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Anime: Grenadier

"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.

This show provides examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Rushuna and many other females display this quite nicely.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: In the manga, Yajiro's katana can cut a giant cannon, with the helpful push of 12 well-placed bullets from Rushuna.
  • Action Girl: Rushuna.
  • An Aesop: Conflicts are best solved with a smile—and preferably a soft hug to the chest. The big soft chest.
  • Alternate Character Reading: Used as a subtle Foreshadowing of the manga's After the End setting. Also used in the anime, where the katakana representing the alternate reading flash for a brief moment onscreen before showing the kanji.
  • Alternate History: Giving us a new version of Japan's civil war period.
    • Averted in the manga, which is strongly implied to be After the End.
  • Anime Theme Song: Since it aired on two different networks, there are two theme songs.
  • Bad Boss: The Warrior Aristocrats repeatedly hire foreign adversaries for their technology then dispose of them once they exhaust their usefulness
  • 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...
  • Bears Are Bad News: Part of SetsunaNamari's Heroic Sacrifice in the manga.
  • Big Eater: Rushuna
  • Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics
  • 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.
  • Boobs of Steel: Rushuna is the best marksman in the show, and the most endowed female. Unfortunately, so is her Evil Counterpart and rival.
    • 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.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Mikan has her moments of this.
  • Broke Episode: Rushuna and Yajiro have to resort to street performances in order to get money in one episode.
  • Bullet Time: Done completely in animation any time the action is too fast to humanly follow, such as when Rushuna creates a bullet cascade or stacks a half dozen bullets.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Nearly every episode someone will do this, complete with full screen titles.
  • Character Development: It's amazing how much exploring of each character is fit into twelve episodes without steering away from the plot.
  • Child Prodigy: Mikan.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Teppa
  • Combat Parkour: Rushuna Tendo uses this to dodge attacks with cartwheels and back flips.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Rushuna.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Rushina's a blonde with gold eyes.
  • Darker and Edgier: The ecchi content of the animé is a tad more explicit, however the manga contains more violence by quality and quantity (e.g. Koto was killed by the clown in manga, in the animé she survived and the soldiers killed by the weird-ass Razor Wind wielding "monster" (King Furo in disuise) were shown with less detail in the animé).
  • 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.
  • The Ditz: Rushuna has her moments of this.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Yajiro.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Yajiro for Rushuna.
  • Evil Counterpart: Setsuna the Tenshi impersonator. This is reflected quite well visually, with her outfit, hair, and skin being stark contrasts to Rushuna's brighter colors.
  • Fanservice: One of the figurines actually came with two different detachable bosoms.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: Win a weekend at the Peach Blossom Tower!
  • First Name Basis: Yatchan
  • 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.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The second half of the second episode, by Rushuna.
  • Gag Boobs: Rushuna
  • Gainaxing: Like you wouldn't believe. Actually used for a practical purpose, though.
  • Gatling Good: Coupled with Arm Cannon.
  • Gecko Ending: The anime and manga deviate quite a bit after the appearance of Suirou and Teppa.
  • Godiva Hair: Rushuna fashions a swimsuit out of her hair in one chapter of the manga, when her hydrophobic swimsuit melts.
  • Gun Kata: Rushuna and Setsuna in episode 12.
  • The Gunslinger: Rushuna and Setsuna.
  • Happily Married: Rushuna and Yajiro at the end of the manga.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Both Japanese and English.
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge
  • 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.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Seen in the closing credits.
  • 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.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The senshi are often armed with machine guns, yet hardly ever seem to hit anything.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Yajiro uses his katana to fend off bullets, Jedi-style.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Rushuna is the queen of this, and is often considered to be The Stampede's Distaff Counterpart because of it.
  • 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.
  • In a Single Bound: Rushuna can pull this off, but so can others.
  • Karma Houdini: After orchestrating the deaths of countless innocents and attempting to conquer the world, Setsuna ... goes for an ocean cruise.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Teppa.
  • Luminescent Blush: Kasumi gets the hots for Teppa.
  • Magic Bullets: Every blessed one of them.
  • 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.
  • Mask Power: The Jester.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rushuna. Yes. If it weren't for Mai Shuranui, she'd be the queen of this.
    • Also Setsuna.
  • 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.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Rushuna shoots dozens of people but never kills anyone.
  • Overtook the Manga
  • Power of Rock: One of the Jutensen-Imperial Guard-uses a specialized instrument to deflect bullets, and can probably liquify your innards with a riff.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Averted while Namari sustained major injuries in the final battle she survived and doesn’t seemed to have slowed down any.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The two best marksmen in the show both use revolvers, and Rushuna's is not only a custom job, but also considered very outdated by the standards of the setting.
  • Rule of Cool: The entire thing.
  • Sam Riegel: Yajiro's English voice.
  • Samurai: Yatchan.
  • Serious Business: Rushuna, on hearing a villain refuse her offer of peaceful surrender with no more bloodshed: "Well, in that case; You don't get a smile."
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Though not very scary, when Aizen Teppa hides his emotions, his lenses go shiny.
  • Schizo Tech: Robots, machine guns, and missiles, right next to swords and samurai armor.
  • She Is All Grown Up: With the use of balloons, Mikan briefly appears to be older than she is, and even does Marshmallow Hell to Yajiro at one point.
  • Shoot the Bullet
  • Shout-Out:
  • Social Darwinist: The Jester.
  • Soft Water
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Koto-chan.
  • 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.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Rushuna vs. Suirou.
  • Tagalong Kid: Mikan.
  • Take My Hand: Yajiro and Fuuka, episode 9.
  • Talking Is a Free Action
  • Talking with Signs - Suirou, one of the Juttensen, communicates underwater at great length with Rushuna, educating her in underwater combat through an extensive series of pre-prepared signs.
  • Team Shot
  • 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 . Rushuna also tries to "miss" the vital organs and never goes for a lethal shot.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Suirou, the underwater specialist member of the Ten Senshi.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Yatchan versues the Jester.
  • 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.
  • Training from Hell: Touka seems to be found of this
  • Twelve Episode Anime
  • Unorthodox Reload: Rushuna loads her gun by ejecting bullets from her cleavage. [1]
    • The most amazing feat though is that she then fetches them with her open revolver.
    • It apparently was part of her training, since Setsuna pulls this off as well.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: See above.
  • Weird Moon
  • Wendee Lee: Rushuna's English voice.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Averted: Anyone Rushuna meets is offered a hug and a smile, and if they try to kill her, she'll stick to her ultimate strategy.
  • Wrongly Accused
  • You Have Failed Me: Standard operating procedure for the Jester and part of his master plan.

Green GreenCreator/Media BlastersGunparade March
Gregory Horror ShowAnimeGuin Saga
Going to the StoreImageSource/Anime & MangaUnorthodox Reload
Green BloodMangaGrey

alternative title(s): Grenadier; Grenadier
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