Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vanquished Queens: Original Collection

Edit (07-26): VQ3 book + VQ OVA 4 confirmed for September in this month's Hobby Japan Magazine!

This was supposed to be just a light intermission or some such, but our usual buddy got a bit hyped, so we ended up doing the whole thing! You might recognize it as the limited, rare 2012 QB extra thingie where we got the new Ymir VQ story, its whole name being "VQ Original Picture & Comic Collection", ain't that a mouthful:

Download it here, and enjoy!

As for the poll, in the end Rebellion won! (23v,37%) That was a bit surprising, though QB wasn't that far behind (19v, 30%) Then it was Grimoire with 12v-19% (go, Grimoire, go~), and lastly QG with 8v-12%. So next poll is, as expected from our release up here and the Vanquished Queens 3 that should be officially announced in no time, is VQ-themed!


  1. Before watching the three anime, I could say that I definitively hated it; there might have been a few stories I would have liked, but Nowa's just was enough to make me not want to read further.

    So, the anime...I watched #2 first as you suggested. No problems in that one: It was mostly comedy and quite funny, especially just how uncaring Nanael is (I adore Angels, but I'll make an exception for her). The whole "magic power unlocked by an orgasm" actually makes some sort of sense, so I liked that episode.

    Now, Episode #1.....It's a continuation of the previously mentionned Nowa story...It really didn't take long for to get extremely uncomfortable with it and then basically angry. I was incredibly close to stop watching, but I just kept saying to myself "It can't end this way..."

    And it didn't. I was nearly screaming "YES!" by the end. Took down so low, faced with an horrible situation for such a long time, yet managing the willpower and fortitude to overcome it.

    So my feeling on the episode? I'm... not sure. If the goal of a story is to make you feel something, then it succeeds incredibly well. By the end, I found it absolutely brilliant. But if it had ended badly, if there wasn't the "stands back up" part at the end, I would have been genuinely extremely upset. Upset enough to likely stop watching all QB material in the future. I know it sounds silly for stoires, but.... Those stories really hit home for me.

    As for Episode 3, take everything I said for Episode 1, and increase it even further.

    So do I like or dislike Vanquished Queen? I adore it and detest it at the same time. The biggest difference from the books is that while the content it just as dark, the ending is a powerful, strong , hopeful one instead of a "live in despair for the rest of her life". Still, now that I've seen how Nowa's VQ story actually ends and that it's not all dark, I might go back and actually read the entire VQ books and fill-in a good ending myself; after all, good endings seems to be canon now.

    I still voted for "I only like a few parts of it" on the pool though since I assume it refers to the books and not the anime and I haven't reread (or rather, read more than a few stories) yet.

    1. Ooh, glad you could manage to watch them in the end!

      The VQ anime's happy ending also surprised me, like I pointed out back then:

      I guess there are people who like VQ for the "beauty in defeat" (that seems closer to the original intention) and that's fine as well, but for me the stories are just "a point where everything seems lost for our heroines"... just before the obvious "point where someone saves the day", that's the kind of stories books and movies feed us all the time after all, so I can't help but think there are happy endings aplenty.

      With that said, it's a bit inspiring to hear you care so much for the characters you considered quitting the series altogether, you rock gal~

      Also, the poll should refer to both book and anime (even if the stories and tone are different) and well, in VQ2's case, we added a "despair rank" of sorts in case you want to ease into them.

    2. Well, to be entirely honest, it's not the characters that I felt so strongly about, it's the situation itself. It's the whole "Going through absolutely horrible situations and ending up completely destroyed mentally, never recover, and finish her life in utter despair". That's the part I detest so much; but going through something horrible and having the willpower to pull themselves up I'm fine with. That's what resonates with me and why I liked the anime so much, and why the line between "like" and "detest" is close for me on this subject. Personal opinion of course, everyone's free to like what they want as long as it doesn't harm anyone else!

      In other news, the Shion Tribe really isn't going so well... Usually, it's a case of having things mostly working and fixing the rest. Here, it's a case of nearly nothing working and not understanding why. Meh... I'll keep at it I guess.

      And in another matter, while I didn't get the chance to revisit the VQ books, I did read the little commentary in this release (I read about half of it so far). There's two things that caught my attention: The official "How often someone lose" and the "Power level list". Like it mentions that Alleyne is considered one of the strongest QB character, and how Nyx is the queen of the "common loss", or how Mirim lose so often yet is considered one of the strongest character. I doubt it, but did those lists and information ever get posted anywhere? I'm kind of curious about that information!

      I'm kind of expecting Claudette, Alleyne (Only actual loss is an implied one to the witch between QB and Rebellion) and Echidna (Did she actually ever lose?) to be at the top, but I'm curious where people like Leina, Annelotte and Sigui fit in.

    3. Oh, wish you luck with your Shion stuff.

      Hans is mostly joking around with his comments, but if you want tiers, the quartet of Claudette-Alleyne-Echidna-Cattleya being the strongest is confirmed by Echidna herself and pretty much canon, and for classic QB it'd be like this:

      God Tier: Maria (Leina's mom), Aldra (reduced to Strongest Tier over time)
      Strongest Tier: Claudette, Echidna, Alleyne, Cattleya
      Top Tier: Tomoe, Elina, Irma, Melona (experts in battles and assassinations)
      Mid Tier: Menace, Airi, Shizuka, Ymir, Nyx, Risty and Leina (working her way to God Tier)
      Low Tier: Nowa, Melpha, Nanael (I don't remember any of these ever winning a match)

      We never tried it for Rebellion, so I might as well go ahead and suggest something like this, probably even in order here:

      -Otherworldly Tier: Werbellia, Branwen, Claudette, Demon Annelotte
      -Expert Tier: Elina, Tomoe, Melona, Sigui, Maria, Risty, Alleyne, Laila, Giant Ymir (has a time limit)
      -Strongest Tier: Mirim (no one below can defeat her)
      -Strong Tier: Annelotte, Luna Luna, Yuit & Vante, Sarnyang & Tarnyang, Liliana, Aldra
      -Normal Tier: Izumi, Ymir & Eilin, Menace, Nanael

    4. Is Goldie part of the Grimoire crew? I thought she was a reference to the amazon in Golden Axe (so a QG character), but I noticed she's listed on the official site under the Grimoire page.

      Also, is it wrong if I like Seiten's design..? When I first saw it in your preview I just kind of skimmed over it as I said to myself "That's just retarded"... And now I see it on the official site again, first reaction is the same thing. And then I look at it again. And then I start liking it. It's completely and utterly shameless and I detest high heels, but... I find myself absolutely loving the design overall, and I'm kind of feeling bad about liking it.

      ... anyway, "serious" stuff time!

      I like your QB list: Surprisingly enough, I'm mostly agreeing to it! And since your list is less biased than mine, I'm glad to see I wasn't that far off.

      The few surprises I have are Cattleya (She never came to mind when I thought about the strongest characters, but it makes sense on second thought), Irma (she didn't feel that competent, but I might be biased against her horrible QB book form).

      The one other thing I'm wondering about is Melona vs Nanael: Nanael seems to have immense raw power, but is just too dumb and arrogant to use it properly. I feel that the same applies to Melona though: Did she ever actually succeed properly at anything? She has the ability to be godlike and I recall near successes, but I'm not remembering any actual complete success.

      Rebellion: Branwen is that strong? I thought she was more along "middle of the pack-ish".

      Beside that, it makes a lot of sense! There's a few things I'd shift a few ranks (like I thought Sigui would be a bit higher and Elina a bit lower), but overall it looks good to me!

      Grimoire doesn't have any information at all to make any sort of ranking for I assume?

    5. Goldie based on Golden Axe, that's quite the imagination you got there? But nope, she's a Grimoire indeed, mostly based on the "Kintaro" tale, hence her bib with the "gold" kanji, her very name and her charming animals.

      I don't think it's wrong that you like Seiten, I quite do myself~ Give a chance to a newcomer artist too, you know how awesome Kaguya turned out...

      Hm, Melona vs Nanael, huh...? Well, if we just talk about "potential" we could be here all day, but even if none of them two will take things seriously, I think there's a reason why Melona is the witch's right-hand woman, while Nanael is considered basically the worst angel ever by her superior, and it has to be that Melona does get some results. Or if you prefer to see it this way, Melona manages to look nonchalant while she's actually doing her best: like the FAQ implied, she prepares a lot for her transformations, getting to know the people involved, their personalities and stuff.

      As for Branwen, well she's implied to be a "legendary" mediator between men and dragons, and probably has the power of a dragon cursing through her veins; even under Dogura's abuse, she technically never loses a fight, neither versus Giant Ymir nor versus Laila (in the Zero chapter). I'm pretty sure Ymir says that she saved her giant elixir to fight Claudette, but was forced to use it against Branwen (and still lost).

      And nope, we barely know anything about the Grimoire chars at this point, too bad.

    6. Well.... I'm pretty sure I saw somewhere once that Goldie was related to the Golden Axe amazon; I can't say where though. I thought to myself "I'm not seeing it?" but didn't look further than that (I find Goldie to be a relatively strong character based on her book, but not necessarily a fun one and I don't like the character much in general)... It certainly makes a whole lot more sense for her to be part of Grimoire, so all good :)

      Nanael does take things seriously! Just... in a patently horrible and self-destructive way. :) And yes, I guess Melona's pretty good when direct fighting is not involved.

      Laila fights Branwen in the Zero chapter book? Awesome! I'm slowly pacing myself through the translated QB books (so that I don't end up with nothing to read too fast) and I didn't get there yet. That's nice; I like Laila and she has a pretty massive lack of presence basically everywhere. Well, I'd like a proper kick-ass angel, but if the choice right now is between Nanael and Laila, I'll pick Layla.

      As for the pool.... Uh... I like the idea with multiple characters (though I prefer with separate HP bar), but I'm not sure I like any of the four choices presented there! I'm not a fan of the super-loli characters in general (Which removes the dwarves and Yuit directly), and I really dislike Werbellia's crotch bat thing (which is the focus of 50% of her pages). Plus, the maids really don't make much of an appearance so it doesn't really feel like a split book. Sainyang and Tarnyang win by default, but it's really a case of "dislike less" :)

      Actually, if Werbeillia counts as a Rebellion dual book, I'd say Aldra (R) should count too. She'd get my vote if she was in the list! If we go outside Rebellion (and use Werbeillia as standard), I'd vote for Zara and her wolf.

  2. I hate Vanquished Queens. Because of it, my interest in Queen's Blade has been in a steady decline mainly due to VQ being the worst form QB could take other than a harem anime. I find the focus on defeat, embarrassment, and torture (all while escalating QB's ecchi style to a borderline hentai one) to just be a huge step in the wrong direction for QB, which used to be quite impressive for how it mixed together ecchi with great characters and story arcs.

    I'll give VQ a little credit, as it does still try to give the characters story arcs, but, imo, the execution is way too grim, and clashes heavily with the tone of the previous series. Sure, there were grim characters like Nowa and Branwen, but their story arcs never reached a VQ level of grim.

    And with Vanquished Queens going into its 3rd book and 4th OVA now, it looks like I won't see a return to the Queen's Blade I enjoyed so much any time soon; which is a real shame. I hope VQ ends soon, so that a second Rebellion season can begin, or maybe a Grimoire series. Just something to get me back into the series again.

    1. Pheonix: The Queen's Blade Rebellion anime had started straying quite a bit into the "harem anime" style actually, with half the cast basically fighting over Annelotte if I remember well.

      I'm definitvely with you with the "Give me instead the second season of Rebellion", but I'm really not hopeful about it... The books and everything have been over since over a year (I think), and I remember leecherboy saying that the sales were catastrophic (I'm not sure I understand why though; it was pretty decent I found).

      For Grimoire, we get... One character every 4-6 months or so? According to the official website, we have 7 characters total if we include the newly announced one (Release date = ???), which would not be enough to make an anime from most likely, and I don't think there's even enough backstory for it yet. There's starting to be characters I like in Grimoire though, so an anime of it is sounding interesting to me.

      For some reasons, I have the feeling that after VQ is done, we won't get more QB-related animes at all... I really hope I'm wrong, but we'll see in due time...