A little delayed, but here’s the bulk review of Sengoku Collection!

The Masamune sub-plot continues.

Episode 22 Summary:

Because of the huge influx of Sengoku-era generals that have invaded modern-day Japan, there’s been a committee set up to deal with incidents caused by the generals.  A police officer named Higurashi is assigned to search for and arrest Masamune.  Working with him is Katakura Kojuro, Masamune’s former servant/teacher.

Yoshiaki also makes a small cameo here.

The scenery in this episode is really nice.

Along the way, Higurashi and Kojuro discuss Masamune’s character.  Even though she’s broken many laws, the general populace seems to like her very much.  But even so, Kojuro vows to bring her to justice, as it is the right thing to do.  Eventually, Higurashi and Kojuro track her whereabouts to a small fishing village.  However, what they don’t expect is the huge surprise awaiting them there…

Love the use of color here.

Moonlit scenes are my favorite scenes in anime. So pretty!

My Opinion: (warning, spoilers below)

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this episode.  It’s one of the few Sengoku Collection episodes that has a more mature tone, so it might seem a bit boring for some.  The focus of this episode is more on character development and character building than anything else.  While the character building aspect is fairly well done, the ending leaves a bit to be desired.

Kojuro is an interesting “general.”  She’s probably the most mature out of all the other generals, making her extremely unique.  Kojuro’s demeanor is very reserved and proper, which stands out from all the past generals with their quirky and loud personalities.  She’s also shown throughout the episode to be a very complex character.  She’s conflicted between doing the right thing (even though it seems cruel), and doing what she wants to.  It’s a battle between the brain (logic) and the heart (emotion).  It’s because of this that I’ve become quite fond of her.

Which brings me to why I’m not impressed with the ending.  Sure, we do see the inner conflict within Kojuro come to a head there, but everything was resolved a little too cleanly in my opinion.  The whole point of the episode was Kojuro’s indecisiveness in arresting Masamune or running away with her, which is why the ending felt like a cop-out to me.  Although there’s a happy ending, I wished that there was a little more time devoted to Kojuro sorting out her feelings.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that the ending felt a bit rushed.

Another thing that annoyed me about this episode was Higurashi’s constant comments on how “cold” Kojuro was.  WE GET IT SENGOKU COLLECTION; SHE ACTS SOMEWHAT CRUELY BECAUSE SHE VALUES BEING A GOOD CITIZEN OVER HER EMOTIONS.  That point does not need to be reiterated half a dozen times.  Please trust that your audience is not that stupid.  Seriously, it was almost insulting how often that line was said.  Here, I’ll give you an example:

Kojuro: *says something completely mundane*

Higurashi: GOD YOU’RE SO COLD.

Now do you see how annoying that gets when it’s repeated every three minutes?

Anyway, this was a decent episode overall.  The pacing is a bit slow, but the character-building (of Kojuro) is one of the best in the Sengoku Collection series.  I’m not entirely pleased by the ending, but it could have been a lot worse, so…

Out of five:

    

Episode 23 Summary:

Our youngest general ever…

Our next story takes place at a daycare.  Amago is a charismatic four-year-old with a lofty goal: to build the biggest sandcastle she can in the sandbox.  However, in order to do that, she must first conquer the whole sandbox.  Three factions stand in her way.  With the help of a boy named Shimizu, she quickly wins over the first with her skill in making mud balls.  The next she wins over by strategic warfare.  Now only one faction remains.  Led by a girl named Misawa, Amago discovers that she is the hardest one to convince.  Will her reign over the entire sandbox be complete?

What the hell are you three doing in a daycare?!

To a four-year-old child, everything is SERIOUS BUSINESS.

So yeah, it’s basically Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Toddler Edition.

But was it really worth it in the end? (HELL YEAH)

My Opinion:

Okay, I admit it.  I found this episode hilarious.  In a way, it reminds me of the Rugrats cartoons that I used to love watching when I was 10-12.  Everything is taken in an entirely serious and over-the-top tone, even though it’s just a bunch of children fighting over the use of a sandbox.  And that’s what makes it so amazing.

I personally love point-of-view shows like this, where it’s shown from the child’s perspective.  Although completely miniscule to us, through a child’s eyes a time-out is comparable to prison; and a small game of “Avalanche” is comparable to a battle.  It brings back memories of my own childhood, where (although much less epic) I felt the same way at that age.  I guess this is why I’m so fond of any series that does a story like this, and does it well.

Amago is… way too smart for her age.  But in a way I guess that just proves how different the generals’ abilities are compared to “normal” people.  And it does make for an amusing watch, so I won’t nail the story-writers on that point too hard.  I personally thought the other characters were a bit more interesting than Amago, though I still do like Amago’s design.  It’s pretty obvious that the animators made it so that Amago was the cutest of the kiddie bunch.  I still think Misawa’s kind of cute in an unsettling kind of way, however.

The only thing that gets this episode minus points is the whole Avalanche battle.  I felt it dragged on a little bit too long.  Other than that, this episode makes it into my personal list of “Sengoku Collection must-watch” episodes.  It’s cute and it’s funny.  It’s also surprisingly war strategy-oriented, though that just makes it more interesting (hilarious?).

Out of five:

      

It’s official–Nobunaga’s one weakness is kids.