by Theron Martin,

Bikini Warriors

BD+DVD - The Complete Series

Bikini Warriors BD+DVD
Four heroic adventurers – Fighter, Paladin, Dark Elf, and Mage – have banded together to fight for justice and a better world, or something like that. That they all happen to be busty women who wear bikini “armor” is just a coincidence. Even beyond keeping their clothing intact and dealing with various lascivious monsters, they have the common concerns of every adventurer: whether or not to sell old equipment to get enough money for item upgrades, whether a treasure chest will be a trap or have actual treasure, whether they're getting paid enough for a dangerous job, whether or not they have enough resources at hand to face the boss monster, and of course, an adventurer's sense of entitlement towards the common people they protect.

Anime short series don't earn English dubs or even home video releases often, unless they're associated with an established franchise. (See The Adventures of Mini-Goddess or The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya.) So Funimation's decision to both dub and release this series of shorts from the Summer 2015 season is especially unusual.

Or maybe it's not, because this isn't exactly a normal series of shorts. Along with being an outrageous parody of RPG gaming, this production is as much about fan service as it is about comedy. Though you'll never see exposed nipples, fan service is present in about 90% of the show's shots, whether it be skimpy outfits, jiggling chests, provocative camera angles, or stranger fare like shibari bondage, ooze/tentacle molestation, clothing disintegration, or the entire group being left naked after getting overzealous in exploiting “adventurer privilege.” In some cases, the series parodies fanservice even while indulging in it, such as in the opening episode where Fighter laments the skimpy “armor” that their regular store is offering until she sees how effective its protective qualities are. One of the cleverer examples is a much later scene, shot through the back side of a sign with holes strategically placed to make it look like the four adventurers are actually naked. (And to further the joke, the same episode goes on to have a scene where the adventurers really are naked, but being concealed by strategically-placed obstructions.)

The other main draw is its gaming-related humor. The series makes sport of the Paladin's penchant for self-sacrifice, the irony of items you've had sitting around forever and never used suddenly becoming important once you've sold them off, heroes being expected to work for a relative pittance, and the crass practice of raiding NPC's homes for treasure. The adventurers also espouse noble-minded sentiments despite their actual actions being pretty selfish. At no point are any of these gags close to being riotously funny; its best jokes aren't in the same league with the humor from KONOSUBA, which does an immensely funnier job of poking fun at RPGs. Some of the jokes fail spectacularly too, such as one about an adventurer being possessed by a bad guy and turning on them, while the rest thinking she's upset because of various past slights.

At least the series has its fanservice to fall back on, supported by a respectable artistic effort by studios PRA and feel. All the ladies are sufficiently sexy, though the designs conform to common stereotypes (Paladin is a blonde, Fighter is a redhead, and Mage is smaller with short, pale hair) and there is little variety in build; even the most petite character is extraordinarily busty for her size. Bright coloring and good quality control are present, but so is somewhat limited animation, with the bulk of some episodes being made up of panning shots. The complementing musical effort is unremarkable save for its acoustic-only closer.

The English dub cast relies mostly on the core group of Alexis Tipton (Paladin), Felecia Angelle (Fighter), Dawn M. Bennett (Dark Elf), and Sarah Weidenheft (Mage), who all ham it up appropriately. Some later appearances are given distinct accents, with Hunter characterized as a backwoods hick and Valkyrie characterized as a snobby valley girl. Among bit parts, Jeremy Inman's raspy performance as the Smith in episode 1 stands out, but the dub has no questionable casting choices or performances overall.

Funimation is releasing all 12 episodes in a standard Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack that comes with a slipcover. The only extras are clean versions of both the regular and special episode 12 closer. Not present are a couple of follow-up OVA episodes, though the second of the two would have been an unlikely inclusion anyway, since it came out the same week that this release hit the market in the States. Given that there are only 48 total minutes of content (each episode is 4 minutes long), the base price of $29.98 seems a little on the high side; that's a price per minute rate comparable to some of Aniplex of America's deluxe releases, which suggests that $30 might be the feasible bottom end of the pricing range for Funimation's first-run Blu-Ray releases.

The series is based on a line of fantasy figurines by Hobby Japan, and it has all of the substance you'd expect from such a source. While it may work as a pure fanservice effort, it offers little entertainment value beyond that.

Production Info:
Overall (dub) : C
Overall (sub) : C
Story : C
Animation : C+
Art : B
Music : B

+ Lots of fanservice for fans of busty babes
Offers nothing else, seldom as funny as it wants to be

Series Composition: Go Tamai
Script: Go Tamai
Naoyuki Kuzuya
Haruo Okawara
Episode Director: Naoyuki Kuzuya
Music: Miyabi Kanata
Original Concept: Masanobu Kawahara
Original Character Design:
Rei Hiroe
Non Oda
Character Design: Kosuke Murayama
Chief Animation Director: Kosuke Murayama
Animation Director:
Minefumi Harada
Chiharu Kataoka

Full encyclopedia details about
Bikini Warriors (TV)

Release information about
Bikini Warriors - The Complete Series (BD+DVD)

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