12 of 12 episodes seen
Sengoku Basara is a fairly typical tale of good versus evil. Initially it may not seem so simple, as we are presented with many factions fighting for control over Japan. Eventually though, they come together to fight a common enemy, namely Oda Nobunaga, who, as in Capcom’s Onimusha franchise, is presented as some sort of evil demon. Overall, the story certainly isn't anything to write home about. Spanning a total of 12 episodes, the series does a decent job of wrapping things up within its time limit, although it can feel rushed at times.
As you can probably tell from the poster, there are a lot of characters in Sengoku Basara. For an anime of its length, this isn’t something that works to its advantage. Perhaps inevitably, character development is not one of its strong points, and this is one area where the anime can seem rushed. This is a shame, as we are introduced to several interesting characters such as Chōsokabe Motochika, the so called 'Demon of Onigashima', only for them to receive almost no screen time and end up as reinforcements for the more prominent characters during the final battle. Equally disappointing is that some characters that feature heavily, such as the ninja Sarutobi Sasuke, aren't really given any significant fights of their own. You may even find yourself waiting for a confrontation between a pair of characters, only to be disappointed when it never happens.
As far as the characters go; they’re a varied bunch, with Date Masamune being perhaps the most interesting. Arrogant with the strength to back it up and full of ridiculous one liners like ‘put ya guns on!’, it’s no surprise that he has been likened to Capcom’s Dante, the protagonist of Capcom’s Devil May Cry franchise. One other notable aspect of his character is that he incorporates English into his speech, which is as unique as it is refreshing. Other characters. however, don't fare as well. Listening to Yukimura as he constantly reminds us that he’s burning with passion, for example, can quickly become monotonous.
An anime set during times of war, it's no surprise that most of the enjoyment from this series comes from its many battles, which are often totally outrageous: both in the action sense and visually. One swing of an axe causing a tornado, a robot samurai with a jet pack and a massive drill as a weapon - the list goes on.
One final thing to note about Sengoku Basara (for you blood and gore enthusiasts) is that the violence is pretty modest - even by shōnen standards. Rest assured, however, that this doesn’t at all mean that there aren’t any deaths! Of course, if this sort of stuff doesn't bother you in the slightest, you'll be fine.
+ Interesting presentation of the Warring States period. If you know a thing or two about the period, you're likely to squeeze more enjoyment out of it (unless historical inaccuracies put you off).
+/- Series is short in length but has a large, varied cast of characters. As a result, character development isn't a highlight.
- A few annoying characters that you'll have to tolerate (depending on what you're definition of annoying is!).
+/- Modest levels of violence.
Overall, Sengoku Basara is OK. Some of the characters may be annoying, character development isn’t great, and the final confrontation arguably leaves much to be desired. Ultimately, however, it undoubtedly has an audience that I'm sure will find it grossly entertaining. Generally speaking, if you think a guy wielding six swords at the same time (only two hands!) is just plain awesome, you should probably give this one a try.
Final Score: 7/10 (OK) read more