Project #51: Maken-Ki

Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. One of the main points of an anime is to help promote the manga, light novel, or video game it’s based off of. On average an anime will last 3 months with the only chance of it getting a second season depending on how much people like it. There are a few exceptions where some animes will go longer but that’s only because they’re already so popular and well known. A manga and light novel is where the author makes most of their money because in truth they can keep the series going as long as they want and take as much time as they need. If they want to make the series weekly it can be weekly, if they want the series to be monthly it can be monthly, or if they want to go on a crazy schedule and update whenever they feel like it they can do that. That’s why it’s sad when an anime is better than the manga it’s based off of. An example of this is Maken Ki. Maken Ki is a manga that got started in 2007 and is still continuing today, it follows the story of a boy who goes to this special martial arts school where the students possess magic and spiritual energies called elements where they learn to master them and how to use them for the good of humanity. The series was written by Hiromitsu Takeda who is actually a hentai doujin artist. For those of you who don’t doujin is fan made manga where the artist will take the characters of a manga they like and let them have sex with each other or random people exploring all the possibilities of one’s sexual mind both good and dark or will write an original story using their own characters. There are a few doujins that are safe and non-hentai but a majority of the doujin drawn today is pretty much porn. If it’s an anime, a video game, or cartoon chances are it has at least one doujin out there. This manga is one of the few mangas I’ve actually picked up and stopped reading because I didn’t like it. The story was dull, the main character is an idiot beyond reason, almost every girl has breast the of unbelievable proportions, and I swear the whole idea of this story was a setup for a porno but the author just decided to back off and try something new. In 2011 the anime studio AIC (R-15, Ah! My Goddess, and the Tenchi Muyo series) decided to make an anime out of this series and what we get is one of the worst animes I’ve seen that gives the Ikkitousen series a run for its money. So how bad is this series? Let’s find out and take a look *breathes deeply* at Maken Ki.

Episodes 1-4

So we start the anime with one our heroines Haruko voiced by Noriko Shitaya (Kyoko from Is This a Zombie?) a big-breasted 2nd year whose breast are so big and oddly shape that there’s no way they could exist in the real world (and you if you can believe it she’s not the worse. Trust me we’re just getting started). She’s excited because she’s going to go see her childhood friend Takeru (who she obviously has a crush on but is too embarrassed to admit it) because they’ll be attending the same school. She goes to his apartment where we sadly meet the main character of this crappy anime Takeru voiced by Tomoaki Maeno (Kouta from Nyan Koi). At first he seems like a relatively nice and decent guy but when Haruko asks him why he transferred to this school he simply says it’s because he’s tired of going to an IHOS (International House of Sausages) school (he went to an all-boys school) and the only reason why he choose Haruko’s school was because it used to an all-girls school recently (an IHOB if you will. International House of Boobs) and he has dreams of indulging himself in his sexual fantasies with all the girls (okay wow. This guy, shallow). They arrive at the gate of Tenbi Academy (yeah that’s the name of the school) where Haruko leaves him because she has to prepare for the welcoming ceremony since she’s vice-president of the student council. As Takeru explores the school he runs into two girls fighting with a blonde girl with tiny breast watching them while hanging upside down in a tree. This is Kodama another one of our heroines who has the ability to control shikigamis. She’s voiced by Sayuri Yahagi (Haruna from To Love Ru). She falls from the tree and lands on Takeru where they accidently kiss (nice welcoming) where he catches a glimpse of her white panties and she catches a glimpse of a mark on his chest which resembles the sharingan from the Uchiha clan (if he starts to go emo on you, you have my permission to kill him). He runs off but Kodama decides to keep an eye on him because what she saw was the mark of her enemy. He goes to the gym where through a series of events he has to fight Kodama which he is against because he doesn’t believe in fighting girls (I have that same rule but if a girl tries to attack me I will defend myself). The two fight and Kodama decides to get series and is about to strike him with a lightning attack (aim for the heart) but another girl enters the fight and blocks the attack. The girl reveals herself to be Inanho voiced by Iori Nomizu (Rinko from Omamori Himari) who proclaims to everyone that she is Takeru’s bride shocking everyone especially Haruko who responds by beating the hell out of him (why? Blame yourself, you’re the one who didn’t take the initiative and claim him for yourself). We end the episode with Inanho moving into Takeru’s room since it’s a three bedroom apartment and Kodama and Haruko moving in for their own reasons.

Moving on to episode 2 we see that it’s the first day of school and all the 1st years students have to do a physical. The girls go first and Takeru and another student named Kengo who is just as perverted as Takeru make an excuse to get out of class and go to spy on the girls undressing for their physical and we get introduced to a lot of big-breasted girls (by God those breast are over 9000). Kodama catches them and punishes them accordingly. The boys than go in for their physical where we meet the school nurse Aki who has the biggest breast in the entire series (I’ve heard of a bust revolution but this is ridiculous). During the exam Takeru does an evaluation to see which maken is right for him but the machine can’t find one for him and he has to wait a month before he can get one (sucks. That’s like having a new video game and not having the system to play it). At lunch he asks Inanho why she’s his fiancé since he can’t remember anything about her which upsets her a little bit. Odd, considering that in the manga it didn’t upset her at all. In the manga it shows that she rarely gets upset at Takeru, the only time when she did is when Takeru yelled at her because she was praising Takeru’s father who he hates because when he was a child a stranger challenged his family dojo and since his father was gone his mother fought and lost brutally which caused her to died. Because of this he develops an extreme hatred for his father for not being able to protect his mother which is why he’s against the idea of girls fighting which you’ll see in the anime and manga. Anyway, after school they decide to check out clubs since the school requires that they join at least one club (that seems a little bit unfair. What if there’s a club he doesn’t like). He thinks about joining the photography club (just so he can take naughty pictures) but Haruko forbids it (pbbt, what are you his mother) and tells him to join the Kenkeibu. What’s the Kenkeibu (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tak0BV88h1c)?

In episode 3 we find out that the Kenkeibu is basically the disciplinary squad who referees fights between students and keeps the peace within the school (kind of a double standard if their allowing students to fight amongst themselves). Haruko is the president and Kodama is also a member of the group along with a few others which I’ll get to later. As their talking they get called to referee a match going on between a 2nd year named Azuki and a 1st year named Kai where if he wins Azuki has to be his girlfriend (have you tried putting a love letter in her locker that’s usually a good setup for a confession). As the two fight it seems that Kai has the upper hand since Azuki underestimated his abilities but Takeru jumps in because he can’t stand watching girls fight and getting hurt. Okay stop right there. You mean to tell me the guy who has no problem peeping on girls changing and is a straight up pervert doesn’t want girls to fight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIteAJg5ubk). That’s sexist. Now get me wrong, I don’t like girls getting beating up either but this anime makes it very clear that these girls are very strong and can hold their own in a fight plus Azuki agreed to the fight so I say Takeru can just shut the fuck up with his double standard bullshit. Thanks to Takeru’s interference Azuki wins the fight and Takeru decides to join the Kankeibu to ensure that the fights are fought fairly (that was fair you dumbass, she agreed to fight and everything. If she got hurt it was her own fault because she underestimated her opponent. When a person fights they have to accept the outcome no matter what whether it be good or bad). Kengo and Inanho decide to join up as well and the members of the Kenkeibu decide to hold a welcoming party at the school hotspring (hey I’m liking this party already). We get introduce to all the members whose names I’m not even gonna bother writing since their all side characters and there are just too many of them but the club adviser is the busty school nurse. As they enjoy the hotsprings (girls separated from boys of course. Oh come on, this was written by a porn writer, you have every right to be ecchi don’t hold back) they get attack by a bear (http://youtu.be/pa_e9B6uNnE?t=2s). Luckily the girls take care of it and send it back in the mountains and that ends the episode (hey Takeru where’s that I will protect women attitude now?).

Nothing much really happens in episode 4. Kodama forces Takeru on a date with her where they go shopping mainly for her with Haruko, Inanho, and Kengo spying on them from the shadows. The reason why she asks Takeru out is because she wants to confirm that mark on Takeru’s chest to decide whether he’s an ally or enemy. As they go on their date she completely forgets about confirming the mark and just has fun with Takeru. When they go to rest a strange fighter who comes from Kamigiri attacks Kodama with Takeru accidently kissing her again. After the kiss he takes out the fighter not remembering how he did it (he must have gone into hysteria mode) and saves Kodama who rewards him by kissing him on the lips with everyone watching. We find out later that Takeru has an ability called Blood Pointer an ability that allows him to absorb the Element from people around him through mouth to mouth.

Episodes 5-9

Nothing much happens again in episode 5. We see that Haruko is pissed that Kodama kissed Takeru that she decides to turn into a bitch and not talk or associate herself with him (why are you so mad at him he did nothing wrong!? For once he actually did something cool and badass and protected someone. I know you like the guy and don’t wanna see him with other girls so take the initiative and just tell him “hey, I like you please start dating me”. It’s not that hard and I’m pretty sure he’ll say yes. You got the childhood flag the chances of you two ending up together are high). While that’s going on Takeru and another member of the Kenkeibu investigate the recent claims of a student going around and fighting other students without making it official. They find the culprit named Amio who traps them using her Maken which has the power to bind others by simply knowing their name. Haruko finds out that they’re in danger and rushes to their rescue where we see that her Maken is a powerful sword called Murakomo the strongest of the original eight Maken which were said to have been made by God himself (Jesus was a carpenter, God was a blacksmith). She destroys Amio’s Maken and takes her down with one attack without even drawing the blade (divine retribution). That’s pretty much the episode and Haruko doesn’t even apologize to Takeru for acting like a bitch for no reason (typical anime girl).

3! 3 BORING EPISODES BACK TO BACK TO BACK (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVqIIIYEpng)! In episode 6 we enter the raining season (http://youtu.be/D1ZYhVpdXbQ?t=1m6s, how could I not put that in here? Just be glad I didn’t put in Clockwork Orange). Inanho starts to reminisce about the past and how she first met Takeru (I’m betting she regrets meeting this piece of trash I know I am). When she tries to get Takeru to remember her efforts fall on deaths ear and she goes off to be alone where she cries (Takeru made a girl cry? What does that make him, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYWbatgKN4g ah it’s been a while since I’ve used this clip). Kengo tells Takeru that he saw Inaho crying and punches him for making a girl cry (those who make a girl cry are the lowest of the low). Takeru goes to look for Inanho who’s in the mountains with a lost white kitten. The kitten runs away from her and is about to be crushed by a boulder but Takeru comes in to save it and gets saved by Inanho from another boulder that was about to fall on him (even on the simplest of things he has to be saved). He apologizes to Inanho for not remembering their past and vows to try harder to remember. Also, Inanho adopts the kitten and names it Monji.

Things FINALLY start to get interesting in episode 7. Takeru’s maken is finally completed (man that had to be the longest month ever) and just in time because new exchange students have arrived to attend Tenbi academy. These girls are Venus an elite group of female fighters led by their flamboyant leader Ayaka. First we have the twins Alilou and Lilou (who look nothing alike and possibly are in a twincest relationship with each other), Demitra the vice-commander, Syria the happy energetic seductive idol, and Yan Min the special attack member who likes to wear Chinese dresses. After a few members of Venus insult the students and the school Azuki wants to fight them but instead they decide to settle their differences in a 3 on 3 volleyball game. In the game both sides use their maken abilities and destroy the gym in the process of the game (saw that coming). In the end nobody wins but both sides come to respect each other’s powers.

In episode 8 the Venus girls start going to school and seem to fit in nicely especially Syria who tells everyone that she has a crush on Takeru since he saved her in the last episode. The other members of Venus decide to show their support and help setup a date between her and Takeru (that was nice of them). They also eliminate the obstacles and by obstacles I mean Haruko, Kodama, and Inanho. They dump trash on school property forcing Haruko and Kodama to investigate it and trick Inanho with a trail of candy bags (ooh piece of candy) which leads her to a human size doll of Takeru which she mistakes as the real one (are you kidding me? She can’t tell that it’s a fake? *Ponders this for a second*, actually yeah I can see how getting the two mixed up would be possible). Syria meets up with Takeru and they go on a date where they have fun and she leads him to a cabin where she straps him to a chair (now set the cabin on fire and leave the scene). The girls eventually catch on to Venus’s plan and think that Syria is going to do some S&M play with him and they rush to his rescue (I don’t see why the guy obviously loves getting beaten up since he’s a peeping tom not to mention “accidently” touches the breast of girls). Haruko and Inanho make it to the cabin and just see that Syria is just giving Takeru a private performance of all of her songs. We end the episode with Takeru wondering why he’s not interested in Syria even though she has all the qualities he’s looking for in a girl (it’s because you’re secretly gay).

It’s the pool episode in episode 9. The boys demand that the school allow co-ed swimming classes but the girls refuse. To settle their differences they decide to hold a Calvary match between the boys and girls where if the boys win swimming classes will be co-ed. In the end the boys win and now classes are co-ed however the girls force one of the boys to use his maken which turns them invisible so even though the boys won they can’t see the girls in their swimsuit (that is low even for women).

Episodes 10-12

We get another boring episode for episode 10 (damn it people where are you going with this plot? You guys have literally not progress the story at all throughout this entire season. I feel as if I’m waiting at a bus stop waiting for the bus to come and get me). In this episode Takeru is failing class (tell me something I don’t know) and if he doesn’t pass his make-up exams he’s out of the committee. So Kengo decides to train him in controlling his element. The training is successful and Takeru passes his exam. The only other thing that happens in this episode is that Minerva, the final member of Venus has arrived. Despite her peaceful exterior and love for Japanese women and underwear, she’s said to be the strongest member of the group. She confronts Kodama telling her that Venus is working for Kamigiri and has been sent to capture her because they believe she’s going to break the seal on some powerful creature. Okay, who are the Kamigiri? Are they the good guys, the bad guys, we’re never told anything about them. You can’t just introduce a potential enemy like these guys and not explain who they are and what their motives are. Also, advance the plot. You’ve pretty much been doing nothing throughout this whole anime. This anime doesn’t even feel like a martial arts anime at all not even a supernatural anime either. It feels like I’m watching slice of life anime following the antics of a lousy main character and a potential harem of girls who he doesn’t deserve because he’s done absolutely nothing. Oh and trust me, his manga character is much worse than his anime character.

In episode 11 the group gets part-time jobs at a maid café to cover the cost of their summer training camp. That’s it. That’s the whole episode. Near the end we finally find out what Kamigiri is. It turns out that they were a group who tried to take over Tenbi Academy a long time ago by controlling some of the students. It turns out they’re back and are once again trying to take over the school by controlling students. One of the members Otohime wants to crush Takeru because he stood against her in a previous episode and is making plans to finish him off.

In the final episode Otohime kidnaps Haruko (how the hell did she get captured she’s literally the strongest warrior in school? I’m not kidding the students even the principal says she’s the strongest warrior in the school) and forces Takeru to fight her older sister. In the fight Takeru gets man-handled easily but his rage gets the best of him and he begins to suck the Element out of everything around him causing him to go berserk and attack his friends and the school (oh sure don’t  attack the enemy who just beat the living shit out you, you fucking dumbass). Venus comes in and saves Haruko (why didn’t you escape yourself!? Seriously, you’re the strongest person in school you should not need rescuing) and sends her back to the school where she uses her sword to save Takeru through some random shit the script writers pulled out of their ass I don’t know I stop caring after episode 1 and that’s pretty much the end.

OVA and Specials

There’s are 2 OVAs and a few specials that came out after the series was over. In the first OVA the group minus Venus (except Syria) go to a southern island for their summer training camp. At the camp all we get is fanservice of the girls in their swimsuits, Otohime sends an Octopus monster after them to harass the girls if you know what I mean (http://youtu.be/Ib5ZUXx0_F4?t=32s). At night they do a test of courage and get attacked once again by a pumpkin monster (http://youtu.be/BksfByBxNNk?t=4s). We finish the OVA with Takeru and Kengo spying on the girls in the hotsprings, getting caught, and punish for their actions. The only thing that makes this OVA worth watching besides the uncensored fanservice is that we finally get to see Takeru’s Maken in action. His Maken is called Overflow and it allows him to absorb the Element of his opponents but only if they have their Maken activated. But still they have to make an OVA just to show his Maken in action? Why didn’t you show it in the show ya idiots!? It’s your typical summer episode so I say watch it if you want. Though be honest you shouldn’t be watching this series in the first place since it sucks so much. The second OVA came out like just 2 months ago to build up hype for the second season of this anime which coming out in 2014 (a second season!? They’re giving this shit a second fucking season! Are they trying to make another Ikkitousen). The summer camp still continues, it’s night time and if you can believe it this episode is even more ecchi than the first OVA. The girls are having a party in their underwear upstairs while the boys are talking to Aki-sensei and Minori the busty school principal. Aki and Minori get drunk off of saki and Aki tries to have her way with Takeru (careful kid she’ll squash you with those humongous boobs. He’s not worthy of that death) until Syria walks in on them and gets mad at Takeru and uses her Maken to blast Takeru away. He wakes to find that he has no dick (I’m surprise he didn’t notice that years ago). Actually, he’s been turn into a girl with big breast thanks to Syria’s Maken powers (which if you’ve read the manga you would know why her powers did that and why Takeru isn’t attractive to her). After touching and masturbating with the female body, Takeru hears the girls in the bath and goes to join them where he gets too aroused and faints from a nosebleed. He wakes up in the room the girls are staying in with all of them in their underwear (okay seriously, there are guys like right beneath you and you know they’re perverts, are you expecting them to come spy on you) and they continue to party until they fall asleep. Syria comes in to tell everyone that Takeru is a girl now and that the only way to turn her back is a kiss from a girl. In the end Haruko kisses him and he turns back into a pathetic perverted man.

We also have a number of special episodes which is just basically the female cast doing stretch exercises with 3rd person view. They do stretches while wearing skimpy clothing and you look at them at ecchi camera angles. If you’ve watched the Training with Hinako video that’ll give you an idea of what to expect in these videos. To be fair the stretches are rather good ones and if you play sports this might be good stretches to learn and practice.

Final Thoughts

This anime is awful! Nothing happens at all in this anime. It’s just a clumsy, boring, fanservice anime that accomplishes nothing. The characters are boring, the fight scenes are either too short or one-sided, and the plot doesn’t go anywhere until the last episode where they rush it out at the last minute but it’s far too late and also half of the events that happen in the anime don’t happen in the manga. Probably because they knew the manga was shit and just decided to make their own story. Takeru is a terrible leading character. He’s weak, an annoying pervert, lame and his ideas are stupid. I get them but they’re stupid. The girls in this anime of fighters, they have no problem fighting others whether they be male or female they are prepared to get hurt or injured and accept it. Takeru doesn’t see that and it just pisses me off. He has to see that they are fighters, accept that, and stop interfering in their fights. Now to be fair I’ve heard he gets stronger in the manga which is good but that’s not my problem with the character, it’s his overall personality and ideas that stop me from liking him. The other characters don’t stand out all that much and are easily forgetful except for Haruko, Kodama, and Inanho but only because they’re the only three who are in every episode and manage to stay within the scope of the camera. Haruko you’re typical childhood who has a crush on the main character but is too embarrass to admit it so she’ll beat him up whenever he stares at other girls. Inanho the airhead who is another childhood friend and who will standby the main character no matter. Finally Kodama the girl who will obviously develop feelings for Takeru down the road and to the author’s credit this is the only character in the show I actually find myself liking because she shows the most potential for being an interesting character with plenty of development.

The animation is pretty standard nothing too great about it. Character desgins are a little weird particularly on the females for their large impossible breast. Look I’m all for big breast but at least be reasonable and show restraint, don’t go too overboard on them that they become fake and obvious for the viewer to tell. Fanservice is decent at times but overall it gets kinda of boring with the constant panty shot that you’ll find yourself become tired of it after the first few episodes. As I said before the fight scenes are either too short or one-sided and when it looks like an interesting fight is about to happen Takeru interferes or it’s over too quickly. Music is barely noticeable, it’s there, you’ll hear it but you really won’t notice it since it’s so bland and forgetful. The story goes nowhere until the last episode when they decide to finally throw it out there at the last minute which is too late. We spent the entire anime focusing on the non-interesting parts when we should have been focusing on developing characters, establishing a solid enemy, and making our main character get strong and putting the other characters in fights to help him open his eyes.

Final Score

Maken Ki earns a 2/10 for being a god awful anime. The only thing that stops it from being worse than Ikkitousen is that there’s an actual story and decent fanservice here and there. Other than that there’s nothing great this anime has to offer and it should be skipped over. And don’t bother reading the manga since that’s actually worse than the anime. Takeru is way more annoying and it almost feels like if he didn’t exist the series would still manage without him.
Hiromitsu-sensei just stick to drawing porn it’s obvious that’s what you’re best at or better yet turn this series into a porn doujin I’m pretty sure that’ll get everyone excited. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.

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