Winter 2012 Anime First Impressions: Brave 10

Plot Synopsis: A priestess named Isanami is being attacked by assassins when a wandering samurai named Saizo saves her. He escorts her to the castle of Lord Sanada Yukimura and is intent to go on his way when assassins attack again and he witnesses Isanami’s strange power. Also Yukimura is gathering a bunch of warriors for some reason.

Thoughts: Comparing Brave 10 to Sengoku Basara may seem like the obvious thing to do since they take place during the same era, but it is a little unfair. They may take place in the same era, but the source material is actually different. Sengoku Basara takes the Sengoku era and makes it more awesome, while Brave 10 is actually based on one particular legend about Sanada Yukimura. The two have a couple overlapping characters, but are otherwise completely different stories.

The only thing I knew about Brave 10 was that it takes place in the Sengoku era, so I figured it was just going to be a straightforward Sengoku era show. I was mildly interested in it, but I didn’t really need another Sengoku era show. I have Sengoku Basara and am totally content with it. Once I started watching it and realized it would be about something different I was genuinely interested.

Honestly, I probably would have preferred a simple Sengoku Basara knock-off. At least then it’d have characters I liked. Instead we get annoying helpless female lead Isanami who spends the entire episode asking other people to save her, and badass loner Saizo who repeatedly refuses to travel with her because he’s a badass loner. There’s also some vague fantasy stuff about Isanami having the power to basically disintegrate things with her magic tiara thing and big bad Ieyasu hunting her down for some reason. So that’s fun.

Something that really struck me as odd was the lack of explanation for Yukimura’s plan to gather ten warriors. It gets vaguely hinted at towards the end of the episode but never really gets brought up proper. Given that it’s kind of the entire premise of the series it seems like something that should have been explained pretty much right away. Maybe it just relies on you already knowing the Sanada Ten Braves story, but it would have been nice to have some kind of basic rundown for everyone outside of Japan.

I do have some hope for series though. Given that the helpless female lead has magic disintegrating powers, she’ll probably move out of the whole helpless role (unless the trend of it activating when she’s unconscious continues in which case she’ll keep being helpless). The first episode also had a handful of pretty good action scenes, so if that trend continues I’ll at least end up sticking with it for that. It’s not a great or captivating series by any means, but I’m going to give it a few more episodes.

Score: 3/5

Brave 10 is being simulcast on Crunchyroll

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