“Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Bride” has presented to us a two-episode OVA in which the ladies are, again, challenged in their abilities to be good samurai warriors. This time, the threat comes from a longbow warrior, Uesugi Kagekatsu, potentially more powerful than they are, and the prize is to become the actual bride of Yagyū Munenori, who is the leader of this tiny clan. To do this, they engage in, not martial arts, but homemaking arts, as they show off their ability to cook and clean and be domesticated.
Well, since this is served up with huge doses of silliness, the normal things go wrong, in that the food is either destroyed, completely inedible or made with some weird ingredients. And where would an OVA be without some (huge) degree of flirty behavior and wardrobe malfunctions and all-American nakedness (OK, this this case, all-Japanese nakedness).
Part of the problem with this OVA is that the episodes (“Samurai General Election” and “Samurai Wedding”) are six months apart, so we have to wait until July to see the thrilling conclusion to discover if the evil lady or one of the nicer ones will claim Munenori as their one and only betrothed. This show has always had good looking ladies, and the hijinks are, more or less, reined in, but it still undercuts the story which, for some reason, decided not to take itself too seriously to begin with. It’s all just for good fun (look, when you turn your dojo into a Maid Café, you pretty much have surrendered ‘serious’.)
Oh, and what is the compelling reason to do this? Would you like a rice omelet?
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 9 (Gosh, they are so cute)
Plot 7 (Skint, but present)
Pacing 8 (Moves along consistently)
Effectiveness 7 (But, ultimately, to what end or purpose?)
Conclusion 7 (You can always crank out another OVA)
Fan Service 6 (A similar show would be “Mahoromatic”)
Overall 7 (Too much of being out of character)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Scrub your back?