Review: Busou Shinki: Armored War Goddess [DVD]

Release Date
Blu-ray, DVD
Studio / Publisher
8-Bit / MVM Entertainment
Language / Subtitles
Japanese / English
2xBD, 3xDVD
Run Time
300 Minutes

Busou Shinki: Armoured War Goddess; when you read that title you’d think you’d be watching a series which would involve powerful women in mech suits battling the forces of evil to defend Earth. If, like me, that was the opinion you had, you couldn’t be any further from the truth if you tried. In fact, Busou Shinki is a slice-of-life show with small elements of an action series thrown in.

Busou Shinki is centred around 4 Shinki, called Ann, Ines, Lene, and Hina. Shinki are small robots standing at 15 centimetres tall (6 inches), which can be equipped with armour and weapons, based on action figures of the same name, produced by Konami Digital Entertainment. Airing in Fall/Autumn 2012, Busou Shinki is a 12-episode TV series with 1 OVA, created by 8bit (IS: Infinite Stratos, Rewrite) and directed by Kikuchi, Yasuhito (Infinite Stratos).

Rihito (Mizushima, Takashior) recently moved back to Japan to attend High School with his 3 Shinki, Ann (Asumi, Kana), an Arnval model, who was Rihito’s first Shinki and lived with him when he lived in Japan when he was younger, Ines (Mizuhashi, Kaori), an Altines model, and Lene (Nakajima, Mequmi), an Altlene model. Once back in Japan, he receives a new Strarf model Shinki from his Farther, which he calls Hina (Chihara Minori). These Shinki refer to Rihito as ‘master’ and basically act as his maids throughout the day. Over the course of the 12 episodes, no real plot is established. Aside from the first and the last two episodes, each episode has its own self-contained plot, which are your typical run of the mill slice-of-life episodes, while some will centre around action plots.

To be honest Busou Shinki is a disappointing show, which had potential to be something interesting. When it’s a slice-of-life show, I found it to be boring and provided very little character development, although Hina did have a few moments early on, mainly because her model of Shinki is best suited for combat, so she wants to fight in the Shinki Battle Tournament, however her master has no interest in it; although she doesn’t like it at first, she learns to accept the fact that she won’t be able to compete. When Busou Shinki turns to action is when it’s a much better show, the downside is that those episodes are few and far between. During these action episodes, the use of CGI for the character models was well done, although I did find that the transition to and from CGI was a bit out of place and off-putting. The character voices aren’t bad but they do get a bit boring after a few episodes and start to get a bit unnoticeable by episode 5, the few attempts at comedy which are tried don’t work and feel forced.

The opening is “Install X Dream”, sung by the voices for Ann, Ines, Lene and Hina, and for one episode they each sing the OP solo. The ending used is “Taiyou no Sign” by Azusa. MVM released Busou Shinki as both DVD on 3 discs and Blu-Ray on 2 discs which include the 12 episodes and an unaired 13th episode which takes place before the series starts. Extras are clean opening and ending theme.

Busou Shinki is a tale of what it should have been, and what it ended up being. It ended up being a boring slice-of-life with small inclusions of action sequences when it could have easily been a good action mecha based show.