Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Queen's Blade 2: The Evil Eye Anime Review

Queen's Blade 2: The Evil Eye
Anime Works/Media Blasters
Complete Collection - 2 discs
300 mins. - 12 episodes
$49.98 (2012)
$53.98 (2011) Blu-Ray
$24.98 (2011) Parts 1-2/ea.
ISBN 631595111378
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Kinji Yoshimoto
Studio - ARMS

Synopsis: Every four years on the Continent there is held a tournament to determine the next Queen.  The city of Gynos, the Queen's capital, is the venue for the deadly battle between formidable female warriors from across the land.  Following up on events in Queen's Blade: The Exiled Virgin the beautiful warriors have breached the city and are settling in for the final rounds of the tournament.  Each combatant wishes to vanquish the tyrannical Aldra, the Bewitched Queen, said to possess an evil nature and supernatural powers.
Tomoe, Leina and Suzuka share a meal on their first night in Gynos
Within the participants are several groups with close-knit ties:
  • From the Vance family (former ruling family before the Queen's Blade was created) comes Leina, the Wandering Warrior, eldest daughter by blood and heir to the Vance fortune, Claudette, the Thundercloud General, eldest adopted daughter, and Elina, Captain of the Guard, the youngest Vance sister who has an unhealthy infatuation with Leina.  Leina wishes to prove herself as a warrior and honor her late mother who lost her life many years ago while participating in the tournament
  • Two participants have ties to the Vance family - Risty, the Benevolent Bandit of the Wild, is a powerful warrior who steals from the rich to give to the poor.  She and Leina were traveling companions on the way to Gynos.  Nyx, the Goddess of the Night, a former servant for the Vance family who suffered from mistreatment by Elina and uses (or is used by) her sentient staff Funikura to gain revenge
  • Several mercenaries have entered the tournament - Echidna, the Veteran Mercenary, was the former leader of the Assassins of the Fang, and Irma, former protege of Echidna's and current leader of the Assassins of the Fang.  Echidna and Irma are former lovers and Irma still feels betrayed from the time Echidna turned her back on the Assassins of the Fang
  • Journeying from the ruined Hinimoto and Masakado Shrine comes Tomoe, the Warrior Priestess, possessing legendary sword skills and her aide Shizuka, the former leader of the Kouma ninja clan (responsible for destroying Hinimoto and slaughtering all of Tomoe's friends).  Tomoe wishes to restore Hinimoto and honor her fallen comrades
  • Out of the sacred forests come the elves Alleyne, the Combat Master, with her student Nowa, the Forest Keeper.  Alleyne once fought Echidna (who is a wild jungle elf) to a standstill and Nowa doesn't wear underwear.  They wish to ensure protection of the forests by winning the tournament
  • The Swamp Witch has sent her evil minions to participate in the tournament - Menace, the ancient princess from Amara who uses her talking sceptre Setora and a preternatural mind-control power, Melona, the Protean Assassin, with her malleable form and ability to shapeshift, and Airi, the Infernal Temptress, a ghost maid who must siphon off vitality from the living in order to stay corporeal.  The trio are not the sharpest tools in the shed, but always seem to cause trouble for the other participants
  • Coming from the mountains are Cattleya, the Giant Slayer, with her son Lana and Ymir, the Steel Princess, the diminutive Dwarf maiden out to prove her steel is better crafted.  Cattleya is searching for her lost husband the monster hunter.  She has a massive sword and even more massive breasts
  • Sent from heaven is the bungling angel Nanael, the Angel of Hope, to investigate the wicked Queen Aldra, and her new worshiper Melpha, holy priestess with enormous breasts and mastery over a divine power originating from sexual poses
Cattleya with her son Lana hanging on tight battles Airi
Aldra has a deadly secret which allows her to ensnare her unwitting opponents and makes her a near-invincible adversary.  Her goal is to find her long lost sister.  The participants in the tournament must face each other in final matches arranged by the Queen.  Not everyone will survive and most of their clothing will be lost, but a winner will emerge!  What nail-biting and breast-exposing match-ups will we see?  Will new friends be forced to harm each other and old rivals finally have the chance to get even?  Can anyone hope to defeat the all-powerful and frighteningly evil Aldra?
Melona makes her move to assassinate Aldra, but little does she suspect...?
Pros: Even more fan-service than the first series (and there was a lot), tons of nudity - it seems like every battle had one or more girls losing articles of clothing, good continuation of the story from the first series, excellent animation and backgrounds, opening/ending sequences are great (the ending is particularly amusing), collection includes final six OVA episodes from Queen's Blade Beautiful Fighters side series
Elina and Claudette recover from their battles and discuss strategy
Cons: It ends :), so much fan-service and nudity it distracts from the story, Melpha's voice, Risty in the service of Aldra, Nyx's personality and creepy tentacle staff/creature (borderline hentai here), Ymir's constant sales pitch for Dwarf weapons gets old, Nanael as comedy relief gets tiresome, never explain the Swamp Witch
Leina battles her former friend Risty
Mike Tells It Straight: The second half of the first Queen's Blade anime story arc gives viewers even more fan-service and nudity (The Exiled Virgin was the first half).  It's practically all fan-service with ridiculously tiny outfits and every excuse used to show more skin.  The animation and music is top notch.  I loved the funny ending sequences featuring the Swamp Witch's ditzy trio (Menace, Melona, and Airi).  Queen's Blade is practically in a class of its own for fan-service anime and remains just short of hentai (anime porn).
Melpha gets an earful of Nanael's complaining.  Can you get drunk off of milk?
It will appeal to every horny otaku and they should immediately buy this to devour in their man-cave.  Keep the kiddies (and probably your wife) away due to the excessive nudity and sexual themes.  I thought the story progressed to a decent conclusion.  The characterization was pretty good with each fighter getting closer to their respective goals.  Airi had a particularly meaningful personality evolution which came as a surprise.  The match-ups were decent and we get a few plot twists along the way.  It was all very simple and straightforward to keep from distracting us away from all the jiggling.
The Queen sets up a pairs match with Alleyne and
Nowa vs. Irma and Echidna
By now you should know what Queen's Blade is all about.  Don't expect an overly deep or meaningful storyline (although it may surprise you).  Get ready for a heaping portion of fan-service with some nudity.  The DVD and BD sets are great, especially with the bonus OVA episodes you won't see on Netflix or Crackle.  Great follow up to the first half of the series and it delivers what you would expect (fan-service) along with a suitably dramatic finale.
The evil Queen Aldra hides a dark secret

TO BUY and Recommendations: