part is, Claire only finds out now that her precious Scarlet is still alive. What did she think that thing was?

— In just a single strike, however, the harem lead destroys the red crystal on the twisted Scarlet’s head, and that is enough to turn the mad spirit back into a cute fire-cat. So much for that, huh? Obviously, if we waste any more time with this scene, we won’t be able to have all the juicy harem hijinks that are soon to come.

— Afterwards, our gentlesir asks the girl if she’s okay. She just tells him to shut up, or she’ll turn him into cinders. Man, what an amazing girl.

— Tired of this charade, Restia shows herself to the harem lead.

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— Aaaaaaand she’s off again. Not before she brings this stupid golem thing to life, of course.

— Claire: “I don’t really care, but I’m going to ask. That girl… Wh-Who is she to you?” I don’t really care, guys. emot-rolleye

— The timing of this conversation is just stupid. The giant-ass golem is still on a rampage, bringing the whole coliseum down. But we can’t escape yet! We have to discuss who Restia is to the harem lead!

— Since Kamito still won’t snap out of his Restia-induced funk, Claire plants a kiss on him:

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But uh, it’s not like she cares or anything! She just wants to save the town!

— I’m not going to describe the fight between Kamito and the giant-ass golem. It’s just poorly animated and ugly. I mean, look at this. It’s horrendous. And that thing attached to the golem’s left wrist? Yeah, it’s Claire’s whip. Somehow, it grew in length and size. Not only that, it’s strong enough to hold back a giant-ass golem. B-b-but it’s not like she wants to save Kamito or anything!

— Kamito has to use a lot of Ren Ashbell signature moves to take down the golem. As a result, Claire can’t help but think, “Could it be…. could Kamito and Ren Ashbell be the same person?” Yeah, they are, but I mean, can’t people copy other people’s moves? Why would using the same moves be indicative of anything?

— After the fight, Kamito passes out once again, ’cause using that loli sword drains a lot of his juices, if you know what I mean. When he comes to, he finds himself in bed again with, of course, his naked loli:

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But it’s different this time! ‘Cause Claire wasn’t around the last time Est was naked in Kamito’s bed, so obviously, we need to redo the scene with gusto! And spirit!

— Elsewhere, another haremette arrives on campus in a horse-drawn campus. But enough. Enough. I’m done. I’m out. Fuck both of these shows.


Vote away, vote away…

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10 thoughts on “Summer 2014 Harem Hill, Week 4: Punching bag harem leads

  1. elior1

    for me this week sirei no blade was little better then Rokujyoma no Shinryakusha!? episode since i alweys hated swimsuits beach episodes even with this spirits captures of the man try capture sanae back in the beach

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Seirei tsukai no blade dance is still tge worse of the two in my opinion, I mean Rokujouma at least is supposed to be weird and stupid (not that it helps) Seirei is trying to be smart, awesome and cool and fails big time, so much so in fact tjat just looking at the animation it seems the team isn’t even trying and knows how stupid the show is, at least Rokyjouma puts some kind of effort and at least the girls in Rokujyouma don’t hace the exact same character, I can at least tell them apart.

    Reply
  3. Andmeuths

    I think ultimately, the question of which is worse among the two Harems boils down to the subjective opinion of which is the Greater Sin: Boring Mediocrity, or Cliche Stupidity. Or in other words, a story that makes you go “meh” or yawn, and a story that makes you groan at how stupid it is. 55% of your readers probably hold the opinion that stupidity is the greater sin than mediocrity, and I am one of them. That being said, a convincing case can and has been made that Boredom is the worst literary sin – ultimately, it is a subjective opinion of which is worse – perhaps agreeing to disagree with 55% of your readers might be the way to go.

    For me, reason why Blade Dance is worse – beyond the subjective awful vs boring axis, is because it tries to breath new life into some very old Fantasy tropes, especially that of the idea of Virgin Power, by trying ask what happens if a magically dependent fantasy society built literally on that premise where females are the only ones who can wield magic. Virgin Power is basically the equivalent of Oil in our world to Blade Dance. Now, the idea of Virgin Power has problematic roots in itself (it’s origin in quite patriarchal oriented mythology to begin with), but there’s still interesting that can be done with it – Gender Relations, structure of that society, so on and so forth. The LN industry being what it is though, it isn’t surprising that it’s pissed away to service utterly head-desk bashing worthy levels of Harem stupidity, and misunderstandings. It’s also milked for very bad attempts at comedy. Still, it’s very painful to see that possibly interesting premise pissed away – and if not pissed away, worse.

    But what’s even more annoying is how the idea of Gender Relations is tackled. It’s basically set up in the same manner as Infinite Stratos – a society is supposed to become more matriarchal. However, like Infinite Stratos, it proceeds to build a very rage inducing picture of such a society, by concluding therefore that all Females will be Grade A Bitches to the male gender in such a society by default – because, boys and girls, that’s what’s going to happen if you give those damn females equality, or worse, power! But no, when these pure and well brought up maidens meet a noble, awesome Gary Stu like Kamito our harem lead, they shall be led back to the true and natural path of male dominance, become highly vulnerable jelly, and become “normal girls” who are subservient and retreat back to their kitchens. It’s nauseating, to the extent Rokujyuma probably can never reach.

    You should thank your lucky stars they only adapted dialogue – if this show had a narrator, I’m not sure whether you could survive the sheer levels of stupid, and the quite poorly disguised contempt for woman. Even then, the dialogue itself more or less shows this. The narrative tells it.

    Which goes on to another big problem. The Anime is full of Tells – and not only do they piss on Show don’t Tell right out to outer-space, it has the strange habit of telling – and then showing. This is probably partly the cause for the world-class dialogue – even “better” than the dialogue of SAO and Mahouka. The shitty fighting in this anime is probably a result of the violation of the show don’t tell principle, and to make it even worse, the adapters don’t even try to use their imagination to at least make it better. As a result, we get horrifically badly animated fights, and amazingly bad dialogue. All the rubbish about protecting Claire’s Fire is the equivalent of having a character say “I feel angry” when he is thinking to himself.

    And of course, the terrible fighting animations knocks it down even further. Seirei Blade Dance is an Action Harem , but the directors clearly forgot the Action Part.

    Of course plot holes abound – although the incident with Restia is a plot hole that is avoidable, if the show had a little more coherence – such as at least informing the viewers that Kamito spent the past three years searching for Restia. Also, Claire’s question was badly chosen, but given that Kamito was utterly out of it after meeting Restia, I think it’s not so much bad timing, but an attempt to demonstrate that Claire was fishing for anything that could snap Kamito out of it, and that she is a very insensitive person.

    Est waking up almost naked in Kamito’s bed however, is a plot hole – why doesn’t Kamito command her to remain fully dressed in his presence quite frankly, appears to be a blatant attempt to maintain a stupid gag – get use to it, it’s going to be repeated again and again, with very minor ,, superficial variations. That gag deserves to be nuked.

    Finally:

    “Yeah, they are, but I mean, can’t people copy other people’s moves? Why would using the same moves be indicative of anything?”

    A valid point – although once Kamito does catches on to it, he tried to give the excuse that he learned the moves from his teacher- was might also possibly have been Ren Ashbell’s teacher too. I suppose given how shitty the fighting sequences are, it’s impossible to convey that the skill by which Kamito carries out these very rare, signature moves of Ren Ashbell is as if Kamito is Ren Ashbell herself. Those are suppose to be difficult to imitate moves – yet more indictment on how bad the fight sequences are…..

    Rokujyoma at least isn’t offensively bad. Offensively boring perhaps.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      These stories are written by children, maybe the writers look like adults but no, they’re children. If they had even an ounce of intelligence or respect for themselves or for their “craft”, they wouldn’t be writing this shovel-tier garbage.
      The whole gender issue in anime is incredibly stone-age. I get that Japan is weird in its mixture of modern and conservative qualities, but it’s strange to me that there seems to be so little progressive head-way in this specific area. I’m not going to say that feminism just DOESN’T exist in Japan because that’s simply false, but there seems to be distinct lack of a vocal disagreement against how harem anime and female characters are represented.
      Let’s imagine someplace like the USA or anywhere else were gender equality is set on a pretty high pedestal. If a someone were to write and publish Rokujyoma or Blade Dance here, they would be publicly shamed as being a sexist pig and, well, be told that it would be an gross insult to generations past of great writers if they were to think of themselves as one.
      That simply doesn’t happen in Japan. Every year there are a dozen or more derivative harem shows that come out like it’s just natural to do so. Maybe it’s just the legendary Japanese sense of apathy that’s maybe one reason why there’s no real progress there in this context.
      And let’s face it, the harem genre isn’t the only anime genre out there to produce abysmal imitations that they call female characters. The trope-tastic nature of anime itself spawns just cookie-cutter “female characters” like it’s a cool thing to do. Just change up their hair a little, give them some cute eyes and give them a girl’s name, rinse and repeat until you have a full cast. Actual GOOD female characters are so incredibly rare and it’s the Holy Grail exception instead of the norm.

      I’ve wondered for a while if editors really exist in Japan, maybe they should re-take Editing & Proofreading 101 or something.

      Reply
    2. E Minor Post author

      Offensively boring is also offensively bad. I’m going to go for the one that has a story, even if it’s terrible cliched. Rokujyoma is just a bunch of shitty jokes.

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Since Rokujyouma has its obligatory beach & hot springs episode, that’s definitely getting my vote just for being so incredibly boring.
    It blows my mind how bikini fan service and nudity managed to BORE me, a heterosexual male. How incompetent and stale does your show have to be to dull those two boner-bait things into face-palm oblivion. My God, someone take the writer and castrate them.

    Reply

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