Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings
Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings is the story of the historical figures of the sengoku period, focusing primarily on seasoned fighter Masamune Date, a.k.a. "The One-Eyed Dragon of Oshu," young and hotheaded Yukimura Sanada, as well as the wise and unparalleled Shingen Takeda, a.k.a. "The Tiger of Kai." The story revolves around the constant struggle between clans and their need for unification in order to fight against the evil Demon King, Oda Nobunaga. All of these plot points are revealed early in the story, and become the motivating force behind the entire series. Sengoku Basara isn't the type of show to delve too deeply into complex characters or spiraling plot points, instead allowing the viewer to simply sit back and enjoy nothing but kick ass action.
While the Japanese dub of this show is full of the vigor and flamboyant voice acting you might expect from a show that relies heavily on comedy and caricature, the English dub falls flat in comparison. Sadly, no one seems to have quite the right amount of energy needed for their over the top characters, and even the great Johnny Yong Bosch's voice work for Yukimura seems a little forced and stilted, perhaps due to a poor choice of translations, with the subbed term "my Lord" becoming "my Lordship" in the dub, some things just don't flow as well. Other voices just seem to be ill cast. The Japanese voice of Takeda is deep and loud, full of manly authority and zest for battle. In comparison, his English voice seems too refined and calm, even quiet for a man of such stature.
Despite the less than stellar English dub, those watching this series will also have to weigh exactly what they value in their anime viewing experience. Knowing whether this show is for you is completely dependent on what you're expecting beforehand. While many people expect deep characters, conflicted and moving scenes, inspiring quests or intellectual challenges from their anime, keep in mind that Sengoku Basara is none of these things, though this is not necessarily to its detriment. This show never intends to be your intellectually stimulating anime, and never pretends to be anything its not. If you're looking for the aforementioned qualities, this might not be for you, but if you're up for a good time that gets your blood pumping, your fighting spirit raised, and your eyes opened to absolutely astounding and ridiculous battles, then Sengoku Basara has just one thing to ask you:
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