Two years ago, Baka-Raptor endorsed Queen’s Blade with a rare double-down endorsement. He didn’t claim that the show was the pinnacle of awesomeness—he said that it was a great show which hadn’t been given a proper chance by anime bloggers, who’d dismissed it for its pornographic nature. I’ve defended shows the same way because I’m not a ponce, and anyone who’s not a ponce would defend a show for the same reason.
Of course, I’ve been guilty in the past of criticizing shows that I hadn’t given a proper chance. Rectifying that mistake is something I’ve put great emphasis on over the years. Queen’s Blade was a show that I initially dismissed and shit-talked when it debuted in 2009, and Baka-Raptor called me out on it. When he did his endorsement of the series, I promised him that I’d give it a shot.
I watched three episodes back then on a crappy stream somewhere, then said I’d get back to it. In light of the new season starting, I decided now was the time to give it another shot. I rightly watched it in 1080p, which brought to life the show’s gorgeous background art. Unfortunately, everything else in the show is ugly.
May as well start there. (By the way, I’m tipsy right now from taking a sip every time I saw bare tits in the first three eps of season two, so forgive me if I meander in this post): this is not an attractive show to me. Before you accuse me of being biased against big tits or something, allow me to firmly retort. There are a number of large-breasted characters whose designs I adore. To name a few off the top of my head: Kallen Stadtfeld, Suzumiya Haruhi, and Sonoshee McLaren. I didn’t find anyone in Queen’s Blade attractive, regardless of breast size—but that’s not what I mean by ugly.
If the characters were consistently drawn with the quality that they are in the ending sequence, then I wouldn’t complain. I’d simply call it a matter of taste. But the fact is, Queen’s Blade has shoddy-ass character art and animation which looks like hell most of the time. Considering that some fifty percent of the show is fanservice shots, this is a crime. I’ve said somewhere or another that THE most important places for animation/art to shine is in fanservice and fighting scenes. When these scenes are shit, then it pushes that shit straight into the viewer’s face. I don’t like shit in my face.
But I didn’t come to this show for the looks. I knew in 2010 that I didn’t like the way it looked. I came because Baka-Raptor championed the writing and the plot.
Like him, I thought that Listy’s betrayal in episode three was a nice touch, and it inspired me to continue with the show. After watching six episodes of season one and three episodes of season two (because Baka-Raptor told me to go straight to S2 if I got bored with S1), nothing else has impressed me about the plot or writing.
Character motivations in this series are as cliche and boring as they can get. All that saved the backstory scenes from being insufferable was their merciful shortness. I didn’t give a rat’s ass about the reasons any character had for fighting, and didn’t ultimately care who won any fights. For that matter, the characters have only the most basic personality traits which I don’t care about either. They aren’t very well-ruonded I guess is what I’m saying (well, they certainly are WELL-ROUNDED if you catch my drift).
Well-rounded characters aren’t a make-or-break thing for me, but if the characters suck, the animation sucks, so much sucks, what’s there to like? The plot, supposedly. I ask, what fucking plot?! This is the entire plot of the show: a bunch of boring women are fighting to become queen. When they aren’t doing this, they are involving themselves in random, stupid hijinks and terrible attempts at comedy. When they *are* fighting, they talk the whole time, stand around, and when they attack, the animation is shit and there’s no sense of how powerful characters are in relation to one-another (and these power levels are wildly inconsistent).
In three episodes of season two, the only thing I enjoyed was how Nyx, who was horribly boring, got defeated by Elina. Not because of the subversion of justice, but because Nyx was annoying and needed a one-way ticket out of the god damned show.
Anyway, the long and short of it is, I was disappointed.