First Look: Sengoku Night Blood

Game Adaptation by TYPHOON GRAPHICS
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

A teenage girl is magically transported from modern-day Japan to a fantastical version of the Warring States era, complete with all the usual suspects like Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Date Masamune running around. As it turns out, MC-chan’s blood has unique properties that provide strength and healing – which is probably unfortunate given that at least one side of the conflict are apparently vampires. Oh, and the other warrior teams have defining physical traits such as cat ears, because I guess that’s just what people have to do to inject some sense of originality into Sengoku-era stories these days.

Artemis’ verdict: Painfully Bland

I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say that Sengoku Night Blood is the single blandest anime title I’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely headed in that direction. It’s been less than a full day since I watched the first episode, and I couldn’t even tell you if the main character was given a name or not. If she was, I certainly don’t remember it. I didn’t actually bother looking up this show before I was assigned to write about it, so I wasn’t aware it was based on a mobile otome game until afterwards, but that fact couldn’t have been any more obvious if it was actively trying to be. MC-chan is such a clear audience stand-in that she lacks even the most basic form of characterization. On the one hand, that makes her less annoying than those types of heroines who have only one or two personality traits to define their entire character (e.g. extremely clumsy, excessively cheerful, etc. etc.). On the other hand, that makes MC-chan such a complete non-entity that she may as well not exist as a character at all. I’m not exaggerating for effect; there’s literally nothing there to either like or dislike.

The guys of the story are similarly dull, defined by one-note characteristics and all the usual physical gimmicks to try and give them some kind of interest. We’re talking the whole shebang – Serious Glasses Guy, Effeminate Crossdresser, Riled-Up Red-Head, and so on and so forth through twenty plus cast members. They all get a ton of accessories in an attempt to liven them up, from dangly earrings to colourful ribbons, but these are all just so random and pointless that I couldn’t even bring myself to pay attention, let alone try to memorize who was wearing what.

Visuals and sound are pretty poor as well, so no redeeming qualities there. While Sengoku Night Blood isn’t necessarily ugly to look at, this first episode was littered with still frames, including during some of the action sequences where speed lines were drawn to indicate movement instead of, you know, actual animation. The music is your typical and completely unmemorable Japanese boy band material, much of it done by the voice actors themselves, which should give you a fairly good indication of their singing abilities.

While I’ve admittedly seen far worse shows in my life, I honestly struggled to get through just one episode of this one. Don’t do this to yourself, guys – there are better ways to help you get to sleep, I promise.

Jel’s verdict: Sucked Dry

I struggled to stay awake during this and probably missed half the dialogue, and yet I don’t feel like anything was lost. Sengoku Night Blood is completely devoid of any originality, with a lifeless, cardboard cut out main character and a cast of stock anime pretty boys that say just enough to vaguely associate themselves with their historical counterparts. At least I got a hearty laugh out of discovering Hideyoshi Toyotomi is also a VAMPIRE. Gotta mix up those fandoms to make sure you get all the bases covered I guess. I’d apologize for spoilers but consider it a favor. Don’t watch this, and if you are looking for something to satisfy your need for abusive boyfriend harems, hold out a little longer for the upcoming Dance with Devils movie.

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