Anime Review – Queen’s Blade -Exiled Virgin-
February 4, 2014
Queen’s Blade -Exiled Warrior- is a half-season (thirteen episode) series released in 2009 by ARMS (responsible for some fantastic series like Elfen Lied as well as some… not so fantastic ones like Night Shift Nurses) and recently released in Australia by Siren Visual. When Media Blasters in North America picked this series up for distribution in Western territories the series was renamed to Queen’s Blade -Exiled Virgin-.
I should have seen the signs.
Queen’s Blade in itself is a tournament held every four years in order to crown a queen for the realm and Exiled Virgin focuses on the character Leina Vance as she attempts to break out from the fate of her own bloodline and explore the realm. On the way Leina meets various other heroines across the land and finally attempts to enter the Queen’s Blade tournament in Gynos herself. There’s also a minor focus on Tomoe who is coming to participate in the Queen’s Blade tournament from across the seas in order to restore balance to her homelands.
What this originally sounds like is a simple adventure series with a fantasy setting and in some ways Exiled Virgin holds true to this. There’s a relatively simple fantasy element to most of the world as well as the supporting characters and the series caters to a lot of elements expected of a fantasy series with a few Japanese traits thrown in. Also, while Leina certainly meets new characters along the way (all female) and does show some signs of character development even if said development is very strongly forced onto her that’s really not what this series is about. The adventure story is an extremely thin veil used as an excuse to get anime women to fight other anime women and somehow lose clothing or have suggestive posing in practically every situation possible. Fanservice galore, wardrobe malfunctions for everyone!
The emotions and reasons that all the characters have for fighting isn’t heavily explained nor is it really even made important in Exiled Virgin, they’re just a reason for all the women to meet up and fight one another and again have clothing go out the window. Why they’re fighting or even how to win the Queen’s Blade tournament itself isn’t at all explained until right at the end of the series, effectively forcing you to watch the second season (which isn’t out in Australia as of posting) to even get any semblance of story or closure out of this.
The animation in this series isn’t particularly fantastic bar a few of the battle sequences and character design is certainly interesting to say the least (one character has a live snake for underwear. Wait, what?) and pretty heavily based around fanservice, which is further amplified through the use of some rather creative camera direction. Merit must be given to some of the battle sequences though, as that’s the main point of Exiled Virgin it’s pretty obvious where the main part of the budget for animation was placed. Animation aside however, due to the nature of how Exiled Virgin is presented it isn’t recommended for family viewing.
The voice cast is nothing remarkable in Japanese and in English is laughably bad, but this adds a kind of cheesiness to Exiled Virgin which allows you to take it as more of a comedy instead of an action adventure series. While this probably wasn’t the intention from the original studio, it grants a rather fun element to Exiled Virgin as it’s more common to laugh at the poor delivery instead of take the situation the characters are thrown into seriously.
In terms of special features there’s an OVA series added onto the DVD which throws all the characters into a school setting and somehow condenses thirty minutes of fanservice into mini three minute episodes which is almost painful to watch and ‘painful to watch’ can really summarise a lot of the series. Watching Exiled Virgin was a rather difficult task and while it certainly has a couple of strong moments, it’s all lost in the endless amounts of over the top fanservice.
But if fanservice is what you’re looking for with the potential to develop into a rather interesting story (but jury is very much out on that one) Queen’s Blade -Exiled Virgin- may very well be up your alley. Although how this was classified M and not higher is completely beyond me…
Further information on Queen’s Blade -Exiled Virgin- can be found at the Siren Visual website.