Sengoku Collection Review

This is review number one hundred and twenty two. This is another Spring 2012 anime. Yeah, I’m not done yet with this lineup. I’m trying to cover all the bases just to make sure. The anime I’ll be reviewing is Sengoku Collection. It’s a twenty six episode anime about girl versions of Sengoku personalities stuck in the modern world trying to adapt to daily life. It sounds nice, huh? Let’s read on.

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Story

Oda Nobunaga is surprised to find herself hurling down to Earth after being engulfed by flame mere moments ago. She seems to have travelled into the future. She is in modern Japan where people live peacefully. She was obviously shocked at first and soon demands to go back in her own world. Three shrine spirits soon tells her that if she collects the secret treasure of other warriors also stuck in the modern world then she can go back home. Nobunaga is now on a journey to find other people of her time and get their treasure so she can go back to conquering Japan. The individual lives of the other warriors would surprise her though when she finds out they have learned to adapt in this peaceful way of life.

Taking the Pants Off

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This is another Sengoku anime. The main characters are famous historical figures, mostly samurais and feudal lords, given a different look. In my one hundred and twenty reviews, I’ve seen three of these and this is my fourth one. They’re all basically the same. Famous characters like Oda Nobunaga turned anime is nothing new. In this anime, they are all turned into girls and tipping over the moe side. I barely noticed this anime but I have to tell you, it’s a pretty solid one. You think after a couple of Sengoku anime, I’d get bored of the premise. For some reason, every Sengoku anime I’ve seen was able to take the tired and overused topic turning it into something appealing and worth watching.

Sengoku Collection is about famous personalities from the Sengoku era travelling into the modern world and experiencing life completely different from the one they are accustomed with. The main appeal of the anime is that the famous characters are turned into girls. It’s not that big of an appeal since other Sengoku anime has done the same. The one thing that makes this anime stand out is that there are no wars or fights of any kind you would expect from a Sengoku anime. They are transported into the future where peace is pretty prominent and their desire to conquer doesn’t match the attitude of the era. Most Sengoku anime are action packed involving some recreation of famous historical events, they have a big fight feel to them or at most times, they’re ecchi. Any of the three works for a Sengoku anime. Sengoku Collection doesn’t have an action minded story or a fanservice appeal. This Sengoku anime is more Slice of Life. That’s the appeal of this anime. Famous war personalities turned into cute girls placed in a slice of life environment.

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This anime is a bit hard to watch though because there is no central story to tie the anime together. Actually, there is but the anime didn’t really use it as much. Take the title “Sengoku Collection” literally because this anime is a collection of one shot stories. Each episode features a different Sengoku character in their individual stories and misadventures. Some characters overlap but majority of the episodes is about one shot characters. It’s hard to get used to that idea at first because I was expecting something more intriguing to watch. As you progress to the anime though, you often feel excited which Sengoku character is presented next. I guess I just love the novelty of the story. You take a famous historical figure with a pretty colorful legacy then inject them in a modern setting. For example, there is an episode about Matsuo Basho, who is considered the master of Haiku, in a story where she teaches Haiku to inspire people in this rundown café and turn their fortunes around. Then there is another one about Hiraga Gennai, who is known for inventing his own thermometer and electrostatic machine, in a story where she is a scientist creating a time travelling machine. There is enough surprises and novelty in the anime to keep you tuning in.

Do not be intimidated by the Sengoku references though. I honestly don’t know who Hiraga Gennai is at first until I look him up in wiki. The anime isn’t balls deep on historical references so you can enjoy the anime without any prior knowledge of the characters. A simple google of their names is enough to get a gist of their characters and enjoy the anime. Heck, you often don’t need to look them up and just watch the anime because it’s still pretty solid. It doesn’t rely heavily on historical elements to make itself look good.

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Not all episodes are Slice of Life. There is a wide range of genre in the anime but SoL was the most prominent. There are some characters in a cop and robber type of story where they get involved with the authorities and shady people. There are also stories about giant grasshoppers and battles in a space station. It’s pretty much a big mixed bag and you won’t know what you’re getting unless you watch the anime. I easily got used to that aspect of the anime but I do believe it’s hard to get into it especially since most of the episodes feels like filler episodes. Haha. It’s a collection of filler episodes. There is some definite stand out though and some episodes are easy to appreciate.

The main story of the anime though is about Oda Nobunaga trying to collect the secret treasures of the different characters so she can go back to her own world and continue her conquest. As I said before, this part of the story wasn’t focused much and Nobunaga often just appear randomly at some episodes.  It’s pretty interesting though that most characters would willingly give their treasure to Nobunaga because they prefer living in the modern world where peace is abundant and daily life is easy. This also makes Nobunaga pretty interesting since she’s the only Sengoku character who wants to continue conquering while others have embraced their peaceful life in the modern world.

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This anime is apparently adapted from an online card trading game so there is no shortage of characters. The characters in the anime are a bit clichéd but a few of them stands out. There is really nothing new about their personality other than the fact that they’re still adjusting to the modern world. It doesn’t mean that they’re bad though. I think there is close to thirty characters in the anime, not counting the side characters, and no character has the same personality. They all have that unique trait that makes them stand out. Most of these traits are the things that made them historically significant. For example, Toyotomi Hideyoshi is known for creating the social classes (poor and rich divided) and known for having a pretty lavish lifestyle. In the anime, Hideyoshi is a carefree girl who is addicted to eating rice. It’s pretty interesting and funny at the same time. The addition of those unique traits makes the characters more likeable and with close to thirty of them, it’s often a surprise how other characters would be like.

I do have one complaint about the anime. They had Liu Bei as a character. I’m nit picking here but he isn’t part of the Sengoku era. He reigned in China. What the flying f*ck happened? They ran out of Sengoku characters? I was pretty disappointed some of my favorite characters aren’t in the anime like Hanzou the ninja but I wasn’t that sad because I get to see some unpopular Sengoku characters getting a share of the spotlight.

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This is a pretty solid anime. I was always excited on which character they were going to present next and their personalities are all pretty awesome. My first impression of the anime was like “The Idolmaster” though because of the large cast and the one shot stories but it slowly changes because of the unique premise and the original look at a Sengoku anime. If you enjoy watching Slice of Life anime then this anime is pretty solid though it is hard to get used to the one shot story template of the anime. A little open mindedness can go a long way though.

Sight and Sound

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The characters are all pretty awesome in this anime. The thirty plus characters all have individual looks and I love how they are all differently dressed. Some characters are cute with massive sparkly eyes and some characters are sexy with big boobs and a sexy body. Some characters are just pretty normal with a solid height and body frame. The nice bright color of the hairs and the outfits makes the characters pretty interesting. The outfits range from traditional Sengoku costumes with body armor and shoulder guards to Victorian inspired frilly dresses to modified kimonos. The outfit accentuates a characters appeal. If she is moe then she has big clothes that cover her body and if she is sexy, then she often has minimal clothes and exposed body parts like the stomach. Some characters have their own individual props to make them stand out more. There are girl with bondage on her eyes, cute glasses and stuff like that.

Easter Egg: Mawaru Penguindrum poster

Easter Egg: Mawaru Penguindrum poster

The background of the anime is pretty nice. It’s painted scenes with a bright color template. I also noticed some images with low opacity on most scenes like flowers and skulls incorporated in the background. At first I was a bit wary that the style of the anime was like Mawaru Penguindrum because I don’t like the trippy artsy approach of that anime. Thank God, it wasn’t in this anime.

The animation is pretty decent. There aren’t any fight scenes so there isn’t really anything worth noting. There are some dance scenes and the dream scenes where flower petals rain from the sky. The only time I felt the animation stand out was during the fight at the final episode and the story about Hojo Soun where she fought a bunch of thugs using only kicks.

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The anime has two OP. The first one is “Me wo Tojite Gyuttoshiyo” by ABCHO. It’s a pretty upbeat song and I love the girl vibe of it. The song has a steady pace and I love the big finish where the singer hits a very high note. The OP sequence features the girls on the first half and few teasing of the girls in the second half. It was a nice rundown of the characters and I reminisce about the characters every time I see them in the OP. It also makes me excited about the ones that aren’t introduced yet. The second OP is “back into my world” by Sweety. This is a pretty catchy song and the theme of friendship was pretty nice. The OP sequence features Nobunaga and Mitsuhide. I recently learned that Mitsuhide was the dude who betrayed Nobunaga, set up an ambush and got him killed so I was pretty excited to see him appear.

The anime also has two ED songs. The first one is “UNLUCKY GIRL!!” by Sweety. It’s a very catchy song and I love how the singer pronounces the English words in the song. It was very cute. The song has a very upbeat feel to it and the singer’s voice makes it all special. The ED sequence featured all the girls in the first half in still poses either being cute or sexy. The second ED song is “Darling to Madonna” by Yukako Yoshikawa. It starts out a bit techno pop. The singer’s voice is a definite stand out because she has a very soft voice. It’s even better when it hits the chorus. The sequence features all the girls in the second half in still poses as well either being cute or sexy as well.

Overall Score

7/10 “A Slice of Life Sengoku anime. It surprisingly works.”

I love this anime and the characters. If you love Slice of Life then you’ll love this anime. All the stand alone episodes really speak loud and it will leave an impression despite the mellow genre. I highly recommend it.

Thoughts~

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