>> Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings - The Complete Series: Season One (BLU-RAY) (2012)

Show: Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings

Season/Volume: The Complete Series: Season One

Genre: Action/Adventure, Anime, Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Starring: Robert McCollum, John Swasey, Johnny Yong Bosch

Studio: Funimation Prod

Runtime: 325 minutes

Release Date: February 7, 2012

Format: BLU-RAY, DVD

Discs: 4

Rating: 4.35 (out of 4.00)

Grade: A+

Official Site


The series is based on the video game of the same name by Capcom.

At one time I had Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings slotted in my Netflix queue. I didn’t know what it was but I slotted it because Netflix had begun to carry a ton of anime titles on their Watch It Now streaming service. Before I could get to it however they stopped carrying it and I missed out. Fortunately I landed a copy of the first season on BD/DVD in my work pile and got a second chance to watch. Two words: Unbelievably Good.

The world of Sengoku Basara takes place in feudal Japan with samurai lords scattered across the map trying to protect their lands and, if luck would have it, take over the neighboring lands in order to control as much of Japan as possible until they become the undisputed lord of all. Usually I stray from anime that is packed to the rafters with characters. Sengoku Basara does an exceptional job of not simply throwing in too many characters without developing them, however minimal their part in the first season. You have stories about masters and students, love stories, a powerful villain tale, and intermingling stories across the map that send you on a roller coaster of emotions for the characters and their journeys. Add to it a spectacular soundtrack that puts you in the mindset for a period setting, exceptional illustration techniques, and a bit of deviation to keep you interested (for example one samurai king and his army have gear on their horses that puts them as a biker gang and another has a soldier that is decked in samurai mecha gear). The entire series is absolutely fluid in its storytelling and even when a character pops up and is never to be seen again there is a door left open for them further down the line that suggests further events leading into the second season. It simply is one of the most absolute complete anime titles I’ve ever seen that can work as a stand alone, but after seeing season one you will definitely be moving forward into season two. Simply amazing.

Sengoku Basara is a busy window of color, texture, and animation styles that bend and merge as you’re moving through the series. Sometimes color and depth takes a back seat to mist effects or lighting which brings down black levels a tad but overall the series looks phenomenal. Line definition is solid, colors pop where they should be (see the Demon Kings stained glass window in particular). There are a lot of very vivid colors present during battle sequences or when the armies of any samurai king marches across the landscape and nearly all of it is riveting. Audio is oddly unbalanced with the English dub version (which is one of the best I’ve ever heard for a series) coming at you with a 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound front while the original Japanese track has a simple Stereo format. The dubbed version could be a bit better I think. While it offers up plenty of booming LFE action, crystal clear dialogue and varying levels of immersion quality I found that I had to up my volume to about 27 to get the full on balance that I usually prefer in my audio mix (which if the mix is good I can leave it at an even 20 tics).

~OVA: This OVA takes place between episodes 11 and 12. At the end of the series the armies of the united samurai kings are aided from an unexpected place and this story tells you how that came to be.
~Sengoku Basara Choskoba-kun and Mori Kun: These bonus features star two characters from the series who are introduced but don’t get a whole lot of screen time (which they complain about in this bonus feature) and are drawn a lot simpiler. The audio is in Japanese with English subs. The series of mini episodes are spliced up like this: Episodes 1-3 on the DVD portions or episodes 1-7 on the BD portion (episodes 4-7 are exclusive to the BD only).
~Textless songs
~Previews: Lots of good stuff in the preview section so be sure to get a peek at those.



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