Monday, February 22, 2016

Review: Bikini Warriors

The United States has a history of cartoons designed to promote toys. With properties like Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Mighty Max, the hope of the shows’ producers is that you buy the toys seen in the series. But there aren’t a lot of anime specifically based on any type of toy or figure line. I’m sure the producers would like you to buy a figure based on one of the characters, but more times than not the anime is based on a manga.

Which brings us to today’s subject: Bikini Warriors. It’s a short anime series based on a line of ecchi figures, which typically doesn’t instill confidence in the show’s quality. In fact, when I first saw the show’s listing on Anichart, I immediately thought show was just going to be nothing but fanservice and trash. But then I noticed that the show’s logo looks a lot like the logo for Dragon Warrior a.k.a. Dragon Quest.

“Is this show a parody?” I thought. Turns out it is. And it’s not trash.

Bikini Warriors features the adventures of four heroes out to save the world. They are simply known as Fighter, Mage, Paladin, and Dark Elf. There isn’t a lot of time in the show to flesh out them out, so each character only has a few characteristics. Basically, all you really learn is that Fighter is the most outgoing, Mage is the most shy, Paladin has a fetish for sacrificing herself, and Dark Elf is the cool one. In addition, the cast is joined by Hunter and Valkyrie for a couple of episodes. For what the show is going for, the character designs are perfectly fine. After all, everyone does look like bikini warriors. Although personally, I liked the design of Hunter the best so it’s a shame she only appears in two episodes.

Animation wise, the show is mostly good, with some caveats. The medieval setting looks quite nice and the character designs, for what they're going for, look quite good. The actual movement of the animation is pretty serviceable, except for when they used fade transitions changes is facial expressions. While the show won't get any awards for animation, the animation is perfectly fine for the show's length and (probably) low budget.
Before we continue, I should probably address the sexual content of the show. Yes, this show is full of sexual fanservice throughout. Many times the show will cut to scenes of the ladies in sexual situations even more risqué than the last. Some of the content in question includes the warriors changing their clothes, the warriors losing their clothing due to monster attacks, some of the women feeling each other, and a dog licking Fighter’s crotch. Yes, seriously. Heck, there’s even an episode where a king is talking to the Warriors in regards to a mission he wants them to do and during the entire monologue, the camera is just panning around the bodies of all around the women's lady bits. There's even a hilarious shot from underneath Fighter's crotch, looking at the king. The sexual content is strong in this show, yet there actually isn't any nudity at all. Apparently they saved that for the DVD release. Personally, I didn't mind the fanservice, but I did find some of it to be pretty funny.
Speaking of funny, the writing of this show is the main reason why I will defend this show as something good. As previously mentioned, this show is a parody of Japanese role-playing games, especially the Dragon Quest series. Almost every episode is designed to make fun of the tropes involved in JRPGs. For example, there's an episode where the warriors go into people's houses and just take whatever they want from their chests. (treasure, not human) This is explained by saying there's a law that allows them to do this. There's also an episode making fun of how items you need to defeat a boss character seem to be conveniently placed right before that bosses' chamber. By far my favorite episode is the one where the warriors are going through their inventory, realizing that they have all these powerful elixirs that they never use because they're always using low level potions to heal minor wounds. So times, especially that episode, I found myself remembering instances where these events have happen to me in JRPGs I played before and as a result, this show made me laugh. Hell, even some of the sexual humor I found genuinely funny. For example, there's an entire episode where object are always conveniently placed to block the Warriors' lady-bits and, honestly it's executed quite well. The four minute running length compliments the show well as none of the jokes outstay its welcome. Honestly, by the end of the show, I actually found myself hoping they make a second season of the show!
Look, I'm not saying Bikini Warriors is some kind of underrated masterpiece. What I am saying is that on paper, this show should have been terrible. Like, really, really terrible. But instead, the crew for this show put in some genuine effort into the show to make it way funnier than it has any right to be. If you hate fanservice, there's a really good chance you won't like this show. However, if you at least don't mind the fanservice, then you should at least give the show a chance. I still can't believe that this show is actually good. Too many shows features this type of sexual content and offer nothing else of value. If you're going to to make an ecchi, you need to add more to your show. And since the Bikini Warriors figures have seemingly no backstory at all, it allowed the crew free reign to do what they want and the execution worked brilliantly.

I mean seriously, they got me to like a show called Bikini Warriors! They deserve a medal for that accomplishment!
If you’re interested in watching Bikini Warriors, you can officially watch the show on Funimation, Daisuki, hulu, and Anime Lab.

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