Raimuiro Senkitan

Also Known As: Lime-iro Senkitan, Lime-Colored History of War
Genre: Comedy, Action
Format: 13 Episodes
Allegiance: KSS
Director: Suzuki Akira
Vintage: 2003
Intelligence Agency Report by: Lady Sage
The year is 1904, and the Russo-Japanese War is raging. A former Russian diplomat, Umakai Shintaro, boards the flying warship Amanotaro to teach at a supposed girls’ academy. There, he finds his students are a bit…unusual. They are five nubile, ditzy teenage girls with psychic powers. They also happen to hold the outcome of the war in their hands…

Field Agent Report by: Lady Sage
Overall 4.50
(not an average)

You know, a few anime manage to cross the line of “bad” and “cliché” and enter the world of “offensive.” Amazing Nurse Nanako is one such series, with its rampant misogyny. Another one is Raimuiro Senkitan, where the question is not just what’s offensive, but what is most offensive? Is it the ridiculous representation of genuine historical events? Or perhaps the massive amounts of off-screen, but heavily implied underage sex?

Those two elements may be the worst of Raimuiro’s problems, but they’re not the only ones: they only rest on top of the ¬all the usual troubles that come with your run-of-the-mill harem anime. If the girls were even vaguely competent, that may have made up for their formulaic personalities: the ditz, the tomboy, the crybaby, and so on. I did chuckle once or twice, but the humor more often than not revolved around fan service. Panty shots, boob grabs (both accidental and intentional), and bath scenes fly fast and thick. There is no finesse to their implementation; it’s as though the writers decided any time they felt things weren’t silly enough, they’d just toss one in. The result was awkward and even more painful than usual.

There are also some of the most ear-piercing vocals I’ve heard. Raimuiro Senkitan has the dubious honor of being the only series that has made me physically wince when some of the characters speak. Squeaky is pretty par for series like this one, but Kinu’s constant whine in particular actually made my dogs leave the room whenever I put it on. At least the pictures were pretty…as long as it wasn’t a battle scene, in which case there was poorly-integrated CGI that made Pilot Candidate’s mech animation look masterful.

And then there’s the issue of the setting. Genuine historical anime are rare, and if this is the result when anime directors like Suzuki Akira (who brought us such masterpieces as Happy Lesson and the secondRanma ½ movie) make an attempt, I’m glad they are. Creative license is one thing, but flying ships? Psychic powers? The Russo-Japanese War seems to just be an excuse for using a battleship as a setting and occasionally having a battle scene, rather than any sort of actual grounding in fact. The Russians are slightly flatter than Boris and Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle and make the “ugly American” stereotype that pops up so often look positively flattering.

After the TV run finished, KSS released a director’s cut on DVD that included the sex scenes. The move effectively took it closer to its hentai game roots, which begs the question: why didn’t they skip over the TV series and keep this pile of dreck to hentai?