Ah, the episode of today that I was looking forward to the most: the conclusion to Sengoku Basara. For a moment after learning about the upcoming movie, I was afraid that it would end with a huge cliff-hanger, but no worries: this episode resolves all of the conflicts built up to. Overall, it wasn’t as good as I hoped, but I still was pumped from start to finish.
My main issue was that this episode wasn’t as good as episode six, it could have been a bit more creative, and especially the way in which Toyotomi went down: he was dominating through the entire fight, Date was beaten to a pulp and afterwards he just stands up and gives Toyotomi one good whack, completely immobilizing him. With all of the build-up going into this episode, it’s this point where I expected more. Not to mention that the creators didn’t bother to animate the battle with the pirates.
Apart from that, though: this episode was awesome. Yukimura bringing down that entire fortress was definitely not a bad way to close off this series with, and on the opposite scale, Kojuuro’s battle also was very satisfying.
Ultimately though, the huge amount of build up of the rest of the series just wasn’t worth it. The creators could have easily cut one or two episodes out, and this series would have been much better. Still, I consider the second season to be a big improvement over the first at least: the action that was there really worked, and it didn’t drag itself out. This is also why I’m curious for the upcoming movie, because there the creators aren’t bound by time as much, and instead can use it much better to blend build-up with action.
Overall, you could really see that the change of directors worked for this series: I’m enjoying Kazuya Nomura‘s work a lot more. Unfortunately, it also shows that Yasuyuki Muto is still behind the series composition. Both seasons feel like they didn’t make good use of their time, and you can also see that very much with his work on Persona – Trinity Soul (though this wasn’t the case with Chevalier). This guy really should have played around more with the progression throughout the series.
Still, it’s interesting: this is the first time the prime time slot has showcased a series of only thirteen episodes, and overall this was a pretty nice way to fill up the time until Star Driver. Ever since Gundam Seed, the timeslot has been in the hands of the three big ones: Sunrise, Bones and Production IG (with one exception), and while the former two always try to show their best and most epic side (aside from Ayakashi Ayashi, which really unfortunately was cancelled), Production IG instead does not focus at all on what it’s best at and instead tried out a few new stuff. With Blood+, it had its plot that was heavily based around character-development, while this can best be called an experiment in marketing: could they in their own way make an over the top and brainless action series? Considering the viewer ratings, it worked surprisingly well.
Rating: ** (Excellent)