Momo Kyun Sword
by Miles Nelson,
Comedy is hard to do right. For every laugh-out-loud TV show or movie, there are twenty complete duds, and this is doubly true for comedies based in sexual humor. Material meant to come off as risqué and entertaining more often than not becomes gross, unpleasant and potentially disturbing. Now, Japan has a long history of sex-based humor, and some of their cultural sensibilities are different than ours; there are some things they may find funnier than we do. I've seen anime with sexual humor that I've loved, or at least found to be entertaining. In the first eight episodes, Momo Kyun Sword has proven itself not to be one of those anime.
The ostensible premise of the show is that, in Feudal Japan, a strange girl was found inside a magical peach by a peasant couple, who raised her as their daughter. Naming her Momoko (momo meaning peach in Japanese), the couple sees her develop into a young woman, trained in combat along the way by a trio of magical animals. One day her village is attacked by demons, driving her to find the fragments of the mighty Michimi Peach along with the Celestial Maiden Squad before the demons can collect them all. At least that's what the characters say the plot is about. The real premise of the story is showing moe-fied teenagers with ridiculously big and bouncy breasts fight each other, and tear off parts of their clothing in the process.
Yes, Momo Kyun Sword is yet another entry in the genre of nude female fighting that includes Ikki Tousen and Master of Martial Hearts. While not as loathsome as those two examples, it still stinks pretty awful. Most characters are walking clichés with paper-thin characterization, and what little personalities they do have are thrown out the window when required by a moronic plot. Momoko is presented as stupid, and we're supposed to laugh at her along with the "smart" characters, even though they act just as stupid as her most of the time. The mind-numbing universal stupidity makes it impossible to sympathize with them, and it doesn't even serve its intended comedic purpose. Almost every joke, whether it be slapstick or running gag, induces not laughter but depression. In the first few episodes I smiled about three times, but given the joke density of the show that's a weak result. Unfortunately, ineffective humor is not the show's worst aspect.
The unpleasantness of viewing Momo Kyun Sword is compounded by the jokes not only being unfunny but often downright creepy. In episode four, both the good guys and bad guys have a truce in order to spend a day at the beach. (Groan.) The male members of both sides ogle the girls in swimsuits from behind some sand dunes. This wouldn't be so objectionable if two of the men weren't Momoko's wolf and monkey companions, who not only stare at her naughty bits with open arousal but talk about how much bigger her butt and boobs have gotten since she was a kid. This exchange and its implications disturbed me enough to almost forget Momoko and the girls being sexually assaulted by a giant squid in a prior sequence.
I could go on about the idiotic vulgarities of the show's plot forever, but I'm going to move on to the animation. For a TV anime, it's mostly just average; the best I can say about it is that the painted backgrounds are pretty, and that there is little to no bad CGI. The characters' movements (including that of their breasts) are not noteworthy, for good or ill. The character designs are similarly forgettable, although the color palette is alright. Strangely, the audio aspects of the series are much higher in quality than the animation. The vocal cast is more or less good, giving colorful performances all around. The music is actually quite pleasant, particularly the trumpet numbers. The audio makes the overall experience more tolerable, if only a little.
Momo Kyun Sword is not the most unpleasant anime I've ever watched, but it was one of the most dispiriting. You could potentially tell a good story with this premise; the Japanese mythology it draws from certainly has that potential. In the end, the creators just wanted to show boobies bouncing up and down and cater to some gross fetishes. From here, the most we can look forward to is seeing what new forms of vulgarity the show decides to explore and if they're entertaining enough to work any better.
Momo Kyun Sword is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Miles Nelson has been an anime fan since 1997, and has been writing about it since 2013. You can read his articles at My Geek Review.
discuss this in the forum (71 posts) |