When a popular video game franchise makes the cross over into film or television or vice versa, the results more-often-than-not are less than stellar. Even the most popular of franchises have been known to deliver a dud when making the jump (here’s looking at you Chun Li). Sporting superior animation and more than a few fan favorite voice actors under its belt, Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings seeks to change audiences preconceived notions of what a video game-to-screen can be.
The series is set during the Sengoku period in which rival samurai do battle with one another while wielding magic powers. The two most prominent characters are Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura, both rivals destined to clash on the battlefield. While on a mission Sanada runs afoul of Date and from there all hell breaks loose.
What follows is the beginning of a legendary rivalry between two foes capable of wielding enough mystical power to level the nation. Of course this is merely a hint of what’s to come later on down the road as more powerful threats emerge, forcing the two into an unlikely alliance. Several characters are introduced, after all if they were in the game they of course need screen time, and each one boasts their own unique set of powers. Most of the cast is fun to watch but honestly, a good portion felt as if their appearance had no other meaning than to satisfy fans of the game.
Considering this is a Production I.G. series, the animation standard is expectedly above average. The action scenes are bright and flashy, surprising given the studio isn’t necessarily known for high octane action. None-the-less, they pull it off, giving the series a polished look in the process.
There isn’t much in the way of extras save for a couple of special episodes meant for comedic value. They aren’t all that long and don’t hold much repeat value. There is also the standard clean opening and closings accompany the set though a commentary would have been appreciated.
Sengoku Basara isn’t necessarily among Production I.G.’s best shows but to be honest, it is a highly addictive series in its own right. The series can best be compared to a summer action movie in which the audience comes for the action and if they get a story, it’s really just a bonus. There isn’t a dull moment to be found in any of the episodes. Production I.G. knows how to set the standard in anime and Sengoku Basara is evidence of that.