Spring 2009 Anime Impressions – Sengoku Basara

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I had no intentions in watching this show but it got subbed by someone I like (his Soul Eater subs where the best, too bad he couldn’t finish them) so I figured Sengoku Basara was worth a watch.

Rating: episode 1 – 9/12A-
Anticipation Level: medium

Set in feudal Japan, the first episode featured a bunch of different armies fighting and a bunch of guys acting “manly”. If that makes it sounds stupid, you’d be right (unless there’s some sort of deep story later on) but I found myself really enjoying this episode; I was actually reminded of Gurren Lagann. One of the things that Gurren Lagann did right was walking the fine line to make the “manliness” of the series serious enough to be praiseworthy but also not serious enough to make it absurd. I got a very similar vibe off this show but I also had a feeling that Sengoku Basara might be trying to be a parody and is not going to attempt to be taken seriously. Either way, I liked it.

Another aspect to praise is this show’s animation. If Production I.G. is using it’s A squad on East of Eden (which I still need to get too) then they’re using the A- squad on this series because it looks awesome. Nicely detailed animation with very fluid movements even when fighting make this show enticing just from an animation standpoint. There’s really not much more to say about this show after one episode, I pretty much covered everything. I have no clue if this series will just be about a bunch of different factions fighting or if there’s a deeper story involved. Normally, I’m all for story and plot but if I learned anything from Kurozuka, it’s that it’s possible for a series just to be about the fighting and still be a great series. So it might not be important if Sengoku Basara never gets around to a real story or plot, as long as the fighting remains interesting.

In this weak anime season, I can even see Sengoku Basara ranking near the top, as long as it continues to entertain and the fight scenes remain interesting. Oh, and the use of Engrish was both an anachronism and pretty funny.

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Sadly, he’s living 1000 years before motorcycles are invented and has to make do with this.

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