Wednesday, 17 September 2014

News roundup: Another round of Sengoku Basara festival collaborations

As tomorrow is the first day of the Tokyo Game Show 2014, I'm posting this news roundup earlier than planned to ensure I have a clean slate in case anything exciting is reported.

Whether there is news of any new game or not, there will probably be a media presentation at the show to announce upcoming tie-ins and merchandise (and hopefully, dates for the next Basara Matsuri). I also think it's likely we'll see the two new mascot characters from last week's Inazuma Rock Fes appearing at the show to greet visitors.

So for now, here's a wrap-up of the Sengoku Basara news from the last couple of days.

It's festival season for the Sengoku Basara series

Two more traditional festival tie-ins have been announced today to join the Yukimura exhibition in Osaka and last weekend's Masamune-kou Matsuri, which has posted its official poster artwork since my previous update.


The first of the new announcements is that Sengoku Basara's Katakura Kojuurou will support this year's Oni Kojuurou Matsuri once again. The seventh annual festival will take place on 4th October 2014 in its usual home of Shiroishi City, Miyagi Prefecture. It celebrates the second generation Katakura Kojuurou (Katakura Shigenaga) and features historical reenactments at the local castle.

Even though the character from the game is based on the first Katakura Kojuurou (Katakura Kagetsuna), the series blends his feats with those of his son and the festival honours them both. Kojuurou's voice actor Morikawa Toshiyuki often takes time out from his busy schedule to visit Shiroishi for the festival each year. I wonder whether he'll be mingling with the crowds of fans again this time?


In addition, fans who visit Motochika's birthplace of Nankoku City in Kouchi Prefecture between 11th October 2014 and 12th January 2015 can participate in the 'Chousokabe Motochika Rally 4'. It's a special tourism event designed to let visitors follow in Motochika's footsteps via a 'real rally game', and this time the posters for the game will use artwork from Sengoku Basara 4.


Since it's a game, it's less straightforward than a plain old festival. Participants have to visit the locations specified on the pamphlet's 'treasure map', take pictures of themselves at the various sites and then email them to Nankoku's tourist board for a chance to win prizes. It sounds pretty fun!

The final special guest is announced for the Sengoku Basara Judge End radio show

As regular readers know, the bonus Hoshi Souichirou and Seki Tomokazu's 'Sengoku Basara: Judge End' Radio CDs which come with the DVD/BD releases of Sengoku Basara Judge End each feature a special episode with a seiyuu guest presenter. The staff have now revealed the guest who will appear on the fourth volume and it's to be Nakahara Shigeru (Mouri Motonari).

NTV announce a wider selection of Sengoku Basara Judge End merchandise

These announcements never end! The first new goodies from the official anime website is a selection of four natural stone bracelets and pins. The designs are based on Masamune (sodalite), Yukimura (coral), Ieyasu (tiger's eye) and Mitsunari (amethyst). Each piece of jewellery comes with an illustrated backing card of the character it's based upon.

The bracelets will cost ¥3,800 each while the pins are ¥1,500. They're planned for release at the beginning of October 2014.


There will also be a pair of stainless steel tumblers priced at ¥1,500 each. They're suitable for hot and cold beverages and each comes with a lid. The release date is expected to be between late November and early December 2014.


The Sengoku Basara Judge End bath towels are available online

There was some interest in these towels when they were first announced so here's an update: fans who have access to a proxy buying service can now reserve the towels through OOPARTS Online.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Anime review: Sengoku Basara Judge End episode 10

A rather crazy episode even by the series' usual standards. The staff weren't kidding when they said there would be some new content.

How to watch

Now that the official simulcasts are beginning it's been confirmed that the alternate title Sengoku Basara -End of Judgement- is being used outside Japan. I'll keep using Judge End for consistency but they're the exact same show.

These are the official ways to watch Sengoku Basara Judge End at the moment:

Television (Japan only)
This week's initial television broadcast on NTV is at 01:55 on Sunday morning (Japan time). The YTV and BS Nittere broadcasts are shown over a week late.

NTV On Demand (Japan only)
This is a premium service. Fans can pay ¥900 to watch the whole series or ¥300 to see an individual episode. The first episode is free and the previous week's episode is shown for free on Fridays and Saturdays. The series airs slightly earlier than the television broadcast at 24:00 local time.

Hulu (Japan only)
Fans who pay Hulu's ¥933 monthly fee can watch the episodes slightly ahead of the broadcast time.

The following Japanese streaming services will also be streaming Judge End; if you can't wait then it might be worth checking them to see whether any work in your region. I imagine they'll make the episodes available shortly after the television broadcast and some will be showing it for free.

AcTVila, Bandai Channel, Best Hit Anime Douga, d Anime Store, DMM.com, Google Play, GyaO Store, Happy Douga Anime, Hikari TV, JCOM On Demand, Movie Full+, Nico Nico Official Channel, Rakuten Showtime, Tsutaya TV, TV Dogatch, U-NEXT, Video Market

FUNimation (US only)
The episodes are streamed weekly on Saturdays at 14:20 Eastern Time with English subtitles, even when the Japanese television broadcast is delayed. Subscribers can watch the latest episode on the same day it's available in Japan while free users have to wait a week. FUNimation also have the home video rights, so if the stream is popular the series should eventually be dubbed into English. Even though the videos are region-locked, fans outside the US can still visit the site and rate the videos to show that there's demand!

Anime Digital Network (France only)
ADN are offering the series online with French subtitles. So far, the first eight episodes are available. They charge a monthly fee for the service.

J-ONE (France only)
A French-subtitled broadcast will take place on J-ONE - Canalsat (50) and Numericable (38). It seems to have begun, so the schedule can be viewed at the link.

Viewster (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway only)
The show's broadcast was announced as being 'day and date with Japan' but it took a while for them to catch up. They seem to have settled into a rhythm now and the first nine episodes are already online with English subtitles. Viewster is a free ad-supported service.

Like many fans around the world I live in a country which has been excluded from the licensed simulcasts. In spite of this I feel very strongly about supporting the official translated version when it's available rather than resorting to piracy. The Japanese distributors will use the official viewing figures to see how successful the show has been while the US anime distributors like FUNimation use them to decide whether to give new titles home video releases, whether to dub them and whether to go the extra mile and produce a high quality premium release. If we want Sengoku Basara Judge End to receive a decent western release and raise awareness of the series, we need to make sure people are watching the official streams if possible. Please get your friends to watch it too if you can so that the industry can see that there's an audience out there. It might help to visit the official streaming sites and leave supportive comments there too, even if you live in a country where the video itself is blocked and you had to watch it some other way.

I'd rather not say how I'm watching the Japanese streams but it's not that difficult to find a method with some searching.

Important reminder

Sengoku Basara: Judge End is not a continuation of the previous anime adaptation. It's a brand new story and none of the events in Production I.G.'s version of Sengoku Basara have taken place in its timeline. Please don't get confused trying to match the old story to the new one; this anime is a complete reboot of the entire Sengoku Basara scenario. The story takes place after the fall of Oda Nobunaga.

Summary

The rest of this post contains spoilers for the first nine episodes of Sengoku Basara: Judge End and some low quality screenshots. Please note that I'm watching the show in untranslated Japanese and using my preferred spellings for character names; they won't necessary match the localised spellings if you're watching one of the subtitled versions!

Friday, 12 September 2014

News roundup: September's Sengoku Basara Judge End magazine coverage

I picked up a few anime magazines this month, so it's time for the last (?) regular monthly review of Sengoku Basara Judge End coverage. There will be some extremely mild spoilers until the next headline lower down in this post.


It was Animage which contained the best Sengoku Basara Judge End information for September. Firstly, it confirmed the two last episode titles for Sengoku Basara Judge End. They're so vague that I don't think it's necessary to hide them under a spoiler warning; episode 11 will be called Shinpan ('Judgement') while the final episode will be Shirushi ('Emblem').


The magazine also contained a pull-out poster with all four main characters (sample picture above), and a short interview with anime director Sano Takashi covering the story up until episode nine.
  • Sano explained that both Masamune and Yukimura lost something extremely precious earlier in the series; for Masamune it was his pride, and for Yukimura it was Oyakata-sama. In realising what they had lost for the first time, they took a step forwards.
  • They've now each experienced some growth, not just in body and mind but also by reaffirming their individual beliefs and purpose.
  • In Sano's opinion, Yukimura has become someone that Mitsunari can believe in during in the lead-up to Sekigahara, while Masamune is someone that Ieyasu could always have admired.
  • Even though it had all been planned out in advance, Sano made a lot of refinements during the storyboarding for the climactic scene in episode eight where both leaders gave their speeches. The staff paid a lot of attention to the way they divided up the cuts to ensure that the scene flowed well.
  • Sano's impression of Tenkai is that he's devoted to his own selfish desires and willing to do appalling things in order to achieve his goals. At the same time, he provides Kobayakawa Hideaki with emotional support and appears to be a kind person when he's around him.
  • The line of dialogue which has left the strongest impression on Sano so far was Masamune's "It's the beginning of the PARTY to seize the country!" from the start of the very first episode. When he heard it during the recording session it made him think that the anime was really getting started.
  • On the climax of the series, although it looks like a free-for-all fight he thinks people will want to see the way that the battle concludes with their own eyes.
  • As for match-ups to look out for during the Battle of Sekigahara, Sano recommends the fight between the pair who started the war: Ieyasu versus Mitsunari.
  • Since the cast and sound director had all been working on Sengoku Basara for a while now, it's no exaggeration to say that the recording sessions went very smoothly right from the first episode. Sano didn't always understand the spontaneous ad-libs that the actors made when they were testing the sound, but since they were able to bring most of the cast members together the recording sessions had a wonderful team-like atmosphere.
  • If Sano had to pick a side to join for the battle, he'd want to be in the Eastern Army - and he'd want Ootomo Sourin to try to pursuade him to join the Xavists!
Lastly, the subject of Judge End was briefly revisited in an interview with singer Ishikawa Chiaki in the music pages.

Interviewer: The second song on your new CD is Hokkyokusei ~Polaris~, the ending theme for the Sengoku Basara Judge End anime series. The 'North Star' in the title also features in the lyrics, right?

Ishikawa: There are samurai who are willing to throw their lives away and fight for the sake of the lord they serve. I thought that this relationship resembled that of the North Star and the stars which revolve around it in the night sky. Even when you're on a battlefield in the middle of the mountains and you've lost sight of where you are, by looking at the North Star you'll find your direction, won't you? With that in mind, I wondered whether they would look up at the North Star on the night of a battle, rather than looking up at the moon.

Interviewer: The third song on the CD is called Tír na nÓg. Its sound and lyrics also evoke the image of a battlefield.

Ishikawa: Since I didn't incorporate Japanese 'flavour' into the sound of Hokkyokusei ~Polaris~, I thought about trying to express my own Japanese-style world - which sprung from the flow of 'Basara' - in a different song.

--

The series will apparently feature in next month's autumn edition of Prince Animage. Monthly Animedia was a waste of time this time, as was its sister publication Otomedia. The latter did at least mention both Masamune and Motochika in a column about attractive eyepatch-wearing guys.

I originally forgot to buy Monthly PASH! so it isn't shown in the first picture. It contained another interview with Sano Takeshi.
  • Although Ieyasu seems like a nice guy who champions his ideals at first, deep down he's very conflicted. The staff paid careful attention to the way that he's always smiling and speaking positively in order to highlight his inner struggle.
  • In depicting Masamune falling to rock bottom and then clawing his way back up, they used the story from the original Sengoku Basara 3 game as a framework and tried to expand it a little. With his 'revival' he becomes stronger than he was before.
  • Yukimura's theme in this series is 'becoming independent'. With Oyakata-sama having fallen the hot-blooded guy has nobody to show him the path he should take, and he struggles with worries which stop him in his tracks. It's as though he started out being simple-minded then developed into a true leader.
  • As for things to look out for over the course of the last few episodes, Sano hopes people will keep watching until the very end; both to see what happens in the Battle of Sekigahara, and what happens afterwards.
  • He can't single out any individual character to look out for when all of them have some cool moments. There's Ieyasu and Mitsunari being hit by their true feelings before the conclusion, there's the story behind Tenkai using Sekigahara as part of his scheme, and there's the battle between Masamune and Yukimura.
Someone drew a picture of Kanbee for Monthly PASH!'s reader submissions gallery, congratulating him on finally being animated. The editor joked that Kanbee's presence seemed to raise the average age of the characters shown on that page - most of the other submissions were the hot teenagers from series such as Free! and Haikyuu!! so he looked very out of place.

Tasty new Judge End cakes are coming to Japan

Castella manjuu cakes are to be the newest addition to the Sengoku Basara Judge End merchandise range, according to the official website. They'll be available from anime specialists, tourist shops and the Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair 2014 (Kyomaf) event from 20th September 2014. It costs ¥700 for a pack of eight cakes and the fillings are to be custard (Masamune) and chocolate (Yukimura).


Cover artwork for Mame Sengoku Basara 4 volume 1

e-Capcom has unveiled the cover artwork for the first volume of the new Mame Sengoku Basara 4 manga, which is due for release later this month. It looks completely different to the clean artwork used for the original Mame Sengoku Basara series, but when it's this cute I don't mind that at all! Having more than one character on the cover means more of them will get to appear in future, too.


More Mame Sengoku Basara merchandise is on the way

Speaking of Mame Sengoku Basara, the folks at Gift are releasing another round of cute merchandise for fans of the series.

The first items are new mouse pads, available in a choice of nine designs for ¥500 each. They'll be on sale from November 2014.


There will also be two new sets of clear bookmarks priced at ¥500 apiece. These will be released in December 2014.


Sengoku Basara collaborates with another historically-themed event

There will be a special event next month to commemorate the 400 years since the Winter Siege of Osaka, in which the real-life Sanada Yukimura played an important role. It's only natural, then, that Sengoku Basara 4's version of Sanada Yukimura will be participating in the event by appearing on posters. As well as some kind of special campaign for those who purchase their tickets online, there will be illustrations and videos on display for Sengoku Basara 4 and Sengoku Basara Judge End, an exhibition of the costumes used in the Butai Sengoku Basara stage plays and merchandise to buy.

The Yukimura and the Sanada Ten Braves Exhibition will take place at the main branch of the Hanshin Department Store in Umeda, Osaka between 8th October and 14th October 2014. General admission will cost ¥500 with discounted pricing available for students.


To celebrate the event, there will be a pair of 'Giga-Basara' t-shirts available exclusively for visitors to the event available in sizes S through to XL. Naturally, one features Yukimura...


...while the other has a Sasuke design.


Members of the series' official fan club will be sent an invitation for the event with the next issue of the newsletter, which is due for release on 22nd September 2014.

There will be talk show events at the Butai Sengoku Basara 4 stage play

It's been announced that a selection of the Butai Sengoku Basara 4 performances will also feature 15-minute 'talk show' events with the actors on stage. The planned schedule is as follows.

3rd November 2014 18:00 (Tokyo)
Nakamura Seijirou (Ishida Mitsunari)
Hirose Yuusuke (Tokugawa Ieyasu)
Yoshida Tomokazu (Katakura Kojuurou)
Murata Youjirou (Sarutobi Sasuke)

7th November 2014 13:00 (Tokyo)
Nakamura Seijirou (Ishida Mitsunari)
Hirose Yuusuke (Tokugawa Ieyasu)
Yamaguchi Daichi (Date Masamune)
Matsumura Ryuunosuke (Sanada Yukimura)

22nd November 2014 18:00 (Fukuoka)
Nakamura Seijirou (Ishida Mitsunari)
Hirose Yuusuke (Tokugawa Ieyasu)
Katou Keisuke (Shima Sakon)
Fujita Ray (Shibata Katsuie)
Amano Kousei (Ashikaga Yoshiteru)

28th November 2014 18:30 (Osaka)
Nakamura Seijirou (Ishida Mitsunari)
Hirose Yuusuke (Tokugawa Ieyasu)
Yoshida Tomokazu (Katakura Kojuurou)
Murata Youjirou (Sarutobi Sasuke)
Kubodera Akira (Oda Nobunaga)
Taniguchi Masashi (Akechi Mitsuhide)

5th December 2014 18:00 (Nagoya)
Nakamura Seijirou (Ishida Mitsunari)
Hirose Yuusuke (Tokugawa Ieyasu)
Katou Keisuke (Shima Sakon)
Fujita Ray (Shibata Katsuie)
Amano Kousei (Ashikaga Yoshiteru)

Animate TV posts its weekly Sengoku Basara Judge End preview

Last but not least, Animate TV has posted the usual preview gallery for tomorrow's new anime episode.

--

As well as the usual weekly dose of Judge End, tomorrow promises some additional entertainment as the Masamune-kun and Yukimura-kun mascots are going to be unveiled at Inazuma Rock Fes as promised last week. I'm looking forward to seeing how weird they look!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

News roundup: The final Sengoku Basara Judge End episode descriptions are now available

It really feels as though the anime is coming to an end now that NTV have released the very last batch of previews. I've put them at the end of this (short) post.

The next piece of Sengoku Basara Judge End merchandise is a mini towel

A Sengoku Basara Judge End mini towel (20cm x 20cm) is due for release in mid-September priced at ¥500. It will feature cute versions of all four lead characters.


Ieyasu's face is probably my favourite part of this tiny preview picture. Aww!

Details and jacket artwork for the second Judge End DVD/BD

The details of the second volume of the anime's Japanese home video release have now been confirmed thanks to Dengeki Online.

Sengoku Basara Judge End: II
Release date: 22nd October 2014
Catalogue number: VPXY-71337 (Blu-ray) / VPBY-14330 (DVD)
Price: ¥5,800 (Blu-ray) / ¥4,800 (DVD)
Blu-ray specification: Colour, Stereo, Linear PCM 2.0, 16:9 1080p HD
DVD specification: Colour, Stereo, 16:9 LB, Dolby Digital 2.0ch
Run time: 70 minutes (plus extras)
Contents: Sengoku Basara Judge End episodes 4-6

The special audio CD from the first press edition will include episodes of the Hoshi Souichirou and Seki Tomokazu's 'Sengoku Basara: Judge End' Radio show with a special guest appearance from seiyuu Ookawa Tooru (Tokugawa Ieyasu).

Here's the newly-unveiled Sengoku Basara Judge End: II DVD/Blu-ray cover artwork.


The set will come in an illustrated digipak with a 20-page booklet. It doesn't seem as though Amazon, Tsutaya and Yodobashi Camera are going to have exclusive items for the second volume of the anime. The second exclusive keychain depicts Yukimura and Sasuke as promised.


The official website has also shuffled the roster page around, to add the new characters and reflect the changes in allegiance which have occurred over the last few episodes. A few things still look strange to me.

Previews of the last few episodes of Judge End

The rest of this post contains potential spoilers for Sengoku Basara Judge End.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Anime review: Sengoku Basara Judge End episode 9

Today's episode was probably the most exciting yet! If the rest of the series continues like this, I'll be a very happy person...

How to watch

Now that the official simulcasts are beginning it's been confirmed that the alternate title Sengoku Basara -End of Judgement- is being used outside Japan. I'll keep using Judge End for consistency but they're the exact same show.

These are the official ways to watch Sengoku Basara Judge End at the moment:

Television (Japan only)
This week's initial television broadcast on NTV is at 01:55 on Sunday morning (Japan time). The YTV and BS Nittere broadcasts are shown over a week late.

NTV On Demand (Japan only)
This is a premium service. Fans can pay ¥900 to watch the whole series or ¥300 to see an individual episode. The first episode is free and the previous week's episode is shown for free on Fridays and Saturdays. The series airs slightly earlier than the television broadcast at 24:00 local time.

Hulu (Japan only)
Fans who pay Hulu's ¥933 monthly fee can watch the episodes slightly ahead of the broadcast time.

The following Japanese streaming services will also be streaming Judge End; if you can't wait then it might be worth checking them to see whether any work in your region. I imagine they'll make the episodes available shortly after the television broadcast and some will be showing it for free.

AcTVila, Bandai Channel, Best Hit Anime Douga, d Anime Store, DMM.com, Google Play, GyaO Store, Happy Douga Anime, Hikari TV, JCOM On Demand, Movie Full+, Nico Nico Official Channel, Rakuten Showtime, Tsutaya TV, TV Dogatch, U-NEXT, Video Market

FUNimation (US only)
The episodes are streamed weekly on Saturdays at 14:20 Eastern Time with English subtitles, even when the Japanese television broadcast is delayed. Subscribers can watch the latest episode on the same day it's available in Japan while free users have to wait a week. FUNimation also have the home video rights, so if the stream is popular the series should eventually be dubbed into English. Even though the videos are region-locked, fans outside the US can still visit the site and rate the videos to show that there's demand!

Anime Digital Network (France only)
ADN are offering the series online with French subtitles. So far, the first eight episodes are available. They charge a monthly fee for the service.

J-ONE (France only)
A French-subtitled broadcast will take place on J-ONE - Canalsat (50) and Numericable (38). It seems to have begun, so the schedule can be viewed at the link.

Viewster (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway only)
The show's broadcast was announced as being 'day and date with Japan' but it took a while for them to catch up. They seem to have settled into a rhythm now and the first eight episodes are already online with English subtitles. Viewster is a free ad-supported service.

Like many fans around the world I live in a country which has been excluded from the licensed simulcasts. In spite of this I feel very strongly about supporting the official translated version when it's available rather than resorting to piracy. The Japanese distributors will use the official viewing figures to see how successful the show has been while the US anime distributors like FUNimation use them to decide whether to give new titles home video releases, whether to dub them and whether to go the extra mile and produce a high quality premium release. If we want Sengoku Basara Judge End to receive a decent western release and raise awareness of the series, we need to make sure people are watching the official streams if possible. Please get your friends to watch it too if you can so that the industry can see that there's an audience out there. It might help to visit the official streaming sites and leave supportive comments there too, even if you live in a country where the video itself is blocked and you had to watch it some other way.

I'd rather not say how I'm watching the Japanese streams but it's not that difficult to find a method with some searching.

Important reminder

Sengoku Basara: Judge End is not a continuation of the previous anime adaptation. It's a brand new story and none of the events in Production I.G.'s version of Sengoku Basara have taken place in its timeline. Please don't get confused trying to match the old story to the new one; this anime is a complete reboot of the entire Sengoku Basara scenario. The story takes place after the fall of Oda Nobunaga.

Summary

The rest of this post contains spoilers for the first nine episodes of Sengoku Basara: Judge End and some low quality screenshots. Please note that I'm watching the show in untranslated Japanese and using my preferred spellings for character names; they won't necessary match the localised spellings if you're watching one of the subtitled versions!

Friday, 5 September 2014

News roundup: Sengoku Basara Judge End is back on the air tomorrow

The Judge End news is at the end of this post so that I can hide the (very minor) spoilers from the main page of the blog.

There'll be some Sengoku Basara activity at this month's Tokyo Game Show

Capcom have announced that they'll be holding a 40-minute Sengoku Basara panel with creators Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki and Yamamoto 'YamamotoD' Makoto at Tokyo Game Show on Saturday 20th September 2014 at 15:00 Japan time. They're asking fans to submit questions on Twitter and their website until the 16th of the month. Some of the fans who participate in the social media activity throughout September will be selected to win Capcom-related prizes as shown on the website - please note that the prizes will usually only be shipped to Japanese addresses even though anyone can go ahead and submit a question.

Personally, I think that the staff are likely to give a separate presentation for the media on the 18th or 19th September with details of upcoming merchandise and events. While this is just my speculation, we're long overdue for a proper Basara Matsuri event announcement and they don't usually circulate the details of their press events to the general public in advance. Whether they're going to announce a new game of some kind is anyone's guess given how unpredictable these things have been historically, but it seems likely we'll get some kind of news about the series on top of the public Q&A session. I'm looking forward to it.

Capcom teams up with the Inazuma Rock Festival

T.M.Revolution's Nishikawa Takanori regularly participates in a music event called the Inazuma Rock Fes in Shiga Prefecture and this year, for the first time he'll be getting some extra support from 'Masamune-kun' and 'Yukimura-kun', a pair of mascot characters based on the Sengoku Basara series. The Sengoku Basara songs are often performed at the event so the collaboration makes a little sense.

The press release explains that the mascots will be appearing as dancers alongside the event's mascot character Tabo-kun (a caricature of Nishikawa himself) and his band formed of fellow mascots Inappii (the mascot of Inazawa City in Aichi) and Wataru (representing the bridge between Honshuu and Shikoku). Their performance will be on the Ryuujin stage on 13th September 2014 between 15:50 and 16:10. KobaP tweeted to say he was going to show up too.


Sadly there are no pictures showing what the Sengoku Basara mascots will look like, yet. I'm hoping they'll be similar to Jumbo Xavi-kun!

Even more Sengoku Basara Judge End merchandise is on the way

The official Judge End website has recently added details of some more upcoming goodies.

Lollipops printed with pictures of the series' four leads, priced at ¥400 and due for release in September 2014.


A ¥350 clear file, released in September. There's also a magnet with the same illustration, priced at ¥400 and due in late October 2014.


The magnet and clear file are limited to Miyagi Prefecture and they're decorated with a brand new illustration. The picture shows Masamune and Kojuurou in front of the scenery of Matsushima, one of the parts of Japan most celebrated for its natural beauty. Matsushima has very strong links to the real Date Masamune so this is an appropriate tie-in; I'm glad that the series' tradition of creating promotional illustrations for local areas has continued after the switch in animation studios.

Amazon posts a preview picture of its exclusive Judge End badge

Amazon Japan has an exclusive oversized Yukimura badge on offer for customers who purchase Sengoku Basara Judge End on DVD or Blu-ray, and it recently added a preview picture to the listings.


Now I'm even more certain that the three remaining volumes will come with additional exclusive badges.

Animate TV posts a preview of tomorrow's episode of Sengoku Basara Judge End

Just in case last week's break in the schedule was enough to make people forget about Sengoku Basara Judge End, Animate TV have posted their usual preview gallery for tomorrow's episode. I don't believe we ever had a summary for episode nine before so here's the vague description promised by the article:

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

News roundup: A little merchandise is announced, and the Sengoku Basara Judge End soundtrack goes on sale

This week got off to a strange start with a supposed list of leaked game titles circulating on Twitter and Japanese forums which included Sengoku Basara 5 for PlayStation 4. Even though the main games in the series tend to be announced well before they're actually released, it seems very early for Sengoku Basara 5 to be on the horizon. I guess we'll find out more about Capcom's future plans - and whether they include Sengoku Basara 5 in the near future or not - when Tokyo Game Show 2014 opens in a fortnight's time.

In the meantime, here's some confirmed news!

CafeReo announce Sengoku Basara Judge End merchandise

CafeReo have posted an update full of brand new Judge End goodies planned for October 2014.

First up are the Sengoku Basara Judge End desk mats priced at ¥1,200 each. There are two different designs: 'Blue Sky' and 'Opening'.


Next, a range of colourful Sengoku Basara Judge End book covers priced at ¥1,000 each.


Finally, there's a selection Sengoku Basara Judge End colour pass cases costing ¥1,000 each.


A Pachislot Sengoku Basara 3 slot machine game comes to Android devices

I don't have a compatible device so I can't check the new game out myself, but it looks reasonably fun. The Android spin-off went on sale on 1st September 2014 and it's priced at ¥1,500.

Speaking of the slot machine series, the official soundtrack is now available on iTunes complete with its Kageyama Hironobu theme song for just ¥900. I'm listening to the previews now and they're not bad.

The Sengoku Basara Judge End soundtrack is released

The Sengoku Basara Judge End Original Soundtrack was officially released today in Japan and Amazon has added a full track list with samples of Tokuda Masahiro's score. I rather like it; the hectic action of the anime series often makes it hard to pay attention to the music but it's definitely growing on me.

Here's a list of the tracks with mediocre translations in case they're useful to someone out there in the absence of anything better (I'm not poetic enough for this kind of thing).

1. 戦国BASARA ~時は戦国~ ('Sengoku Basara ~It's the Sengoku period~')
2. 戦国BASARA Judge End ('Sengoku Basara Judge End')
3. Are you ready Guys?
4. 天下獲りのpartyの始まりだ! ('It's the beginning of the PARTY to seize the country!')
5. 流れ落ちる星々 ('The stars flow down')
6. 竜の右目 ('The Right Eye of the Dragon')
7. 真田源二郎幸村、いざ尋常に勝負! ('Sanada Genjirou Yukimura: Now, let us fight!')
8. お館様ぁぁぁぁぁぁ ('Oyakata-samaaaaaaa')
9. 威風堂々 ('Majestic presence')
10. アンタとの戦いは格別だ ('Fighting you is special')
11. 目から溢れる血の涙 ('Tears of blood, flooding from the eyes')
12. 乱戦 ('A scuffle')
13. 人と人をつなぐ想い ('The feelings which connect people')
14. 絆の力 ('The power of bonds')
15. 忠誠 ('Loyalty')
16. 凶王 ('The Dark King')
17. 煙鳥翔華 ('Smoky Bird Soaring Magnificently')
18. 戦国最強 ('The Strongest in the Sengoku Period')
19. 遥か遠くを見据え ('Focus on the far distance')
20. 迷いの中 ('In the midst of delusion')
21. 義は我らにある ('Justice is on our side')
22. 全ては我が盤上の元に ('Everything is as I planned it')
23. 西海の鬼 ('Demon of the Western Sea')
24. 覇道のあだ花として散れ ('The fruitless flowers of military force scatter')
25. 黒い手 ('Black hands')
26. 戦場のかく乱 ('Disturbance on the battlefield')
27. 禍々しきもの ('A bad omen')
28. 天下をかけた戦いの火蓋 ('The trigger of a battle which spread across the land')
29. 絆に心 ('Linked hearts')
30. 北極星~ポラリス~ ('Hokkyokusei ~Polaris~')
31. 北極星~ポラリス~ (TVサイズ) ('Hokkyokusei ~Polaris~ [TV size]')

The soundtrack is also available on iTunes for those who prefer their music delivered digitally.

Voice actor Okamoto Nobuhiko (Shibata Katsuie) talks to Dengeki Online

To celebrate the release of the Sengoku Basara 4 Basara Matsuri 2014 ~Shinshun No Utage~ event DVD, seiyuu Okamoto Nobuhiko recently shared some of his thoughts about the game with the official Dengeki Girl's Style website. The content of the interview is slightly different to the one he gave in last week's Sengoku Basara Magazine so here are the new parts.
  • Okamoto thinks that the appeal of the series is down to its flashy action and unique characters.
  • Xavi Land is his favourite stage in Sengoku Basara 4.
  • He assured the readers that even if they doubt that they'll be able to manage, it's actually very easy to learn to play the game. He gave some lighthearted tips to get the most out of Katsuie and asked them to try him out (lol).
  • Okamoto thinks that Katsuie will appeal to the fans' maternal instincts since he starts out at rock bottom in the game and gradually finds hope.
  • He'd like to see Katsuie interacting with Yukimura since their personalities are so completely different, and he'd also like to see whether Katsuie remains expressionless when being swung around by Oyakata-sama.
  • His debut at the event back in January had made him nervous but he'd heard that Sengoku Basara fans were very warm, and that turned out to be true.
  • Since fellow seiyuu Morita Masakazu always has a crazy Keiji-style hairstyle for the events, Okamoto wondered about trying a Katsuie-style wig next time.
  • He once went to see a Butai Sengoku Basara stage play performance and was thrilled by the swordplay. Since he wouldn't be able to fight like that on stage himself, he thought it might be fun if future events have a segment where the seiyuu read their lines live alongside the stage play actors.
  • He asked the fans to participate in the call and response routine he described in the other interview. It sounds as though he's really going to try it out next time...
There's apparently a third Okamoto interview about the event in the actual Dengeki Girl's Style magazine but I don't have that issue.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Magazine review: Sengoku Basara Magazine issue 6

The summer issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine is devoted to Mouri Motonari, with a brand new CG illustration of him on the front cover and an adorable Mame Sengoku Basara rubber strap.

Sengoku Basara Magazine vol. 6 was released on 27th August 2014 priced at ¥2,500. It can be purchased from most Japanese bookstores which offer international shipping, such as Amazon Japan, Yesasia, CD Japan and Manga Oh. Once new copies have sold out the prices are likely to rise as they have for the previous issues.

The talk CD this issue is the follow-up to the previous one: Showgeki Basara Talk! Ieyasu & Mitsunari No Maki Vol. 2 starring seiyuu Ookawa Tooru and Seki Tomokazu. At close to an hour, it's the longest bonus CD yet! Since the Sengoku Basara Judge End anime has now started its run, they were able to talk about it more freely than before. It's funny how different Seki sounds when he's speaking normally and not using Mitsunari's intense voice. Among other topics, they replied to questions from fans and played a 'Bonds Game' where they had to answer strange questions about the series and compare their responses. Most of their answers were completely different...

The CD's 'Basara Challenge' skit was the 'Children's Telephone Consultation Room'. It parodies a real Japanese radio show called Kodomo Denwa Soudanshitsu where children call in with questions for adults to answer on a variety of topics. The seiyuu had to pretend they were talking on the phone since there wasn't really anyone on the other end during the live recording. Ieyasu was really good at speaking to the children! He tried to guide Mitsunari through the process and prevent him from terrorising the kids, which didn't work all that well - still, the results are very funny.

Having covered all of the bonus items, it's time to take an in-depth look at the contents of the magazine itself!

Friday, 29 August 2014

News roundup: Gift's Sakon and Mitsunari plushies can now be preordered - for a limited time!

My copy of Sengoku Basara Magazine still hasn't arrived. Since that's left me with an unexpectedly free evening, here's a round-up of the latest merchandise announcements.

Mame Sengoku Basara stamps will brighten up dull stationery

Seven adorable Mame Sengoku Basara 'Colorful Stamps' are set to be released in gachapon machines in Animate and Gamers stores from October 2014. Each stamp will cost ¥300, though it may take fans several attempts to win the character they want most if they have bad luck with the gachapon lottery.

They're all so cute that even getting the wrong character will still make people happy, right?


A Sengoku Basara Judge End wall scroll is coming soon

More Sengoku Basara Judge End merchandise appears from time to time on the official website, and today's new item is a B3-sized wall scroll due for release in mid-September 2014. It will be priced at ¥1,500.


The long-awaited Mitsunari and Sakon plushies can now be ordered for a limited time

After being teased a while ago at events, the Gift x Algernon Sengoku Basara 4 plushies for Ishida Mitsunari and Shima Sakon are confirmed and planned for release in October 2014 priced at ¥3,000 each.


Preorders were closed within hours over at AmiAmi (Mitsunari, Sakon) but Otaku Republic (Mitsunari, Sakon), e.alamode (Mitsunari, Sakon) and Animate (Mitsunari, Sakon) are still accepting reservations and Amazon Japan hasn't listed the plushies at all yet. If you're set on AmiAmi, they're still listing them both on Rakuten (Mitsunari, Sakon) and might ship overseas that way. Fans outside Japan will need to use a proxy service to order from stores such as Animate.

These plushies tend to be very popular and difficult to obtain once they've sold out so I hope that everyone who wants to acquire them is able to!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

News roundup: Sengoku Basara Magazine vol. 6 was released today

Early details from Sengoku Basara Magazine vol. 6 start to appear

Although it will be a while before I received my copy and can post a full review, a little news is starting to appear online from people who purchased their copies of Sengoku Basara Magazine vol. 6 in Japan today. Amazon Japan accidentally leaked the cover a couple of days early again this time, forcing them to conspicuously switch back to the temporary cover until the magazine was scheduled for release. Unfortunately for them, plenty of fans had already seen the leaked cover before the coverup was complete.


Motonari looks as serious as ever!

The Dengeki Maoh staff have been teasing the release on Twitter too. There's a picture of Motonari's seiyuu and stage play actor eating those doughnuts together, a close-up shot of the Mame Sengoku Basara rubber strap, a shot which implies that at least some of the 'Motonari Chronicle' article is going to be about Sunday Mouri, confirmation of the contents of the talk CD and a glimpse of the interview between seiyuu Nakai Kazuya and Hoshi Souichirou. The official magazine website has updated with a few more small preview pictures.

Twitter user @newyochan has posted a picture which indicates that Sakon will be the cover star of the next issue of the magazine, due for release on 27th November 2014. There will be a report from the upcoming Butai Sengoku Basara 4 stage play, a look back at Judge End and a rubber Sakon strap. The talk CD will feature seiyuu Nakahara Shigeru (Mouri Motonari) and Ishino Ryuuzou (Chousokabe Motochika). The serialised manga will include the same three titles again: Sumeragi's Mame Sengoku Basara 4, Yoshihara Motoki's Sengoku Basara 4: Bontenmaru-hen and Tane Jugou's Wan-Nyan Sengoku Basara.

Cover artwork is revealed for the third Sengoku Basara Magazine spin-off CD

The final cover art for Sengoku Basara Magazine CD: Showgeki Basara Talk! Vol. 3: Ieyasu & Mitsunari No Maki Special-ban is now ready and it matches the style of the first two volumes. How cute!


The CD's contents and release details are listed in this previous post.

Hanging scrolls are to be released for Sakon and Katsuie

The Mame Sengoku Basara series continues to generate more merchandise in the form of a pair of new hanging scrolls featuring Shima Sakon and Shibata Katsuie. They're due for release on 27th September 2014 priced at ¥1,620 each.


Fans in Japan can support a good cause with Sengoku Basara

Charities are in the news a lot lately, and just like last year, Capcom have announced that they'll be supporting the Akai Hane Kyoudou Bokin ('Red Feather Community Chest') charity drive in Japan. This year's campaign will expand to cover 40 prefectures.


The exclusive rewards include tin badges and a clear file with the four Sengoku Basara 4 leads on the front and Ieyasu, Yukimura, Naotora and Shikanosuke/Oyassan on the reverse with information about the campaign.


There's also a poster with the campaign's message and the four Sengoku Basara 4 leads, which will be made available for download as a smartphone wallpaper between October 2014 and March 2015.


More information is available in Japanese here.

Mobage adds more animated Sengoku Basara avatars

The recent Sengoku Basara avatars for the Japanese social gaming service Mobage were evidently successful as they're now releasing a second batch of customisable avatar costumes.


Like before, the first item is free for registered Mobage members and after that you have to pay to collect more from the random gachapon lottery. I gave it a try and received Ieyasu's text about ruling the country with the power of bonds. Now I have two sets of text and no costumes...

Perhaps I'll be luckier in round three!