Project #173: Koihime Musou

Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. You know, I don’t talk about The Romance of the Three Kingdoms that much on this show. Probably all because the last time I did I had to sit through one of the worse anime series of all time and got into a fight with a religious nut job. But what are the chances of that happening again? So let’s talk about the Koihime Musou series. Originally coming out in 2007 Koihime Musou is an adult visual novel strategy game developed by BaseSon for the PC followed by a PS2 version of the game developed by Yeti. The series as you can guess is based off The Romance of the Three Kingdoms with a few changes here and there. For starters a majority of the male characters from the novel are now female warriors or rulers, the three kingdoms formed after the fall of the Han Dynasty have already been establish and still remain loyal to the Han empire despite having their own independent monarchs. However, this all changed when the empire collapsed. Warlords soon began waging war with each other for power and split into several factions. In the game you play as Kazuto a regular university student living in modern day Japan when one night you stop a mysterious person from stealing an ancient Chinese mirror. After recovery the mirror Kazuto accidently breaks it and gets sent to the past where he joins up with which ever faction you choose. Your goal, is to use your modern day knowledge and kendo skills to help your faction win the war and take over China while also establishing relationships with multiple females in the series and starting your own harem. The game was a success as it spun off two sequels and 2D fighting game for the PS3 and PS4 last year. And because it was a success it only made sense to cash in on it by making an anime. Yep, back in 2008 the anime studio Dogakobo (Plastic Memories) turned the hit series into an anime not once but thrice. Yes, this series got three seasons and for the remainder of April we’re gonna look at them starting with the first one. Now, unlike the game the anime instead creates its own story using the female characters and removing the main character from the show all together giving us a series filled with nothing but girls. Does this succeed and stop itself from becoming another version of Ikkitousen? Let’s find out. This is Koihime Musou.

Opening and Ending Theme

“flower of bravery” by fripSide. It’s a pretty good song. It gives off that feeling of coming from a troubled past where everything bad happened to you but despite all of this you press forward looking towards the future believing that the past doesn’t define who you are now. You’re not alone anymore and you have friends by your side who are also looking towards the future with you. The ending is “Yappari Sekai wa Atashi☆Legend!!” by fripSide feat. NAO project! This song is pretty meh. I like the chibi animation of all the characters from the anime appearing as our main characters are eating but other than that the song only serves as something to hear while watch the animation.

Episodes 1-4

So the anime starts off with our main heroine Aisha (aka Kan’u) voiced by Nami Kurokawa who is arguably the main heroine in the first game as she’s the first person you meet and the first to pledge loyalty to you. In the anime, she’s a bandit hunter who lost her family to bandits when she was a child and was kept safe by her older brother. Because of this she set out on a quest to make sure the innocent never go through the pain she did traveling from place to place and defeating bandits (some live some die some walk the path of the main character). She stops at a town to rest where she encounters a young girl named Lin Lin (aka Chohi) voiced by Miya Serizono, the leader of a group of bandits made entirely of children. They really don’t do much accept play pranks and just play around with each other (kids do the darnest things). While the town finds their antics funny the mayor is annoyed by them and after Lin Lin draws a funny picture of him he’s had enough and wants to lock her up (// He orders his guards to go and arrest her but Aisha says she’ll do it and goes to face her in the mountains where we see that despite Lin Lin’s age she’s quite the skilled warrior and holds her own against Aisha (now one might call BS on a child holding her own against a skilled warrior in her early or mid-20s but the game goes on record saying that Lin Lin is one of the strongest fighters. What she lacks in brain she makes up for it in power). Aisha manages to defeat her and they go to rest at Lin Lin’s house where we see she lives alone and find out her past is quite similar to Aisha’s past. Bandits came and killed her folks so she was taken in by her grandfather where he unfortunately passed away leaving Lin Lin alone in the world with no one to call family (well at least she knows how to fight). Aisha soon realizes that Lin Lin’s antics are just her trying to gain attention after everyone she held close to her died (senpai notices you Lin Lin. Senpai notices you). The next day as Aisha is leaving she invites Lin Lin to join her on her travels and they take a vow of sisterhood with each other (even though they were born from different parents these two ladies are tied to each other no matter what). Lin Lin apologizes to the mayor, says goodbye to her friends, and leaves with Aisha.

In episode 2 Aisha and Lin Lin arrive in another area where they meet a local feudal lord named Kosonan who has dreams of uniting the country and the factions within it (good luck trying to extinguish that fire). Kosonan wants the two to team up with another named Choun (aka Sei) a warrior looking for a noble lord to serve under (than join my ranks. Become my nakama) to defeat a group of bandits. Kosonan’s land has been overrun with bandits who have kidnapped several people and she wants Aisha and the others to find their hideout and eliminate them. Going with the Trojan horse tactic (although I think this series of events happened before the Trojan wars) Aisha and Choun hide in a merchant’s crate and get kidnapped by the bandits. They’re taken back to the bandit’s base where they find and rescue the prisoners as well as get them to safety thanks to Lin Lin. Aisha and Choun then take out the rest of the bandits (a 2 girl army) and return victorious much to Kosonan’s disappointment since she wanted to join the battle (there’s always next time). Kosonan offers them a job working under her but they all decline and Choun joins them on their journey declining Kosonan’s offer as well. While Choun acknowledges that Kosonan is a noble person she believes that Choun lacks the strength to unite the nation as one (she’s not wrong).

Episode 3 starts off in the land of Shao where we meet a new character named Soso a general of the Kan Empire. Much like her character in the video games Soso is a powerful and wise general who can come off as cruel and calculating but in truth is a very honorable person who speaks her mind (she’s also a lesbian who enjoys teasing her subordinates and sleeping with them in her chamber. And wouldn’t you know it she’s in an anime with all females. It’s practically Heaven for her). She’s in Shao to eliminate the local bandits in the area since the noble of the area Enshou doesn’t know how to deal with them because she and her subordinates are as sharp as bowling balls. While heading out she sees Aisha in the streets and becomes interested in her (Soso: I don’t care if your main interest is guys, // After that we see our 3 travelers working in a maid café (we got to add a little Japanese culture in this show) to earn money for their travels. Lin Lin keeps messing up on the job and gets booted out so she decides to make money another way by entering a fighting tournament where she befriends another competitor named Bancho also traveling. The two make it to the finals and face each other which ends in a draw because they’re both hungry (sisters separated by birth). Impressed with their skills Enshou tries to recruit them to join her group which worries Bun Shou and Ganryou (Enshou’s dumb subordinates) who are afraid that Lin Lin and Bancho will steal their jobs so they challenge the two to three contests to see who stays and who goes. Both teams win a round and in the third round are asked to fight in a sumo match while wearing a ridiculous outfit (aside from Lin Lin having to wear it I am all for this). Lin Lin and Bancho drop out of the contest in order not to embarrass themselves thus Bun Shou and Ganryou win (yes, but at the same time you lost your pride as well ladies).

Episode 4 focuses on Soso and Bancho. Bancho wants to kill Soso because she claims Soso killed her father Bato (she did it out of love for you Bancho). When Soso and her troops return to Shao after defeating the bandits Bancho tries to attack her but gets subdued and arrested (Soso: Oh~ a little wild. I like that in my women). Once Aisha hears about this she goes to Soso in the hopes of freeing Bancho. Soso says she’ll do it (what’s the catch?) but only if Aisha sleeps with her for the night (and despite her looks and that amazing body Aisha is actually a virgin. (Soso): Potjack~. Scene here: // While being escorted to Bancho, Kakou the commander of Soso’s troops tells Aisha what really happened to Bato. It turns out he got drunk at a party and was told to fight Soso which she refused to do since he was drunk (I fight better after I’ve had a few. Now come on! I’ll take on all three of you). Humiliated by this and laughed at by his peers he left the party where he fell off his horse and died from the impact (wow, that is embarrassing. I think I like the I murdered your father story better). Kakou in her men found the body but an onlooker misinterpret this as an attack setup by Soso. Rather than tell the truth and wanting to preserve the honor of Bato, Soso decided to let the lie become the truth (yeah, dying by horse is quite embarrassing). Aisha tells Bancho this story but she doesn’t believe it (can’t say I blame her) and calls Soso a liar right in front of Kakou’s face. Offended by this Kakou challenges Bancho to a duel where Bancho sees no hesitation in her stance thus proving that she is telling no lie and the truth making Bancho cry out in sadness. The next day Bancho decides to return to her village and tell everyone the truth (boy, that’ll be a fun story) and says her goodbyes to her new friends.

Episodes 5-8

At the beginning of episode 5 Aisha and the others save a young lady from a group of bandits (geez the bandit problem was a big deal back then). Unknown to them the young lady is Toutaku governor of Zhao which is the region they’re currently in (// She tells the group that she’s been investigating the rumors of a monster in the area threatening people for food every week at the temple. After pleading with them Aisha and the others agree to investigate where we see that Aisha and Lin Lin are scared. While staking out at the temple Choun tells a scary story which causes them to faint (I imagine she was telling them the story of Ikkitousen) and the monster appears where she fights it all by herself (Choun has nerve of steels). Through her fight she finds out that the monster is actually human and a very strong one at that as the monster was able to overpower her and escape. They regroup the next day with Toutaku and find the monster who is named Ryofu who can hold her own against all three warriors (make way for the strongest character in the series). We find out that she was doing all of this as a way to feed all the abandoned dogs in the area (aww that’s nice of her). After hearing and seeing all of this Toutaku forgives Ryofu and hires her on as a warrior and her dogs will now live in the palace to be trained as guard dogs for the village (another happy ending for everyone).

In episode 6 the group is traveling through a fog where Aisha and Lin Lin lose sight of Choun (don’t worry she can take care of herself) and Aisha falls into a ditch where she sprains her leg. Lin Lin carries her (well this is embarrassing for Aisha) to a mansion they spot in the fog which is housed by a scholar named Shibaki and her student Komei (aka Shuri) voiced by Erika Narumi who is around the same age as Lin Lin. Her story and character are a little different from the game. In the game she was evacuating a village when she came across our main characters where she decided to join them as a master strategist. She also has a tendency to say Hawawa very often and is also a little perverted as she often reads perverted books to find new ways to please Kazuto (girl, you’re a little too young to be thinking about pleasing a guy). In the anime she’s still a master strategist but she has a naïve and child-like nature that often overshadows her attributes. As for her perverted nature they kind of got rid of that for now at least. Anyway, after arriving at Shibaki’s mansion Komei takes care of Aisha making Lin Lin jealous since Aisha is showering her with praise (senpai found someone else to notice). When Shibaki sends Komei out to find an herb to heal Aisha’s sprain Lin Lin follows her in the hopes of grabbing the herb herself and earning Aisha’s praise (and prove that she’s the best loli in the anime). During the journey we see that Komei is afraid of heights and actually has to cross a bridge in order to find the herb. While she’s scared she still presses onward much to Lin Lin’s confusion (what’s there to be confused about? She’s scared of heights but she’s more scared of not being able to help others in need). She finds the herb on the side of a cliff where she tries to get it but falls only to be caught by Lin Lin who gets the herb for her and accompany her back to the mansion. With the herb Aisha gets better and wants to repay Shibaki for her kindness (sleep with her. Nah, I’m kidding, but wouldn’t that be such a good twist if Shibaki swung that way?). Shibaki asks Aisha to take Komei on their journey in the hopes that through her journey she’ll become a great scholar (there’s no greater teach than experience and the world is a master at that). Aisha agrees to do this and the next day Aisha and Lin Lin set out with Komei. As for Choun they don’t find her but have faith that she’s okay and that their paths will cross again someday (that’s all fine and well but you really should look for her just in case).

In episode 7 Lin Lin gets jealous of Aisha always praising and siding with Komei so a fight breaks out between the two and Lin Lin leaves the group (don’t talk to any warriors you don’t know). She arrives at a town where she runs into Bacho and the two enter an eating contest where they lose to Kyocho a traveler who enjoys eating (so Gluttony from FMA reproduced). After that the three help out some siblings who are being hassled by loan sharks who threaten to sell the older sister into slavery. The loan sharks hire a warrior named Chouryou who enjoys fighting (she’s got a little Irish in her blood) to take on the trio where her enjoyment is short-lived when the loan sharks hold the older sister hostage. Luckily, the older sister gets saved by a mask fighter named Butterfly Mask (who is really Choun in disguise and Lin Lin doesn’t recognize her. Well give her credit, it’s better than Superman’s disguise). Upset by the actions of the loan sharks Chouryou destroys the loan agreement and threatens them to never harm the family again making them run away scared. As the episode is coming to an end Lin Lin thinks about traveling with Bacho for a bit when Aisha and Komei appear and the two reconcile with each other.

Episode 8 starts off with the trio helping out a girl named Shoren who’s around the same age as Lin Lin and Komei from a shopkeeper (how dare you harm an innocent loli) only to find out she swindled him (you little bitch). We find out later that she’s a member of the royal family of the Kingdom of Wu (or as I like to call it the dark skin kingdom as all the major characters of this kingdom have dark skin) who went out on a journey by herself to see the world. She decides to join the trio on their journey and they arrive in a village where the neighboring feudal lord’s son will be marrying the daughter of another feudal lord thus uniting the land. However, some member of the feudal lord’s family are opposed to this (why I have no idea, more land for you guys) and are planning to assassinate the neighboring feudal lord’s son with the help of Kochu (who is a total Milf by the way) an expert archer with keen eyesight. They’ve kidnapped her daughter Riri and are forcing her to assassinate the neighboring feudal lord’s son otherwise they’ll kill her daughter (man what is this anime’s obsession with putting lolis in danger?). Aisha figures the assassination attempt out and goes to confront Kochu where she explains the situation to them. After looking at some drawings from Riri, Aisha suspects that Riri is being kept in a safehouse across from the shop where they met Shoren. Using Shoren as a distraction Aisha and Lin Lin infiltrate the safehouse, take out the guards, and secure Riri (package has been secured. Return to original owner). Aisha rushes Riri back to Kochu just in time before the assassination and she sucker punches her manipulator. She thanks Aisha and the others for everything and we end on a funny note where Riri misinterprets the relationship of Aisha and Lin Lin making Kochu believe that they are lovers when she originally thought they were mother and daughter (yeah a running gag throughout the series is that a lot of the characters believe Aisha and Lin Lin are mother and daughter. They aren’t of course but if they were than Aisha’s got a pretty good body for a woman who was pregnant. Actually, Kochu has a pretty good body for a woman who was pregnant).

Episodes 9-12

Nothing much to say about episode 9. Ensho and her stooges find a treasure map while Aisha’s group and Soso’s group try to relax at a hotspring only to discover the water has dried up so now the hunt is on to find a new hotsprings. The two plots wind up crossing with each other and in the end Ensho and her stooges find a new hotsping and they all relax in it (giving us our much deserved fanservice).

In episode 10 the group arrives in the kingdom of Wu which is led by Sonsaku who is having a secret affair with her strategist Shuyu (and yes they’re both females. In case you forgot all the men in this anime are evil or side characters). We find out that Sonsaku has waged a lot of wars to expand their territory. While the wars have made them famous many nobles and her sister Sonken believe that the wars will catch up to them and destroy their kingdom. A few of the nobles are so worried about that they decide to a assassinate her. As a thank you for taking care of her sister Sonsaku invites the gang to spend the night at the palace and the next day while out hunting someone tries to kill Sonsaku from the hunting grounds (nice security you have in the palace). Right away a captain of the guards believe Aisha is the assassin but Komei counters her argument and Shuyu tells them to let Aisha go due to a lack of evidence that proves Aisha did it. Later that night doctors say that Sonsaku will be alright and just needs to rest but an assassin tries to kill her in her sleep which we see is Sonsei the aunt of Sonsaku who believes her actions will curse them in the future (oh what, the dead is gonna come back to kill you or something?). Sonsei is arrested and her conspirators are captured along with her. Aisha, Lin Lin, and Komei leave the next day with Komei suspecting that everything that happened was all just one big setup designed by one very clever conductor since it all went so well.

In episode 11 the group comes across a militia group fighting bandits where Aisha and Lin Lin join and help defeat the bandits. The leader of the militia introduces himself as Ryubi (oh my God a three-dimensional male character. When does he betray the group?) and right away works the moves on Aisha (you are a foolish maiden). The group arrives with the militia to the village of Touka which is surrounded by bandits from every direction (boy did you guys setup in the wrong place). The group decides to join up with the militia and using Komei’s strategies along with Aisha and Lin Lin’s strength they manage to liberate the areas of bandits with Aisha continuing to develop feelings for Ryubi since he reminds her of her brother (you’re attracted to a guy who reminds you of your dead brother? That’s a little disturbing). While out gathering medical herbs they manage to find Bacho on the brink of death after she ate a mushroom which gave her visions of Disney World (ah~ Disneyshrooms. They sell those by the bucket load in Disney Land). While everything seems to be going great Lin Lin doesn’t trust Ryubi and believes he shouldn’t be trusted (good instincts Lin Lin. He is too nice). We end the episode with Choun, Kochu, and Riri hearing about their friends exploits in Touka and are heading that way to lend them a hand.

In the final episode an uprising in a small providence is happening and the Imperial army led by Kashin commander-in-chief of the army has asked surrounding forces to attend a meeting in order to deal with this uprising since the imperial army is shorthanded at the moment (all the men want to be bandits and all the good warriors charge too much money). Ryubi has been invited to the meeting and he asks Aisha and the others to go along with her. The next day before they leave Lin Lin catches a cold and is forced to stay behind with Komei while Aisha and Bacho go to the meeting with Ryubi. At the meeting Soso proposes a strategy to cut off their food supply forcing them to surrender but Kashin feels that her strategy is too soft (too soft, you’re starving people to death. I’m just glad she didn’t say anything about releasing a plaque on them) and instead wants to send a vanguard to attack the rebels in their stronghold. Seeing this as an opportunity to display himself Ryubi offers to lead the charge and if he’s successful he’ll become the personal aide (and sex toy) of Kashin. While that’s going on the defeated bandits from last episode have all band together to form one major group where their goal is to destroy Touka village along with the remaining members of Ryubi’s militia. Once word of this reaches Ryubi and the others Ryubi says to abandon the village and everyone there (oh hell no, we need to be kicking this guy’s ass right now). As you would imagine this doesn’t sit well with Aisha so she smacks him, abandons the mission and rushes back to the village to defend it. Bacho also leaves but not before going to Soso and bowing her head into the dirt for help and Soso gives her a few troops. They all return to the village to help Lin Lin and the others and they defend the village against the bandits. Three days pass and Ryubi returns to the village defeated and was harshly punished by Kashin (no sex for you Ryubi). Soso’s plan was then put into action and the uprising was defeated swiftly (but that’s a story for another time). Once Ryubi returns we find out that he was the one who kidnapped Riri in the past in fact his real name isn’t even Ryubi, he’s just some bandit trying to take advantage of these turbulent times (I knew he was too nice). He escapes and the group doesn’t pursue him but instead goes to view the peach blossoms to bring the season to a close.

Final Thoughts

So that was Koihime Musou. Overall it’s alright. It’s a simple anime that’s not too complicated or requires much thinking on your part. Does getting rid of the male lead hurt this anime? Well, in my honest opinion I’m kind of glad they left him out. First off, it stops the anime from becoming a cliché harem anime which a lot of people were starting to get bored with at the time. By leaving the male lead out the anime does stand out from the crowd and becomes something new to most viewers. Second, it allows us to focus on the characters. The characters that we see are all well-written. No two characters are the same and their interactions off each other are fun to watch. I do like the sisterly bond Aisha and Lin Lin have with each other. It’s quite touching and cute to see how Aisha doesn’t want Lin Lin to go through the pain she went through as a child and give her a chance to be happy and carefree. Despite the two not being related they really do act like sisters. They argue with each other, annoy each other, laugh with each other, and watch each other’s back. They really do complement each other well. Third, the comedy in this series is very good. Along with an emphasis of focusing on the characters there’s a great focus on the comedy as well. A lot of the jokes are innuendos, slapstick, and a few lesbian jokes and they all get a laugh out of people. Choun was probably the funniest character in the anime as she’s just whacky and always pointing fun at Aisha. The only two downsides I have with this anime is that the fight scenes aren’t really that good or inventive and the characters can act a bit too childish at times that it can get annoying.

As far as animation goes it’s alright. Some of the colors applied does make it come off as silly but the series is a light-hearted ecchi comedy not to be taken too seriously so the animation fits with the story they’re going for. Music is also alright. Didn’t really stand out that much but it was as good as needed to be. As for the fanservice, kind of on the light side. We get a few lesbian-like situations what with Soso trying to sleep with Aisha and some bath scenes here and there but other than that they’re pretty tamed (for me at least). I give the fanservice a 3/10 for this season.

Final Score

The final score for Koihime Musou is a 6/10. It’s decent and a fun watch that doesn’t require much thought. If you’re looking for a low fanservice anime with some decent characters, and funny lesbian jokes check it out. If not, you’re really not missing that much. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.

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