Well it’s been a week, so that means a new episode of Shinovi Master. Last time we got a…less than stellar episode, one that I feel could have been chopped up into about 5 minutes and filtered into the previous and current episode. So what do I think about this episode? Well let’s find out.
The Shinobi Master tournament has begun, with Asuka appearing as a spectator for the event. The event starts with a round of explosive dodgeball, then an intense game of cavalry followed by capture the flag. Throughout all of this, Homura and her Crimson Squad infiltrate the building in hopes of rescuing the captured Hanzo girls. The episode ends with Asuka and Yumi teaming up to fight against the formidable Fubuki.
What I Liked
Compared to the slow plodding of the last episode, this episode stepped up in a big way. It upped the action, it upped the fanservice and it upped the character moments. To start off, I liked the Crimson Squad. Their selfless decision to leave the tournament so they can help Homura is one that I really respect as it shows the commandery they have. I also like them snooping around the tournament grounds, it was a nice side story while main event was going on and seems to be what will usher in the events of the next episode. Speaking of the main event, I liked many parts of it. The different events lead to some fun moments between characters as well as some decently paced fighting and animation that didn’t look as bad, but we’ll get to that. The fighting in these scenes were also pretty good, they were a bit choppy in some places but they were enjoyable, particularly the final round. I liked how each team had a different game plan and how the Gessen Girls came out on top with an inventive and creative victory strategy. The final portion of the episode had a touching scene between Asuka and Yumi, who tries to win the former back to the side of trusting justice (trustice?) Which doesn’t quite work but is still a nice scene and includes some nice wholesome call backs to episode 1. Also, the start of the episode features jiggle physics so unbelievably obscure and stupid that it seems a slight breeze will cause these ladies busts to shake uncontrollably. Call it either divine intervention or a really happy animator, but it was really funny to see. I also like that I don’t like the villains now. Before they were kind of nothing characters but the fact that they’ve established themselves as these righteous vanguards of justice despite their twisted morals really is a villain trope that I love to hate. Seriously, we know they’ll receive a smack down soon and when they do I’ll be there smiling all the way. So all in all, this episode had some really nice character moments, some creative combat and has a nice setup for the next episode.
What I didn’t Like
I’ll get my peeves with the animation out of the way first since they weren’t too big a deal this time round, but by god there were some awful frames again. The fighting and rapid movement of some scenes seemed to mask the animation quirks, but in static shots like the one below, you can really see just how sloppy this animation truly looks. Seriously, I know that four out of the five girls hear have their ears covered by their hair, But Renka’s isn’t and she doesn’t seem to have any ears to speak of, it’s just so distracting. Another thing I didn’t like was that I kinda hoped the tournament itself was a bit more serious. The scenes with the tournament were fine, but I feel with the seriousness of the series up to this point we could have just got some standard fight challenges with fanservice thrown in and it’d still be fine. But aside from these two problems, no massive faults could be found in this episode.
For me, this episode was good. It’s good to finally see the tournament get underway and the event itself is pretty fun. I hope the up the ante just a bit more in the next episode, which is sounds like they’ll be doing given what Yumi says. So in conclusion this episode did its job and it did it good, the ball is in motion but only time will tell if it gathers enough momentum to last.
Thank you for reading I hope you enjoyed it. If you did please consider leaving a like and following my blog for updates on future posts. Also follow me on twitter @joe_reviews for further updates and general nonsense. Till next time.
If you missed my other episode reviews click the links below to read them.
- Episode 1 – Asuka got ‘Busted’
- Episode 2 – Swimsuit Episode Already?
- Episode 3 – PLOT + Actual Plot
- Episode 4 – The Serious Episode