Based on the mobile game that released late May of this year, Sengoku Night Blood is one of historic dramas but with a twist, that twist being that it’s set in an parallel world where instead of daimyōs fighting against each other in the Sengoku Period to unite Japan, we’ve got vampires and werewolves fighting against each other to unite “Shinga” (totally not vampire-werewolf Japan). Oh, also every single person in this anime/game shares the same name as historical figures in the Sengoku Period. Coincidence? No, not really.
The mobile game and anime is a collaboration between Otomate (game company whose specialty is to create games for girls), Marvelous Inc. (developer of video games and anime) and KADOKAWA (publisher of manga, magazines and games). The game itself is only in Japanese, so if you’re an English speaker who is interested in playing it after watching this anime, I’d suggest to either look up guides and translations or learn Japanese. If you want to read my review of the mobile game, here’s the link.
As for the anime its main production is by a studio called Typhoon Graphics who are mostly credited for finishing animation and their big projects would be animation production assistance with the Digimon Adventure Tri. movies, animation production/finish animation of my favorite shitty first person anime series One Room and Roommate and finally their latest and biggest project with Sengoku Night Blood. With such prestigious work, I’m sure this will be one hell of a ride.
❗ This time around I’ll be reviewing this series as each episode airs because I have a mighty feeling that this anime might be hilarious in terms of quality (or lack there of) and it’ll be much easier to gather my thoughts on certain parts of the anime, considering I forget some stuff when I do full reviews. Hopefully I’ll do the same for the Dynamic Chord anime because that seems lol worthy. Not sure if I’ll do a full review eventually to wrap things up after it ends, but I’ll consider it. ❗
Plot wise for the first episode is just establishing things such as characters and the world, but done so clumsily and fast pace that it’s kinda hard to keep track of everyone without being familiar with them by playing about 2 days worth of the mobile game.
We’re introduced to our heroine, Yuzuki (who’s name has yet to be said in the anime yet), who has had just recently been released from eye transplant surgery. She looks 100% better with eyes and I’m glad the surgery was a success despite some scenes where she looks a bit derpy. She is voiced by Rie Kugimiya (Alphonse Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist series, Kagura in Gintama and Rise Kujikawa in Persona 4 series) who seems to suit the role for the shy and timid (but also confused as hell) Yuzuki. For a second there I thought they were gonna exclude the heroine out of the anime because she wasn’t in any of the promos until recently, so I’m glad it all worked out in the end.
Our heroine is transported into Shinga through her mobile phone (I see what y’all did there) and lands in the middle of the battlefield, in the safety of some shrubbery, where the Toyotomi army is fighting against the Oda army. These two armies will prolly be our main focus since they’re always clashing against each other in the main story of the mobile game.
Fight scenes are alright, short and sweet but try not to watch it over and over again or else you’ll notice some weird inconsistencies during the scene. One of those scenes being the one with Hideyoshi Toyotomi vs. my home boy Katsuie Shibata, where it looks nice in separate parts but the way those parts are stitched together makes it look disjointed as hell, especially if you watch it on a loop. At first I made this gif to show off the fighting scenes but as I kept watching it on a loop I noticed how the choreography in some parts don’t make sense in the previous cuts of the fight. I guess it’s gotta be seen to be believed, or maybe I’m being nitpicking 😆 .
Particularly the part where Hideyoshi runs to Katsuie who is off-screen and seconds after Hideyoshi is out of frame Katsuie jumps back into the same shot with Hideyoshi running after him from the same corner he runs towards at the start of that shot. I have no idea what the fuck is going on in that shot like, what is the perspective of that shot like what…. what the fuck omg.
The fight scenes have potential but I think they need to work on the choreography and the cuts between each shot because wow… it can make a nice flowing animation look weird in context if you do a bad job of it.
Anyway, moving past that, the heroine is taken under Toyotomi Army’s wing, considering they’re prolly the canon ally army because she teamed up with them in the manga too. So far the Toyotomi Army are the good guys but it’d be interesting to see her move between the armies and see different perspectives like in the mobile game, but that would prolly not happen. Not enough in the budget.
Next up we’re introduced to each army and their leaders who are formally introduced to the audience than the underlings. Now, this is where it falls apart. Each army gets around either 30 seconds to a minute of introduction/screen time with the major armies being Toyotomi and Oda, Uesugi gets a little bit more of the spotlight as the less major armies but I’m unsure if they’ll play a huge part or not. The armies that go the least screen time in my opinon would be Sanada and Date, but especially Date.
I’ve seen lots of comments complaining that there were too many guys introduced in a short amount of time and I fully agree. Unless you’ve been playing the game, you would have so little time to consume the information of who is who as the episode goes along because you’re basically being introduced to about 28 guys (and the heroine has yet to say her name, even to the guys who are keeping her safe lmao) in about 24 minutes. There’s no way you’ll be able to remember their names, I’m not even sure if everyone been introduced formally or indirectly.
In my opinion, I think they should’ve just focused on Toyotomi and Oda army in the first episode, formally introduce every main player in those armies and explain how this parallel world works. Then as the episodes go on you introduce more armies and characters. If you want new people to get interested in your game then hold their hand and slowly feed new information to the audience for them to get invested in your characters and your world. More or less, this feels like an anime for the fans/players seeing that it was so easy for me to follow the plot & characters without wondering who is who, because I’ve been accustomed to it after playing maybe weeks of it.
Basically this whole episode was focused on introducing characters and then leave on a ‘cliffhanger’ of the Big Bad Mr. Nobunaga Oda, whose reveal would be less intimidating for those who don’t know about the Sengoku period (then again, I’m not sure if there is anyone in Japan who doesn’t know at least Nobunaga Oda), also the big reveal about Toyotomi army being vampires. If you’re not familiar with Otomate, they basically love putting blood sucking into their games, it’s basically what sells the most among their customer base (but that’s just me generalizing) so this is kinda like Otomate’s big wet dream to create a multimedia franchise with blood sucking involved and for it to be a success.
So get ready for some more almost borderline erotic bloodsucking, if you love Diabolik Lovers then you’ll prolly love this. Besides that, there’s nothing much to note about this episode, more like there’s nothing memorable except for the last 3 minutes, like I said before the majority of this episode was character introduction and then a bit of conflict near the end, that may be resolved next episode.
For the first episode there were a certain amount of off-modeling and awkward animation/shots. Even at certain close ups it looks really off proportioned, slightly disappointing but what else do I expect from an anime adaption of an otome game. I have yet to watch an anime adaption of an otome game that blew me away, if any of you have suggestions just hit me up lol.
Style choice, I have no idea why they bleach everything during the day scenes. Everything is over exposed like the sun is beaming right down and is 10km away from our characters. I dunno if it’s intentional because this is a foreign world where the moon is huge and visible on the horizon during the day but goddamn it makes things look terrible. I went and attempted to edit it, keep in mind the shading is one thing I can’t edit so easily in photoshop (especially when I have 0 skill in shading myself). I dunno if it’s a huge improvement, but I tried.
It looks extra bad/weird when all the characters are blue tinted because of the style and they are against a background that makes them look super out of place. Blue-tinted guys against stark green is pretty awkward to look at, it’s hard to describe how wrong it feels. The night time and sunset scenes look normal and good to look at but the day time scenes makes me wanna just put on some sunglasses to combat how over exposed everything is. Why ya gotta do this?
Another weird choice is how sometimes whenever the heroine looks at the guys, suddenly there’s some kind of sepia filter and we’re viewing things in her perspective or something and it’s so weird and uncalled for. I don’t know what’s the reason behind this. Like, are they trying to do that bishie filter where everything is blurry except for the dude and there are bubbles and sparkles littering the screen but because it’s old timey Sengoku Period we gotta make that shit look old with sepia tones? What.
Get yourself a girl who looks at you through a sepia filter
There were only a few good close ups in this episode that looked close enough to being on modeled, the rest of the close ups look wonky and questionable. Off to a great start, can’t wait to see the quality decline from here on out. Roll in those off model shots like B-Project.
A handful of the only decently drawn shots (in my opinion)
Image quality aside, I’m glad that the heroine is voiced and has some form of presence in the anime. One scene that stood out for me was when Hideyoshi is injured and they’re running away but have no choice to fight back and the heroine asks if she could help in any way which leads to this scene:
Which surprised me because last time I remember when playing the game was that they never wrote scenes where she was given the opportunity to help out through fighting alongside the guys and she would be determined to take a sword and fight. But this was later backpedaled where Hideyoshi is like ‘yeah ok’, fights back anyway with his injury and Yuzuki never got her moment to shine (then again she wouldn’t be as skilled as Hideyoshi). So I’m gonna guess they’re just gonna have her around as a blood bank for the vampire boyos. I appreciate the scene anyway.
Anyway, thats about it for this episode. Nothing exciting happened, but I have high hopes that this will either be good or so bad it’s good.
Thanks for reading. I’ll leave you with this episode’s off model collage.