If there is one word I could use to accurately summarize Sengoku Youko it would be ethereal. The anime, from start to finish, feels like one of the most brilliant fusions of folklore and modern animation techniques. Combat and combat are smooth and filled with bright lighting, halo effects, and excellent music. The characters introduced in episode 1 all have very unique personalities, expressed quite strongly despite the length of a single episode. It’s rare that I see an anime that thoroughly introduces its inner world without including expository details that slow down the plot. This first episode seemed like the ideal pace and density for the premiere, and the audience at Anime NYC responded appropriately with applause and loud “ahhs” during key moments. important.
We got a chance to watch the first episode as part of the Crunchyroll panel in Anime NYC. In addition to the episode, Director Sengoku Youko Aizawa Masahiro and Producer Ailian Cai were also present live on stage to answer questions about the series (both the already shown episode and upcoming episodes) and the adaptation process of the movie.
The Sage and the Fox Spirit
There are three main characters in the first episode. The first two, who call themselves “siblings of world reform,” are a pair of somewhat commendable characters with mystical powers. Tama, the older sister, is a 200-year-old fox spirit with the appearance of a little girl despite her age and intelligent appearance. Jinka, the younger brother, is an ascetic sage who uses spiritual powers, a staff, and talismans to cast spells during battle. Tama, despite being a type of monster called a katawara, loves humans and wants to both protect them from evil and persuade evildoers to change their ways. Jinka, despite being human, hates them. He adopts a twisted type of rule-based morality in which he will only fight someone for a reason, but enjoys the opportunity to bully humans when there is a reason to do so. In the first episode, it’s not entirely clear why Jinka is with Tama, but we do know that he has the ability to drink her blood to quickly transform into a fox-like form to merge her powers. both together.
The third main character, Hyoudou Shinsuke, is the ronin son of a samurai on a warrior’s pilgrimage. He came across the reformed brothers and sisters during his journey. For him, they were an introduction to the mystical world and the first time he had to contemplate the differences between humans and non-humans. Shinsuke serves as a kind of stand-in audience member; Curious about the twins, he followed them out of interest and asked about their origins and motives. He does so making the exhibition sites feel incredibly organic as he learns more about the world along with us. For him, spirits, demons and monsters previously existed only in the realm of folk tales. The moment he witnessed Tama and Jinka’s strength in battle, he decided that this was the way for him to become stronger.
Fluid combat and magic in Sengoku Youko
Surprisingly, despite the amount of time spent on world-building and presentation in Sengoku Youko, a few battle scenes are both visually impressive and create some anticipation for future aspects. future of the story. Studio White Fox produces the show and they do a great job of making the action ethereal but not gratuitous. Combat in Sengoku Youko is based on the use of spiritual energy attacks and spells, giving the anime a lot of fun in terms of lighting and sound effects. The sounds of energy blasts and dashes reminded me a lot of the fighting in Naruto, with a few changes in the anime’s presentation compared to the manga. The judges after the premiere noted that in the anime, Jinka’s fox-shaped hair was changed from orange-red to white. This is done for three reasons. First, it allows the anime to have more color palette options when representing Jinka’s aura and different energy colors during combat. Second, it conveys an otherworldly aspect to him, especially when he uses the power from Tama. Finally, it pays homage to the White Fox by literally turning him into the White Fox. All of this brings balance between elements on the screen, making it extremely pleasant to watch, especially when combined with intelligent orientation and viewing angles that switch to different positions in the screen. major skirmishes.
In addition to the more magical aspect of combat, Sengoku Youko also demonstrates a variety of close combat techniques-Hand and sword fighting. Shinsuke fights with swords but seems to lack confidence in his abilities despite bragging about them to Tama and Jinka. He tells them that he has the ability to split someone’s helmet with a swing of his sword. He did this, but he seemed surprised by the action and his sword definitely had some magical quality to it that he pulled out. Likewise, Jinka’s fox form, according to the series director, will evolve over time. In this first episode, he transforms and only has four tails but as he gets stronger, he gains more tails, perhaps reaching a maximum of nine.
During the discussion after the premiere, Aizawa and Ailian noted that Sengoku Youko will be a three-part series. Originally, the producers planned to merge the entire series into just two, but there was too much content to do this while still doing the job justice. Thanks to financial support from Crunchyroll, all 17 episodes of the series will be adapted as much as possible. Several other characters whose voice actors were announced with the show won’t actually appear until later courses; Nau, Senya, and Sukiko will all appear starting from the second season. Each stage, the main characters will transform somewhat, truly making the series feel new and evolving.
Image via YouTube
© Satoshi Mizukami/Mag Garden/Sengoku Youkou Animation Department