We’re at the halfway point ladies and gentlemen. Senran Kagura Shinovi Master has entered into episode 6 and with it we got the conclusion of the Shinobi Masters tournament and are being ushered in to the next arc. With the big fight of Asuka and Yumi vs. Gekkou and Sekkou, what awaits the shinobi as their foe looms ever closer? Let’s find out.
The final round of the tournament has begun, the Gessen Twins vs. Asuka and Yumi. As the fight gets underway, beliefs and philosophy clash as the teams fight both battles of the flesh and of the mind. The beliefs of the twins are established to be those of the old ways of Gessen, determined to create a world of absolute peace even if it comes at the cost of lives. While the fight continues, Homura and her squad aim to rescue the Hanzo girls, but are hindered by a mysterious Youma demon. The fight ends with Asuka and Yumi victorious, but the battle is not over, as Yumi prepares to fight against Fubuki herself, not to mention Hebijo and the Crimson Squad are met with the reveal of a talking Youma. With all these event lining up, what will the future hold? I don’t really know but what I do know is that this episode was…kinda good.
What I Liked
First off…The animation was actually pretty good this time round. I can not tell you how good it feels to say that, but that said it wasn’t perfect, but still I’ll take anything at this point. The big fight was also pretty decent, with some unique attacks and some decent pacing in places. The dialogue did exist primarily to dump exposition on us (hence this posts title) but I didn’t mind it too much. By this point we should be learning more about our villains and their goals, and I feel that in the midst of this clash, where motivations were on full display, it was a good place to dispense exposition. The history of the Gessen twins is kinda interesting, they follow the teaching that Yumi once did, but taken to more of an extreme. The call backs to Yumi’s history were also cool, a bit confusing of you haven’t played the Shinovi Versus game, but still a nice touch that helps tie the Gessen twins ideologies together with Yumi’s and show her own personal growth. The side story with Homura and her friends was a welcome distraction, offering a bit of comedy but serving mainly to set up a future storyline with the new Youma villain revealed. The moment where they all get hit with each other butts in a conga line type sequence was actually pretty funny and it served as a pleasant side plot, the Crimson Squad is always a win for me. The ‘licking’ segment with the Hebijo girls was kinda out of nowhere but was funny and had a hilariously profound payoff where the ‘licking’ apparently saved the unity of the team…OK. I also liked that Asuka was starting to come back to her old self, she finally cracked a smile after like 4 episodes and her reasons for protecting Yumi were now made apparent with the reveal that she knows something about Fubuki. That information won’t be revealed until next episode, but it’s nice to see her coming round again.
What I Didn’t Like
FREE THE HANZO GIRLS ALREADY! These girls have been out of commission for like five out of the six episodes, I know this is meant to create tension but it’s starting to get annoying considering that we’re at the halfway point now and some of the main characters have been inactive for most of the series so far. My guess is they’ve done this to circumvent the problems with too many characters, but considering we have like 20+ characters in this show not including the Hanzo girls, I think and extra 4 wouldn’t be much of a stretch. There was one or two animation flaws I saw, both of which were image tweening shots. (For those who don’t know image tweening is when a single image is moved across the screen as opposed to separate frames like normal). These shots were just lazy and were so easy to spot that they knocked you out of the experience for a few seconds. I also think the fight itself could have had better pacing, because while it was paced somewhat well it did seem to slow down quite suddenly and pick up at random moments as well. I also didn’t like the Asuka was getting beaten up every 5 seconds, you’d think that during this time she’d grown a bit more aware of the twins powers, but this was a peeve as opposed to a complaint. I can’t really think of any more glaring issues other than the lack of Hanzo and a few animation quirks again, so I think this episode did pretty well considering.
Overall, this episode was both a welcome exposition dump as well as a bit of a slow burn. It had some decent fighting, comedy, decent exposition and a decent sprinkling of lore for the future, but it also had some slight pacing problems and maybe one of two extra minutes of exposition than what was needed. But other than that this episode was pretty good, probably my second favourite episode behind episode 2. I am looking forward to the stuff this episode helped to tease, namely the fight between Fubuki and Yumi, the reveal of Fubuki’s history as well as the mysterious talking Youma, so well done episode 6 you did good.
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
- Episode 5 – The Jiggle Physics Episode