Posted by psgels on 18 June 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews

Game adaptations are of course notorious in how they tend to fail more often than not, but Sengoku Basara at first sight looked like it was going to be among the good ones. It was full of manliness and great fights, but along the way it didn’t really manage to fully live up to its expectations. Sure, there still is potential for that second season in January, but when taken a look at this series individually, it isn’t really worth the time you invest on it.

So yeah, Sengoku Basara is based on a game which is very, very loosely based on the Sengoku Era of Japan, when the country still was populated by a number of smaller countries, all looking to become the sole ruler of the island Honshuu. Its trademark is manliness: lots and lots of it. The dialogue is extremely exaggerated and passionate, full of righteousness, justice and inner conflicts. This isn’t a show about a bunch of teenagers; this is a show about true men.

Unfortunately, the rest of the execution falls short a bit. The characters… really are nothing to write home about. There is some small development in a select few of them, but none of them really make an impact. Also, for a show that aims for entertainment, this series tends to get side-tracked into angst too often. It feels that it’s in its own identity crisis at times, not knowing what it really wants to focus at.

In the end, there’s just one reason to watch this series: the battles. This series is animated by Production IG, who really are the masters of realistic animation and character-designs, and here they use them really well in combination with the incredibly unrealistic nature of this series. There are two fights that really were worth the watch: the ones from episode 2 and episode 12. These battles really kick ass and are really fun to watch. Aside from that though, this series simply remained overshadowed by better productions: in terms of entertainment and manliness, the new Mazinger this season is doing a much better job at it, and for manly historical supernatural swordplay there are shows like Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto which really surpass this show in nearly every single way.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 7/10

4 Responses

  1. Avatar TJ says:

    Yeah, production values is pretty much to only draw of this series. Once the action slows down (and there is no comedy to fill it in) then all of the shortcomings of the show become painfully apparent.

  2. Avatar tanukichan says:

    Just finished this show and I must say I love it very much! It was love at first sight to me, which I haven’t experienced for a long time, so it made me very happy while watching it.

    I get what you said about the show’s shortcomings, although I didn’t really see them while watching it. Maybe because I’ve already loved the characters too much and I’m such a sucker for pretty visuals and samurai shows.

  3. Avatar Jing jing says:

    I’m watching it now, and oddly I find their shortcomings amusing, the over the top battle sequences are mostly what I come to watch for and I’m usually not dissappointed. I think because I’m so use to the more dry animes, and shonen animes that have battle scenes that are more realistic or too involve with time, that Sengoku Basara gives something new for me. :) Being a history buff, I should be grinding my teeth at the inaccurate portrayal of these characters, but I love it. I mean seeing Honda as a giant mecha in warring era Japan? I just started cracking up.

  4. Avatar Shinigami says:

    Considering that this show is action-packed and a candy for the visual-lovers with both effects and pretty women and men, I would have to say that it is a great thing to spend my free-from-reaping hours.

    Full review form my fellow Death Scythe can be read here:

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