We’re passed the halfway point now people, we’ve made it into episode 7 territory. Senran Kagura Shinovi Master continues as we enter the final stretch, but first we need to get some handy dandy exposition out of the way.
Yumi and Fubuki face off, justice versus justice, with only one standing victorious. As the fight unravels, Yumi appears to get the upper hand, ascending to her Ice Queen form as she prepares to strike her foe. Throughout the episode we see flashes of the history of Master Kurokage and Hanzo, seeing the origins of his philosophy of justice slowly mould over time. We also see him find and take in Yumi, and Fubuki. That’s right, the plot twist is that Fubuki and Yumi knew each other when they were young, and Fubuki intends to unleash a wave of youma on the world, declaring war on all Shinobi. With this motivation revealed and the youma by her side, Fubuki prepares her plan for complete annihilation. With all this plot expanded upon, we got an episode that both felt like it was good and slightly underwhelming at the same time.
What I Liked
Fubuki was pretty cool. I will admit she is a pretty intimidating villain, especially when she transforms and we see her in her full glory, and by full glory I mean she really is packing a lot in that top! Ice Queen Yumi was also a nice surprise, something I’ve wanted to see in the anime for a while. The fight, or what we got to see of it rather, was pretty neat, it was mainly just a blade slapping match, but we did see some cool abilities from Yumi and we got to see a glimpse of Fubuki’s power, which was frightfully fierce. The final ending segment was also great, setting up for a major conflict later down the line that seems to be on a very grand scale. Fubuki’s motivation reveal was something I really liked, creating a very sinister and dominating presence since her plan doesn’t just affect one side of the shinobi coin, but the whole purse it rests in (weird metaphor but ok). The Kurokage flashback was unique and gave us some insight into his ways, something I didn’t really want but was still something I enjoyed. Also the animation wasn’t completely awful, it had one moment but we’ll get to that little chestnut in a bit, and Fubuki’s shinobi transformation scene was very well put together and dripped with menace even with the fanservice. There isn’t really much else to talk about with this episode. It’s not that there’s nothing else good to talk about, it’s just that the episode does just a bit too little to actually make any profound statements. Still, the good stuff in this episode was, well really good.
What I Didn’t Like
The flashback segment went on just a bit too long for me. While it was nice to get some time with character other than the girls and in some ways actually help to plot out the history of one of the lesser characters, it did seem to drag on. There were some parts that were important, Kurokage’s banishment, him meeting Yumi and establishing his friendship with Hanzo. This was all fine and dandy, but was it really necessary? It does kind of enlighten us to Kurokage’s philosophy and how this has bled into the minds of both Fubuki and Yumi, but we didn’t need to see all of it. I wanted to see more of the Fubuki Yumi fight as it consisted of a few weapon clashes and was then over in like 30 seconds, this was meant to be the highlight of the episode and it fell short because of the drawn out flashback. Another thing I didn’t like was this frame below. The animation wasn’t awful in this episode, in fact some of it was pretty dang good, but by god this frame right here. I cannot pinpoint the exact problem with it, maybe it’s how flat it looks, how off model everyone is or just how poorly drawn it is overall. But long story short, this frame lingered for too long and it was such an eyesore that it infuriated me. Aside from the dragout flashback as well as THIS FRAME, there were no real issues with this episode per say.
Overall this episode didn’t really pull me in like other episodes have, but I do like how it has added to the overall story. The villain has been almost completely worked out and established, the expansion of the worlds lore wasn’t really needed but still interesting and the build up for the next episode and the main conflict is one that is both extreme and viciously threatening. The episode wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst, it was just painfully average.
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