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Talon87 01-09-2013 05:03 PM

Senran Kagura

Senran Kagura is the 2013 television anime adaptation of the Nintendo 3DS video game franchise of the same name. The story centers around Asuka, a 2nd year student at the prestigious Hanzou Academy, who leads a secret life as one of the campus's five students currently undergoing training as a ninja.

Talon87 01-09-2013 05:03 PM

Characters: (descriptions lifted from TV Tropes, with slight edits)

Asuka: the main character. A 2nd-year student at Hanzou Academy, Asuka is energetic and willing to work as hard as she can. Her grandfather was apparently a great ninja himself, whose influence contributes to Asuka's earnestness about her kunoichi training. She uses two kōdachi, or short Japanese swords, in combat. Her ninpou is based on toads.

Date of Birth: September 8
Age: 16
Blood Type: A
Height: 155 cm
Measurements: B90, W57, H85
Hobbies: Training
Favorite Food: Grandpa's hand-made sushi rolls
CV: Harada Hitomi

Ikaruga: a 3rd-year student and the class representative. As a descendant of a prestigious ninja clan, she is formal and collected, but also a kind older sister character. Just don't make her angry. Her weapon is an heirloom sword called Hi-Tsubame. Her ninpou is based on firebirds.

Date of Birth: July 7
Age: 18
Blood Type: A
Height: 168 cm
Measurements: B93, W59, H90
Hobbies: Reading
Favorite Food: Kaiseki; Japanese tea
CV: Imai Asami

Katsuragi: A 3rd-year student who does thing first and thinks later. A tomboy through and through, she wears nothing under her school uniform, which she doesn't dress properly to begin with. She also loves girls, and is prone to deliver unwelcome sexual harassment upon them. She fights using kicks augmented by her metal boots. Her ninpou is based on dragons.

Date of Birth: November 5
Age: 17
Blood Type: B
Height: 165 cm
Measurements: B95, W57, H90
Hobbies: Sexual Harassment
Favorite Food: Ramen
CV: Kobayashi Yuu

Yagyuu: Although only a 1st-year student, Yagyuu has considerable talent for her age and school year. She exhibits a stoic, quiet demeanor, on top of her no-nonsense personality. Despite that, she is always looking out for Hibari. The Japanese umbrella she always carries around is also her weapon. Her ninpou is based on squids.

Date of Birth: December 23
Age: 15
Blood Type: O
Height: 158 cm
Measurements: B85, W60, H83
Hobbies: Sleeping
Favorite Food: Surume (dried squid)
CV: Mizuhashi Kaori

Hibari: A 1st-year student like Yagyuu, but quite the opposite in terms of personality. Despite good intentions, she generally ends up as an accidental troublemaker. Apparently weak in combat (of which she's well aware), she makes up for it with her wits. Her combat style is currently unknown. Her ninpou is based on rabbits.

Date of Birth: February 18
Age: 15
Blood Type: B
Height: 160 cm
Measurements: B80, W55, H73
Hobbies: Video games
Favorite Food: Any kind of sweets
CV: Iguchi Yuka

(May make future changes, as well as adding additional characters. Would like to get better pictures for all the girls as the series continues to roll along.)

Talon87 01-09-2013 05:04 PM

OH. MY. GOD. :oops:

This is the harem anime I've been dying for. Shamelessly good fun with beautiful characters animated beautifully and each of whom I can really sink my teeth into. With many harems, you only get one or two girls you enjoy seeing, but with Senran Kagura, all five are incredibly attractive and all five are, while cliche to Hell and back again :lol:, interesting!

This is one of the very first things you see when you start the episode. :lol: :clap:

This is a series made for lovers of big, bountiful breasts. You like flat chests? You're more of an ass man or a legs man? Then kindly GTFO 'cause there's nothing for you here! =P :lol: This series seems to be a love letter from a team of empassioned fans of well-endowed women to all the men out there who are like, "I wish every girl in real life was like this." It is a teenage fantasy that I'm sure bonafide teenage boys are going to cream their pants over, and for the adults of us in the audience, it's a throw-back to the good ol' days when harem anime were fun as heck to watch.

Check out this image gallery to see what I mean:

It's hard to say only one episode in, but I think the reason this franchise might work so well is because of the utter lack of same-age male characters. Now I know: I'm always bitching about this same deficit from series like K-ON!. But hear me out. I think if you had this exact same series but you swapped out the main character for a boy, you'd basically get High School DxD all over again. It would be so incredibly off-putting to see all these girls just throwing themselves at this loser male who oh so magically just so happens to be the Chosen One. But by making the main character a girl, and by invoking some playful yuri themes which pair the girls off with everyone except the main character, it actually makes the show that much more palatable for male audiences. 'Cause now you don't have these girls throwing themselves at some loser guy. Instead, they've paired off with another girl in the series (Yagyuu with Hibari, Ikaruga it seems with Katsuragi). And you've got other various yuri relations hinted at (like Haruka lusting after Hibari, or Homura and Asuka being two souls whose fates are intertwined), but what you don't have is every single girl throwing themselves at the MC. And that's really refreshing. I think that had Oda Nobuna no Yabou done this it would have been much better.

Another thing that makes this series shine is the gorgeous character animation for a harem series. While the background animation is nothing to write home about, the characters are truly top notch. No, we're not talking ufotable Kara no Kyoukai-caliber animation, but we are talking really fluid, really beautiful, really colorful characters. It's something I think pictures fail to capture, although the sample above is my best effort at that. You'll just have to watch the episode for yourself to see what I mean.

All I know is, I had a blast watching this, even though strictly speaking it wasn't anything particularly special. The plot is insipid, the fanservice is everywhere, the characters are stereotypical anime harem cliches, ... but something about it was just really, really right. I really quite enjoyed this, more than any harem series in 2012. So here's hoping the rest of the ride is just as satisfying.

McSweeney 01-10-2013 08:44 AM


Originally Posted by Talon87 (Post 424398)
This is a series made for lovers of big, bountiful breasts. You like flat chests? You're more of an ass man or a legs man? Then kindly GTFO 'cause there's nothing for you here! =P :lol:

I'm very open to different sizes of breasts, but a girl has to at least have a DECENT ass. They can't use genetics as an excuse, because they can build one by doing heavy squats!

Talon87 01-10-2013 12:43 PM


Originally Posted by Mcsweeney (Post 424594)
I'm very open to different sizes of breasts, but a girl has to at least have a DECENT ass. They can't use genetics as an excuse, because they can build one by doing heavy squats!

Well, as our resident ass expert with a Ph.D in C.C.ology ;-), perhaps you can check out the first episode and report to your fellow ass men whether there's anything here for them or not. I kinda doubt there is. The camera is far, far too preoccupied with being on either faces or breasts to afford much time to any other part of the body. But that doesn't have to mean that when it does hone in on a butt that there's nothing to see! You tell me.

EDIT: Belay that order! This video sample here has your answer, I believe. ;-)

McSweeney 01-11-2013 07:14 AM

The niceness of an anime girl's ass is usually not relevant anyway, since they're almost always wearing skirts ... which is fine by me since I also enjoy legs. I just found it funny that you said, "If you're more of an ass or legs man, there's nothing here for you!" and those are indeed the two body parts that I enjoy the most!

I seriously doubt I'll watch this whole show, but I'll check out the first episode just for fun.

Talon87 01-11-2013 05:49 PM

Someone of course made it into an animated .gif:

Spoiler: show

As sexy as they are, I can't help but to feel bad that they're ramming into each other with such force. I keep thinking, "That must hurt! :( Poor things. :(" I don't want their butts to be bruised!

Sad as it is, I will admit to F5'ing for Senran Kagura. I should find out when it airs. *looks* Sundays at 11:30 AM local time, hmm ... so basically this is pretty much always going to be a show that shows up Mondays or later. On the one hand, darn. ^^; On the other hand, hey, at least that makes for a mid-week treat.

I also watched the first 20 minutes of a Let's Play of the game. TBH, the game looks way more gorgeous than anything I've ever seen on the DS before (no shit: it's a 3DS game! =P) but it honestly looks a lot less awesome than the anime. ^^; The anime's really done this franchise favors. The colors. The prettiness. The scale factor / the zoomed in-ness. Doesn't mean I'm definitely not going to watch more of the game, but like, from what little I've seen so far, it seems like Senran Kagura's only chance for salvation as a video game is ridiculously fun gameplay. Take that away and I'd rather just watch the show and not even bother with the games that started it all.

McSweeney 01-12-2013 04:29 AM

This show is insanely silly, as expected. Not as big of a boob-fest as you made it out to be. No denying that they receive the most attention, but there was a fair amount of ass and leg shots as well.

Also, I love how their transformation outfits make no sense. They're ninjas, yet Hibari conjures up a school gym uniform, Ikaruga morphs into an admiral or some damn thing, and Katsuragi appears to put on some giant boots reminiscent of the Super Mario Bros live action movie, unbuttons her shirt then rushes into battle.

I might actually watch the second episode, just because the villains look even sexier than the heroines, and I'm curious to see what that mysterious chick who was lurking in the shadows at the end of the episode is like (or lounging in the shadows is more like it).

Doppleganger 01-12-2013 05:00 AM

I'm a legs guy, first and foremost...if BPK can advocate that there are copious amounts of it, I may be tempted to try this.

Talon87 01-15-2013 07:00 PM

Episode 02 was cute but went by so quickly. Felt like only ten minutes had passed! A lot of shameless, over-the-top fanservice but tbh I thought it was toned down a scootch from Episode 01. Current ranking is Asuka > Hibari >> the other three. All are fine though.

Slight spoiler:
Spoiler: show
Episodes 02 and 03 go together; so if you haven't watched 02 yet, you can wait till next week if you like and then watch the two back to back.

McSweeney 01-24-2013 08:59 AM


I'm a legs guy, first and foremost...if BPK can advocate that there are copious amounts of it, I may be tempted to try this.
I wouldn't say there's COPIOUS amounts, but the girls all wear skirts, and every shot is designed to be as fanservicey as possible, so there you go. Here's a sample of the biggest thigh shot of the episode:


Still haven't decided if I'm going to watch episode 2 of this goofiness!

Talon87 01-24-2013 09:50 AM

Episodes 02 and 03 were a little less fun for me than Episode 01 -- novelty factor wore off, perhaps? -- but I still enjoyed them. The series is basically a mega-fanservice-ly shameless series. Episode 02 steps up the fanservice from Episode 01, and Episode 03 steps it up a bit further. What's fun about the series, for me anyway, is that despite being a harem anime, it's a harem without a male lead character. The only two mainstay males we've seen so far are Kiriya-sensei and {someone who shows up in Episode 02}. There have been other males, like the thugs in Episode 01 or this one dude in Episode 03, but none of them are recurring male characters. Only Kiriya and {the other guy} are, and neither of them plays the part of a harem male lead.

If we likened Senran Kagura to food, I would call it the McDonald's or Burger King (take your pick) of anime. It's low-grade as far as substance goes, but it tastes good still -- and sometimes you're just really in the mood for McDonald's and not a steak or a pizza or something better.

Talon87 02-02-2013 10:46 PM

Episode 04 was fine. I think the magic spell has really worn off at this point, my huge initial infatuation with the franchise passed. But it's still par for the course as far as the most shameless of fanservice series go, so I'll stick with it. I haven't gotten to enjoy a fanservice series like this in a while, so it's fun for me at least for that if nothing else.

Regarding the mystery character introduced in Episode 04 ...

Spoilers from doujinshi. Spoils beyond Episode 04.
Spoiler: show
Pretty sure she's the purple-haired, glasses-wearing teacher of the Snake Academy. I figured, being fellow teachers, she'd have been a classmate of Kiriya's and his love interest. She may still be his love interest, but Episode 04 seems to indicate that she's a former student of his, not his equal and once fellow classmate.

As for Episode 04 stuff (safe to click if you've seen it):
Spoiler: show
lol @ Mirai (evil eyepatch girl)'s miniature jet fighter. :lol: Pretty cool!

Would like to see more and better fights, but it looks like this studio lacks and/or didn't hire the same combat coordinator staff that ufotable must've when making Fate/Zero. Gorgeous and physically accurate choreographed fight scenes these are not. :| *sigh* ^^;

Talon87 02-09-2013 09:29 PM

Whoops, I forgot to mention that I watched Episode 05! It was fine. The series is firmly established as vapid, silly, and shameless, but it's still fun enough to tune into midweek each week. I do wish the villains were more able to be taken seriously. They're pretty ridiculous with how evil they are right now yet inevitably, I am sure, how misunderstood and good-hearted they'll be shown to be later.

Also, the puppeteer is insanely hot.

McSweeney 02-10-2013 06:46 PM

Is "the puppeteer" the girl whose thighs I posted, or someone else?

I still need to watch episode 2 to get some closure on the umbrella girl ... and to check out the tanned chick some more.

Talon87 02-10-2013 06:57 PM

There are two umbrella girls, Umbrella Good and Umbrella Bad (UG being Yagyu, UB being Mirai). The puppeteer is the one who looks Rozen Maiden's Hina Ichigo if she grew up, were an ufufu~ evil woman, and had generous T&A. A.k.a. the one on the right here.

If you're stretched for time, don't worry too much about Senran Kagura. It's a fun lil' timewaster, but it's definitely a timewaster. "Sexy ninjas with boobs Fukumoto manga" or "Sexy ninjas with boobs Romance of the Three Kingdoms" it is not. The plot is paper-thin, barely existent. "A rival school of evil ninjas wants to take down our heroes because their instructor has a beef with our girls' instructor." That's ... pretty much it.

McSweeney 02-12-2013 09:07 AM

Oh, I am well aware. Time is not the issue, it's working up the desire to actually see episode 2 of this silliness. But the tanned chick beckons ...

Talon87 02-15-2013 01:51 AM

Episode 06 was fine. More boring first half, more entertaining second half. Lots and lots of scrumptious fanservice. Not too much to discuss sadly. ^^; I could summarize the events but I don't have much to say about them. I guess:

Spoiler: show
Poor Mirai being the only evil ninja to lose out of the five? (Although Evil Blonde In Sea Green with the Mega Tits and the Sprouts Fixation almost lost too.)

Conversely, kinda odd/silly that the freshman prodigy was the only one who managed to defeat her opponent. Though I guess that's why she's a prodigy? Still.

Asuka sure hasn't felt like the star of the show for several weeks now. ^^;

Talon87 02-26-2013 04:04 PM

Episode 07 was fine. Not much to say really.

Spoiler: show
One, they hard-confirmed what we already knew from previous soft-confirmations: that one of Hanzo Academy's former shining star pupils, Suzune Rin, fell to darkness and is now the teacher over at Snake Academy.

Two, they introduced a new supporting character ... whose name I've already forgotten. But she's some man-of-the-mountain ascetic warrior type and is apparently their senpai and something of a minor legend in their school.

Three, we learned that the puppeteer Haruka thinks herself powerful enough to try and blackmail her own teacher and turn her into one of her puppet-pawns. I'm looking forward to Rin putting Haruka in her place but I'll be just as intrigued should the plot not go in that direction and should it instead reveal that Haruka really is that frighteningly powerful of a dark ninja.

Four, it seems to be implied that the Snake Academy would be nothing without Suzune Rin. That all of the students' special abilities are apparently things that Rin invented or improved upon? :?: *shrug*

Five, we learned that Asuka's mother was the ninja; her father was a lawyer who, in pursuit of Asuka's mother, hung up his lawyer suit and became a sushi chef. It seems to be implied that he might be dead? :?: No idea. Regardless, Asuka's grandfather Hanzou is confirmed to be her mother's father (and not her father's father).

I really wish the show were more substantial. :? But I'm glad it's not as offensive as some other series in the genre. Glass half empty or glass half full, hard to pick.

Talon87 03-02-2013 09:04 PM

Episode 08 was a disappointing flashback episode. It was meant to establish a few things ... but we already knew all of these, so learning of their origins wasn't really all that rewarding at this stage. I'd much rather have had advancement of the main plot. There was some of that, but for the most part, it was a flashback episode.

Spoiler: show
First up were Ikaruga and Katsuragi. We got to see the girls' first few days at Hanzo Academy and how they became friendly rivals.

Second was Asuka. We got to see how she is one part klutz and another part "the legendary ninja's granddaughter". Specifically, we learned that she learned how to do her shinobi transformation as a 1st year and by instinct/accident, whereas Ikaruga and Katsuragi didn't learn how to do it until they were 2nd years and only after a lot of training.

Third were Yagyuu and Hibari. We got to see how Yagyuu was very antisocial originally ... and that was it. ^^; We didn't even get to see how she transitioned to her modern state. They just ... ended that flashback with her bonding with Hibari. Almost as if to say, "Yes, we realize that Yagyuu is still kind of a loner." But she at least gets along decently well with the others now! If you're going to show us that she was completely disrespectful towards Ikaruga in the past, you could've at least shown us what got her to change her mind about Ikaruga!

After the three flashback installments, we then got a fourth flashback ... which helped to advance the plot somewhat. We learned that Daidouji (the girl who dresses like Joestar #3) was Rin's kouhai and that Daidouji greatly, greatly admired Rin. We also learn that Daidouji swore that she would not graduate without first being able to land a hit on Rin. Because Rin "died" after that one mission, Daidouji postponed her graduation indefinitely -- she's pretty much long since been ready to graduate, but she's formally still enrolled at the Academy and will be until the day she can land a hit on Rin. Daidouji makes some sort of reference to this fact by alluding that her day of graduation may almost be here, something which heavily implies that both she and Kiriya-sensei are well aware that Rin Suzune isn't actually dead and that when they say she "died" they only mean it metaphorically speaking.

The fifth and final segment of the episode shows Yagyuu not babying Hibari like normal, Hibari mistaking that for Yagyuu being upset with her, and then while she's depressed and taking a shower all by herself falling under the hypnotic spell of the puppeteer, Haruka.

With only four or so episodes remaining, hopefully these final four episodes will be the series' strongest. I hate to say it but right now Senran Kangura is sitting squarely in "5/10 - Average" territory and that may be me being generous and showing some favoritism towards it. I can easily see a lot of people feeling it's "4/10 - Bad". If it's to have any shot of escaping 5/10 mediocrity, these final four episodes are going to have to be awesome.

EDIT: One last thing I forgot to mention: strangely, we returned to ED1 this week. The endings so far have been as follows:

Spoiler: show
  • Episode 1: ED1
  • Episode 2: ED1
  • Episode 3: ED1
  • Episode 4: ED2
  • Episode 5: ED2
  • Episode 6: ED2
  • Episode 7: ED3
  • Episode 8: ED1
Each ending has had its own animation (and all in the same style) and its own unique song. I wonder why they only used ED3 last week. I assumed we'd have it for at least Episodes 8 and 9 as well, if not for the remainder of the series. Instead we jumped back to ED1 this week. Very strange.

Talon87 03-23-2013 11:35 AM

I've delayed posting here long enough. Episode 09 was such a surprising upshoot in quality for this series that I felt compelled to roll out the red carpet for it (with tons of pictures and a lengthy post and everything). But then Episode 10 came ... and it too was excellent (for this series). And then Episode 11 came and I fell even further behind. And now we're here. When I go back to my apartment, perhaps I'll revisit these episodes in a summary post w/ detailed thoughts. Suffice to say for now though that I'm contemplating whether to upgrade the series, shameless fanservice show with a paper-thin plot though it was for the first eight episodes, to at least a "6/10 - Fair" rating.

Is this a series I'd recommend to anybody? Absolutely not unless you fit the original recommendation criteria. If you're a red-blooded man looking for boobs, boobs, and more boobs, or if you're a teenage boy looking for the same, then sure, check it out, because as far as fanservicey harem shoestring-budget animes go, this one is pretty decent. Unlike Sekirei, I didn't drop it midway. Unlike High School DxD, I wasn't offended by it. I think what really, really helps it out is the utter lack of a same-age male character in their midst. Everyone their age is female and that's all it takes to keep the series from devolving into yet another "harem of amazing catches aggregates around a total loser of a guy" harem anime.

But if you are interested, then would I maintain the recommendation? Sure, just so long as you realize going into it that it is a timewaster. Aside from the fanservice and occasional close-up shots of their faces, the animation is nothing terribly special. Neither is the music. Neither is the plot. The characters are passably interesting but they too aren't anything terribly special. I mean, the series really does deserve a "5/10 - Average" from me ... but I dunno, the last three episodes are making me debate whether it deserves the tiniest of upgrades.

Talon87 04-25-2013 03:11 PM

After putting it off for almost exactly one month, I finally went ahead and watched Episode 12, polishing off the series or, if they make a second season, the first season. The episode itself was fine in the first half though nothing particularly special; the second half would normally be expected to be the stronger of the two halves in this situation but sadly the resolution to the big finale was very underwhelming and left much to be desired. So much so was it underwhelming that I don't even really feel like talking about it more than this, and am ready to just write up the show's final scores. ^^;

Plot: 3/10 for the most part, but 6/10 or even 7/10 for a small bit from Episodes 9 through 11. This is a pretty brainless series with a pretty paper-thin plot. 3/10 might be too harsh, but 5/10's the nicest I could give it.

Characters: 5/10. Pretty average. Bad for being chauvinistic and shallow, good for being sexy and colorful, and otherwise genuinely neither good nor bad, just plain neutral. I guess my favorite characters were Asuka (design), Hibari (design), and Adult Rin (design). Haruka (design) and Yomi (design) aren't too far behind. Nobody really struck me as my favorite personality-wise, I guess. :? Which probably serves to illustrate the problem with these characters. In fact, maybe I really should downgrade this to a 4 ...

Animation: 6/10 overall, with 5/10 being its score for technical quality and 7/10 being its score for visual appeal (colors, eyecandy, etc).

Music: 5/10

Replay Value: probably pretty darn low.

OVERALL: 5/10, though that's mostly personal sentiment talking, I s'pose. I can easily respect scores of 4/10 or even 3/10 given for this series. 2/10 or lower though would strike me as too malicious. It's not that bad. And, like I said, it even really redeemed itself by quite a bit in Episode 9 and carried that through to Episode 11.

The low overall score might seem paradoxical given my early enthusiasm, but a) how you feel about something one, two, or even eight episodes in isn't necessarily the same as how you feel about it twelve episodes in, and b) sometimes you just feel like having a Big Mac for dinner. That's what Senran Kagura was. A guilty pleasure, a pretty crappy anime but one which had lots of tangy appeal here or there. TBH, with a better plot and a better animation studio and/or budget, the series could've had the potential to have been a 7/10 or 8/10 affair. Hell, I guess with a statement like "with a better plot" the sky's the limit and even a 10/10 couldn't have been ruled out. Senran Kagura was a lot of little bits o' fun throughout most of its run -- the only episodes that really bored me were Episode 8 (the flashback episode) and Episode 12 (the finale). Nothing in the series was what I'd call "deep fun" or deeply entertaining, but there were just a lot of little smiles and pleasures throughout. I really did quite love the color balance between the five main girls, and just the colors in general. Very pleasant to look at, and not just in the sexual sense of the phrase "eye candy" either. I dunno. Maybe I owe it to the show to bump it up to a 6/10 ... but I dunno, I feel like that would be a bit insulting to all of the series I rated 6/10. ^^; We'll see. For now, I'll rate it a 5/10 overall -- dead average. The truth behind that though is that Senran Kagura had some things it did 6+/10 well and other things it did 4-/10 poorly.

big bad birtha 02-22-2017 10:38 AM

So for some stupid reason, I have had this urge to play the Senran Kagura game. I found the PS4 one (Estival Versus Endless Summer Editions) on sale, so I picked it up. Sure, it's a game, but I would rather post here.

I'm about 70% through story mode. I'm guessing this is a sequel to where the anime is, since the characters seem to know each other, and Asuka isn't the clear main character. It's not fantastic, but it's entertaining enough. There's some nice moments here and there in story mode, but for the most part, it's just silly romping around. Some of the characters are pretty likeable. Some likeable enough to sadden me that they're stuck as fanservice blobs, such as Yumi.

Actually Yumi's "Shinobi Heart" quest-line was really endearing. Sadly it ended with a CG of her tits being groped. I haven't done many of the other "Shinbi Heart" quests yet. Mirai's was funny.

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