I Double-Endorse Queen’s Blade

All it took for Queen’s Blade to win my endorsement was a single episode. Twenty-three episodes later, I’m doubling down.

I wouldn’t watch Queen’s Blade if it had a shitty story. Forget for a moment the stereotype that hentai/ecchi/fanservice anime have flimsy plots. A plot that’s “not bad for an ecchi anime” still wouldn’t cut it. I’m a plot man. I demand better. Even if Queen’s Blade did nothing particularly wrong, a bland or generic story would be reason enough for me to drop it. In fact, I almost did.

The defining moment came in the third episode. While Reina was busy mud wrestling, Risty was secretly presented the opportunity to sell her down the river. Nine out of ten times, this sort of situation plays out predictably:

  1. Serious contemplation (or totally misleading indications of serious contemplation)
  2. The power of friendship saves the day
  3. Everyone lives happily ever after

I hate clichés. I hate predictability. If Queen’s Blade wasn’t going to offer me an interesting story, I might as well be watching real porn. In the middle of the episode, I swore to myself I’d drop Queen’s Blade if it went down the sappy route. Then Queen’s Blade socked me from the blind side:

  1. Serious contemplation
  2. Betrayal
  3. Risty lives happily ever after, Reina gets beaten down in the next episode

My faith in the series was cemented. The writing wasn’t just good enough; it was actually good. If you’re still not convinced, check out TV Tropes, which lists Queen’s Blade as Growing the Beard (the opposite of Jumping the Shark):

The Queen’s Blade anime makes a really bad first impression, with its hentai-inspired character designs, fan service up the wazoo and copious amounts of fetish fuel. It redeems itself after a few episodes by presenting a rather gripping story and compelling characters, even though a lot of people may still be distracted by the show’s huge focus on well-endowed female bodies.

Now, if you are interested in a half-assed, porn-centric excuse for a story, check out the OVA.

Finally, a cast of characters I actually want to see naked.

But Baka-Raptor, their proportions are ridiculous!

No, I’d say they’re just about right. Your basis for comparison should be other anime characters, not real women (unless they’re porn stars). Rangiku Matsumoto, for example, visibly outranks all but two characters in the entire show: the nun (second picture from the top) and Cattleya (below). Both have absurd proportions, but not in a bad way. The nun is a gag character, and Cattleya is pretty thick all over.

But Baka-Raptor, this show is demeaning to women!

Are you kidding? These women take charge and kick ass. It’s the moé shows that demean women by portraying them as stupid and helpless.

But Baka-Raptor, if you want to see naked women, why not watch hardcore porn?

Because hardcore porn has men in it. Non-gay men don’t want to see dicks swinging around, which is why lesbians and tentacles were invented. Queen’s Blade has plenty of both.

This is Nyx, the best character ever. She’s basically a yandere take on the neotsundere. As neo-tsunderes frequently alternate between timid and bitchy, Nyx frequently alternates between timid and murderous. The transition from timid to murderous occurs when she gets tentacle raped by her weapon. Thus, Nyx always exists in one of three states:

The award for best character design goes to Allean. I realize how gay this about to sound, but whatever: I love her clothes.

Finally, a fanservice anime creative enough to go beyond catgirls and maids (there is a maid, but she’s a scythe-wielding lesbian ghost maid). Finally, a cast of fully grown women with a token loli, not a bunch of lolis with a token adult.

Thankfully, we never see her naked.

But Baka-Raptor, if Queen’s Blade is actually good, why do so many bloggers say it’s terrible?

Several reasons:

  • They’re pedophiles
  • They’re gay
  • They hate women
  • They hate porn
  • They’re jealous of women more attractive than them
  • Queen’s Blade killed their family
  • They have no comedic talent and can’t get a laugh any other way
  • They never gave Queen’s Blade a serious chance

I can’t tell you how many bloggers criticized Queen’s Blade for “pretending to have plot” just because they saw a few nipples. Even some of the bloggers who stuck with Queen’s Blade frequently made statements along the lines of, “Queen’s Blade is developing a plot, I don’t know if this is a good thing.” I joke a lot about being objective and unbiased, but the sad fact of the matter is that I’m a model of impartiality compared to most anime bloggers. Like the other bloggers, I picked up Queen’s Blade with the sole intention of making fun of it, but when I saw that it wasn’t complete garbage, I had the balls to give credit where credit was due.

Here’s the bottom line: Queen’s Blade is loaded with porn. If you don’t like it—or at least tolerate it—you’re not going to like the show.

I’m not going to tell you to lower your standards. I’m not going to preach that “it is what it is” or “you’re watching it wrong.” I’m not going to hide behind the slice-of-life veil. I’m not going to pretend the show has some deeper meaning that all its critics missed. All I ask is that you leave your preconceptions at the door. Don’t let the reputation of a few crappy hentai OVAs spoil your enjoyment of every anime with big, jiggly titties.

Final Grade: +

But Baka-Raptor, if you love Queen’s Blade so much, why did you only give it a single +?

Because I took it seriously, the same way I watch all anime. When Queen’s Blade screws up, I get mad; I don’t make excuses for it. Queen’s Blade has several flaws, most of which begin with the letter “R” and end with the letters “eina.” Like lead characters in many action anime, Reina starts off useless, powers up overnight, and becomes practically invincible by the end. The process was cushioned a lot better than I expected, but the “zero to hero in no time flat” transition can never be completely smooth. As a result, many of Reina’s earlier fights sucked, and many of her later fights felt cheap.

Now for some non-Reina complaints:

  • Some of the drama was pretty cheesy
  • The animation was shoddy at times, particularly during the first season
  • Nyx’s fight had a shitty ending
  • Echidna never actually lost
  • Nowa sucked (pantsless pubescents have no place in Queen’s Blade, go back to Strike Witches)
  • A note in the first season’s opening was a bit flat (the only thing flat about Queen’s Blade)

UPDATE: I haiku’d every episode of Queen’s Blade with halfadeckshort.

77 Replies to “I Double-Endorse Queen’s Blade”

  1. Very awesome. This is a badass review. This is why you kick ass.

    Queen’s Blade is one of 8 shows I have on a fortune-teller of ‘fanservice shows that I dropped that I want to pick back up.’ It was the one I was most shaky about including, but I was still fairly confident there was a reason it had 2 seasons, and you’ve sold me on it. Fuck the fortune-teller – when I finish the first show (Asu no Yoichi, which is awesome by the way) then I’ll pick up this.

    • Just be warned, since you place a much higher value on presentation than I do, I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t like it. (See coburn’s comment #12.) Queen’s Blade is no Akikan, but it’s no Canaan either. If you do get bored early on, consider skipping straight to Season 2.

  2. Huh, they don’t show the loli naked? That’s kind of…surprising, but also kind of nice. I won’t be watching this though…aside from my extreme dislike of the “zero to hero” cliche, I’m not interested in watching boobies flying around for 20 minutes at a time.

  3. Queen’s Blade was the only reason I watched anime weekly last year. Seriously, Queen’s Blade renewed my faith in anime.

    Funny fact: 90% of the bloggers who say Queen’s Blade sucks also say they don’t like K-On and shit, but when they announced a second season they said they had high hopes for it and were really expecting it.

  4. I double-endorse this post.

    The second season was a fair bit better than the first. There was more focus in the story, and the animation was more consistent. I’m still disappointed that Shizuka got killed off though (the only female character who actually died… sigh).

    • Yeah, pretty much everyone agrees that the second season was better than the first. In my mind, however, I don’t think of them as two different seasons. It’s all one continuous story to me. If anything, I see the first season as a prequel rather than the start of “Queen’s Blade.”

  5. “But Baka-Raptor, if Queen’s Blade is actually good, why do so many bloggers say it’s terrible?”

    -Exploding Vorpal Tits are not their cup of tea.

    “The award for best character design goes to Allean. I realize how gay this about to sound, but whatever: I love her clothes”

    Well her outfit is fabulous after all. Should we expect to see you cosplaying it soon?

  6. Queen’s Blade killed my family, raped my dog, and dented my car’s fender.

    I go for trashy exploitation stuff, but for whatever reason Queen’s Blade’s trashy exploitation just didn’t do it for me. If this were an anime about assassin chicks with guns or mysterious chicks with weird psychic powers I’d probably eat it up, but Dungeons and Dragons/Final Fantasy-esque fantasy chicks with swords just don’t have the same allure.

    I don’t see breasts, I just see d20s. “At what level do you get D-Cup breasts?”

    • Queen’s Blade was probably acting in self-defense, on all three counts.

      Different strokes for different folks. I prefer swords to guns. They’re more convenient for stripping your opponent.

    • There wouldn’t be anything wrong with seeing her naked, seeing as how she’s older then Cattleya and only looks like a little girl because she’s of the Dwarf race. Anyway, you can find her naked on something called the internet.

  7. “Don’t let the reputation of a few crappy hentai OVAs spoil your enjoyment of every anime with big, jiggly titties.”

    A moral we can all stand to learn from.

  8. Glad we feel the same way about Queen’s Blade. Personally, I thought the best design goes to Menace, but I can see myself giving it to Allean as well. In fact, almost every character, except for that nun and that Cattle, has amazing design in terms of look and clothes.

    • Menace is one of my favorites. The one thing that bugs me about her is her blue & white striped panties. I see what they’re trying to do by decking her out in all that snazzy Egyptian stuff and then giving her modern panties, but it still feels weird to me.

  9. I don’t see myself watching this, but nice review anyway. There’s probably some kind of mighty mental connection between your protracted dismissal of ‘is it what it is’ excuses and a recorded admiration for occasionally dodgily executed but surprisingly plotted shows (I’m thinking Claymore/Higurashi might be relevant comparisons to QB).

    Can’t help but feel that your piechart of rape kind of messes with that whole ‘not demeaning’ line though.

    • I said that Queen’s Blade isn’t demeaning to women, plural. It’s ok to be demeaning to one.

      “It is what it is” is an argument often used to justify going easier on plotless shows. This is a hypocrisy. When people see well-plotted shows with dodgy execution, they take points off, but when they see a well-executed show with a dodgy plot, “it is what it is.” The argument as applied betrays its core value of fairness.

  10. Here goes another 3 hours of my life spent on TV Tropes T_T

    Yep I fall into the people who dismissed QB because it had nipples flying aroud the screen, but the problem is actually watching this without anyone around thinking that you are watching some sick porn.

    I’ll (maybe) give it a chance.

    • I know what you’re saying. Back in college, I took shit from my roommates for watching Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and it’s 3 total minutes of nudity in the entire series. Just watch it when they’re in class or the shower.

  11. I’m also in the crowd who dismissed the show after the 1st episode – I just couldnt watch all the boobs bouncing about anymore, even if it did actually develop a plot in the end. Its good to know it did go somewhere plotwise; however no force on earth could convince me to actually watch more of Queens Blade.

    • If gravity and electroweak didn’t do it for you, try the strong force. If that doesn’t work either, I guess you’re right; no force on earth could convince you to watch more of Queen’s Blade.

  12. This reminds me of something… is a claymore naked body so awful that we could not even get a little of fan service ?

    The other fact is true, girls reviewing queen’s blade (or any other anime) will always get jealous about the girls favoring fan service for men and give the series low grades…

    that is because, although these fat otaku girls may also have big breasts like queen’s blade girls, they have huge bellies and fat developed bodies, differently from the hot chicks seen in Claymore or any other action anime like Queen’s Blade for instance with huge breasts, straight bellies and well developed bodies 😉

    • This reminds me of something… is a claymore naked body so awful that we could not even get a little of fan service ?

      Supposedly, but I’m really curious as to where the problem spot is. They don’t lose all their clothes at once like the Queen’s Blade characters, but bits and pieces get ripped. Over the course of all the battles in the anime and manga, I can’t think of many spots that hasn’t been revealed yet.

  13. I’ve been waiting for your review of Queen’s Blade, and as expected it really rocks!
    I might understand that “some people” dislike it because it doesn’t show “the kind of fanservice they like”, but saying that they dislike it because it shows “omgnipples!” of well developed and kick assing women (instead of loli pantyshots) it sounds a bit hypocrite, doesn’t it?
    I am a woman, but actually I found QB’s fanservice funny and sometimes original, Holy poses cracked me up and even if they are made to be put off, I can feel the “fantasy” atmosphere just by watching their cool clothes.

    I disliked the “zero to hero” too, though, I liked more the looser Reina. Actually I think that Claudette would have been the best choice to play the invincible leader role, but still.
    Well, at least Reina is in the middle, usually the strongest among three brothers/sisters is the youngest one (or the elder one), so they at least avoided a cliché.

    • Come to think of it, we rarely see middle children at all in anime. Much be a reflection of Japan’s low birth rate or something.

      Guys tend to overlook the non-arousing entertainment value of fanservice. Melons that’ve grown well beyond (most of) our tastes can still be damn funny. I’m not into flat girls, but it’s always funny when they’re embarrassed that they don’t stack up to the competition.

  14. “Queen’s Blade has several flaws, most of which begin with the letter “R” and end with the letters “eina.””

    Exactly. You warmed up to Queen’s Blade a lot sooner than I did. I didn’t start taking it seriously till the second season, although I enjoyed both seasons. The second season was just great.

    • True, I was among the first to see the truth about strawberry acidic milk. Looking back, the exploding breasts in the first episode were by far the most ridiculous thing on the show. Even more ridiculous than the giant tongue-raping frog in the second episode. Queen’s Blade sure knows how to ease the audience in…

    • Mnemosyne was the anime that shattered any stereotypes I once had about nudity being a red flag for crappy storytelling. The first episode of Mnemosyne to this date remains one of my single favorite episodes of any anime.

      • I also liked Mnemosyne a lot… wait, that was until they showed us a guy with female breasts in the last episode…


  15. I think what happened to Queen’s Blade is happening now with Qwaser…i hope you post(even though this one has an lack of matured woman)about that one too.

    • Unlike Queen’s Blade, Qwaser had been preemptively defended by bloggers who’d read the manga. Queen’s Blade, on the other hand, primarily had support from figure collectors. There wasn’t anyone to rebut the accusations of a flaky plot, so writing about Queen’s Blade took high priority. There’s still a good chance I’ll write about Qwaser, but probably not until it’s over.

  16. hahahahaha this post is hilarious… and pretty much true… although it may have taken me a lot longer to take this show seriously than it did for you (it almost took me a whole season)

    • I was sold when Risty sold out Reina. Another key moment was when Reina powered up but still couldn’t beat Claudette. If she had, my opinion of the show would’ve taken a nosedive, though I probably wouldn’t have dropped it.

  17. Fanservice always disgusts me. It’s like I can hear the producer whispering in my ear:

    “You ARE the Lowest Common Denominator… And I am appealing to YOU!”

    So, in order to follow the plot, I just tuned in to Product of Wasted Time. Worked like a dream.

  18. Around the time the first season was airing I received an Airi Queen’s Blade book for a joke birthday present and thus I felt compelled to watch the show to see my character in action, as much as I was ready to hate everything about the show I actually started enjoying it, the plot was alright and the animation wasn’t half bad, also the voice acting cast was blowing my mind. But yeah in the end it boils down to, I don’t regret watching this show at all. To this day there are now two other victims of the Queen’s Blade book present giving from the same guy, I think we’re going to try to learn how to play out of principle.

    • I could never see myself playing the Queen’s Blade books. Then again, I’ve already fallen farther than I could’ve ever predicted since starting this site. Who knows what’ll happen next…

  19. I am going to double down on your double-endorsing of Queen’s Blade! I have always been in the camp of Pro Queen’s Blade. And before I say anything else, let’s just agree on the “fact” that Reina sucked, while she was portrayed as such and she knew she sucked, which is ok by me. The zero to hero bit is a bother somewhat, but it’s something I can overlook because of time constraint.

    For the most part of season 1, the focus is on character introduction, why they have a stake in Queen’s Blade and Reina’s quest to become the Wandering Warrior, there is the plot. Simple, yes, but that’s the plot. And I will repeat it as many times as it’s needed, it has a plot far superior to that of any “high school music club slice of life show”.

    Season 2 is when the show really come to life imo, I enjoyed it tremendously. With as many characters as Queen’s Blade has, I personally believe they did a damn good job covering all the bases, giving adequate background story for each characters, with little questions left behind. I didn’t like Melona at the beginning, but I can’t help but cheering for her near the end… I didn’t like Cattleya’s absurd proportion at first, but who can deny her right to seek out her lost husband? And finally, those holy poses, while being rather ridiculous at first was proven to be vitally useful at the end…. I mean it, Queen’s Blade, while being viewed as fanservice oriented, is actually an anime that has more depth than meet the casual viewers.

  20. Being an aficionado (okay, more like obsessive sick fuck) of dwarves, I’ve come to expect a certain degree of artistic liberty in portraying the females of the race. I can understand their NOT speaking a Scottish accent, or NOT having a beard (not like Dragon Age hadn’t already done both, and more, with more style), but there’s one concession I won’t allow: removing their inherent…’stoutness’. (They have halflings for that kind of shit.) Especially not in such a ‘stout’ setting as this. Using them, further, as a platform for a token loli character just magnifies the degree of their nerd-crime.
    Why, if I wasn’t so entranced by the dozens of bizarre character designs and hypnotic tits, I’d almost be inclined to give them a piece of my mind. Somehow.

  21. I stopped blogging Queens Blade for lack of time…This post may inspire me to retake the project and finish the last episodes…Good for you that you enjoy Queens Blade…

  22. Wow, I just got reminded of the reason I really fucking love your site. It’s funny, witty, and logical. Even if there are some things I didn’t initially agree with, you carefully lay down arguments to support it. Common sense, but something you do wonderfully, and easily. I just got done watching Queen’s Blade last week because I kept seeing crap about it and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I want to see Fate/Stay Night too…but that’s another story.

    I really thought the variety of characters was super fun and the match-ups fun too, but I really got irritated with the cheap battles too. Like idk if you play fighting games very much…err wait, you played God Hand. Ok, I haven’t played GodHand in a long time, but you know the moves that render you temporarily invincible from startup? Yeah, those attacks are nicknamed “dragon punches.” Pretty much when anyone rushes you, they get knocked the fuck out. R/Leina’s “Dragon ‘Kick'” was pretty much the same thing. It couldn’t be disputed. You knew R/Leina was gonna win, but I was so pissed because Echidna didn’t fight, and Nyx lost to that bratty hoe. It certainly makes for some lovely ecchi/hentai material (I’m definitely getting on that btw). Anyways, I liked the review, and really hope they make an anime like Q.B. again except with FMA:Brotherhood’s production value.

  23. Seikon no Qwaser’ is one of the worst series of the season. Leaving aside the euphemisms (fanservice, ecchi, etc), this series can only be described as pornographic. That is the kinda crap that makes me ashamed to like Anime

  24. queen’s blade the worse anime i have ever seen. i would rather watch a full blown hentai than this. the elena character was so annoying. what a turn off.

  25. lol great review! i watched this on netflix streaming not knowing anything about it. it was rated tv-14 on netflix and since tv-14 is one step above tv-pg i wasnt expecting to see naked boobies flying around 5 mins into the first episode lol. ounce i got over my surprise and gave it a chance it turned out to be a pretty good show

  26. quick question, love this show anyone know when season 4 of queens blade is coming out and where i can watch it?

  27. i have a brand new hentai anime that features a normal 36 year old man named Christopher he meets a half human half demon girl named Trinity her father is a demon king while her mother is a human slave sold at a slave market.

  28. trinity’s dad is named master Leviathan he has dark brown skin and black hair he is quite tall and handsome but he has fangs, a long forked tongue, a demonic tail, demonic wings, claws, horns, and pointy ears he also has glowing gold eyes with animal like scleroses and wears a business suit along with sunglasses plus a nice bowler hat. trinity’s mother is named Eva and she has big breasts white skin and brown hair plus green eyes she has a slave collar on has a nose piercing, a lip piercing, a clitoris piercing, a navel piercing, nipple piercings, and a tongue piercing she wears a ragged torn Japanese schoolgirl uniform with no bra or panties along with no shoes or socks.

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