Samurai Harem: Asu no Yoichi Volume 2

4.0 out of 5 stars Underwear assassins

Misplaced samurai Yoichi gets his first real challenge with the arrival of Tsubame Tsubasa and Takatsukasa Angela, heirs to the Tsubameben Tenryuu -style ninja school. Like Yoichi, Tsubasa and Angela have spent their lives removed from the modern world, training in their archaic martial arts style. As the last two practitioners, they worry that their heritage and traditions will fade away. A mysterious stranger makes them a tempting offer: He will fully fund and support the Tsubameben Tenryuu -style of martial arts, so long as they perform a single task for him. Kill Yoichi.

This second volume of “Samurai Harem: Asu no Yoichi” continues in the same “lighthearted and naughty” -style of the first volume. The rivalry of the Ikaruga girls for Yoichi’s affections is put aside as the four sisters step off the stage to allow Yoichi to clash with the greater threat. Tsubasa, the actual inheritor of the school, is a shy girl who just wants to lead the normal life of a high school girl. Her servant, Angela, is fiercely determined to advance the ancient martial arts style, and won’t allow Tsubasa to lax in her duty to her ancestors. Angela soon uncovers Yoichi’s single weakness; his inability to concentrate when confronted with a female body. Angela decides the best way to take him down is to take it off, and both Tsubasa and Angela are soon stripped down to their underwear to take him on.

The fan-service is pretty heavy in “Samurai Harem,” much more so than in books like KimiKiss although you would think the opposite by looking at their covers. Yoichi seems to project some magical aura that causes any girl who gets near him to trip on something and land in a compromising pose with her skirt flipped up and custard dripping suggestively from her face. Everything is perfectly innocent, of course, except that for all his gallant veneer Yoichi can have some pretty interesting thought balloons which are only given away by the sudden geyser of blood from his nose.

Even with this aspect, “Samurai Harem” tells a good “harem” story, with all the girls being equal matches for Yoichi’s affections while Yoichi himself remains oblivious to the contest. Artist Minamoto Yu has this certain “innocent face” that she draws on Yoichi every time he is in a particularly compromising position to let us all know that he is actually a sincere and good person.

With that said, while I am a fan of fan-service in general (Hey, I like Sundome), there was one scene in “Samurai Harem volume 2” that made even me cringe. When Yoichi’s aura works its magic and the busty Ikaruga Ibuki winds up face-down with her skirt in the air, her panties actually speak with the sound-effect “Bow Chika Wow Wow.” That might of been some creative translation going on, but either way you still have a speech balloon coming directly from a girl’s underpants, and that’s something you would usually find in an entirely different type of comic!

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