Sengoku Basara - Season 1 and Season 2
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 absorbing story then
that's probably because this is the general indication of what it means
video game characters into other artistic forms. Most viewers aren't
tune in expecting to find mind-boggling poetry. This element rang true
regarding the first season of Sengoku Basara but isn't
end result of the second season outing entirely. The series
change drastically but it does make enough attempts towards
storytelling that the overall experience is decently improved in the
second-half of the first two season outings, which are both collected
this Season 1 and Season 2 Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack release.
basic setup of Sengoku Basara
features opposing samurai-warriors on different sidelines of war with
group attempts to overthrow the others. Many are fighting for peace in
waging battles. Some are merely fighting to fight. The end-result is
chaos in a war-zone filled with many casualties. Loyalties are formed.
Companionships tested. The samurai warriors in Sengoku Basara
with learning to understand the reasons behind the samurai codes and
purpose is of being a warrior. In other words, the series has the
ask an overarching question of "what am I fighting for"? It leads to
some fascinating philosophical ponderings, in theory at least,
the series attempts at expansion in depth aren't ever fully realized.
best thing about Sengoku
Basara remains consistent throughout both the first and second
incredible visuals and undeniably high production values throughout.
animation is sleek and sophisticated. Backgrounds are not perfectly
but there's great texture with bold colors and interesting designs that
isn't a detriment. The shows stylized uniquely and it will appeal to
hoping to experience a colorful animated epic. The big issue with
show is that even in the second season, after the mixed-results found
the first outing; Sengoku Basara still represents a style over
approach despite dealing with historical issues. There's no question
show doesn't ever manage to provide enough characterization to make the
show entirely successful from start to finish. Maybe this won't
everyone but it was certainly unfortunate that even over two years of
fighting and an expanding cast of characters, this is a series that
one with action-oriented ambitions that never wanted to become
with regards to true character development and substance. . Sengoku
was more concerned in each episode with it's own flashiness than with
this is the end result of season one entirely and the same thing
holds true for the second season, despite some improvements in overall
storytelling methods, which were slightly more interesting, if still an
underdeveloped and sidelined for more battle sequences and more
imagery (clearly the show's number one priority artistically).
animation really is wonderful to behold and it never disappointed me in
to the art but that's the best praise this show can receive.
basic point is that the show is
simple. It wasn't complex. The show is probably complex to make (it
feature great animation at each turn) but that doesn't make it
storytelling effort at all. It hardly even feels like a minor
when it comes down to the writing and the characterizations. Keep
mind if you seem convinced that you "absolutely-must" check out the
show. Remember this: It isn't complex. It's a show aimed only to
visually with the animation and action sequences. Action anime fans
more pleased with the results than just about anyone else. Viewers
enjoy this show will because they remember that it is simply a show
with a lot
of samurai action to offer up in spades. The historical aspects are
the icing on the cake, but not the kind of icing that tastes very good.
first season outing was occasionally interesting in
segments but it ended up feeling mostly average and somewhat mediocre.
series had a solid premise that was not entirely delivered upon during
debut year of episodes.
second season of Sengoku
Basara is, unfortunately, essentially more of the same that was
abundance during the first year of the show: it remains extremely
action-heavy, and with emphasis on the visuals over the story. It might
better than the first season (in fact it definitely managed to
be a bit
better than the first year go), however, that doesn't mean it's some
operatic masterpiece. Not at all.
series blends together elements
of actual history with fiction. It portrays real historical figures
Japanese legends (the kind of history backdrops that won't be as
familiar to a
huge percentage of the viewing audience in North America) as well as
that really do exist, where massive war-related events occurred. The
about this aspect of the series is that it dutifully attempts to bring
form of historical perspective to the table. The downside is that it
doesn't expand upon these ideas. Having it set in a historical
seems to mainly exist to serve a fundamentally needed backdrop of the
and that element of the show disappoints.
are so many side-characters
introduced in the course of the show that it takes away time from the
characters as well. This becomes a problem because viewers aren't
enough with the main leads to feel entirely involved in their stories
brings the entire experience down a few notches in quality as well.
show can easily become confusing
at times. There is a certain element of the show that doesn't seem to
emphasized correctly in the way any well-told story should be. When a
continually made to feel uncertain of a number of events or characters
there might be a good chance that the storytelling has not been
enough to be well understood by the overall viewing audience. With Sengoku
Basara, It's an issue because of how many times the series jumps
forth between different characters and the story revolves on a frequent
This could work better with better writing. It merely never manages to
all of the ideas the writers attempt to relay to the audience.
main reason I can see anyone
thoroughly enjoying Sengoku Basara's second season is if they
to tune out these storytelling problems and focus only on the lushness
beauty found in the animation. If you can manage to overlook story
series might be worth seeing for some. You'd also have to ignore the
characters can feel flat or underdeveloped and that story is always
second-fiddle to action or philosophical tones. The biggest issue I had
the philosophical aspect is that these moments seemed to feel as though
words came from the script-writers instead of from these characters.
primarily appeal to action-anime fans looking for
something just a wee bit different from the typical action-fare. If for
reason Sengoku Basara turns out to be a show that sounds
interesting then by all means give it a rental. It sort of seems like
series is made with that particularly action-heavy anime fan-base in
is at least partially a result of its video-game roots.
saying that the show isn't
good because it's based on a video-game isn't entirely accurate
watches Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within one will know
filmmaking can be achieved in correlation to a game franchise) but it's
significantly far from the baseline idea that most video games don't
movies. Apparently stellar TV series also fits the description.
exceptions, of course, but this particular series doesn't make the
It's got more ambition and technical artistry than most other efforts
doesn't change the fact that it's ultimately a run-of-the-mill action
without great intentions beyond entertaining fans of samurai sequences.
good? Why not experience this series and see if it seems enjoyable.
aggravating? Consider skipping out on this series. It's more about the
spectacle of the animation and elaborate samurai sequences than it is
resembling the storytelling goods some viewers might hope to find.
rife with storytelling flaws but that isn't an
indicator that the entire series isn't unique or ambitious. There is at
decent degree of merit behind Sengoku Basara's underwhelming
based approach to stylistic action anime, and some viewers may enjoy it
than others if they can tune out of the story and simply marvel at the
production merits that are constantly on full display.
presented in the broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78.1 widescreen,
and with native 1080p High Definition picture quality that is
utilizing the great possibilities presented by using the Blu-ray format.
is an incredible Blu-ray
release on the technical side of things. The image quality throughout
Season 1 and Season 2 left me feeling speechless. The colors are
and the sheer level of detail and clarity impresses. This is
undoubtedly one of
the reasons the show works as well as it does.
Basara: Season 1 and Season
features a Grade A
presentation from start to finish. It doesn't even come close to
Sengoku Basara fans will undoubtedly feel satisfied by the
and will recognize that Funimation has excelled again with an
release that matches the high-quality expectations created from the
season of the series arriving on Blu-ray).
continues to offer two
audio choices to viewers: an original language Japanese dub (with
subtitles) and an English language dub. Both choices are presented with
lossless high definition audio encodings featuring Dolby TrueHD codecs.
those who choose the English version there is a decent 5.1 surround
track. The Japanese track is available with only 2.0 audio but it
equally strong in clarity by utilizing a lossless format.
images featured in this review of Sengoku Basara: Season 1 and
are from the DVD discs included in this Blu-ray/DVD combo pack release.
main inclusion to the first
season worth of bonus features is seven short mini-episodes from the Sengoku
Basara Cosokabe-kun and Mori-kun side series. These are comical,
hilariously-animated, and great parodies of the two characters from the
show. It's not going to amaze anyone but the basic-premise is enjoyable
(turning these "tough guy" characters into traditional anime
"chibi style" characters). These short animated pieces remind me of
ridiculous but strangely charming Cartoon Network series (ala Space
Coast to Coast).
has also included
text-less opening/ending songs, and trailers promoting
series released by the studio.
bonus features for the second season of Sengoku Basara are not
really that different from what viewers found on the first season set.
similar combination of sorts. The first season featured seven short
mini-episodes of a comical side series, and the second season features
more follow up shorts (the new anime series is entitled: "Sengoku
Basara II: Katakura-kun). The main idea is to highlight some of the
characters in a comical, silly, and altogether different style than the
series ever has a chance to highlight. It's different, quite so, and
necessarily remind viewers of the main experience. The big reason to
these short cartoons is because of their comedy quotient. It's a
not-too-serious side experience with chibi-style designs and
I enjoyed these the first time around and I thought they were well-done
second season too.
included on Episodes 6 and 12 of Sengoku Basara:
Season 2. These might appeal to fans of the English-language voice
but these supplemental features remain inconsistent as commentaries
has also included
text-less opening/ending songs, and trailers promoting
series released by the studio.
was a decidedly uneven program from the debut episode of season one to
episode of season two. It's never quite as fulfilling as you want it to
considering it's a series hoping to integrate some historical aspects
culture into its samurai story. However, it's probably at least
average for a video game adaptation (keep in mind that this is a series
on a Capcom game), but that isn't necessarily the highest praise one
for in a show. The show has tremendous visuals with stellar animation
clearly an ambitious show visually speaking, but it lacks any real
connection and is merely average as a result. If you tune in for the
and fight scenes only you'll have a blast with this show, probably, but
hoping for a series with greater characters and storytelling to match
production style, it's a bit underwhelming and not worth much more than
rental for casual viewers.
fans of the series should
be pleased, though. If you've already seen the show and know you want
to own it
in some form, this collection offers both season 1 and season 2 on
DVD with a quality Blu-ray sized package-design and it comes with a
slipcover. Collector's of samurai action anime and fans of the show who
want some action-anime to sit back and relax to will be pleased with
extras, and the low price for both seasons in this one
But most anime fans should give it a test-run first.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.