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Sengoku Basara: The Last Party (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 17, 2012 by  



“Sengoku Basara: The Last Party” is an action-packed, samurai fighting storyline that continues where the first two seasons have left off.  For fans of the video game and anime series, “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party” is recommended!

Image courtesy of © CAPCOM/TEAM BASARA. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Sengoku Basara: The Last Party

DURATION: 95 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English 5.1, Japanese 5.1, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: NOT RATED 14+

Release Date: November 6, 2012

 

Directed by Kazuya Nomura

Screenplay by Yasuyuki Muto

Music by Hiroyuki Sawano

Original Character Design by Makoto Tsuchibayashi (CAPCOM)

Character Design by Tooru Ookubo

Art Director: Iho Narita

Chief Animation Director: Tooru Ookubo

Anime Production by Studio I.G.

Featuring the following voice talent:

Kazuya Nakai/Robert McCollum as Date Masamune

Norio Wakamoto/John Swasey as Oda Nobunaga

Souichiro Hoshi/Johnny Yong Bosch as Sanada Yukimura

Mamiko Noto/Laura Bailey as Oichi

Romi Park/Greg Ayres as Uesugi Kenshin

Takehito Koyasu/Michael Sinterniklaas as Sarutobi Sasauke

Tessho Genda/Chris Ayres as Takeda Shingen

Toshiyuki Morikawa/Travis Willingham as Katakura Kojuro

Toyotomi Hideyoshi is defeated, but feudal Japan isn’t safe yet. The fallen villain’s most loyal and lethal minion – Ishida Mitsunari – is obsessed with carrying on Toyotomi’s legacy of violence in the name of vengeance. Ishida brutally cuts a bloody path across the countryside even as the nation’s other warlords rally toward an era of harmony. Unfortunately, for peace to finally be achieved the fires of war must be unleashed once more.

When it comes to video games that feature samurai’s and a general taking on hoards of enemies, in the US, “Samurai Warriors” (similar to Dynasty Warriors) from KOEI is well-known. But in Japan, CAPCOM began their own series known as “Sengoku Basara” (Devil Kings) which takes place during the Sengoku period and a similar concept as their rivals and has also earned its strong fan following.

In 2005, the first game was released for the Sony Playstation 2 and was released in the U.S. (as “Devil Kings”) but unfortunately, CAPCOM tried to change the whole story of the Sengoku period by trying to connect it to their “Devil May Cry” series in order to attract players but because of the changes and the localization crew feeling they needed to make it more difficult in America, needless to say, it was a failure. People wanted the same game that was in Japan and within the last six years, there have been four video game releases and now CAPCOM has released “Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes” for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable and the Nintendo Wii in the US in October 2010.

In Japan, two seasons of “Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings” aired. And in 2010, to coincide with this videogame release, FUNimation Entertainment released the first season of the anime series “Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings” on Blu-ray and DVD (including the first 12 TV episodes + Blu-ray/DVD only 13th episode).

On Feb. 2012, with the release of the second season on Blu-ray and DVD, FUNimation Entertainment will be re-releasing the first season of “Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings” via a Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack.

What is “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party” about?

The anime series is produced by Production I.G. and is directed by Itsuro Kawasaki (“Arc the Lad”, “Rental Magica”, “Yumedamaya Kidan”), screenplay by Yasuyuki Muto (“Afro Samurai: Resurrection”, “Basilisk”, “Mobil Suit Gundam UC”), character designs by Tooru Ookubo, art direction by Shunichiro Yoshihara (“Gurren Lagann”, “Cromartie High School”, “Slayers”) and music by Hiroyuki Sawano (“Soul Link”, “Mobil Suit Gundam UC”).

The anime series takes place during the Sengoku Period. Various generals and their warriors are fighting each other. For the Takeda clan led by Lord Takeda Shingen, his young hot-headed warrior Sanada Yukimura has a rivalry with the cocky warlord Date Masamune. Both are hot-headed that they fight against each other but they also value their battles with one another because they are equally matched.

As the two occasionally battle one another, all warring clans are worried about Oda Nobunaga, the devil king. The ruthless king who wants to destroy everything in his path and his followers Akechi Mitsuhide, a sadistic psychopath and the weapons master Nohime (Nobunaga’s wife) intend to carryout his wishes by killing the leaders of the various clans.

The only way to stop Nobunaga is for each of the warring generals to work and team up together in order to stop him. But can these warriors all work together or will their ego and pride get in the way?

In the second season of “Sengoku Basara”, And as the two sides begin to fight again, they are interrupted by the soldiers of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.   Toyotomi wants to unite Japan and make the country stronger but as each warrior supports their own clan and leader, he warns everyone that if they oppose him, they will be face his wrath.

Quickly, clans who try to take on Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his soldiers are quickly met with defeat.  He is too powerful and for Masamune, Shingen and Kenshin, they stand no chance against him.

But as each clan tries to find a way to defeat Hideyoshi, Maeda Kanji who knows Toyotomi very well, tries to get his friends Maeda Toshiie and Matsu to stop Toyotomi’s tirade against the other clans, but he finds out that even his friends have aligned with Toyotomi.

Meanwhile, the other clans begin to visit others with the hope of rival clans joining forces to fight against Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his army.

And now, here we are with the conclusion to “Sengoku Basara” with “The Last Party”.

Ishida Mitsunari, who worked as a minion of Toyotomi Hideyoshi is now carrying a major grudge against Date Masamune for killing his master.  With Tokugawa now choosing a different path for unity, Date Masamune knows that he must prepare for the final battle against Ishida, but unknown to everyone in the land, a new evil force is looming in the land and a former enemy has been resurrected!

VIDEO:

“Sengoku Basara: The Last Party” is presented in 1080p High Definition and like most Production I.G. releases, they always provide excellent artistic backgrounds for their series and the same goes for the film.   Mountains, rocks, trees, skies are very well painted and the animation is also nice and fluid. It’s important to note that this is a film and not a TV series, so characters are better shaded, art backgrounds are better detailed and really good of CG elements in the film.

Colors are absolutely vibrant and bold. Also, very good lighting effects throughout the film. Personally, I expected nothing less from Production I.G., the series definitely looks absolutely awesome on Blu-ray! Also, I detected no banding, artifacting or anything negative about the picture quality for “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party”.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Sengoku Basara: The Last Party” is presented in lossless English and Japanese 5.1 Dolby TrueHD.  Personally, I enjoyed the Japanese soundtrack because the generals sound much more menacing while I felt the English dub, as good as it is, sometimes I feel certain voice talent are overly used and they sound the same for no matter what characters they play.

Personally, I enjoyed the Japanese soundtrack because the generals sound much more menacing while I felt the English dub, as good as it is, sometimes I feel certain voice talent are overly used and they sound the same for no matter what characters they play. In the first season, I mentioned that although I enjoy Johnny Yong Bosch’s acting work when it comes to “Bleach”, but his Yukimura (Sengoku Basara) sounds like an annoying version of Ichigo (Bleach). But with that being said, the English dub has grown on me and felt the FUNimation English dub actors did a fine job.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“SSengoku Basara: The Last Party” contains the following special features:

  • Four Panel Theater: Another Last Party – (7:48) Still panel theater featuring chibi versions of the characters.
  • Making of The Last Party – (49:27) A very cool featurette about the popularity of “Sengoku Basara” and what was involved in the making of “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party”.
  • Textless Opening and Closing Song – Featuring T.M. Revolution’s “FLAGS” and “The Party Must Go On”.
  • Trailer and Commercial Collection – (8:58) The Japanese film and television commercials for “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party”.

There is no doubt that in Japan, “Sengoku Basara” has a pretty strong fan following from its video games and anime series, especially among the cosplayers who are often seen doing group cosplay of the characters from the series.

For “Sengoku Basara”, it’s a popular video game series that has tried to make these warring clans (that happen to live in the same time period) and generals with amazing abilities take on each other.  And with the first two seasons of the anime series and also with this final film, what people enjoy is the humor and the action involved.

With “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party”, the series and the video games have always focused on Masamune Date, Yukimura Sanada, Mitsunari Ishida and Tokogawa Ieyasu and the final film ends with these primary characters as they must join forces in taking on the latest evil to cause chaos in the land.

Like the television series before it, there is a new threat and the four must put away their egos in order to join forces and work for the greater good.   But the question is can they.  With Mitsunari wanting revenge on Masamune for killing Hideyoshi Toyotomi.  And of course, there is Yukimura always wanting to see who is more powerful, he or Masamune and both wanting to get into a duel with each other.  And this time, Tokogawa Ieyasu is the peace keeper trying to achieve unity.

And as much as “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party” may seem like the final, I really have a hard time believing that.  This series will continue in video games, as it was recently continuing via live action drama in Japan (“Sengoku Basara: Moonlight Party”) and I’m sure we will see more of these guys in some new anime series, OVA or film in the near future.

As for the Blu-ray release, one of the positive aspects of “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party” is that it’s a film, so that means better animation and better detailed backgrounds coming from Production I.G.  Also, no more 2.0 lossless soundtrack in Japanese, this time around both English and Japanese soundtracks are presented in Dolby TrueHD5.1.  And as for special features, I’m quite happy that a making of feature showing the making of the film but also the popularity of the series has been in Japanese pop culture.

For those who have already committed themselves to watching the first two seasons of “Sengoku Basara” will definitely want to watch the film.  I don’t recommend watching the film first, as you want to know the context of the characters, their rivalries and respective clans.  But for those who have no time to watch the TV series, fortunately there is an opening introduction explaining what had taken place from those two seasons before the movie.

Overall, “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party” is an action-packed, samurai fighting storyline that continues where the first two seasons have left off.  For fans of the video game and anime series, “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party” is recommended!

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