FUNimation takes anime fans back to the Warring States period in this anime adaptation of the video game series created by Capcom.
Early on in the series the story focuses on battles between many different lords, like Uesugi Kenshin and Akechi Mitsuhide, as they all battle for control of the land of the rising sun. Soon after however it really starts to focus on two main protagonists, Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura.
The two are constantly clashing in battle as Yukimura fights to make his lord’s ambitions come true and Masamune looks to take the land for himself. While still battling it out the main antagonist changes everything as Oda Nobunaga, the Devil King, is introduced in impressive fashion.
After Nobunaga is introduced into the story things really picks up pace and many of the other lords are added as a they decide that it would best if they joined forces in an attempt to stop Nobunaga before he grows too powerful. This causes conflict with many of the characters as some are sworn to cooperation with Nobunaga, so they quickly become drawn into the conflict.
While Yukimura and Masamune both come off as impressive heroes, though slightly odd, like how Masamune’s horse has motorcycle features and his soldier look more like bikers and Yukimura’s constant pummeling from his lord which seems to make him admire him more, Nobunaga comes off as a great villain who is constantly manipulating the other lords without them knowing. This eventually leads to an epic confrontation worth watching.
The picture and sound quality of the Blu-ray version are both great and the character and background animation are very well done and detailed. The white subtitles are also clear enough that there are no problems when reading. The English, Dolby TrueHD 5.1, and Japanese, Dolby TrueHD 2.0, voice cast do good jobs with their characters, though the Japanese version is slightly better, but if you don’t like reading the English version is good.
The character designs were extremely stylized, with some of the characters in some truly strange outfits, but it went well with the way the rest of the series was designed. What really stuck out about the series was the combat, when the generals clashed it was like watching Dragon Ball Z all over again as they lit up the screen with bright balls of energy and sword strikes. Whole armies would go flying as the generals went at it and overall it was fun to watch.
While the series really went off track in terms of following the true history of events Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings offers a unique take on the battles of the Warring States period of Japan’s history. Filled with plenty of action the series manages to stay entertaining throughout with the only real problem being that at times the story moves too quick and certain characters did not have enough screen time to develop. This may be due to the second season having more of them involved in it.
The second disc includes 7 special short episodes of Sengoku Basara: Chosokabe-kun and Mori-kun. These episodes show the two generals in different situations like trying to watch the first episode of Sengoku Basara on Chosokabe’s latest invention or them being disappointed in the amount of screen time they receive so they create ideas of series pitches for the series creators to work on.
Overall Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings is worth watching for fans of action anime as it offers plenty of action and combat as well as a serious story that doesn’t get too gloomy as there is plenty of comedic relief to level it out.
(This review is based on the Blu-ray version of the series.)
Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings
Runtime: 325 minutes
Languages: English and Japanese Dub, English Sub