First Look: Armed Girl’s Machiavellism

Alternative title(s): Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism
Manga adaptation by Silver Link
Streaming on Amazon

Premise

Premise is a strong word for such thinly-veiled hatred of feminine authority.

colons’ verdict: This isn’t the direction I was hoping we would go.

Hooooo boy, do I have some problems with this show. But first, a backstory summary, just so that we’re on common ground:

  • A school had a problem with boys being shitty to girls, and instead of actually addressing the problem, the school armed the girls as a preventative measure.
  • The girls got so good at fighting boys that the school became a known place to transfer misbehaving boys to, because by some metric it seemed that this was an extremely effective disciplinary system.
  • Years later, the current student council at this school use crossdressing and various other forms of feminisation as punishment, and oh my god this aesthetic is upsetting.
  • The protagonist shows up, and is the first real resistance the student council has ever faced.

Even if you ignore what one could generously refer to as its social commentary (which we’ll get to), this show is awful. I delivered that backstory summary as a bullet pointed list primarily because that’s essentially how the show delivers it: as a bad and hasty powerpoint presentation.

Most of the rest of the episode is a quick rattling through the usual checklist of shitty tropes. They cover a decent amount; the student council we’re introduced to are all zero-dimensional archetypes, there’s a bunch of arbitrary spiritualist technobabble, there’s an animal mascot, there’s a “joke” about seeing a girl’s underwear, protag falls on main girl and they accidentally kiss.

A good forty percent of time in the climactic battle scene is dedicated to onlookers laboriously reiterating what just happened on screen in a way that adds nothing to the action, and another forty percent is the two fighters doing the same. They also fill a decent amount of time with embossed freeze-frames of such amazing fight moves as ‘slightly lifting one of your legs’ and ‘putting on gloves’. I guess they must have budgetary constraints here, but this is episode one. If this is the best they can manage while trying to make a good first impression, I dread to think what the rest of this show’s going to be like.

Like Akashic, another show airing this season, this show has adopted a fun twist on the typical formula: the protagonist isn’t a blank slate this time! Instead, he’s just a douchebag. He is openly malicious and goes out of his way to harass, assault, and belittle the entire female cast. Meanwhile, the show itself uses its male extras to present emasculation as the ultimate indignity, a concept that is repeatedly reinforced in dialogue. Heck, the entire premise of this show is that the protagonist, a shitty boy, is upset at the horrific injustice that is a social structure with female authority figures.

I might have been happy about this change if it were in isolation. If it were, that would at least mean there was some variety in this god-forsaken genre. The fact that this new protagonist archetype appears to be the new status quo is extremely troubling; politically, socially, and just in terms of objective quality. That there are people who will consider these protagonists to be role models is frankly terrifying. To put it in terms I am upset to even type, it feels like these shows have abandoned the ‘incel’ label, and now proudly consider themselves ‘volcel’.

Anime was a mistake.

An extremely respectful depiction of gender nonconformity

Iro’s verdict: We’re Still Doing This?

Spin it however you like, this is the usual bullshit premise of an aggressively boring (not to mention “The Worst” But Actually “The Best”) dude somehow ending up with a harem of cute girls chiefly accumulated via beating them up in sequence. The base premise seems to have discarded all semblance of reason, instead just being some absurd justification for why each of the main girls is allowed to be armed at school. I’m sure there are people on forums as we speak arguing about how actually all of these sword techniques are based in reality and therefore watching this garbage is totally justified. Please don’t be one of those. Better, don’t watch this show at all.

Euri’s verdict: If you just look a little closer

The title card highlights the A, G and M from the name of the show.
AGM is also known as an Annual General Meeting.
During one of these meetings, someone will keep a meeting minutes.
This show is a little short of 24 minutes.
24 is a Harshad number.
The Harshad number immediately below 24 is 21.
Using Goroawase, Japanese number wordplay, 21 can mean masturbation.
Masturbation is a term that could be used to describe this show.
‘Term’ can also be used to describe the period of time in which an American president is in office.
The first president of the United States was George Washington.
If a president or their government make changes that are disagreed with, it could result in a strike.
If you play a perfect bowling game by scoring ten strikes, you finish with a score of 300.
300 years before the presidency of George Washington was the year 1489, in the 15th century.
In the early 15th century, the term ‘refuse’ begun to be used to describe items ‘of low quality’.
Armed Girl’s Machiavellism is ‘of low quality’.
Refuse is another word for trash.
Armed Girl’s Machiavellism is trash.

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2 thoughts on “First Look: Armed Girl’s Machiavellism

  1. Not touching this one with a ten-foot-pole. I’ve enough baby MRA entitlement bullshit in real life to also suffer seeing it glorified in anime form.

    I thought Euri’s taking us all the way back to the 15th century was for the purpose of actually bringing up Machiavello, though.

  2. I saw the synopsis for this and nope-d out there at the speed of lightning but when you explain it like this, it seems even worse.

    Why does this exist?

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