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Sengoku Basara: End of Judgement

By: Thunderheavyarm

Sengoku Basara is a series that was adapted from a Dynasty Warrior style game into an action based anime. Following several historic figures from the Sengoku period. It’s normally difficult for a game like this to translate into an anime. While a series has a single focus most of the time, when there are so many large figures, it normally doesn’t work out well. However, Samurai Kings did well by juggling the story evenly between many characters. So I had high hopes that End of Judgement would follow through. But wait, why is Judgement misspelled?

It had been some time since I’d watched Samurai Kings so I spent a great deal of time re-watching the first half of the season and seeing the rest of the series for the first time. Even though I remember that since I was studying this era in college, it took me some time to actually get into the show. That said, it was a great story, with a lot of character growth. Unfortunately, End of Judgement (why is it mispelled) doesn’t live up to it’s predecessor or have anything to do with it.

The story follows Ieyasu and him betraying Hideyoshi, causing Ishida Mitsunari to declare revenge against him. Eventually leading to a large battle at Sekigahara. To make up for the simple plot, the creators throw in the returning characters of Matsamune Date and Sanada Yukimura with their old rivalry still strong. However, it comes off halfheartedly because unlike Samurai Kings there wasn’t a dedicated story to them becoming rivals in the first place. To make up for this, the story throws in even more characters, many of them new with no established connection to the series.

The next problem is the fighting in the series. It’s an action anime, and as such it really is important for it to have these. They develop the characters and progress the story. But for most of the episodes that came in the box set, many of the battles I didn’t care about as they really didn’t seem to advance much. As a final nail, the battle of Sekigahara, the thing that has been built up for a dozen episodes felt incredibly lackluster. Coming off incredibly goofy at one notable part and ultimately a waste of time by the end of the episode.

The battles themselves have devolved into a much more Shonen style. In the previous season, it was simple sword combats, relying on style at least in some parts. This season however, the characters have somehow developed special moves, and as is the curse, shout them at the top of their lungs. Which while it’s great for series where shouting out signature moves gets the audience excited; here it’s just shouting. I get that this might have been something that happened in the game with their “Musuo” mode ultimate move, but it was never established that was something they did before so it just comes off as awkward here.

Overall, this successor does not live up to its predecessor. With it’s inability to have a strong story and weak characters, it suffers as a series. There were several points while reviewing that I had to take a few days and work up a desire to keep watching the show. If you’re a fan of the game series, I had never played it, you might like this series. However, I wouldn’t recommend getting this series if you haven’t.

 

4.9

Mithical Rating

4.5 /10

Story

4.0 /10

Characters

5.0 /10

Animation

8.0 /10

Re-Watch Value

3.0 /10

What Works

  • The art style remains the same
  • Characters from previous season are still here
  • Looks less like a Michael Bay film

What Hurts

  • Battles are boring and don't drive the story
  • The battle that should drive the story is lackluster
  • Can't decide if it wants to be weirdly futuristic or weirdly magical
  • Why is Judgment misspelled?

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