Sengoku Basara S1 Review
Sengoku Basara is an
anime adaptation of a video game. If that
instantly brings to mind a series that
focuses more on creating "intense" action sequences over telling an
story then that's probably because this is the general indication of
means to bring video game characters into some other artistic form.
aren't going to tune in expecting mind-boggling poetry or anything of
At least... I hope not.
that the show isn't good because it's based
on a video-game isn't entirely accurate
(if one watches Final Fantasy: The
Spirits Within one will know brilliant filmmaking can be achieved
correlation to a game franchise) but it's not significantly far from
baseline idea that most video games don't make great movies.
Apparently stellar TV series also fits the
description. There are exceptions, of course, but this particular
make a short list. It's got more ambition and technical artistry than
efforts but this doesn't change the fact that it's ultimately a
action show without great intentions beyond entertaining fans of
Sounds good? Why not experience this series and see if it seems
Sounds aggravating? Consider skipping out on this series altogether.
basic setup is that there are opposing
samurai-warriors on different sidelines of war. Each group is
overthrow the other. Many are fighting for peace. Some are merely
fight. The end-result is still utter chaos in a war-zone filled with
casualties. Things begin to shift somewhat when it becomes clear that
groups must bridge their differences and learn to work together in
defeat an enemy that is increasingly dangerous to everyone on all the
battles. Loyalties are formed or companionships are tested. The samurai
warriors and their aiding allies are put to the serious, and somewhat
test of understanding their ways as being samurai.
thing about this show is the overall
production value. It looks incredible. The animation is wonderful to
While the backgrounds are not perfectly developed, there's so much
texture to the bold colors and interesting designs that this isn't
a huge detriment. The show's heavily stylized and it will appeal to
hoping to experience a colorful animated epic.
The big issue with the show is that it's definitely representing
style over substance despite dealing with historical issues. There's no
question that this show doesn't aim to enlighten
about the characters in the series (despite the fact that I have heard
the series highlighting famous
samurai). Maybe this won't aggravate everyone but it was certainly
for this viewer. It demonstrates how the show was always more concerned
flashiness than with depth.
just oversimplified the entirety of this
series, but the basic point is that the show is simple. It wasn't
show is probably complex to make (it does feature great animation)
but that doesn't make it a serious storytelling
effort. Keep this in mind if you seem convinced that you
check out the show. Remember this: It
isn't complex. Viewers who can enjoy
this show will because they remember that it is simply a show with a
samurai action to offer up. The historical aspects are icing on the
not the kind of icing that tastes very good.
occasionally interesting in segments but it
ended up feeling mostly average and/or mediocre. The series had a solid
that was not entirely delivered upon.
presented in the original broadcast aspect ratio
of 1.78.1 widescreen, and with native 1080p High Definition picture
that is well-reproduced utilizing the great possibilities presented by
This is an incredible Blu-ray release on the technical side of things.
image quality left me feeling speechless even if the show did the exact
thing (but in such significant, different
ways). The colors are outstanding. The detail and clarity
undoubtedly one of the reasons the show
works as well as it does for fans. It features a Grade A
presentation from start to finish. It doesn't even come
close to disappointing and it will help the Sengoku
Basara fans feel enthusiastically pleased.
continues to offer two choices to
viewers: the original language Japanese dub (with optional English
and a newly-recorded English language dub. Both choices are presented
lossless high definition audio using Dolby TrueHD encodings. For those
choose the English version there is a satisfactory 5.1 surround sound
(which is worth checking out for the added immersion). The Japanese
includes 2.0 audio but it at least in the equally strong lossless
images in this review are taken
from the DVD discs included in this Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.
inclusion to the bonus features is seven
short mini-episodes from the Sengoku
Basara Cosokabe-kun and Mori-kun side series. These are comical,
and great parodies of the two characters from the main show. It's not
amaze anyone but the basic-premise is enjoyable (turning these "tough
characters into traditional anime "chibi style" characters). These
animated pieces remind me of ridiculous but strangely charming Cartoon
series (ala Space Ghost: Coast to Coast).
has also included text-less opening/ending
and trailers promoting other anime series released by the
like the Capcom video game that inspired this
anime series? Do you enjoy action-anime without needing a great story
accompany the action sequences? Then give this series a chance. Who
Maybe you'll consider this an awesome masterpiece (um...), but the rest
of the readers
out there (hello?) are encouraged to rent this before making a purchase
decision. The technical quality of the animation is superb and the
in Sengoku Basara are well-done (if underwhelming,
when you don't feel connected to these characters). The
best I will say about Sengoku Basara is that I don't
see anyone wanting more from
Funimation when the Blu-ray presentation is so stellar (as it is
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.