Sengoku Night Blood – Anime Preview
Synopsis: One day, Yuzuki is enveloped by a mysterious light suddenly emanating from her cell phone and finds herself in an unfamiliar place. The scenery spread out before her almost resembles Sengoku period Japan– But this is another world known as “Shinga” where non-human creatures such as vampires and werewolves reside. Long ago, the various tribes of Shinga lived together peacefully under the protection of the Himemiko who possessed special blood. However, one day the Himemiko suddenly vanished. With the protection of the Himemiko gone, the world has fallen into a period of strife. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Sengoku Night Blood is washed out, with overly saturated colors to try and sell the sheer brightness of the sunlight as warriors duke it out across the battlefield, but end up making the whole thing feel dull to look at. Except for the grass. For some very strange reason, the grass and other greenery really pop in this show, with an incredible green that really stands out.
Linny: Another distracting visual issue is the fact that every single human/humanoid character seems to have albino skin tone. One could understand the washed out alabaster white skin for some of the characters seeing that they’re meant to be vampires but this skin tone is given to pretty much every prominent character, including our female protagonist, making for a hemoglobin lacking cast. I’d assumed this was to keep in line with the original game’s aesthetic but google searches have left me unconvinced about that too.
Tom: Speaking of our lead, Yuzuki, she’s as blank a slate as can possibly be. The show very quickly thrusts her into this alternate world with as little established about her as possible. The episode then cuts away from her to throw pretty boy after pretty boy at us, before returning to her just long enough to establish that she has a vague determination not to die in this situation. Oh and maybe return home, though she doesn’t seem all that jazzed about it. She’s a weak main character, and the need to thrust dozens of characters at us in this first episode alone doesn’t help matters at all. Not only does it steal away from much needed time to get to know our would-be leading lady, but its so numerous, so fast with its giant cast that no one sticks out. I can’t for the life of me remember anyone besides alternate universe Hideyoshi, the only character to stick by Yuzuki’s side, and the evil and menacing Nobunaga from literally the final minute of the premiere.
Linny: The otome game origins of the show are really given away by how blank and bland our heroine is, most likely a result of her role being left to be filled in by the player. Her reactions all feel rather weak compared to the drastic situation she has found herself in and make her feel all the more unimpressive and unconvincing. I will give the show points for having her step up to the challenge when offered a sword to fight alongside Hideyoshi because other than that, she just seems to be a bland damsel in distress.
Tom: It feels very Fushigi Yugi light. The same basic concepts, but done without any effort to instill real character and dimension. Because it spends far too much time hurling huge swaths of characters at us, there’s never any effort to draw the audience in and keep you engaged.
Linny: This show and the game it’s based upon are yet another entry in taking the beloved (in Japan) tale and settings of Nobunaga and his rise to power and mixing it up with something unusual, in this case, werewolves, vampires, and time travel. However, unless you’re really into otome games, this show so far lacks the potential to charm any other audience because of its bland cast and lackluster story telling. As someone who isn’t a fan of otome games, I have no real idea if otome fans will actually find this show appealing.
Tom: As Linny mentioned above, Sengoku is based off an otome Game, and that likely explains so many of the series’ deficiencies, as Sengoku feels more like an effort to provide lengthy fan service to the game’s die hards than to craft an approachable series for newcomers to enjoy. I think Sengoku is best left as a pass.
Linny: Sengoku Night Blood is a show with extremely nuanced appeal. While the Nobunaga era might earn it brownie points with Japanese audiences, it won’t necessarily give it extra appeal elsewhere. And its otome game roots, bland protagonist, peculiar colouring, and over the top pretty boys only further its niche appeal. Unless you’re a fan of any of those aforementioned factors, you can safely keep this show off your watch list.
Sengoku Night Blood is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.