There’s no need for explanations. In case you haven’t seen it yet, the fighting is frigging insane, the music is heart-pounding awesome, Norio Wakamoto delivers a TOUR DE FORCE (witness his blood curdingling scream at the 12:00 mark), new characters join the fray, old characters return from the dead (Hondam!), the good guys win and then become enemies once again, setting the table for the second season. Essentially, SG delivered exactly what I was hoping to see. More "hell yeah!" moments than you can shake a stick at, and schoolgirl-like giggling at the orgy of action. The only downside is that Ichi continued to bleed uselessness to the very end, robbing us of Nouhime joining in the fun with her minigun. Final thoughts to follow.
Whew, it was a long wait for the subs to be released, but I’m not gonna complain, because it was definitely worth the wait, and Sengoku Basara delivers the goods – hyping me (back up) for the announced 2nd season.
If I wanted to be harsh on the show, I could criticize it for basically taking 2 major battles (the Masamune-Sanada battle in the first 2 episodes and the imminent showdown with the Demon King) and stretching it out with some filler over 12 episodes. But because I like the show, I’m not going to go down that path. Instead, I give it credit for an intense episode 9, in which both Takeda and Shingen met their demise in effects-free and short but intense battles. And for doing a masterful job getting Sanada back on the GAR horse – both figuratively and literally – and amping us up for what promises to be an epically entertaining showdown with the Demon King and his crew.
Did Sengoku Basara’s fantastic first couple episodes raise our expectations a too high? There hasn’t been a really good fight in this show since episode 2. And it seems like they’re using the b-animation team in recent episodes. While I find the backstory to be entertaining, when the show ends, if I looked back, there’s a very good chance that I’d watch episodes 1 and 2, and skip everything until maybe 9 or so (judging by the title). It seems like one of those shows that likely blasted their budget for the first and last couple episodes, and is trying to cheese their way through the stuff in between. So I kinda want to press the fast forward button to get to the good stuff.
Remarkably little happened during this episode. Both action-wise and story-wise, but for some reason it amped me up for the next episode moreso than the last few episodes have. Maybe it’s because I get the sense that Matsunaga and his shinigami triumvirate could be the first worthy enemies for Kojuuro and Sanada to go all out on (I never really thought Hondam or Azai would bring out the best in Sanada and Masamune). Or maybe it’s because I’m just getting antsy for some balls to the wall action.
Rule #2: if you’re a regular soldier without a gun or superpowers, you might as well stay home, lest you get swept up in one of the inevitable maelstroms.
Back to the action in this episode. Unfortunately, there’s no new tricks this time around – unless you count Honda the samurai Gundam – but there’s plenty of old favorites to enjoy. And the wait continues for both Kenshin and Nobunaga to get in the action.
Massive numbers of soldiers only exist to be blown up.
There were zero battles in this episode, unless you count Takeda’s punching of Sanada or Nobunaga’s quick humiliation of Azai, but I still enjoyed this episode quite a bit, because of the buildup. Not every episode can break new barriers of GAR, but that’s ok, as long as the story’s moving to a conflict or resolution. And compared to the last episode, I thought the writers did a better job of ratcheting up the pressure and drawing the lines of battle we’ll expect to see in the coming episodes.
After a rousing battle or two, I like to lean back, kick my feet up and enjoy some delicious Sengoku BASARA Anime Label Beer. No other beer has the flavorful mix of hops, barley and GAR. It tastes great, is less filling and increases the likelihood of bar brawls by 50%! Mmm, mmm good.
This show is too damn GAR to not write about. So consider this my second pickup for the season.