The previous episode of SENRAN KAGURA SHINOVI MASTER toned down the fanservice a little, but with the fifth it is back in full force as the Shinobi Masters begin. It is only fitting that I start with this, then:
This post will contain NSFW images
With that warning out of the way, let’s take a look at how the shinobi fare in the event.
At the end of the previous episode, the Gessen and Hebijo teams had arrived at the venue of the Shinobi Masters. This episode starts with a third team joining in – that would be Kagura and her allies.
Fubuki is aware of another guest that has arrived – Asuka. Since Asuka lost to Gekkou and Senkou earlier, she isn’t allowed to participate. She’ll just have to watch for the time being.
For the naked dodgeball round, Gessen takes on team Mikagura. Yumi chooses to be the captain for Gessen, whilst Renka is captain for team Mikagura. The match starts, and it doesn’t take long for nudity to happen, because of course.
Gessen suffer an early elimination, but that doesn’t matter as they are able to take out the enemy captain fairly soon after. The first round goes to Gessen.
During their match, Kagura tells Yumi to watch out for Fubuki; she is scarier than she seems.
The second round of the Shinobi Masters is the Naked Cavalry Battle (there’s a running theme here…), in which Hebijo take on Team Mikagura. Both sides clash with everything they have got, but the match comes to an abrupt end.
If either captain touches the floor for this round, their team loses. Kaguya jumps right up to where Fubuki is sitting and watching over the event, thus giving Hebijo the win for that round.
Behind the scenes, Suzune has infiltrated the tournament. However, she receives a message about youma appearing from the Kikai Dome and the jonin there disappearing, so the Shinobi Masters takes a backseat for the time being. As Suzune leaves, she ends up bumping into some familiar faces.
Homura’s Crimson Squad arrive at the Shinobi Masters, fully intent on saving the Hanzo shinobi. After all, they owe them a lot.
As that happens, the third round of the Shinobi Masters begins. Gessen will take Hebijo on in a round of Naked Pole-Toppling.
For the third round, Miyabi chooses to be captain for Hebijo, whilst Yozakura is chosen as captain of Gessen. When the match begins, Miyabi is very eager to fight Yumi to prove who is the strongest shinobi. However, the tournament is about deciding the strongest team, and Gessen pull together as a team to claim the victory.
Gessen may have won, but that was only the qualifying round. Their final opponents will be Fubuki, Gekkou and Senkou. This is where Asuka stops spectating and challenges them directly.
Before that, though, Yumi takes her aside and tells her that there is justice in the world, and meaning in the sword and shield. This time around, Yumi is willing to put her life on the line to protect Asuka.
Asuka doesn’t seem very convinced, but she does allow Yumi to fight alongside her.
That brings this episode to an end. The Shinobi Masters tournament certainly had some fun stuff, but I was honestly far more interesting in seeing Homura’s Crimson Squad. I just don’t have the same attachment to Gessen and Hebijo as I do to Hanzo and Homura’s Crimson Squad.
I guess Kagura and Naraku are an exception to that rule – thank Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson for that. Kagura seems to know more than she is letting on as well, as suggested by her warning to Yumi and followed by her throwing the match against Hebijo.
Homura’s Crimson Squad only had a relatively brief appearance in this episode, but it was probably the thing I liked best about it. Their reunion with Suzune was nice, as well.
What I particularly like is that Homura’s motivation is to get Asuka to rise up again. If anyone can get Asuka to go back to being her old self, it is Homura.
All this build up to the Shinobi Masters, and it turns out to be a light-hearted tournament. Presumably that won’t be the case now that Fubuki, Gekkou and Senkou have stepped up.
Judging by the preview for the next episode, we may have to wait a little to see that though. It seems next time will be recounting the story of Shinovi Versus – in particular, Asuka and Yumi’s story.
I’m eager to see how the battle against Fubuki and her allies will unfold, so I’m not too keen on what may be an unnecessary flashback episode. However, it will probably answer some questions for those who haven’t played Shinovi Versus, so there’s that, I suppose.