Another ‘new’ trend in animes: the outsider, coming to a school that is fitted with rigid regulations and equally rigid people to enforce things. Easily seen in the bizarre “Prison School”, our latest show under the microscope takes it to a different level. This is the world of “Armed Girl’s Machiavellism” (“Busōu Shōujo Makyaverizumu”), where power is knowledge.
We have arrived at Private Aichi Symbiosis Academy (and whatever the hell does that mean? Symbiosis is any type of close and long-term interaction between two different biological organisms. I guess it is boys vs girls again). Into this predominantly girl’s school comes trouble in the form of Fudou Nomura, a male student who got expelled from his old school because of a violent brawl. He wants a free life, but he chose poorly. This academy is a place where girls discipline boys with weapons to ‘correct’ them. The ladies claim it is for ‘self-defense’, so the guys have only their wits. Well, maybe half of them.
A five-member vigilante group called the “Supreme Five Swords” led by Rin Onigawara (her of the half-mask in the center) holds Nomura at sword-point to either concede to the rules or leave the school. At this critical juncture, Nomura challenges the Supreme Five Swords for his own rights and live as he so chooses. The rest of The Five? (left to right):
Satori Tamaba, she comes off a bit crazy.
Warabi Hanasaka, a bit wild and impetuous, she has her own musketeers.
Tsukuyo Inaba. Is she blind? Not certain, but she fights with a cutting style.
Mary Kikakujou, she fights with a dueling sword.
A random element is the out-of-control student, Kirukiru Amou, who defeated two of the Five Swords in battle, so they give her a wide berth. Our story entails how Nomura has to fight the Council Members, to get something near and dear to him: an off-campus pass. Now, this is more than just the Fight of the Week, where Nomura defeats another lady to get his badge. The situations presented are both dangerous and inane.
I don’t want to tell you all of it, as you want to see this for yourself, but there is a sumo wrestling episode that is really wacky and strange. It’s just that I cannot imagine a situation that you would allow this to happen. I mean, it’s a private academy, so that means it is expensive and yet, the female students are allowed to walk about with a riot baton to ‘defend’ themselves if they feel threatened? And the humiliations the guys have to go through are just as weird.
It’s merely OK. The fight sequences are very energetic and when Nomura uses his palm strike attack, it gets even odder. It is a nice entry into the ‘fight against the system’ approach, but I just wasn’t certain as to how to take it. The overall situation is goofy enough to make it a comedy, but some of the punishment dished out is both cruel and vicious to the point that the ‘humor’ is lost on me. At least with ‘Prison School’, that was so over the top, you could not see it any other way. Here, it’s not as well defined.
If you do want to see ‘tough’ women, laid low by their own emotionality, this show might be what you seek. Just be more open-minded on things, when they cross the line from comedy to cruelty. And an OVA just came out, which does more to confuse than enlighten the events. I cannot determine where it should go in the string of things and seems done more as a sop than any real extra tale to tell. I just never know with this stuff.
And if you decide that you do NOT want to watch another episode of “NOVA” or “Dr. Pol”, this is a good series to binge, as the motivations play out much better, since we are addressing it as a kind of ‘next day’ fervor, so there is little time to try and regroup and present a better strategy, but it cannot overcome its basic shortcomings.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (The ladies are really cute, especially naked)
Plot 7 (Not executed as sharply as it needed to be)
Pacing 7 (Moves along in rough jerks)
Effectiveness 7 (Things are not really explained)
Conclusion 6 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 6 (A similar show would be “Mahoromatic”)
Bingeability 9 (As things play out better)
Overall 7 (Neither fish nor fowl)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. You will obey!