It’s a new season and a new Koihime†Musou. The beginning glosses over the plot and jumps right into the action – a telling stylistic choice, because if you’re watching this for the plot, you probably tuned in to the wrong show.
Nods to the first season abound. The bandits even look identical to the three from the first season’s introduction of Kan-U. The character designs are the same, and the opening reuses footage from the first season in flashback form.
There is a considerable amount of violence, since this is set in the bandit-fighting Three Kingdoms era, but in most places the animation is several levels below that of a serious show like Souten Kouro. The complete lack of blood and incorporation of poses from ancient Chinese theatre lend battles an unrealistic, hokey air, akin to how Jiraya in Naruto often could not resist posing after defeating small fry (and thereby ruining his coolness.) Overall, the comedy serves to make the slaughter of scores of bandits into a lighthearted scene.
Despite the goofiness, there are a few good moments in the fighting. It takes a hard heart to not crack a smile at Rin-Rin performing a moe whirlwind attack from atop her boar, and Chou Shiryuu charging down a cliff face to deal out death is like something straight out of Sengoku Basara.
It is after the fighting that the show falls flat, devoting considerable time to the issue of whether or not one should use a personal name. While this might be instructive to five-year-olds, it’s just not that appealing to someone who already understands the distinction. I suppose the way it improbably spirals into a huge misunderstanding over nothing could appeal to the To Heart crowd.
For the rest of us, however: