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Bikini Warriors Essentials Collection Blu-ray Anime Review

9 min read
A deliciously lovely guilty pleasure now even more affordable.

A deliciously lovely guilty pleasure now even more affordable.

What They Say:
Prepare yourself for an adventure of epic proportions. With warriors so skilled at battling questionable slimes and taming tumescent tentacles, there’s no need for all that bulky armor. Brought to you by some of the masters of the female form, Bikini Warriors features character designs by Rei Hiroe (Black Lagoon), Tony Taka, Odanon (Queen’s Blade), and Hisasi. All your favorite RPG classes beginning with the athletic Fighter, elegant Paladin, and enchanting Mage—are busting the min/max barriers for maximum blood loss! Are you equipped? Unsheathe your sword and prepare for battle!

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo along with a new English language dub that gets the 5.1 treatment, both of which are presented with the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec. The series is one that while it does have some action from time to time, and it’s well utilized for the most part, it’s really all about the dialogue. And half of that tends to be various states of moaning and groaning. The encoding works well as everything is placed properly and there’s a clean and clear aspect to it but it’s not a track that’s going to stretch much in either language, instead opting for simple humor and just running with it in a fun and enjoyable way.

Video:
Originally airing in 2015, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The thirteen episodes are kept to one disc as they’re just about four minutes each so there’s plenty of room. In fact, the encoding pretty much sticks to 38mbps for the video side of it and we’re damn glad of that because this looks great. With so many well used colors, character designs, and just the appeal of the animation itself with the panning sequences and fluid segments, studio feel delivers a visual treat that will delight fans of it. I’d only seen the basic streaming of it and this just takes it up a few levels to be something to really enjoy on a big screen from start to finish.

Packaging:
The packaging for this release comes in a standard sized Blu-ray case that comes and has a front cover that is definitely fun as we get the four main girls, breasts all in unnatural positions, looking strong and smiling in their own ways. The bikinis are in full view and we get some nice ornate elements to the background that gives it a good touch of class. I continue to like how the Essentials collection handles its branding with the thin grey line denoting it underneath the blue format banner. The back cover goes with a few shots from the show along the side – they really should have just gone overboard with artwork here – and that complements the pointlessly large block of text that summarizes the premise. Just show the bikinis and the work is done. The extras are clearly listed and we get a solid technical grid that breaks down both formats accurately in an easy to read way. While there are no show related inserts, we do get artwork on the reverse side that showcase the characters across it as well as the breakdown of episodes by number and title.

Menu:
The menu goes for the basics with what it presents here as we get the simple map design as the background showing off part of the area while to the right we have the main cast of girls from the front cover. It’s brighter and more vivid here to be sure and certainly appealing. The bottom has the navigation strip that uses the same map design and that’s a nice element to see when using it during playback as a pop-up menu. The functionality is basic here but it gets the job done and fits the theme nicely.

Extras:
The only extras included here are the clean versions of the closing sequences.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When it comes to short-form anime, you basically have to work a gimmick and stick with it. With a series like Bikini Warriors, which clocks in at four minutes an episode, you know it’s going to be all about beautiful female characters in skimpy outfits. Even more so since it’s coming from the same folks that dealt with Queen’s Blade and that whole conversion process. So I rather like shows that admit it’s going to be all about fanservice and silliness and makes no bones about it. This was a series that I enjoyed a lot for what it did during its simulcast run and even now I’m still surprised that not only that Funimation picked it up for further release but that they gave it a dub. It’s empty to be sure but it’s a beautifully animated piece of fanservice combined with some very amusing comedy for the genre at times.

The series opens as we see the main group of women, named only by their specialty, going to deal with a dragon in their various bikinis but end up getting their asses (and boobs) handed to them. Amusingly, they do complain to the armorer about it afterward and they get an upgrade, but it basically looks the same as it’s all thin, flimsy and skin-tight material. But there’s a sense of the placebo effect for most of them and they feel better off with it. What’s hilarious though is that the armor does manage to protect them more from the dragons’ attacks. But really, are you paying attention to the dragons’ attacks or the way their bodies move as they get attacked? The group comes together well here in simple form as they’re all eventually on the same page in being all about their bikini armor and the potential for a slew of different types they may be able to acquire – for a cost.

With the second episode, the women come together in front of the king in order to try and get him on their side for things, which leads to some fun praise as we get a quick reminder of who everyone is and their particular assets. Most of it is a lot of leering by the king as he really checks out the women from the throne and this gives us a lot of big cheesecake panning sequence shots that really works well for what it wants to do. While he does all the praise, the women are also waiting on some real support, which he does provide with just a few pieces of gold that won’t do all that much for them. Some of what we get here is an understanding of the value of gold here but also that this particular king is pretty thrifty and isn’t intent on giving them all that much, including when it comes to legendary weapons and the like. You have to admire the way the girls continue to try and get more out of him. Naturally, that pushiness has them sent down to the dungeon where they’re put through some rope bondage torture. Of course.

With the warriors having run afoul of money issues for a few episodes into it, by the sixth episode, they’re still in the same boat as they want to pick up some powerful new weapons for their next hunt. Unfortunately, that means selling a lot of stuff before they can buy anything and they don’t exactly have a lot. What we’re treated to is a montage of them stripping down and selling their used armor, which naturally gets them a whole lot of money. It plays well to the fanservice to be sure in a sexy way, complete with them all sighing along the way. The other thing they attempt to sell are their healing potions, which they claim to never use anyway so it doesn’t matter. Naturally, that plays out horribly for them as they go after the dungeon boss and get their rears handed to them.

Another fun episode picks up after a fight sequence that goes well at first but secretly badly when Mage ends up being controlled by the fallen foe, she ends up attacking everyone from behind while secretly crying and screaming on the inside. Amusingly, the wizard uses her to say she was betrayed and that has everyone listing all the ways they’ve done wrong by her recently, some of which is pervy and some of which is just crossing a bad line. Not realizing that she’s being controlled, they go all out to deal with her while also crying themselves about it since she is their friend. It’s far too cute and works far too well with just how silly it is when played against the seriously sad music and their very sad expressions. While you know things will just reboot when all is said and done, it has such a hilarious post-death aspect to it with her bikini being hung up on the staff that I couldn’t stop laughing.

The series does step away a bit from the fanservice from time to time, but in its penultimate installment, we get a fun one that goes back to some of the core perverted nature of the series where the group is facing off against a creepy monster with some slimy aspects and tentacles aspects that tear away at clothes. Because they’re outclassed, Paladin sacrifices herself for the others, but it’s kind of a cheap sacrifice since she’s able to come back easily enough without really dying. The others are kind of tired of her grandstanding though it does save them some trouble. The amusing part is that she sacrifices herself in many ways, including marrying a vile man in order to help the group move forward in their quest. She’s essentially a sacrifice junkie and there are some really hilarious aspects to that which play out here with her purity and the pervy side.

With the final broadcast installment of the season, Bikini Warriors runs through a few different things here, from father revelations, breast manipulation, torture and more. It’s an amusing montage of silliness in bikinis at first but it works well to show that the series should run a few more minutes per episode in order to flesh things out a bit more. In more ways than one. In essence, this final episode is like a montage of what the should could do in the future with its stories, its sexuality, its sensuality and more. There’s a lot of appeal as we get a good range of material here overall, including a light beefing up of the cast briefly, as it serves more as a promotional video than an actual story episode. Which in other series might drive me nuts but it works here as a really fun little tease.

In Summary:
Bikini Warriors is the most basic of pandering to an audience that the folks behind it know all so well. When your property is built around model figures and nothing else, well outside of some art books I suppose, you keep your expectations in check. But Bikini Warriors is a bit more than it seems because it manages to hit up some really good, smart, humor along the way and it hints at being something really fun if given the chance. I thoroughly enjoyed this show for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is that it was utterly and completely honest with itself and its audience about what it wanted to be. It’s fanservice, sexuality and silliness. And it dealt it out in spades. Revisiting this show a few years after its initial release was a delight and with it being so short it’s an easy recommendation for a pervy bit of fun that’s a bit more than that – and now even more affordable when looking for something to fill your cart out with. Definitely recommended for those of like mind..

Features:
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-

Released By: Funimation
Release Date: March 26th, 2019
MSRP: $19.98
Running Time: 48 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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