First Look: Sengoku Youko

First Glance: Sengoku Youko

Manga Adaptation by White Fox

Premise

During the turbulent Eiroku Period, the unfortunate warrior Shinsuke travels with the wise Jinka and the fox spirit Tama to make amends and put an end to wrongdoers.

Iro’s verdict: Please Stick With It

Sengoku Youko, based solely on this first episode and without any prior knowledge, appears to be a passable historical action drama with good animation and typical character clichés. However, I’m a huge fan of Satoshi Mizukami and have read the manga, so I can’t help but watch knowing this. Like, I understand. Even if Biscuit Hammer’s offensively awful anime adaption still haunts us, and even though Mizukami’s works may have drab openings, the guy is unrivaled when it comes to character arcs and fulfilling conclusions that evoke strong feelings in the viewer. Fortunately, there are three seasons of this show to cover all of that, but that does mean that the entire scope and complexity of the narrative won’t be apparent in the first twenty minutes.

Gee’s verdict: You Will Watch This

Writer of manga with the most consistency is Satoshi Mizukami. Among his contemporaries, no one is as skilled at crafting satisfying conclusions as he is. It’s like the man has never missed. Are his early steps somewhat plodding and unimpressive? Don’t his characters effectively convey their allure from the beginning? True enough, no guy could be fortunate enough to have everything, yet Mizukami is unmatched in her ability to create straightforward yet fulfilling emotional journeys. Sincere simplicity may be elegant, and Mizukami has never been tempted to maintain pretense or cover up his work with superfluous complication. I agree with Iro that Sengoku Youko’s original premise wasn’t all that compelling on its own. The typical shounen idiot protagonist Shinsuke is, Jinka is your melancholy anti-hero, and Tama is, well, Tama. I could write all the rhetoric and testimonies in the world to make you change your opinion. All I can say is, trust me, Sengoku Youko will be one to watch closely as long as White Fox doesn’t totally screw up this adaptation. You’re not aware of how lucky we are to have at last a quality adaptation of one of Mizukami’s works.

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