"The ultimate battle strategy: To avoid battle by removing an enemy's will to fight."
— Empress Tenshi
Grandier, a.k.a. Grenadier ~The Smiling Senshi~Based in an alternate version of Japan's civil war period, this is the story of the travels of Rushuna Tendo, a buxom young woman possessing astonishing skill with a revolver. Known as a senshi, or firearms expert, Rushuna is on a personal journey to bring peace to the land. Uncomfortably aware that shooting people is not the best way to accomplish this, Rushuna is struggling to master the peaceful teachings of the Empress Tenshi. Accompanying her is Yajiro Kojima a.k.a. Yatchan, a skilled samurai who has grown weary of battle and sees value in Rushuna's goals. Also along for the ride is Mikan Kurenai, an orphaned balloon artist who has painful memories of her own to deal with.Learning that there is a price on her head, Rushuna journeys back to the Capital to clear her name. Pursued and watched by a mysterious man in a clown mask, Rushuna must battle the Juttensen or Ten Heavenly Enlightened one by one, each armed with strange and deadly weapons. She gains allies as she travels, beating her enemies with her skills and winning them over with her purity, trying to learn more about the mysterious Jester and to understand the Empress's strange actions.There's also a manga version with a plot far differing from that of the anime, with Rushuna trying to find her homeland, editing the backstories of some of the major characters (including turning her evil counterpart into an adoptive sister, and the Iron-Masked Baron into a nutjob capable of making Hitler look sane), and turning the world they live in into a post-apocalyptic scenario, except it's been so long after it that the ancient super weapons are buried deep and the world is somewhat flourishing. Production of the manga is currently discontinued in the United States, though; price gouging is inevitable.
Bait and Switch: When the Juttensen found out that Touka is still alive it seems that we are about to see a tearful and joyous realization only for them to swear bloody revenge for all the hell she put them through hellish training.
Barbie Doll Anatomy: Although Rushuna is rarely completely naked, there are situations where you'd think that at least her nipples would be exposed...
Blasting It out of Their Hands: This is Rushuna's primary method of disabling opponents, leaving them moaning and clutching their wounded hands. Of note is a time where she blasts out the axle of a gatling gun.
Other Action Girls in the series, such as Touka Kurenai, also sport considerable assets.
Bottomless Magazines: Mooks with assault rifles can fire them on fully automatic for several seconds at a time without having to reload.
Averted in that Rushuna can only fire six shots at a time, and even after reloading repeatedly she still runs out of bullets in at least one episode. That cleavage of hers can only hold so much, you know...
Still, at the end of the last episode, it is shown just how many rounds her cleavage can carry as they are spilled out in a shower of bullets.
Distracted by the Sexy: Improbably, one of Yajirou's enemies in the first episode manages to avert this, holding a civil conversation with a naked Rushuna and then walking away without so much as a perverted glance.
Double Entendre: Removing the enemies' armor. Some of those enemies would probably prefer that, in place of being shot in the hand.
Dramatic Wind: With Mikan's forgiveness, Rushuna's skirt is blown in the wind.
DVD Commentary: In a real rarity for anime, every episode has a commentary hosted by Mikako Takahashi (Rushuna) and Kazuya Nakai (Yajiro). Some episodes have guest commentators, like Yuki Matsuoka (Mikan), Nobuyuki Hiyama (Teppa), and the director Hiroshi Kōjina for the final episode.
Follow the Leader: A blonde, pacifistic outlaw with ridiculously good gun skills; a group of assassins whose main purpose is to torture the main character with their inevitable deaths; and a mysterious, completely nihilistic antagonist, much like Trigun.
Furo Scene: Rushuna is constantly searching for her next hot bath.
Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Touka Kurenai. After retiring, she became a pacifist who works to give both refuge to the victims of banditry and redemption to bandits who choose to reform themselves, as well as a provide a neutral zone where warriors can seek peaceful (and pleasurable) sanctuary from their violent lifestyle.
Hyperspace Arsenal: Mikan manages to produce an inflatable boat, costumes, a glider, even fully colored doubles of herself on demand. And her 50 gallons of water balloons vanishes without a trace. Apparently Mikan is carrying an inflatable portable hole!
In a less serious example, Setsuna. Where in hell does she keep that chest when dressed as Tenshi?
I Have the High Ground: While the Jester can stand on air, he favors high vantage points such as tree tops and cliffs.
Improbable Weapon User: Basically every member of the Elite Imperial Guard. Aizen Teppa uses a special, nigh-invincible cloth, another uses sound, and the Jester uses what appears to be Frickin' Laser Beams, but is actually soul-powered blasts of focused air that can punch through anything.
Marshmallow Hell: Done humorously, but also practically and for emotional effect as well. Rushuna hides Yajiro from enemy troops in a hot spring with it, but also uses it on a couple of her defeated enemies in a form of the Cooldown Hug.
Ms. Fanservice: Rushuna. Yes. If it weren't for Mai Shuranui, she'd be the queen of this.
Never My Fault: Averted Yajiro went on a journey to make a name for himself, ensuring the safety of his village Sugana gave her life to save Yajiro's own. Yajiro fully blames himself for what happened, it if for this reason that the clan leader Midare Kojima decided to spare his life. If he had played this straight however he would have killed him.
Nice Hat: Rushuna's hat is nice. Tenshi features some bizarre numbers, herself. Setsuna sports a weird double-tail hat that may have been stolen from a wizard, or possibly a Keebler elf.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Some of Rushuna's more oblivious remarks come off as rather snarky if you assume she's just pretending to be a bimbo.
Odd Couple: Straight-headed gun-hater Yajiro with off-beat gunslinger Rushuna.
Spin to Deflect Stuff: Rushuna's method of dodging bullets tends to involve a lot of spinning. In fact, it seems as though simply spinning in place can cause bullets to miraculously change their paths.
Technical Pacifist: Yatchan believed that only with a sword could you feel the weight of a human life.
In an equivalent example, when Mikan tried to use Rushuna's gun on herself, the trigger pull is apparently very heavy. This is also done to symbolize the weight of a human life that it could take. note Either that, or Mikan is too young to pull a trigger, or Rushuna left the safety on, just in case. Rushuna also tries to "miss" the vital organs and never goes for a lethal shot.
Title Drop: The word Grenadier doesn't even come up until the 10th episode, when Rushina is given the title of Grenadier for having allegedly slaughtered all the Juttensen that went against her. In the finale, the title of Grenadier is bestowed on her, but repurposed as Grenadier: The Smiling Senshi for her mastery of removing an enemy's will to fight.
Too Dumb to Live: The Warrior Aristocrats, their head jealous of the popularity of the Jutensen decided to seek the aid of the Iron Masked Baron their adversary during the great battle of the imperial capital, going so far as to permit him entrance to the Inner Imperial Court. Is it any surprise that they first thing he did was kill them all.