Katana Maidens ~ Toji No Miko Episode 1: Swords and Cookies

It’s the start of a new season of anime, and that means I’ll be covering at least a couple of new shows. First up, Katana Maidens ~ Toji no Miko – which is quite simply about swordfighting shrine maidens.
I like swords, and I like shrine maidens, so it seems very likely that I will enjoy this. Let’s take a look at the first episode and find out.

Toji vs Aradama

One of the Toji takes on a monster known as an aradama

We begin with a giant fiery centipede rampaging its way through a city. The military does attempt to stop it, but to the surprise of nobody, conventional firearms are useless. What aren’t so useless are a group of girls wielding swords. The girls are known as Toji, and their swords are divine blades called okatana.

Sparring

Kanami beats her friend Mai in a match

Moving on, we go to Minoseki Academy where our main protagonist, Kanami, is duelling against her friend Mai. She wins their battle, and it turns out that both girls will be representing Minoseki Academy at the nationals.

Mai and Kanami

Mai drops by Kanami’s room during the evening

Mai has been preparing for their trip the next day, whereas Kanami has been concentrating on sharpening her sword. She is very eager to get to the nationals, where they will be able to see all sorts of sword fighting styles.
Mai has something she wants to say to Kanami, but she can’t quite get it out – perhaps due to nerves.

Hiyori Juujou

This girl is Hiyori Juujou – remember her, she’ll be important later

The following morning, Kanami and Mai prepare to set off for the nationals. Their classmates see them off at the train station, and we quickly learn that Mai is the reliable one of the pair.

Mai's cookies

Kanami is excited for Mai’s cookies

Mai admits that she is nervous about the nationals, whereas Kanami is just incredibly excited. When they arrive at their stop, they disembark from the train and see a bunch of girls wearing different school uniforms.

Face off

Kanami and Mai encounter Hiyori

Kanami and Mai spot Hiyori. It seems like she is going to ignore them, but as Hiyori gets close, something about Kanami immediately has her reach for her sword. Nothing comes of that little encounter, though Kanami is now even more excited to fight.

Washing Mai's back

Kanami insists on washing Mai’s back

Kanami and Mai take advantage of the baths. Kanami is keen on washing Mai’s back, though Mai doesn’t seem to feel quite the same way. Kanami goes ahead with it regardless.
Mai is still nervous, so Kanami helps her with her stance. Later on, when Kanami is asleep, Mai voices her concern about having to face Kanami.

The time of the tournament arrives, and Hiyori is one of the first combatants. She really doesn’t mess around.

First match

Hiyori secures a quick first victory

The next match is between Sayaka Itomi of Renpu Girls’ Academy and Kanami Etou of Minoseki Academy. Kanami is almost caught off-guard at the beginning of their bout.

Sayaka vs Kanami

Kanami maybe spent a little too much time analysing her opponent’s stance

However, Kanami is able to just secure a victory. It seems that’s the way she operates – fighting way too close for comfort. Mai is next up after Kanami, and her opponent is a small girl with a huge sword.

Mai's match

Mai claims an easy victory

Hiyori victory

Hiyori’s second opponent puts up more of a fight than her first

Just as Mai had feared, she finds herself facing Kanami. Both girls are familiar with each other’s skills, but they are both determined to win regardless.
For their battle, Mai decides to use iai against Kanami. However, Kanami is determined to move onto the final and fight Hiyori.

Mai vs Kanami

Kanami stops Mai’s iai

Kanami is able to win their match, and move onto the final.

The final is overseen by the head of the Origami family, Yukari Origami. She’s a hero from twenty years ago, and supposedly the strongest Toji if you give her an okatana. When the start of the match is called, it is not Kanami that Hiyori goes for.

Hiyori attacks Yukari

Hiyori attacks Yukari

Yukari easily sees off Hiyori’s attack, and then one of her bodyguards goes after Hiyori. Kanami protects Hiyori, and then they both retreat. However, one girl, Yume, ignores Yukari’s orders to leave them alone. Rather than stay and fight, Kanami grabs Yukari’s arm and they jump out of there.
Hiyori wants to know why Kanami helped her – Kanami says that it is because they haven’t had their match yet.

That brings the first episode of Katana Maidens ~ Toji no Miko to an end, and I really enjoyed it. I loved the sword fights – Kanami stopping Mai’s iai was a particularly great moment for me.
Both Kanami and Hiyori have some impressive moves – hopefully we will get to see those two fight proper later on. For now, though, I am curious about the grudge that Hiyori holds towards the Origami family.
We were also briefly introduced to aradama at he beginning of the show. They don’t seem that important at the moment, but I’m guessing that they will somehow have a bigger part to play in the plot later on down the line.

I feel pretty confident in saying that this season has been off to a really good start, and Katana Maidens ~ Toji no Miko just serves as further evidence of that – well, for me, at least.
From the first episode alone, this looks like a potentially enjoyable sword fighting anime.

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About Rory

I enjoy writing, manga, anime and video games, so naturally here on my blog, you will find anime reviews, my art, Nintendo news and other such things that I deem interesting.
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