Given that I reviewed the Sengoku Basara game, it was only a matter of time before I got to the anime.
In the Warring States period of Japan, countless lords fight to take control of the country. But one lord, Oda Nobunaga, the Devil King of the Sixth Heaven, cares nothing for conquest and seeks only to destroy everything. No single samurai can stand up to the Devil King’s strength, so if he is to be defeated, rivalries must be put aside and enemies must become allies.
At first glance, Sengoku Basara does little to really distinguish itself from other series of its kind. It’s a simple story about samurai banding together to defeat a powerful enemy. It even uses Oda Nobunaga, a historical figure that Japanese entertainment media frequently uses as a villain. What makes Sengoku Basara stand out is the approach it takes to walking this beaten path, which is sheer, over the top, hot-blooded action. Sengoku Basara takes such a fervent, over the top approach to telling its story that it’s impossible not to get pulled in. It’s sort of like Gurren Lagann in that sense. What you’re watching isn’t necessarily anything new or some piece of amazing storytelling, but it’s so exciting and fun that it doesn’t matter. It just has sheer entertainment from start to finish.
This is best exemplified by the fight scenes throughout the series. While the fight scenes are intense, the emphasis isn’t on long, choreographed fights like you would expect. Most of the fights are over fairly quickly. Instead the emphasis is on quick and brutal bouts of strength, filled with manly shouting and random explosions. This kind of thing normally comes off as stupid and silly, but, again, Sengoku Basara carries itself in such a way that it draws you in. The creators knew they were making something silly and over the top, so they just had fun with it. It’s impossible to not get pulled in and have fun when you’re watching a guy swing six swords around at once. Continue reading