Review/discussion about: Bikini Warriors
My favorite genre of video game is the RPG. “RPG” stands for “Role-Playing Game”, which is exactly as it sounds. You, the player, take on the role of a specific character to embark on a grand adventure unlike anything you have experienced before. The game might take on a third-person perspective where you control the hero – The Legend of Zelda, while not strictly an RPG, comes to mind – or a first-person perspective where you actually tailor the hero to your liking – Dark Souls is my jam in this category. Regardless, an RPG puts you into the game, making the game less a game and more an experience.
Bikini Warriors is an anime, not a game, but it centers on this RPG concept. The ending of the anime reminded me of Mass Effect, a famous space-oriented RPG series. Doing all of the side missions, exhausting all possible dialogue options, exploring never-before-seen worlds. All wonderful parts to the game, but it was having my own personal character, my own personal story existing across the first, second, and third games, that made the series so special.
I was invested in the series, so much so that when I finally witnessed the absurd ending of the third game I heavily latched onto the “Indoctrination Theory” that eerily, logically, and justifiably explained the insane leap the game had taken (I still contend to this day that that theory is the true solution). I was floored by what Mass Effect had done because it was not just a game to me, but my own, personalized experience that they had tampered with.
While Bikini Warriors’ ending failed to influence me in any capacity, let alone to the level that Mass Effect’s had, the anime at least demonstrated that RPGs are rather peculiar in their construction.
Bikini Warriors is not a serious anime. At all. This is not just due to the focus on the “ecchi” content, but based on the fact that this is a parody. A parody of the elements that make up an RPG.
Each episode has a specific trope in mind that many RPG enthusiasts can relate to. One episode targets the frustration of inept party members. Another episode is about the overabundant items one procures during travels. Another still demonstrates that, despite the heroes being heroes, they expect to get something out of the hard work they do. A lot of RPGs follow these same conventions, so Bikini Warriors pointing out how silly they are puts into perspective just how rampant such tropes have become. Although they are prevalent, Bikini Warriors poking fun at these universal traits is something that is known only to a niche market. This should be understood; someone who has never actually tried out an RPG before would miss out on many of the jokes.
The “ecchi” content, on the other hand, is impossible to miss. Just as each episode focuses on a specific RPG trope, Bikini Warriors has each episode filled with sexual exploits. A tentacle-groping monster here, some breast fondling there. For the anime, placing the women in one perverted scenario after another is the norm. The majority of this sexual content, though, exists for pleasuring purposes that unfortunately take away from the RPG parody. Since RPGs are rarely explicit in their depictions of sex, seeing the women in bondage or having their panties yanked does not particularly fit the whole theme of the show. But the anime does have those moments where it combines the parody with the sex, making the “ecchi” content less directionless. For example, Mage opening a treasure chest trap that subsequently licks her breasts or Mage and the gang wearing bikinis at a fancy pool after stealing hordes of gold from the commoners’ houses both highlight instances where the sex is derived from the RPG elements that the show is parodying.
To the show’s credit, the comedy and the sex are not all that is offered. More specifically, the anime can actually get quite clever with its writing. The best example is during the episode where the heroes are forced to do mundane tasks, like transporting goods or catching a dog, in order to continue their quest – yet another silly RPG trope. Yet it is the dialogue from Paladin that shines brightest. “I didn’t become a hero to move people’s junk.” “A hero should never stoop that low.” “Saving the good part for yourself.” In the moment, these lines seem natural, and they are. But when read more closely (and considering Paladin’s disposition) they are actually sexual innuendos. Bikini Warriors is, perhaps obviously, not always being so smart, but the anime at least demonstrates that it is more than just a small short featuring sexy women.
Calling the anime short is apt; at four minutes per episode, there is not too much else that Bikini Warriors can realistically do. Focus on one subtopic of RPGs, have subtly witty dialogue, and show some Mage booty whenever possible. This is not a deep show, but given what the anime did do, Bikini Warriors did alright.
The actual animation for Bikini Warriors is nothing impressive, but the reduced amount of time for each episode evidently helps the show to use more animation than is normally given for an anime of this caliber. If nothing else, the anime is adamant at making the breasts of the women bounce, meaning running, turning, and battle actions are used to achieve such movement. Other segments, like wiggling eels and an evil forest monster, keep the animation at a consistent level throughout the meager season.
One of the better parts of the anime – at least, better than the animation – is the censoring. Similar to the occasional bits of dialogue, Bikini Warriors employs censoring that is clever. The anime blocks its sexual content, but it does so through careful positioning of its foreground or nearby objects. The episode where the group fights the aforementioned forest monster is particularly strong in this regard. Leaves and branches block the women as they bathe, but the best moment occurs when they are reading the nearby “Wanted” board. The board is filled with holes placed in a such a manner that it becomes difficult to tell whether or not the women behind are naked. Subsequently,Bikini Warriors mentions this, capitalizing on the censorship by making a joke out of the situation. Hence, both the sexual and comedic content is not hindered by the censoring but rather supported by it (where applicable).
The rest of the art is surprisingly varied. Each episode takes place in a new locale – a local village, a creepy dungeon, and a mountainous territory, to name a few. Unfortunately, backgrounds are often lacking in detail, just enough provided to make the location recognizable. Having intricate art, though, is not necessarily needed for an anime that is barely forty minutes total in running time. Instead, the anime emphasizes the women, the framing of shots usually centered on them in a suggestive manner. A low-angled shot that peers underneath Warrior’s crotch or a full-body scanning as Mage happily bounces from side to side make up the majority of the anime’s focus. Given the show’s “ecchi” roots, this is a positive for Bikini Warriors.
But perhaps the most important aspect under the conditions that Bikini Warriors puts itself are the character designs. Notably, the women all wear skimpy outfits despite the “warriors” moniker, but this is yet another jab at RPGs. RPGs usually have ludicrous female armor – “armor” is highly debatable – that aims to maximize sexual appeal. Thus, the lewd designs are yet another opportunity for the anime to parody its subject matter. At the same time, the designs themselves are entirely sexual. The women are scantily clad in robes, straps, and cloth that accentuate their figures, coinciding with the show’s “ecchi” content. While they each more or less look the same – pretty faces, large busts, ample figures – they each at least look like their respective roles.
The ladies of Bikini Warriors are remarkably simple. Per usual, this is mainly due to the focus of the show – comedy and sex – and the total length of the season.
Bikini Warriors takes a relatively common approach with its cast when it relies on contrast to characterize them. That is to say, Mage, Paladin, Warrior, and Dark Elf are the opposite of how they are normally portrayed in RPGs. Dark Elf is one of the easier to see. She is exotic and capable of wielding both physical and magical abilities. Despite these traits, she has the least amount of sexual scenes and the most amount of stupidity showcased, contrasting with her looks and elven origins. Paladin would seem to be a righteous woman, but she is in fact the most perverted out of the entire cast. She acts as if the sexual exploits bother her, but after some time, she speaks aloud how she really feels about the situation. Warrior is the leader – as is common in most RPG video games – but her inability to lead the group effectively would say otherwise. And as for Mage, while mages are often depicted as eccentric individuals, she is as timid and innocent as they come. Again, simple characterizations. But while not much, the parody continues in the characters themselves, boosting the anime’s level of execution in terms of its comedy.
There is a bit more to the women of Bikini Warriors besides just their comedy. Part of what makes an RPG so fun besides the role-playing aspect is the chance to interact with the people nearby, and more specifically the people in one’s party. The members in the group are often “characters” of the figurative variety; they are decidedly different when compared to everyone else. The same is true in Bikini Warriors. Warrior is too gung-ho, Paladin acts suggestively, Dark Elf is overly confident, and Mage does not seem, at all, like someone who would be embarking on an adventure. But it is these very same quirks that bring them together, that make an RPG what it is. So while the women may be somewhat strange and they may not seem like the perfect group, from an RPG standpoint they were made for each other.
Sadly, the women of Bikini Warriors have little else going for them. The debate is whether or not this is a negative when considering the composition of the anime. At the very least, the characters have no long-lasting impact. They are silly and sexy, no doubt. And there is the episode where the gang saves Paladin from the pervert, demonstrating the close bonds the four of them share. But because Mage, Paladin, Warrior, and Dark Elf are neither unique nor interesting, their silliness and sexiness is all they have, subsequently making them characters not worth remembering.
Bikini Warriors foregoes an opening theme, a smart decision considering the short running time of the anime. However, a small ending theme is included. On the one hand, the song is triumphant in sound, akin to the victory music that plays during an RPG after a successful battle. There are also no lyrics in the ED, further increasing that feeling of victory. On the other hand, the piece is largely forgettable, mostly because the song lacks any sort of catchiness – the opposite of what victory music should be. The rest of the soundtrack is also reminiscent of video game-esque music. A docile village tune, a perilous dungeon ensemble, and so on. “Ecchi” content takes a different path, accompanied by an ambient track that sets the mood. Some do feel slightly out of place, however, such as a Hawaiian track meant for the sillier moments. Overall, the OST is a mixed offering with nothing noteworthy at hand.
While the voice acting fares only slightly better than the ED and OST, the voices are definitely the highlight of the sound-work. Ai Kakuma as Mage uses quite the girly voice to make Mage that much cuter. Chiaki Takahashi as Dark Elf provides an older voice for the woman to coincide with her mature vibe. And Kana Ueda as Paladin also deserves a shout-out for her ability to make the perverted girl talk as sensual as possible.
Truth be told, there is not a whole lot to say about this one.
It is a small anime, meaning sitting down to watch it all in one sitting is a breeze (which also made re-watching scenes a cinch, too). What it comes down to, then, is whether or not the laughs-to-length ratio is met. For me, this ratio is met halfway. I chuckled at the jokes and the cleverness of it all, but I cannot say I was thoroughly laughing at the anime’s comedy. The “ecchi” content was also comedic in nature and not just pleasing to look at it, but since these moments mostly came down to some form of groping, repetition set in early. Still, there are some rather fun moments. Mage talking about how the shopkeepers will not buy one of their items because of its importance (a joke about the necessity for “quest specific” items that, if lost, would make the RPG unplayable) or Mage, Paladin, and Warrior getting scared over the fact that Dark Elf would not stop taunting the final boss (that is how normal people would react; the complete opposite of RPG heroes) were funny scenes to watch unfold.
I would be lying if I said I was not looking forward to seeing this one and more specifically Valkyrie – one of the characters of the anime – in action. Although what I got was not Valkyrie. She was around for two episodes, and even then not the full time. So, understandably, I was peeved by not seeing her more. However, the anime provided an even better woman: Mage. She was cute, she was fun, and she was always a pleasure to see on-screen. Mage was easily one of the highlights from this short anime.
As a last note, I want to emphasize an earlier point. This anime is “not for everyone”. This is not in a too mature, too violent, too open-minded sense. It is a too niche sense. I found amusement with this short anime because I could (indirectly) relate to the stigmas of RPGs. The jokes are not that esoteric, but their full effect can only be felt if the viewer has had experience playing RPGs before. Thus, this is not an anime for everyone.
Bikini Warriors is short and simple. It does not do much of anything besides providing a nice laugh and a lewd shot every now and again, but that is all one really needs from a show featuring bikini-clad warrior women. At the very least, I would choose this anime over the ending to Mass Effect any day of the week.
Story: Fine, parodies role-playing video games, with some witty dialogue, but the “ecchi” content often detracts from the main theme
Animation: Fine, about average actual animation, clever censoring, competent background art, nice character designs
Characters: Fine, Mage, Paladin, Warrior, and Dark Elf each parody their respective roles and represent the wackiness of an adventuring party, but lack any memorable qualities
Sound: Fine, okay ED, okay OST, nice VA performances
Enjoyment: Fine, Mage was awesome, some funny moments every now and again, but the “ecchi” could get repetitive
Final Score: 5/10
Thanks for taking the time to read my review. If you want, take part in the discussion below! :3