Thursday, July 31, 2008

Koihime Musou -- Character Pics and Info

This season's most outrageous show is Koihime Musou. It reworks stories from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo Yanyi 三国演义), but as comedy, and with an all-female cast.

Cao Cao is a short girl with ringlets (picture at right), and hairpins in the shape of skulls. Guan Yu is a big-breasted young wanderer with long black hair. Xun Yu is a girl so devoted to Cao Cao that she follows Cao Cao's orders to lick the sweat off her when she returns from battle. Get the picture? The show is moe, yuri, ecchi, and hilarious, through four episodes. Especially in the way the stories and characters are all related to the stories in the reflections in a fun-house mirror.

But as with any version of the Three Kingdoms, it is hard to keep track of all the characters. So I have started a page with pictures of each character, giving their names in Chinese and Japanese, and including brief biographies, as they show up, episode by episode, on the official site.

This show may fall apart, or become too ecchi. But so far, the stories are entertaining in themselves, and the way the characters parallel the ancient heroes is really funny. I drop every Ikkitousen series after an episode or two, but this show has my attention.

The writer is Go Zappa, who did not reach me with Myself;Yourself or Chokotto Sister, but who is making me laugh this time. The director, Nakanishi Nobuaki, directed Sumomo mo Momo mo and Kashimashi. He carries on here with the suggestive humor of Sumomo and the gender-bending of Kashimashi, all set in a world reminiscent of Saiunkoku.

Below is a part of the character page, just to show what kind of information is included. In this show, each character has a nickname in addition to their real names. Zhang Fei, a loli rascal who opens the show leading a band of village children in acts of vandalism, is known as Rinrin, for example.

You'll notice very few familiar seiyuu names. The cast is made up of seiyuu from the game, people who do more games than anime.

Having seen a Chinese classic trashed in this way, I now look forward to an all-female Julia Caesar. Or an all-male Gone With the Wind. This kind of parody is also a great homage, it seems to me.