Anime of Tomorrow
Tag Archives: genderbending
Initial impression – unoriginal, but not entirely mind-numbing (4/10)
Spring 2012 (12 episodes) (English title – Parallel World Samurai) (more info)
Genderbending ancient Japanese heroes into women is hardly new territory; but Samurai Girls proved that it’s possible to turn that premise into something cool. And while it falls far short of anything approaching what Samurai Girls accomplished, Sengoku Collection does a respectable job of telling a story of a young woman out of her era.
Where it fails, though is when it turns to the tired old plot device of having the main character travel around collecting pieces of some vague energy in order to have her wish granted. It’s so lacking in imagination and the main story is such an ordinary clash of cultures / boy meets girl story that I can foresee nothing promising on the horizon.
This suspicion is further confirmed in the credits where the other characters feature as a smorgasbord of moe stereotypes ranging from glasses to jailbait. I’ll fully admit my own weakness to moe, but I don’t like having it shoved in my face in such a painfully obvious manner. The spirit of Sengoku Collection can be summed up as regendered, fetishized historical figures transported to the modern era and trying to get home and that’s a bit too simple for me to lend it any more of my time.
What do you think? Is this kind of formula too weird? And is reimagining great men from Japan’s past as women something that piques anyone’s interest? How do you feel about the excessive exaggeration of the character’s appeal? Is it fun and goofy or offensively contrived and transparent?