Nothing But Skin: Queen’s Blade

Women fighting for the right to be Queen.

Not as awesome as it sounds.

The other day my younger sister wondered why I don’t write about anime that I dislike to the extent that I watched only one episode. Fair game, since the whole idea of this blog was a beginner’s guide to the world of anime and manga, and even those that didn’t quite pique my interest should be included. So today (er, tonight) I am writing about just that, an anime that I watched only the first episode of. (There really aren’t that many, since I do have that pesky need to “give everything a fair chance” and “see things through” as I mentioned in my review of Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden.)

If you're really stretching, the whole "poison breast milk" could be somewhat feminist, linking fertility and motherhood with death as well as life. But I just thought it was gross.

What can I say about Queen’s Blade: The Exiled Virgin? In a nutshell, if you love He-Man and you love porn, then this anime is your wet dream. This is the kind of anime that I thought all anime was before I became an anime fan (and the reason why I shied away from anime for so long). The story is about a tournament held every four years to determine the next queen (which is called, you’ll never guess, The Queen’s Blade). So bunches of women wearing the skimpiest armor you can imagine duke it out amongst each other for the throne. That’s the gist of the series as far as I could tell from episode one. There was a princess who had some family issues and kept trying to run away, a wild forest woman named Risty who was perhaps supposed to be the “likable outcast” but whom I just found annoying, and a girl with bunny ears who squirted poison milk out of her boobs as a weapon. And that was pretty much it.

As someone who enjoys tales of strong women, I ignored the bountiful bosoms on the cover and gave it a shot. Sure it looked super porny, but maybe the story would be enough to overcome the ridiculously fan service-y outfits…

Wrong.

It could only be more demeaning if they were fighting over a man.

Maybe I quit too soon, but it seemed that the skimpy outfits (and I do mean skimpy) and gratuitous crotch-shots were the story. The women were just unrealistic bodies to be placed into violent and/or sexual situations purely for the sake of titillating the viewer.* Since naked Barbie dolls don’t really do it for me, there was no point in watching further. I liked the idea of women warriors fighting for power in terms of gender-reversal (which is my bread and butter) but I didn’t enjoy the traditionally sexist way in which it was presented.

And that’s my take on Queen’s Blade. Tune in next week to read my review of a fan service-ful anime that I actually did enjoy!

*Editor’s Note: Sometimes I worry that I come off as anti-sex when I write these reviews; I’m actually not, and as long as it’s legal I don’t care what turns anyone else on. However, for me the fan service has to have some purpose in the story in order for it to work. I don’t just want to see naked women. If I did, I’d strip and look in a mirror.

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