Welcome, all, again. Today’s choice for discussion is SENGOKU NIGHT BLOOD, an anime offering from Marvelous AQL, Inc., itself one of the collaborators on the game upon which the anime is based. As indicated by the title, this series is set in Japan’s Warring States period, lasting roughly from 1467 to 1603 or thereabouts. Well, it’s almost set there, being in another dimension with very similar (but occasionally pointedly different) history and societal development. Protagonist Yuzuki gets sucked into her cell phone and transported to Shinga, where she must survive local wars long enough to figure out a way home.
We have over the past few viewing seasons been offered a wide variety of treatments of famous Sengoku period warriors. We’ve several times seen Nobunaga and his peers as females; we’ve seen them with mecha; we’ve seen them reincarnated into future generations; we’ve even seen them as animals (SENGOKUCHOJYUGIGA remains one of the most imaginative and unique anime series I’ve ever watched!). So I suppose that it was almost inevitable that we’d eventually see them as vampires, werewolves, and whatnot. Shinga, the land into which Yuzuki is brought, is ruled by clans of supernatural creatures bearing familiar names and lineages; the Toyotomi are vampires, whereas the Takeda are werewolves. And Yuzuki? She’s just trying to make sure her blood stays in her own veins!
It seems that Yuzuki’s blood has restorative powers for the Gegga tribes, the collective name of these supernatural warrior clans. Her blood awakens and activates latent powers of theirs, such as the near-immediate healing of wounds. This mirrors the blood of the Himemiko, a being revered by the various Gegga tribes and under whose rule Shinga was at peace. It was her disappearance that prompted the outbreak of conflict, and Yuzuki is even secretly recruited to help look for her. Meanwhile, though, spreading knowledge of this unique quality of Yuzuki’s blood might make her a little less likely to be killed, but a lot more likely to be abducted or enslaved. This series seems so far to have just a vague flavor of Vampire Knight, what with Yuzuki’s strangely protective attitude towards her current hosts (captors) and her would-be captors. I’d almost accuse her of having Stockholm Syndrome, but for that to be true, she’d need to actually realize that she’s already a captive. As it stands, this heroine’s superpower seems to be compassionate kindness rather than alacrity.
So, why do I like this show? There are plenty of other clueless characters in anime to watch, so it’s not Yuzuki (although the fact that she realizes she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed does make the fact less irritating than normal). The artwork is pretty standard fare, although it seems sometimes to have a peculiar (and literal) sheen that sets it apart from other shows. Character exposition has thus far been a bit abrupt; I hope to see character development occur a little more smoothly. So, again, why do I like this show? I guess that I’m just fascinated enough by the larger-than-life personalities who shaped the Sengoku period that I want to see how this latest interpretation of them plays out. . .besides, who wouldn’t agree that Date Masamune would have made one heck of a werewolf, even if friendly with the church? (And that, my friends, is no Papal bull!)