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So, I’ve been playing the daylights out of Sengoku Basara Samurai Heroes for my PS3. It is a beautiful game, if you have ever enjoyed the Dynasty Warriors sort of game, and they put a LOT of effort into replay value. I spent an entire day as Maeda Keiji, it seems, beating up badguys, maxing levels, unlocking things… great fun.

It made me want to go back and watch the anime. I had passed Sengoku Basara over when it first came out. It looked interesting enough, like a silly version of Samurai Warriors. I knew enough waring states period history to fill in most of the gaps. I watched two episodes and then forgot it to watch something else. (Much like I’m doing to Eyeshield 21 to watch Basara now.) Let me break it down for those of you who don’t know.

The Waring States period was a time in Japan’s history of war and warriors  where a lot of kick-ass fighting occurred. The first units of riflemen began to appear on the Japanese battlefield and the face of war in Japan began to change. The local daimyo gathered armies under their banners and pushed forward against their rivals. Some wanted to conquer all of Japan. Some wanted to defend their homelands. It was great stuff, even before embelishment.

So, here we have Sengoku Basara. The name pretty much translates to “over-the-top waring states period”, or so I’ve been told. It is fitting. Historical figures have been distorted into characters. The brave and bold warrior Honda Tadakatsu, for instance. He was a brave warrior with a distinctive helmet that many legends have sprung up around because of his general awesomeness.

And now he’s a giant robot.

The thing is, putting the obvious distortions aside for a moment, if you watch the show, you learn the information. It isn’t as though they are really writing a new script, just altering parts. Spoiler alert, Honda died in 1610, after the battle of Sekigahara. Surely, when he gets blown up in episode 6, you haven’t seen the last of him.

The Japanese people LOVE historical dramas. A lot of awesome Japanese people have acted like awesome Japanese people throughout history. As such, a lot of awesome Japanese actors have acted like awesome Japanese people throughout history acting like awesome Japanese people… on TV!

Casting Gackt as Kenshin? I approve!

With that long history of taking long history and turning it into interesting television, I suppose Sengoku Basara was an inevitability. I mean, we have had anime that turned the classic movie The Seven Samurai into an anime (Samurai 7). We’ve had an anime that turned the Count of Monte Cristo into an anime (Gankutsuou). It was only a matter of time before the anime writers, much like Hollywood, began to turn to textbooks for badasses to populate the screen.

Now, I’m interested in what an American version of this would look like. Maybe something like REVOLUTION perhaps? George Washington crossing the Delaware on a jetski equipped with chainguns… I suppose the Civil War would probably be easier to work with. Nothing but Americans on either side, plenty of places for drama and GUN FU! I can see it now, Robert E. Lee wields 4 shotguns and rides a motorcycle. Epicness.

Of course… we might already be slowly walking down that path…

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8 Comments

  1. Well there is The Patriot and various other movies about other wars we were in; Pearl Harbor, Saving Private Ryan, Independence Day, etc.
    So I would say Americans make movies and video games about their history too. It’s just not in favor recently.

    • Well, you do have a point. If the 99999999999999 WW2 games don’t count, nothing does. I just wonder if we will ever see a comedic WW2 cartoon…

        • Jordan
        • Posted October 19, 2010 at 12:29 am
        • Permalink

        … That sounds like Hetalia…

      • I was talking about an American one, but yes, there is already a comedic WW2 anime.

  2. I’ve been watching more of the anime… boy they are killing off people way before they are supposed to die. I just saw them kill Tokugawa… You know… the guy who wins?

    I mean, he got defeated there… but he didn’t DIE.

  3. Comes back after Naruto befriends Pain?

  4. It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why
    their is a problem in the first place


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