Nothing upsets me more than a botched ending and romance shoved into places where it doesn’t belong. So, I finally got around to wrapping up Brave 10 today. Let’s talk about it, but be wary of spoilers.
As far as the good stuff goes, Brave 10 had me excited from the start. It was set in one of my favorite times, the Warring States period of Japanese history. The historian in me was freaking out when I first heard about this thing. The characters (except for those I’m going to specifically call out later on) were pretty interesting. I’d have to say that Seikai, Isanami’s brother, was probably my favorite of the bunch. I’ve always loved the gentle giant archetype and being an older brother myself, I can seriously relate with that facet of him. Also, thanks to Benmaru, the last punch he threw had rockets and fireworks attached. How cool is that?! Kamanosuke is just a bit below Seikai, if only because of episode eleven. Y’know, the one with him in a dress. Damn fine scenes, those.
Speaking of Seikai’s rocketpunch, the combat was really well done. It wasn’t terribly flashy or anything, but when someone got hurt, they got hurt. None of this invincibility for a good two episodes nonsense (looking at you Symphogear). It helped that the characters experienced real physical losses, too. Granted, none of the Braves died, but they came pretty close.
Now onto the less-than-cool stuff. First, the fanservice. I get it. Seinen or shounen or whatever you classify this as is a male-dominated market, and not much of target demographic wants to see half-naked prettyboys beating the crap out of each other. But, really guys? Anastasia’s breasts were bigger than her head. And the insect-lady from the Iga League of Five whose name I can’t be arsed to remember? Constant ass-shots. It honestly turned me off from a lot of the episodes just because the show seemed to be saying “Hey, look! We have massive tits and perfect asses in every damn frame!”. It got old really quickly.
There were a few characters I had problems with, too. Hanzou was a flat character and he was pretty much the villain of the whole thing (until Isanami ate him). The other members of the League of Five really seemed like those generic RPG bosses that are thrown in so you can have some conflict. Well, except for Anastasia, but there’s a whole bunch of different problems with her. Like how she became a ninja. Or why. I know it was all explained in her backstory, but it seemed like they just wanted an excuse to have an ‘exotic’ foreign woman with a huge rack.
Finally, my biggest gripe about the series has to be Isanami and the pointless ‘Let’s dry-hump Saizou’ romance subplot they threw in. She was a very typical waifish girl with some dark, evil power who had guilt and grief. Congratulations, we’ve seen it done before and done better. It didn’t help that she only had two modes (annoyingly happy and oh god woe is me, if you’re wondering). I really can’t dislike her enough. And I’m not even going to talk about the power of friendship ending that the final conflict had.
Aside from that, it was an alright show. I’m actually talking to Robert about it and he sums it up nicely: Nothing special. Nothing new. It kind of let me down in a lot of ways, the political aspect was completely downplayed and there were a handful of really bad characters (hi isanami). Give it a shot if you find it for cheap or just want some dumb fun, but other than that, go ahead and avoid it.