Sengoku Basara Samurai Kings Review

Sengoku Basara Samurai Kings is an anime based on the Capcom video game Devil Kings. The game has much in common with the Dynasty/Samurai/Orochi Warriors series, and many of those elements are in the anime, too. They even have that weird ass horn that plays whenever you’re supposed to be doing a mission. The English dub by Funimation is fairly decent, although there were a few characters with WTF voices, like the crazy old man with the impossible beard. But he was so out there as it was, I’m pretty sure they actually meant for him to sound like a circus freak.

The historical accuracy of this anime is questionable, but I don’t think it really cares. One of the characters has a horse that is obviously emulating the look of a motorcycle. Yes, you read right. A motorcycle. It has handlebars and even an exhaust pipe. I’m not sure what’s coming out of it, but I can safely say that I don’t think horses had handlebars or exhaust pipes during the Sengoku period. And don’t get me started on the guy with the mech suit.

Gross inaccuracies aside, the characters are way over the top, and if you ask me, made up mostly of gay guys. I mean, just listen to practically anything Yukimura says. This guy is all over his Master, and then he becomes obsessed with one Date Masamune–he even goes so far as to say there’s a deep burning in his heart after his first interaction with him. “Does he light your fire?” asks the team ninja. Well? Does he, Yukimura?

The story is all over the place. First, Shingen and Kenshin want to do epic battle against one another. Then Masamune steps in to ambush them–this guy is hardcore. He wants to fight both teams at once and rule the land under the One Eyed Dragon of Oshu. He’s pretty interesting, but his resolve isn’t that obvious–not enough to make Yukimura’s obsession make real sense. And then, we have the Devil King himself, Oda Nobunaga. I’m sure you’ve heard of this guy. He’s pretty famous, and he’s all over Japanese historical fiction. He’s a charismatic, evil douchebag who wants everything and everyone. He’s usually depicted as seductive, too, and it doesn’t matter what gender you are, he’ll somehow try to get you under his thrall.

All that aside, the designs for this show are really interesting. Some of the characters look pretty cool, others look half-assed. There’s actually one girl ninja who looks like she should be in an S&M anime. Her boobs are hanging out and her outfit is so low cut that it goes all the way down to her crotch. My guess was, they needed something to keep the guys’ attention, what with all the sausages running around flirting with one another. There’s also this really weird running gag where Yukimura and Shingen punch each other over and over again. I mean, these guys are doing this even in the middle of a serious conversation. I guess they don’t know how else to handle the sexual tension between them.

All in all, I thought this anime was entertaining enough, but I wouldn’t purchase it for my home library and I’ll probably never watch it again. It was more amusing to poke fun at it than to take it seriously, and believe me, if you try to take this seriously, you won’t enjoy this anime at all. I wouldn’t recommend Sengoku Basara Samurai Kings to anybody other than diehard fans of the video game or somebody who has some time to kill and nothing better to do with it.

Rachel Aseltine

R.A. Aseltine is an author and roleplayer living in California with her husband, guinea pig, and five cats.

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