Grenadier is the smutty daughter of Trigun and Rurouni Kenshin. It has the same theme in it (fighting for something, either honor, peace, or ambition) and at the same time it has lots of brainless fan service in the form of nude and action. Although most such shows have only an excuse for a story, this one in particular is occasionally trying to focus on its theme in ways that are somewhat smart.
So the story begins with swordsmen being wiped out by modern weapons. A survivor of them meets a girl who happens to be a master gunner with the title of Grenadier. She is on a quest to clear her name of accusations regarding treason and at the same time doing her job as a defender of the land. So the two of them roam the land, trying to get to the capital and confront the queen who seems to have gone mad and left the kingdom to rot.
The premise is indeed catchy and the show does not drop it a few episodes later for aimless softporn and storyless adventures. It sticks to it and offers a solid ending; something most such anime do not. At the same time it is not deep or complicating; it is still full of silly action, over the top nudity, and tired jokes. So it tried to be a bit of both and was left stuck in the middle, something most viewers do not like because they would rather have an extremity of one or the other. Ι for once didn’t mind that much.
The setting is also eye-catchy on a basic level, as it combines all sorts of cultures, from Wild West, to feudal Japan and hints of medieval fantasy. This expands to the soundtrack, which is a blend of western, Japanese folk, and J-pop. The production values are not great in terms of animation or outlines, but as far as decorations and details are concerned, they made a fine job.
Unfortunately the above will go unnoticed for most, since they will most likely be looking at huge boobs, bath scenes, and weird duels between superhuman gunmen. There is a ton of guilty pleasure in every episode that will most likely overshadow all its attempts to be smarter than the usual. The action scenes are actually very good for this sort of anime and even follow a sort of internal logic, as well as basic strategy. Of course you should not try to rationalize anything because they are all pretty far-fetched. The heroine can dodge bullets by spinning around and reloads her gun with bullets that pop out of her breasts. Yeah, oozing creativity used for wrong reasons…
But beyond that, each fighter in the show has his or her own personal style and even sort of lives his or her life based on it. It is not just for show but also a way of life. Nothing complicating but at least it fits to each one of them. My favorite part is the brothel which aims to make men less violent by removing their guns (and clothes). Past that, there is no actual character development for anyone in this show, past the young samurai who wants to avenge his fallen comrades, even if it costs him his life. Since all other Grenadiers have reached the peak of their skill they have no room for development, and the ephemeral goons they fight are just too dumb to matter. He alone though was not that strong to begin with and being dragged on a quest of vengeance with little value to his life meant for a lot of interesting things to happen that flesh him out in a nice way.
Although not a great show by any means, it is occasionally shows a few interesting concepts that remain constant and the action is not bad for what the show is all about. Just don’t expect an amazing story or memorable characters.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 6/10
Analysis: General Artwork 1/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 2/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 1/2
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 3/4, Sound Effects 2/3
STORY SECTION: 4/10
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 1/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 1/2
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10
Analysis: Presence 1/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 1/2, Catharsis 1/2
VALUE SECTION: 2/10
Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 0/3, Memorability 2/4
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 3/10
Analysis: Art 0/1, Sound 1/2, Story 1/3, Characters 1/4