Yukina is an underachieving schoolgirl who one day gets what all schoolgirls really want Ė a 450-year-old naked samurai who mistakes her for a princess and saves her life. The samurai, Kennosuke, or Ken for short, gets payback in the second season when he watches a naked Yukina get kidnapped. But letís put the fan service aside for now. Kuromukuro is a bit more than that.
This is a mecha anime, and somehow this 16th century samurai and this 15-year-old schoolgirl know how to operate the mecha Kuromukuro. Well, if they didnít we would not have an anime, now would we? Basically, the earth is under invasion from Ogres, aka Efi Drogs, who destroy worlds by enslaving everyone and blah, blah, blah. It really does not sound like an original plot, does it? After all, if they start off with a modern schoolgirl being the replica of a dead princess. . . . Maybe InuYasha will sue for copyright infringement? Oh wait, his was a priestess. Close enough.
OK, itís not all that bad. There is some good character development. The comedy based on Kennosuke being a fish out of water, by some 450 years, works. The action sequences are well done. And the story is told well enough that I donít even mind one of the bad guys apparently being blown up only to return without explanation in the next episode.
Then there is some interesting artwork. Many of the characters, at least in the first season, look more like characters designed for feature films than for a TV series. They have a bit more detail and personality to their faces, though it seems to be less so in season 2. But the artwork should come as no surprise, as the art director is Nobutaka Ike who also worked on Paprika, Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers.
When one adds up the pluses and minuses, there are a few more pluses. So basically I will give Kuromukuro a recommendation Ė if you are into mecha anime. If not, you may find it a bit harder to get through.
The series is currently on Netflix streaming exclusively.