Since it's the last opportunity for traditional Sengoku Basara: Judge End coverage before the anime begins airing next month, I splashed out and bought four different anime magazines. All of them were released together on 10th June 2014 so they arrived in a satisfyingly hefty box.
First of all, Animage and Newtype were big disappointments with no exclusive coverage at all - you would have had to look hard to even notice their tiny news bulletins announcing the latest details. It's a good thing they both contained content about other series I like.
Since the more mainstream magazines weren't devoting any serious time to Judge End, I switched my focus to the female-orientated books. Things picked up with PASH! where there was a proper article announcing the six newest additions to the anime's cast (Kojuurou, Sasuke, Shingen, Yoshitsugu, Hideyoshi and Hanbee). The promised fold-out poster was also included. Since they tweeted a picture of it themselves I'm going to assume it's fine to post a small photograph here.
I really like the illustration they used. Since Ieyasu doesn't appear anywhere else in the magazines I took a little picture of him on his own.
The last of the four magazines was Otomedia+ which swapped the blue skies for a rainy scene. A pull-out poster was included at the back of the magazine with a textless version of the same image.
Otomedia+ had the best Sengoku Basara: Judge End article of the lot. There was a long interview with Sengoku Basara series producer Kobayashi Hiroyuki (KobaP). Most of it repeated content we've already heard but there were a few new comments and clarifications which I may as well summarise:
- The story of Ieyasu and Mitsunari is the main plot this time, but they're also creating a drama with the series' iconic leads Masamune and Yukimura to keep it accessible for casual viewers and fans of the previous anime.
- The series will primarily focus on the four leads from beginning to end. It will tell the full story from the fall of the Toyotomi to the Battle of Sekigahara.
- The depiction of the Battle of Sekigahara isn't going to be the same as it was in the movie.
- They have included content that wasn't in the original Sengoku Basara 3 game. KobaP hopes that the fans will notice the differences!
- Ieyasu's role is particularly important this time.
- While there will naturally be drama stemming from the 'azure-crimson' relationship between Masamune and Yukimura and the ex-Toyotomi link between Ieyasu and Mitsunari, the axes formed by Masamune/Mitsunari and Yukimura/Ieyasu will cross somewhere too.
- In response to a question about which characters people should look out for besides the four main characters, KobaP simply answered that people such as Kojuurou, Hanbee, Sasuke and Shingen from the Date, Takeda and Toyotomi armies would all be appearing. I guess he won't be drawn into revealing anything new until the time is right.
- Since the story draws closely from Sengoku Basara 3, fans who become interested in what they see in the anime can still go back and enjoy playing the game.
The interview ended with a lighthearted column where KobaP shared his knowledge about how the four leads might spend a rainy day.
Date Masamune: My image is of Masamune looking at the mountains of Oushuu from the passageway (engawa) of his residence as Kojuurou worriedly checks the state of his vegetable garden.
Sanada Yukimura: Since Yukimura-kun isn't the kind of person who can keep still, I get the feeling that he'd be happy to go outside and train his body.
Tokugawa Ieyasu: He would probably be thinking about the Tokugawa army and the whole of Japan, right? Perhaps the image of a figure writing with a brush while sitting in a tatami mat room suits him...
Ishida Mitsunari: If it was back when Hideyoshi was alive, he could train indoors. Or he might stay beside Hideyoshi and Hanbee and listen to their discussions.
Perhaps there will be better coverage in July because it feels as though the series need a lot more promotion! Hopefully there'll be something in Dengeki Maoh and the weekly magazines as the anime's debut approaches.