Time is running out for Muneakira’s group as the showdown looms. Fortunately, they can start training for real as the cafe is being closed down. Not everyone is happy about that, however.
What They Say:
Episode 6: “The Reputed Dandy”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
We start…weirdly. In the cemetery, the Dark Samurai are facing off against an unnamed female boob-grabbing (of course) enemy who refuses to give her name, but who seems to be able to handle them, though only because they’re not quite going all-out. The nameless groper beats a retreat when the Dark Samurai start to get a little upset and move towards using their real powers.
Meanwhile, back at True Shadow Dojo, the Cafe is now closed. The whole point was to pay off their debts and with the prize money from the competition in the last episode, they are now debt free. Of course, not everyone is happy as Kanetsugu is shocked to learn of the cafe’s closing…even though she was there at the meeting when it was decided. Now, the group is focusing on the showdown with the Dark Samurai, and they have learned a little something from the competition. Matabei was taking video of their enemy using a special lens filter, and they have made an important discovery: the Dark Samurai are not just martial arts experts, but also experts at controlling that mysterious force known as ki. This is what gives them such an edge. So, Muneakira’s group are going to have to learn. Muneakira, while he was traveling, had learned something about this and also learned the name of a ki master: Kenji Maeda from Yonezawa. It so happens that Maeda is a student at Buou Academy’s Yonezawa branch, so pulling up the records we discover, obviously, that the breast-grabber from the start is Maeda.
While Matabei is sent off to find Maeda, who apparently does not like men (and so Muneakira was never able to meet with her), the rest embark on some training, though Kanetsugu does everything possible to interrupt them, since she is upset about being left out of the cafe decision. Hilarity, I guess, ensues. But in the end, she holes up in the dojo and demands that they all apologize to her, on their knees, about the cafe decision. While Sen and Yukimura refuse to go into the trapped lair, Muneakira does, with Jubei in tow. It appears that Jubei has developed some sixth senses, as she helps Muneakira avoid all the traps. As they reach the inner sanctum, they find Kanetsugu, but…something is off. Kanetsugu talks about everything she did to help their training, all of which was wasted, except on Jubei, who did not allow any of the distractions to faze her. This is where Yukimura and Sen show that occasionally they have some brainpower as they remember that Maeda is a master of disguise, and this certainly isn’t the Kanetsugu they know who has been harassing them. Matabei also shows up, saying that Maeda’s scent is in the dojo.
Of course it wasn’t Kanetsugu (who was tied up and left in the storeroom), and Maeda reveals herself. Thanks to the training, Jubei is now able to transform into Master Samurai mode, so that is going to help with their upcoming battle. Not only that, but there’s no longer a disconnect between Master Samurai Jubei and normal Jubei, their thoughts and memories are now the same. So, happy times? Alas, there is one problem: it seems that Jubei cannot transform out of her Master Samurai form, and that is a major problem as eventually all of her ki will leak out. It seems that Maeda may have to stay a while longer in order to fix this problem.
Naturally, it’s far too early to line up everything for the final showdown between Muneakira and the Dark Samurai, but they have taken a step forward…and half a step back. Jubei is starting to master ki, but she isn’t there yet. She can transform into the powerful Jubei, but at the moment she can’t go back to being normal Jubei. What’s interesting to note is that they managed to put in all of this story advancement while at the same time having a largely silly episode that involved quite a lot of fanservice and slapstick humor. In a way, they managed to stuff in a good deal of exposition without it being boring. It’s not that this show is deep in any way, it clearly is not. Those looking for an intellectual workout do not need to watch anything in the Samurai Girls/Bride series.
But it’s at times mystifying how a light and fluffy show like this can do such a decent job of marrying fluff and plot development, when so many other shows that try to marry silly comedy and action/drama do such a poor job of it. I’m not raising my grade for the show, it’s a B-movie-level work at heart and thus that’s the grade it deserves. But I do want to point how the production team does of very effective job of hitting their goals of lighthearted comedy, fanservice, and bits of action here and there without ruining the mood or engaging in sudden switches to “seriousness” that some comedies attempt when trying to put in a plot or drama. It’s really everything a silly fanservice comedy should be and I think part of the secret is that the production teams knows what they’re making and do not attempt to overreach. They are not trying to be better than they are, and in that respect succeed far more than they fail in comparison to many silly fanservice comedy/action shows that suddenly get “drama envy” and try to insert a serious plot and action, which only works to kill the feel-good mood that comedies should evoke while doing little to nothing to earn them notice for seriousness.
The True Shadow team has learned what makes the Dark Samurai superior: they are not just great martial artists, but also capable of using ki, that mysterious force. So, Muneakira and girls go into training to try to master the use of ki themselves, though with varying results, especially since Kanetsugu appears to be upset with them and causes as much trouble as possible. In the end, Jubei gains some knowledge and abilities, though it’s not perfect yet. There is still more work to do for all of them.
Episode Grade: B
Streamed by: Crunchyroll
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