When I was growing up My Little Pony was about little magical horses and their owners–ie., little girls. Not exactly about friendships. Whatever. It was about cute little horses, fueled by children’s imagination.
Which is to say, when I watch Walkure Romanze, I did not expect it to show a story about friends and how a horse can mend a person’s heart. Granted, that’s not really where the story is going. It certainly isn’t the main reason why I’m watching the show, although that is a pleasant thing to see instead, of say, non-stop tits and butts that this eroge-turn-anime could have been. It’s distinctly not a pure-oppai anime, although it has the prerequisite payload, which saves it from the vapid morass of far majority of the too-earnest-so-it’s-all-tits category of shows. A degree of petty schoolgirl-politics also help to season things a little.
Depends on how you look at it, however, the things that draw most first-timers in is the horse animation and all that jousting. That, and all the pin-up character designs dressed in ornate plate mail with curious bits exposed. A lot of the designs also eschew the single-shape breastplate design for something more pin-up-y. It’s like someone went and analyzed the pile of Saber porn out there and realized it’s the plate armor part that is being underserved by the general output, creating a market opportunity. That said, I wonder how much of it overlaps with the fanbase of something like, say, Marimite.
Because of its roots in eroge, Walkure Romanze’s list of characters, design-wise, tilt towards “man, any of these girls can turn into full blown porn material” and sometimes it kind of blows my mind when I look at the right places. How could that possibly be you, Mio? Or Miss “Butt-of-jokes” Bertille? And nothing has answered my question as to why Celia-senpai is wearing two pairs of bottoms. Is it because she learned the meaning of “chafing” after wearing a godly suit of armor?
I like how Walkure Romanze evokes that soft, freshly-baked-bread-from-Valkyria-Chronicles feel. I also like, as a gap moe sort of thing, that it did a “haitenai” episode, while still being so. And it’s being played as a joke! Moreover, all the horses are girls! It’s like “Oh snap, my master’s panties! She must be in trouble.” So when Sakura tries to eat Mio’s skirt, she was just playing as Saten to Mio’s Uiharu? How much horse-riding porn did the producers of this show had to watch to greenlit it? The world may never know.
But indeed, it is this gap that makes Walkure Romanze so amusing. That it tackles a classically barbaric sport with the grace of a sœur checking her underling’s sailor neck tie is much like how Celia (wo)mans up to riding out almost commando to give Akane one great ride, while evoking that Valkyrie (ala video games) imagery. Or just how all these pretty things parade up and down the stadium bearing the magic of “ftmm” in the latest display of superior fetishistic technology. (Then again, overflow ftmm on armor is just…way too lewd, so there aren’t any.)
Of course, maybe this is just a great example of how sexy and erotic things could possibly be girls dressed to the gills, all covered up? It’s like what they say about men–it’s the clothes that makes one. At the same time, I’m not exactly comfortable making that statement given how half the time it feels like they really aren’t wearing as much as I think they are? I suppose in 2D-w-fief-dom and jousting, it’s all about form.