Orphan heroine Hinako Nakayama suddenly reunites with her twin brother Hikaru who asks her to take his place at Shishiku Acaademy, a private boys school infamous for its rough-and-tumble student body. With Hikaru being the child of a powerful Yakuza family, the Onigashima, he is obligated to become the leader of Shishiku Academy by taking on all comers that want to challenge him. Hinako will have to hide her identity and fight to control the school. How will Hinako deal with a school full of handsome boys who let their fists to the talking rather than talk about their feelings?
Oooh, an otome-based reverse-harem fighting anime short where a kick-ass female protagonist fights male opponents? Sounds right up my street! Hinako is in a fuzzy haze until her fragile twin brother literally runs into her and asks to switch identities. No way is he going to be able to rule the academy… but Hinako just might! Manipulated into accepting the proposal (she’s a martial arts expert with no backbone, apparently), Hinako finds herself squaring up to her fellow students and beating them to a pulp, attempting to earn their respect in the most brutal way possible. Her strong sense of justice means she can’t look the other way and her fighting talents mean rumours are spreading fast – bringing only more challengers. But she’s gathering allies, too, and they help protect her from the onslaught and help her work her way up the ladder to eventually fight Hikaru’s older brother, who currently runs Shishiku with an iron fist.
I’m not expecting massive amounts from this one – mainly some great fight scenes and more from the tough (and yet, surprisingly attractive) Shishiku student body. I want to see Hinako get stronger and do a bit more ass-kicking, which I’m already starting to see developing as she engages in more fights and issues more challenges. At the same time, even though this is a school where the strongest fist rules, all students still have to study. It’s quite amusing to go from an episode concentrated solely on fighting to go to one where they’ve all suddenly got their heads down and are studying for upcoming tests like normal students.
There are some good effects to be noted in this one. I was quite impressed with the rain effects used when Hinako battles Konparu – so realistic in the visuals and sound and not like some of the Hollywood rain you can sometimes see in anime scenes. For a short fighting anime, it’s nice to see that real attention has been paid to highlighting the detail. It also doesn’t waste any of its run-time with playing the same opening again and again, which usually takes up a good minute of the anime’s overall duration at any time. Instead, they have a short scene before launching into an opening, which is then interspersed with shots from the current episode, still pushing the narrative along while the introduction music plays, which I think is great and is a practice that more anime should perhaps use. It certainly stops me from skipping this particular introduction at the start of every episode.
Kenka Bancho Otome -Girl Beats Boys- is a good anime short that covers a decent amount of storyline every week in its rather short episodes. It’s got a good dose of action and fight scenes as well as some comical scenes that occur when girls pretend to be boys and vice-versa. I don’t think that there will be enough space in the anime for more than just the obvious plot of Hinako fighting her way through the ranks. However, her journey looks to be an enjoyable one.