Toji no Miko — First Impressions

School girls with swords are the only thing that can keep Japan safe from demons.

I rather liked this, having set my expectations low after last year’s Schoolgirl Strikers and Battle Girl High School which had similar premisses and were dull as dishwater. From the start, Toji no Miko looked much better from the introductionary battle on. I liked how slow and focused the episode was, keeping the spotlight on just a few characters rather than introducing everybody at once. The main storyline follows Etou Kanami & Yanase Mai, who represent their school at a national sword fighting tournament for Toji shrine maidens, who are the people that keep Japan safe from demons. We follow them as Kanami wins over Mai in their school tournament and they trave; to the finals, as well as through the tournament. The b-plot meanwhile is about Juujuu Hidori, who seems to harbour a grudge against the people organising the tournament. When she attacks the organisor (see above), she’s almost defeated when Kanami comes to her aid…

I liked the pacing of this first episode. The show took its time to let us get to know Kanami & Mai before in the last few minutes letting the plot kick in, while also giving us a look at the other bound to be important characters. (That is, everybody whose match got shown). The tournament was also a good excuse to show off the sword fighting as well as everybody’s fighting styles. In general, the animation and character designs were a cut above what I expected. Can’t wait for next week.

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