Game based animes often turns out to be a giant waste of time. Shows originating from cRPGs usually have messed up pace. Ero-game based romances often have shallow characters, and unrealistic developments. Finally - series made after action games tend to have no plot whatsoever. I'm getting sad, just by remembering the horrors of productions like Tekken the movie or Devil may cry. I get the killing urge when I recall the goddamnawful 2 eps of Final Fantasy unlimited, my friend made me sit through. So why is Sengoku Basara enjoyable show? The answer to that is easy. Instead of trying too hard in convincing the viewer, that the story is deep, interesting and worthwile, they just went for parody.
Story - 5.2/10
Sengoku jidai (a.k.a. The Warring States period ) is a very appealing theme for a show. Many warlords fighting each other provides a large area for possible stories. From the wandering ronins, through epic battles all the way to demonic monsters - if you want a good, samurai show, Sengoku period is one of the best settings you can get. That makes it also ideal choice for an over-the-top parody of the classical samurai+shounen animes. Sengoku Basara goes down this road, and produces good results.
And so we have countless heroes clashing in a not-so-deadly battles for the sole sake of fighting (covered with some petty reasons like pride, honour, justice, domination or whatever else they can think of in the short times they actually use their brains). The viewers could get confused there for a second, and think that they are trying to tell a serious story (and that could result in change in attitude from hyped "oh yeah!" to condescending "oh..."). In order to prevent this scenario, over-the-top fighting was brought to a new, different level. First they made every action of their characters scream "I am the most manly man of all the man gathered here". Then they multiplied the weapons - no one will take a fight seriously when it's a duel between a warrior using 2 spears and his oponent using 6 katanas. Lastly they made a new law of physics - when 2 samurais fight, shit blows up. Unfortunately, since it's "anime explosion" it won't do much harm to environment, it's just like a fireworks festival.
Even over-the-top should have it's limits though, Sengoku Basara unfortunately forgets that. The appearance of giant mecha in samurai show is a failure that really spoils the fun. Of course they try to cheat their way, saying it's a giant samurai in an armor and using an enormous spear. That doesn't change the fact, that what we can see is a "robot-like" warrior, using a jet-pack to fly around and a drill on a stick to attack his enemies. He even got some sort of energy generator on his chest... Yeah, it's just as stupid as it sounds...
Animation - 9/10
Production I.G. really created one hell of an eye-candy here. The backgrounds are beatiful. The animation of weapons is crystal clear and really appealing. The character movement, the CG, the animations of large scale battles, the character designs - everything is top notch. This show is a real feast for the eyes in almost every aspect - even the "coloured auras" appearing near characters during fights doesn't look half bad. Maybe a bit too cheesy, but it fits "over-the-top" theme.
What seems on a slightly lower level than the rest, are facial movements. While they're not really bad, they aren't anything hot either. Somehow anime companies spoiled us enough, that we could expect a bit more from a 2009 production.
Sound - 8.5/10
The opening and ending weren't really good or really catchy tunes. On the other hand the background music was really great. All the tracks are skillfully conveying the mood ( which for most part is "adrenaline rush" action ). The seyius were also amazing - that's what happens when you fill the cast with the best voice actors. Thanks to their work, characters doesn't sound dull even if when they are spouting nonsense.
Characters - 6.6/10
From the "realistic characters" perspective, every single person in Sengoku Basara fails. But as a parody of shounen samurai archetypes they are awesome.We have a warrior adding english words to his sentences, to sound more cool. We have a loyal and honest idiot, A bit feminine "beatiful swordsman, a "real man" with a giant axe and a female ninja getting orgasms when praised by her lord. All of them are completely flat heros, but that's part of their appeal.
The evildoers have an amusing representation as well. Money driven mercenary, murder driven sociopath, justice driven self-proclaimed hero... And finally - Oda Nobunaga, who yet again is playing the role of the demon lord (suprise, suprise ).
If you have a free weekend and all 12 episodes of Sengoku Basara, there is a way for a great relaxing time. Buy some snacks, get a few beers (or juice if you are still underage), optionally invite friends over (if you are one of those who likes to watch animes with lots of friends). Then find some comfortable position in front of the TV or the monitor, and enjoy 6 hours of over-the-top-action fun. You don't need to think much about story progress, character psychology or any of those difficult matters. Instead you can just have a good time, watching well animated characters fighting a nonsensical battles with each other. If that's not your thing, than you probably should just skip this show.
After a friend told me about this anime I just had to watch it. This show takes some memorable characters and events in history and changes them giving them a new feeling of life. This show has some incredible action sequences and beautiful animation makes Sengoku Basara a show worth watching if you like action and good plot.
The story is about war in Old Japan, but in a different scene. You notice this early on with names that have wrought through the history books of Japan. Despite the fact that many of the actual events weren't portrayed in this story, it still held true to the context of war, alliances and the will to thwart evil when it rears its ugly head. I didn't find any real boring points within the story, although I did find that there could have been more originality put into the story itself. I also did get a sense of a slight tear jerker if you pay close attention to the story between the characters. Which by the way, I'll touch on last since it's what really sells this anime.
The animation was done very well, although there were moments during fight scenes that seemed recycled from various other works from the leading company Production I.G. Overall though, it was pretty well thought out and planned nicely, no thanks in part to Capcom's character design team.
The sounds are actually extremely awesome, with an in your face soundtrack and of course an awesome voice acting team. I was oddly surprised that even the English dub voice actors didn't put me to sleep, or sound like they were just merely reading off the script out of sheer boredom. It was refreshing to hear genuine voice acting on both ends.
And finally the bread and butter to Sengoku Basara, the characters. The main cast themselves and even the supporting cast really sold this anime in a big way. Each with a uniquely great storyline filled with a vim and vigor that even those who never heard of this show will grow to love. From masters and their vassels to rivalries that surpass the test of time. The funniest is of course between Takeda and Sanada, with almost every episode filling out a hilarious moment that will be remembered for those that have watched this and to those that will eventually watch it. "Master!" Sanada. "Sanada!" Takada. The back and forth antics are just to funny not to love. Even the love between Kasuga for her master Uesegi is one that gives a sense of joy an pleasure, but not in a perverted way. Lastly the rivalry between Date Masamune and Yukimaru Sanada was one that leads into friendship in the heat of battle but turned back to rivalry as they take down Nobunaga. There are various other instances that you'll quickly notice as well when you watch this anime with other supporting cast member the chemistry and bonds between each story was very nicely done.
Overall Sengoku Basara gets a 8/10 and here's why. Again the characters and sound really sold this anime, the story could have been longer than 12 episodes, which by the way really made me feel that the guys at Production I.G. didn't think that this anime was going to be a success, or maybe some other alterer motive. The other reason was because of the story, it felt more or less unoriginal (despite it is an historical anime) I guess I might have been looking for something more. I was leaning towards a 9.5/10 but felt that was way too strong. I know there is a season 2 which I intend on watching sometime this week or next depending on my schedule. Well that's it, your moment of Zen wrapped up pretty nicely. I highly recommend this anime to anyone who's into history, laced with action, samuria and of course an anime that brings a great deal of comedy, even in the smallest of forms.
SENGOKU MUSOU? YES, IF IT WAS ON CRACK
Do you like Samurais, bombastic action and overall bloodshed? Sengoku Basara is for you then. For those of you unfamiliar with Sengoku Basara, the game is a franchise similar to the Samurai Warriors (Sengoku Musou) franchise, so basically the game is identical to Dynasty Warriors. Only one game of the franchise was released in the states, and it underwent heavy editing. Usually, you come to expect bad things from a video game series with an anime spinoff, but for this circumstance I was genuinely surprised, though definatly nothing I haven't seen before on the subject of Sengoku Japan.
Sengoku Basara has the typical story that every Warring States Japan story does, the entire land is in turmoil and split into many factions, with the most dangerous being the Demon Lord Oda Nobunaga. The story focuses on the newly formed rivalry of Date Masamune, and Sanada Yukimura and the battles that bring them against the Oda and their generals in an alliance with many of the other states. Both of the leads have well defined personalities and are quite fun to watch, and might I go off on a limb to say the seiyuu for Masamune (also the seiyuu of Zoro from One Piece) did a particularly wonderful job, and I never grew tired of watching the warlord shout random profanities in english.
There is nothing original nor mindblowing about Sengoku Basara's story, but thats not to say it doesn't bring anything new to the table in other fields. For one, I love how Sengoku Basara portrayed many of the notable warriors and warlords, and how they interacted with each other. Akechi Mitsuhide in particular caught me by surprise, for those of you unfamiliar with Sengoku era Japan, Mitsuhide was Nobunaga's right hand man and tactician, who ultimately betrayed him. Said to be cool, composed and intellegent, here Mitsuhide is a blood thirsty sadistic villain likely more evil then the Demon Lord himself. For the most part Sengoku Basara keeps it to the style of the era... until you see Masamune's horse with exhaust pipes and handlebars, as well as the gigantic Mecha soldier flying around the battlefield... in short, don't go here if you're looking for a realistic representation of the wars.
Another thing that grabbed my attention was the well done animation, reminiscent of Gurren Lagann, flashy colors and light as well as gigantic explosions seemingly coming from absolutely nowhere sparkled across the battlefields and captured my imagination to these destructively powerful soldiers. The animation was very well done sor an adaptation of a video game, and kept in line with the Sengoku Basara franchise. Overall, Sengoku Basara was a highly enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, and if you like Sengoku Era and bizarre, off the wall high octane action and bizarre characters, Sengoku Basara is for you.
Boring to hell if you're looking for INTELLIGENT stories.
Why should I have bought this stuff? Don't ask me. I actually regret buying this crap for 50 damn dollars!!!
Uninteresting characters, story and developpement. But the character design, art and animation are top notch. Such a shame on such a show.
I'll give my full review if I ever have the courage to finish it.
It slightly got better after the first five horrible episodes.
Score: 3/5. A mediocre series in my point of view.
Next! Birdy the Mighty decode Season 1 and my actual review of Black Butler.
The art is great, but the anime is loud and obnoxious. The characters yell 50% of the time even if they are just talking to each other. It's hard to imagine unless you see it.
It's hyper and constant. I think it would suit an 8 year old well.