Warlords of Sigrdrifa
by Kim Morrissy,
How would you rate episode 4 of
Warlords of Sigrdrifa ?
It's time for the obligatory beach episode, although instead of girls in swimsuits, there's a lot more brawny male ass.
Warlords of Sigrdrifa has always struck me as a show that's at odds with itself. Even as it presents a serious story about coming to terms with death and survivor's guilt, it's constantly padded by cute girls doing cute things. Still, the range of expression wasn't so stark that it made it hard to believe that all of these events occur within the same setting. That is, until this episode.
The humor in episode 4 is a lot bawdier than anything that has preceded it. It has naked dudes slapping their asses every few minutes. It also has dudes hoping the girls will literally step on them. The slapstick in this episode, with one recurring joke involving the only pretty boy of the crew constantly falling to his doom, is very Jun Maeda-esque. I'm not just saying that because The Day I Became a God also has a character named Odin! This episode was pretty funny, but given that most of the humor in the series so far has come mostly in the form of gentle banter, this kind of screwball comedy felt like something from a completely different show.
Thanks to the episode's focus on the side male cast, it does end up emphasizing a side of this show that is somewhat distinct from others in the military moe genre. Namely, it has an extended cast of supporting male characters, and it's not afraid to let the guys interact with the girls. It's not necessarily in a romantic or shipping sense, nor does it seem like any entanglements between the male and female characters will be a source of drama, like in Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan. The guys (who all seem to be significantly older than the girls) simply adore the Valkyries and want to do everything they can to cheer them on. In short, they're simps; or, to put it in less crude and meme-y terms, they represent how the adult male creators and target audience generally regard their favored moe girls.
It's kind of a fascinating creative decision to let the audience surrogates take up this much space in the show. The dudes clearly know their place as supporting characters and don't invade the girls' boundaries. But it still gives the brief fanservice pinup shots a weird vibe – seeing the girls surrounded by goofy naked dudes makes it really obvious why most shows in this genre avoid depicting male characters altogether. Even as this episode constantly makes jokes at the guys' expense, it feels meta to the point of taking me out of the story. I don't want to think about the ojisans watching this show at the same time I'm watching the show.
In general, I have to wonder what the point of such an aimless episode even was in what I'm assuming is a one-cour show. It ends with the introduction of a new character, whom Sonoka appears to have some kind of history with, judging by her perturbed facial expression at the end there. So it seems like the story might take a serious turn after this point, but it's going to be harder for me to take the plot seriously going forward. Fun episode, but it would have been better in the Jun Maeda show.
Warlords of Sigrdrifa is currently streaming on Funimation.
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