Kicking off again from last week, Katana Maidens continues with it’s odd trend. Where even though it’s an action series, decides that it doesn’t need to have nearly any action scenes. Rather deciding to have the main story, a Toji stealing Noro, play secondary to Mai being the main focus of the episode. Thinly foreshadowed by a short scene at the start of the episode, Mai needs to battle with her family about her own right to remain a Toji. Believing that because more and more Toji are in danger of injury they want to pull her out of the academy. Which is understandable, but after a brief event their opinion flips quickly. Something that could have been spread out over multiple episodes and add some conflict and character growth.
The story is also stumbling trying to find an effective final opponent on par with possessed Commander Origami. The mysterious Toji that is stealing Noro is certainly strong, but lacks the connection that was in the first season. So while there could be a threat, given the display of strength that they showed, there’s no connection to the heroes so it can’t draw you in. There’s also a lack of a ticking clock. Where before Kanami and Hiyori were on a ticking clock of being caught, there’s only a nebulous feel of impetus. You think that something is happening and soon, but you don’t feel the time pressure.
Overall I’m a little disappointed in this show for its second season. What started off as a fast paced modern samurai series, is quickly devolving into slice of life with a little bit of action to break it up. The fact that it’s happening in the spring season, a time known for action series to get started, is probably the greatest misstep that it could have taken. It’s still a little too early to call the show dead, but it’s not looking so hot right now.