Sengoku Basara, episode 3 – Budget saving time

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.

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In other news, we get a break from a lot of the mind-blowing, adrenaline-racing action that so entertained us in the first two episodes. In its place is a lot of exposition with many proper nouns that I didn’t quite catch. But basically, Keiji, the dude with the monkey is visiting the various generals and apparently trying to build alliances to take down Nobunaga. He’s a fairly bland, but likeable character. Although his monkey is much more of a hoot. I feel like it should know Kung Fu though (yeah, I realize it’s a Japanese monkey, but regardless).

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His first visit with Kenshin goes pretty well, and there’s a pretty amusing scene where Keiji comments on Kasuga’s weird habit of ninjagasming, but otherwise, it was mostly Kenshin talking. We know what Sanada, Masamune and Takeda can do, but I’m still waiting to see this Kenshin guy fight. Does he actually harm people, or just have them submit amidst moans of ecstasy?

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Keiji then visits Masamune, who’s either brooding or gaining the courage to face Nobunaga. Whether he’s irked by his fear, or more likely, just a prickly person, Masamune’s much less keen to Keiji’s advances, and instead fights him. Keichi holds his own for a while, but is eventually defeated pretty handily. The force pull sword grab was pretty cool, but otherwise it was a very tame battle. Nothing like we’ve seen before. Clearly, Production I.G. is saving their money for animating some of the more bombastic fight scenes to follow.

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Meanwhile, we see very little of Takeda and Sanada in this episode. Although I always get a chuckle of their Oyakata-sama! *PUNCH* routine. I also got a kick of Sarutobi catching up with Kasuga and giving her grief over Kenshin and Keichi’s friendliness. I gotta say, I’ve enjoyed just about every role that Takehito Koyasu has done, ever since I heard him as Shark Fujishiro, one of the coolest tertiary characters ever. He’s got a knack and playing that “I know I’m better than you” role, and sounding perfect in it. Actually, now that I think about it, I think he would’ve been the perfect Roy Mustang 2009. His voice has just the right mix of GARness and arrogance.

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If the last couple episodes took your breath away, this was a breather. Not a great episode, but necessary to set up the story – even though it’s not much of a story. You need the quiet moments to truly appreciate the loud moments. But I’m looking forward to this show getting back to doing what it does best: getting serious about kicking some ass!

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