Sengoku Basara is pretty simple and easy to understand. It’s far from being complex in nature and it’s wonderful that it doesn’t try to be. Each character epitomizes very general personality characterizations, and with artistic license that appeals to most fans of the fantasy/sci-fi fans genre, the series gives each character a theme color. Such decisions really tickle your insides due to how it makes complicated, epic fight scenes more streamlined, crazy, and fun to watch.
The characters all are based on historical people from Feudal Japan, though I’m not entirely sure how accurate their representations mirror the actual person they’re based on. Trust me, my American History knowledge is pretty sparse, so let’s not consider how little I know about historical Japan. Though, as I mentioned before, Sengoku Basara’s straighforward classification of characters keeps the plot accessible and requires little to no knowledge of Feudal Japan.
The series (and movie) can be surmised as much: awesome, spirited fighting fighting, backed up by clear and distinct classifications of belief/styles, making pentultimate engagements between feudal lords astronomically epic on all proportions. Sengoku Basara stands out from your normal slugfest series such as Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagan is the ability to really empathize each party’s ideals and vision of land unification. In Feudal times, armies marched across lands, conquering countries in sights of attempting to unify a once divided Japan. Every leader pursued their own version of utopia, sharing their dreams with those who would follow them. These Feudal Lords, however, were not blood thirsty for battle, though some were definitely more apt on the battlefield. They constantly held mutual respect with each other, and fought each other bounded by honor and pride.
There exists an evil bad guy, however; essentially the epitome of evil itself. Oda Nobunaga is intrinsically badass and exceptionally scheming, but his presence in The Last Party film is greatly diminished due to the fact that he was resurrected after having finally been defeated in the first season of Sengoku Basara. Though resurrections of previous evil lords isn’t truly bad, recycling of characters (especially important antagonists) can ultimately feel very stale. The final battle, also, leaves more to be desired, where characters ultimately bounce from a seemingly futile (and extended) fight to a succession of over powered magic energy blade swings and fist punches to finally defeat Lord Nobunaga. Granted, the fine animation and spectacular color bursts are dazzling to watch, so there’s not much to be upset about, except for a couple face-palming worthy moments.
Though the character’s don’t tend to have much character growth or depth, the overall anime doesn’t suffer from this. The series was created for pure enjoyment; you gain little of anything else. There isn’t too much to really recommend from this series. There is very little depth to explore (unless you decide to delve into character histories and such), and pacing/plot excitement is variable at best, but the series rarely dissapoints in their fight sequence animations. Like BONES, Production I.G. know to put their time/effort in where it counts and help make Sengoku Basara a decently successful series and movie since it knows not to take itself too seriously.