Video Game: Sengoku Basara
is more or less a copycat of Samurai Warriors
, only created by Capcom
. However, once you look past their similarities, it becomes clear that Capcom didn't want a historical simulation like the one Koei
made. What they wanted was a stylish new-generation Hack and Slash
with a loosely-based Sengoku setting
, and increasingly ludicrous and over-the-top gameplay, characters, storylines, and general aesthetics.
The result was a franchise that abandoned such things as logic, physics, and historical accuracy
, and instead ran entirely on Rule of Cool
, a World of Badass
chock-full of Flanderization
, for better or worse. Despite a failed attempt by Capcom to bring the first game to the west by giving it a Cut-and-Paste Translation
treatment in the form of Devil Kings
, which changed the characters' names and removed all Sengoku Period references (leaving Capcom reluctant to localise the sequels), the series maintains a strong fanbase, especially in Japan, mainly because, if nothing else, it's just fun
There are four main games so far, as well as several spin-off titles for various consoles:
- Sengoku Basara / Devil Kings (2005) PS2
- Sengoku Basara 2 (2006) PS2
- Sengoku Basara 2 Heroes (2007) PS2/Wii
- Sengoku Basara X (2008) Arcade/PS2
- Sengoku Basara Battle Heroes (2009) PSP
- Sengoku Basara 3 / Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes (2010) PS3/Wii
- Sengoku Basara 3 Utage (2011) PS3/Wii
- Sengoku Basara Chronicle Heroes (2011) PSP
- Sengoku Basara 4 (2014) PS3
- Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi (2015) PS3/PS4
adaptation of the series by Production I.G
started airing on April 1, 2009. A second season began July 11, 2010 followed by a feature film
debuting in cinemas June 4, 2011. FUNimation
picked up the series to be dubbed, as Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings
rather than Devil Kings
, and with an equally-popular cast of who's-who in voice acting. A new anime, titled Judge End
, aired from July 5th 2014, this time produced by TMS Entertainment
In the wake of the anime's success, Capcom announced that Sengoku Basara
would be brought to the US and Europe once more, starting with the third game, translated faithfully, and titled Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes
. In August 2012 the first two games and expansion were collected in an Updated Re-release
for the PS3
Each game in the series has had one or more manga spin-offs to its name, drawn by various different artists in various different styles. In 2012, a two volume English translation of the second manga by Yak Haibara, named Sengoku Basara: Samurai Legends
, was released. A High School A.U.
called Basara Academy
is also being published, with eight volumes so far.
As if that wasn't enough, it's got its own series of stage productions, Butai Sengoku Basara
, first performed in 2009 and still being produced. A Live-Action Adaptation
of the anime titled Sengoku Basara Moonlight Party
also aired in 2012.
Not to be confused with the Real-Time Strategy
, or the shoujo manga Basara
. This page contains spoilers for both the games and the anime.
The games include examples of:
The anime includes examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Sharp enough to cut through solid granite anyway...
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: At one point, Shingen is about to give a Megaton Punch to Yukimura but switches to patting him on the head at the last second.
- Anachronism Stew: In the DVD extra Mini Sengoku Basara Chosokabe and Mori are watching the anime on TV.
- Animation Bump: The animation seems to change a little every single episode, for better or for worse. This is mostly fixed by the second season.
- Anyone Can Die: Whether or not they actually stay dead however is another matter entirely.
- Artistic License – History: No one dies in the historically correct time, place or way. Also, everything else is just wrong. But hey, Rule of Cool is God.
- More like they didn't care. This is Basara you're talking about.
- Awesomeness Is Volatile
- Badass in Distress: Two people on the battlefield noticed that Kojuro faked out Takenaka Hanbe. One of them was Sasuke; the other one, unfortunately, was Hanbe himself. He retaliates as only Hanbe can.
- Battle Aura: All the time. Takeda even disintegrates an opponent in a giant wave of Battle Aura.
- Battle in the Rain: Episodes 2, 3 and 9 of the first season, and Episode 2 of the second season.
- Beam-O-War: Happens a lot. Particularly between Masamune and Yukimura.
- Big "NO!": Episode 9, courtesy of Kasuga.
- Cool Horse: Masamune's infamous Harley Davidson Motor-Horse.
- Cue the Sun: Happens twice. The first time is in Episode 1 when Yukimura and Masamune battle each other to a standstill. The second is Episode 12, after Nobunaga is finally defeated.
- Dancing Theme: "JAP".
- And here's the full dance.
- Also, no matter how hard it seems, it is possible for normal people to do it!
- "The Party Must Go On" from the movie finishes the series really well.
- A Day in the Limelight: The OVA, which takes place between Episodes 11 and 12, focuses on Motochika, Motonari and Keiji.
- Deadly Closing Credits: Episodes 5 and 11.
- Death Is Cheap: It certanly is for Oichi, Yoshihiro, Mitsuhide and Hisahide.
- Debut Queue: Takes this one further by introducing the entire cast in the first episode!
- Demoted to Extra: Shingen in the second season.
- Despair Event Horizon: Episode 10. Until Masamune comes along. Then it's a different matter.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Does the anime loves this or what?
- Dramatic Thunder: Whenever Nobunaga is on the scene.
- Dramatic Wind: Where would we be without it?
- Due to the Dead: Yukimura is very big on this for Nobunaga, despite the fact that Nobunaga was evil. Matsunaga Hisahide doesn't get his logic.
- Elite Mooks: Four of Date's retainers (Bunshichi, Yoshinao, Samenosuke, and Magobei) get quite a lot of attention.
- Season 2 also introduces Oyamada Nobushige, a Takeda retainer, however he gets unceremoniously killed off a few episodes later.
- Akagawa Motoyasu, a Mori retainer. Later on he appeared to be The Mole, but failed to assassinate Motonari and got butchered.
- Empathic Environment
- Enemy Mine: Kenshin, Shingen and a reluctant Masamune form a temporary alliance against Big Bad Nobunaga. The theory is that with him out of the way, they can be free to fight amongst themselves.
- Evil Old Folks: Hojo Ujimasa is turned into a weak, Don Quixote-like coward who tries to use Fuma to kill Shingen.
- Eye Scream: In Episode 12, when Nobunaga has Masamune cornered, he torments the poor boy by threatening to gouge out his other eyeball with his finger.
- Face Palm: Sasuke, whenever Yukimura does something particularly stupid.
- Fainting: Yumekichi the monkey faints in the second season. Apparently it's from worry.
- Faking the Dead: Hisahide.
- Faux Action Girl: Kasuga, Matsu and Oichi in season one. Ok, Oichi at least killed Nohime with her dark hands, but still...
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Seriously, this is the only reason those Mooks exist at all...
- Fragile Speedster: A notable mention goes to Kotaro Fuma. In the first season he almost diced Shingen in Odawara with a deadly combination of his swords and his greater speed. He got pwned by a single fist from Shingen.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Sasuke hauls off and slaps Kasuga in Episode 10.
- Later on in the same episode, Masamune is forced to beat some sense into Yukimura after he becomes too scared to fight.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Shingen, as well as Masamune when he gets excited.
- Got the Whole World in My Hand: Hideyoshi does this in the second opening, lifting Japan out of the sea with one hand.
- Go Through Me: In the second season, Masamune's followers pile onto him bodily to protect him from Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
- Gratuitous English: Plenty of it in the Season 1 OP track, and Masamune is pretty fond of it as always.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Tenkai shouldn't have let his guard down.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: "YUKIMURAAAA~!" "YOUR LORDSHIIIIIIP~~!"
- Heroic BSOD: Yukimura has one after Mitsuhide wounds Shingen badly enough that his survival is questionable, which he blames himself for not being able to prevent. Only a manly Rousing Speech from both Masamune and Kojuro is able to snap him out of it.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Honda Tadakatsu. Twice.
- Hollywood Healing: Subverted with a gunshot wound Masamune obtains in the anime, which renders him bed-ridden for two episodes and serves as a major handicap in the Final Battle.
- Played straight later with Motochika, who appears to be in great condition just days after getting beaten to a bloody smear by Hideyoshi.
- Also, Episode 1 of Season 2. Yukimura has bandages on with his arm in a sling after he was beat down by Masamune at the beginning of the episode, but he undergoes instantaneous healing when Takeda punches him.
- Honor Before Reason: This trope explains why Nagamasa and Ieyasu remain allies of Nobunaga despite being an Obviously Evil Overlord.)
- Human Shield: Mitsuhide attempts to use Ranmaru as one against Kojuro. It doesn't work. Kojuro just throws Ranmaru out of the way and kicks Mitsuhide's ass.
- Hurricane of Puns: The English dub of Season 2 Episode 13 seems to be an attempt at this by the writers/voice cast. It ends up being genuinely funny, and ten times hammier and more ridiculous than the rest of the season put together.
- I Can Still Fight: Masamune's gunshot wound makes it impractical for him to go after the men who were taken hostage. Still, Kojuro has to carefully and gently beat this into his master.
- This seems to be developing into a habit of his.
- The Immodest Orgasm: Kasuga's reaction to Kenshin's praise. See here.
- Incoming Ham: The show is like a food fight in this regard.
- Just Whistle: Subverted. After Sasuke realizes he can't stop Kasuga from trying to pull a one-woman Roaring Rampage of Revenge on Nobunaga, he instead gives her a flute and tells her to blow it should she find herself in danger. When the time does come to use it, it turns into a rocket-powered glider instead of summoning the other ninja.
Kasuga: I thought you were supposed to appear when I blew into it.
Sasuke: Well, that's obviously impossible. But hey, I'm here now!
- Kansas City Shuffle: With the help of Sasuke , Kojuro pulls one of these in fine SenBasa-style in the first episode of the second season against the Toyotomi army, saving not only his own lord and their men but the Uesugi and Takeda armies as well, and doing it all in such a way that none of them lose face or owe any favours. He pays for it later.
- Killed Off for Real: While the anime has brought back some people, Kennyo, Ujimasa, Yoshimoto, Nagamasa, Xavi, Nohime, Mitsuhide, Hideyoshi and Hanbe seem to be gone for good.
- Large Ham: There's
a few loads, but mostly the guy WHO'S ALWAYS SCREAMING ABOUT HIS OYAKATA-HAM-AAAAAAA!
- Leave Him to Me: Kojuro vs Mitsuhide, Episode 12.
- Lighthearted Rematch
- Lightning Reveal: How Nobunaga makes his anime appearance.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "FLAGS", which opens the film, sounds just like a lively rock song akin to the other anime themes, and consists of T.M.Revolution's usual flowery lyrics. However it highlights the instability of the era, portraying the samurai as tragic figures whose lives have no meaning without war, and encourages warriors to live for the moment because they're probably going to either die young or fade into obscurity, unable to adapt to the changing times.
- By contrast, the film's ending song essentially says "yeah, the whole country has gone to hell, but we may as well make the most of it!"
- Mauve Shirt: Those four Date soldiers who are kidnapped in Episodes 7 and 8.
- More Dakka: Whenever Nohime pulls out that gatling gun of hers from Hammerspace
- I Have Just One Thing to Say: Shingen gives Yukimura a wordless example when Yukimura comes back from Hisahide's hostage situation with everyone alive, but without the ceremonial armor. After Yukimura gives his explanation ("people are our treasure"), Shingen lets loose his usual Megaton Punch, only to stop just before contact to ruffle Yukimura's hair.
- Ms. Fanservice: Kasuga, even more so than in the game. Her Stripperific clothing and Gainaxing skills probably help a lot.
- The Mole: In Season 2, it turns out the Date army have one of these in their ranks.
- Mood Whiplash: Episode 5: After that Crowning Moment of Funny above, we're presented with...Nagamasa's dramatically tragic death, all to make Oichi suffer.
- And in the very next episode, Tadakatsu goes BOOM, much to Ieyasu's despair.
- Mooks: Every single soldier. One even wonders why they even bother gathering soldiers in the first place...Probably to keep the mooks from the opposition busy while their bosses fight the 'real' battles.
- Neck Lift: Nobunaga does this in the last episode. Masamune must weigh about as much as a bag of sugar.
- In Season 2, Masamune gets this treatment again, from Hideyoshi this time.
- Necromancer: Ujimasa Hojo use his pike to summon the spirits of his ancestors to fight Shingen. He simply make him join them.
- Never Trust a Trailer: "The Tiger of Kai Dies at Midaigawa," my ass!
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Hideyoshi delivers several of these in the second season.
- No One Could Survive That: Notice that the smoking black crater where Honda used to be is suspiciously lacking a dead body at its center...
- Also, Kenshin gets shot twice in the chest by Nohime and lives to fight again. Sengoku Era medicine must be very good.
- Sasuke lampshades this by calmly noting that a normal person shouldn't be able to survive being punched through a sliding door and a stone lantern and into a wall. Yukimura is not a normal person.
- No One Gets Left Behind: After Hisahide kidnaps his men, Masamune is determined to rescue them, despite being wounded, on the grounds that the Date Army can't afford to lose anyone.
- Nothing but Skulls: Nobunaga's throne is made up of a pile of skulls in the anime. He even uses one for a cup.
- Not Quite Dead: Tadakatsu. Twice.
- As as of the second season, Oichi, Ieyasu and Yoshihiro as well. Despite Nobunaga shooting his prone body at point blank range in the head.
- The movie has Tenkai appear as well.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: German actually, but fits the bill.
- One-Hit Kill: Shingen curb-stomping Ujimasa Hojo in Episode 2 with his flaming fist attack.
- Post-Victory Collapse: Masamune is miles away from the battlefield before anyone even realizes that he was shot in the side after the fight with Nagamasa.
- Rain of Arrows: How Ranmaru gets rid of Yoshimoto's Kagemusha. Also his main attack. It doesn't work so well against Kojuro or Masamune.
- Rated M for Manly: Have a drink for every time 'man' or 'men' is mentioned (even in crazy made-up words) during the Season 2 OVA. You'll be back in the Sengoku period in no time!
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Nobunaga spends a good ten minutes informing Masamune and Yukimura how foolish they are for thinking they could defeat him. Naturally, they defeat him.
- The Rival: Yukimura considers Masamune his Only Worthy Opponent/One True Rival, and vice-versa.
- Rivals Team Up: Episode 12, when everyone comes together for the Final Battle against Nobunaga.
- Rousing Speech: "PSYCHE UP GUYS!!!!"
- Rule of Cool: So many to count, but most prevalent would be Shingen using two horses to ride to the battlefield, all while standing up, each foot stepping on each saddle. And he can get the horses to run on walls.
- Speaking of horses, Yukimura rides only one, but to dodge bullets, he stabs the ground with one spear and spins around it, while still riding the horse.
- Masamune rides without handlebars. On a motorbike-horse. He's that cool.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Many characters in the dub, to match the highly antiquated and flowery Japanese used in the original.
- Scenery Porn: While the character designs can be a bit sketchy at times, the backgrounds are gorgeous and never fail to impress.
- Shirtless Scene: Masamune received a rather obligatory shirtless scene in Episode 8, much to the viewers delight. The writers probably thought that with Yukimura going round half-naked all the time, they should give Masamune a chance to be shirtless as well (and improve their ratings).
- Sparkling Stream of Tears: Oichi and Ieyasu do this as they cry for Nagamasa and Tadakatsu, respectively.
- Stuff Blowing Up
- Super-Deformed: Mini Sengoku Basara: Chosokabe-kun and Mori-kun, which follows Motochika and Motonari as they get into all sorts of adventures. Hilarity Ensues. See here.
- The second season continues this, only this time around the whole cast gets to participate.
- Sword Limbo: Mitsuhide does this during his fight against the two heroes in Episode 11.
- Sword Sparks: Complete with Shakeen!
- Technicolor Blade: Very common.
- Terrible Trio: Hisahide's "Death God Squad" is composed by three Malevolent Masked Man who use poisons and spears.
- Third Option Adaptation: In the third game, the Saika can form a contract with either Ieyasu or Mitsunari, in order to help with their respective ambitions to conquer Japan. In Judge End, Magoichi instead forms the contract with Keiji, to help him search for Matsu.
- Third-Person Person: Ranmaru and Oichi, like their game counterparts.
- Trap Is the Only Option: In Episode 11 Masamune decides to walk into Nobunaga's trap, confident that he'll be able to figure something out once he gets there and kick butt. It turns out that the trap was actually set for Mitsuhide.
- Unexplained Recovery: Despite being used as a punching bag by Toyotomi, then being caught in the epicenter of his exploding base and then being almost drowned, Motochika shows up two episodes later looking as fit and healthy as ever, AND has a mind to steal Masamune's horses.
- Matsunaga Hisahide, Oichi and Shimazu Yoshihiro are other examples. One blew himself up and the other two were killed by Nobunaga, yet they're alive and kicking by the second season. Though Oichi has become little more than an Empty Shell and has to fight off possession by her brother, who it seems isn't resting in peace either.
- This anime has absolutely no shame bringing back supposedly dead characters for the sake of a possible third season. Just how did Ieyasu manage to grow so much in such a short space of time? How did Tadakatsu put himself back together after being blown up by Nobunaga?
- Unflinching Walk: In Season 2, Hideyoshi pulls this as he approaches Motochika's Fugaku fortress-ship, while cannon fire decimates his mooks around him.
- Unfortunate Song Name: Maybe it was not intentional per se (we hope), but maybe Abingdon Boys School didn't figured out that JAP (the opening theme in the first season) is a derogatory insult against the Japanese, especially during World War II, by American soldiers and it's considered a taboo word in the U.S.
- Volleying Insults: Motonari and Motochika always seem to end up doing this when they meet. They get especially creative in the movie.
- War Is Hell: Sure the individual duels may be glorious, but the ongoing war and chaos is always presented as a bloody and terrifying waste of human life that brings sorrow to all involved.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Averted with Ranmaru: after Honnoji's incident and Nobunaga's fall he's shown to have just met Itsuki.
- What Were You Thinking?: What Shingen asks Yukimura after learning that Yukimura let Kojuro (who, along with Masamune, was under their care) confront Hisahide alone and with only half of the demanded ransom. He did not like the answer he got.
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Shingen and Yukimura regularly smash holes through the doors and walls of their mansion. In the movie, they go so far as to demolish and entire building, much to the surprise of the men inside it.
- World of Ham
- Worthy Opponent: A conversation between Shingen and Kenshin in the anime implies that the two of them collaborated to arrange for Masamune and Yukimura to meet in battle specifically in the hopes that the two of them would become Worthy Opponents.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When Oichi tells Nobunaga that she has accidentally killed his wife, Nobunaga calmly responds by saying that a woman like Nohime can only go so far. He then kills Oichi for the same reason.
- And this is after he has already sent Mitsuhide to die against the heroes by giving both him and them a false location of his stronghold. Though to be fair, Mitsuhide was going there to kill him as well.