Sengoku Basara 2 – Final Thoughts

Now that the Summer 2010 anime season is more or less over, it’s time again for my final impressions/”review” posts for shows that I followed but didn’t blog about. First up is the second season of Sengoku Basara, which turned out to be a downgrade compared to the first season.

Post contains spoilers to the show.

Compared to the first season, Sengoku Basara 2 had less action and more “plot”, and both are undesirable. The first season of Sengoku Basara was enjoyable because it had a lot of over the top action. There was enough fights that you could basically ignore the nonsensical plot. It’s not a formula for winning awards, but at least action fans would enjoy the show. This season however, the writers decided to do away with some of the action in order to put more “plot” into the show.

As a result, we ended up with the ongoing storylines between Hanbee and Kojuro, Keiji and Toyotomi, and Yukimura’s mission to the ocean. These three storylines took up a lot of screen time but generated little substance or excitement. This was especially true for the storyline between Keiji and Toyotomi. At least Kojuro defeated Hanbee and Yukimura destroyed Mouri’s giant moving fortress by the end. We didn’t even get a fight between Keiji and Toyotomi which was disappointing given the history between the two. Instead, in their final confrontation Keiji gets sent flying by Toyotomi’s horse and remains knocked out until the very end of the series. That’s not to mention they never explained why Toyotomi killed the girl seen in the flashbacks or who that girl was for that matter.

There are lots of other things to nitpick about the plot (such as the role of Hisahide in the story). This is what happens when the show decrease the action content to the point where I have no choice but to take in the story, and they didn’t do a very good job with the story. Even worse, the action suffered as well in terms of length and quality. The final episode was particularly disappointing. There was a lot of fighting in the episode with several battles going on at the same time, but the side battles amounted to nothing and the main battles were pretty lacking. It was especially sad to see Toyotomi, the central villain who can split the sea and sky with his fists, losing to a solo effort by Date who just miraculously powered up after being tossed around for 3/4 of the battle. It’s apparent that the writers didn’t put much thought into these battles, and it probably would have been better to focus efforts on one main battle instead of splitting things up into several fronts.

Overall, the second season of Sengoku Basara was a letdown. It’s never good when a show trades good quality action for slow, boring, and nonsensical plot developments. Supposedly there will be a sequel movie, and I sincerely hope that the movie will return to season 1’s formula of packing in the fights.

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