Earlier this year Sentai Filmworks released Koihime Musou on DVD. You can check out my review for the first season here. If you want me to save you the trip to that page, all you need to know is the series was light, fluffy, and full of fan-service and yuri elements. It wasn't terrible, mind you, but it wasn't exactly refreshing or worth your money. Does the same hold true for the third season?
In case you're wondering what happened to the second season review, well...I haven't watched it. The set never arrived and I'm going straight from the first to the third, which naturally leaves some stuff out of my realm of expertise. Then again, considering the material I probably wasn't missing a whole lot anyway.
For the third season, Shin Koihime Musou: Otome Tairan, the show sticks with the formula set by the first. Aisha wanders around "Romance" era China and along the way she meets new friends and travel companions. They all happen to be girls and they all happen to be, for the most part, sexually enamored to the fairer sex in some way. Random fights happen, some goofy jokes are thrown into the mix, and hilarity ensues when it all works. Unfortunately the series is very hit or miss.
This is the kind of show where you really have to shut your brain off at the door in order to appreciate it. Did you see Ikki Tousen? Okay, now think about whether or not you enjoyed that show. Koihime Musou is equally shallow, though maybe it presents itself with a little more charm and whimsy. For instance, in the first episode there's a lot going on, but toss in a discussion about being fat and needing to get lean between the girls and a potion that turns people into cats? Why not?!
From that point on there are mindless adventures aplenty. From medicine gathering to random skirmishes, and even a village of cat girls, Shin Koihime Musou: Otome Tairan really has a tough time stringing it all together. The only constant is the brand of humor and characters. There's hardly anything that could be considered continuity here, unless you count the addition of new characters throughout the season.
Ultimately Shin Koihime Musou: Otome Tairan is palatable, but only by a certain audience member looking for a certain thing. This is still the kind of series you want to rent instead of purchase. It's simply an example of an eroge concept being pushed to otaku with moe girls. How it survived for three seasons is beyond me, but then again there's a lot of this kind of show in Japan.
Shin Koihime Musou: Otome Tairan is presented on DVD with its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and has been enhanced for anamorphic playback. The show looks good with a vibrant palette, smooth animation, and solid designs all around. The presentation is clean with virtually no grain and blocking isn't much of a problem even in darker areas of the show. Some aliasing is noticeable, but it's never debilitating, and overall this is a solid looking transfer for the series.
As is the case with a majority of Sentai Filmworks/Section23 releases, Shin Koihime Musou: Otome Tairan hits Region 1 with a Japanese only 2.0 stereo language track and optional English subtitles. This isn't the kind of show that needs a bombastic 5.1 track, but some amplification in presentation would have added some flavor to the many battles and sound effects. Dialogue is mostly flat and front-centric, though that's really all the show ultimately needs.
For bonus features all you're going to find are some trailers, and clean opening and closing animations.
The first season of the franchise didn't leave much of an impression, so it stands to reason that the third wouldn't either. Shin Koihime Musou: Otome Tairan is light and occasionally entertaining, but it's the kind of look at the TV glazed for 20 minutes anime that I've grown tired of. Boobs? Check. Filler content? Check. Cute girls? Check. If you don't mind that then have at it, but I can't say anything more for the show other than it's worth renting and that's about it.
Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!