Sengoku Youko Review

Sengoku Youko Review

Sengoku Youko anime series cover art
Sengoku Youko

More Like Sengoku Whoko, Am I Right?

Sengoku Youko (Sengoku Youko: Yonaoshi Kyoudai-hen / 戦国妖狐 世直し姉弟編) is a recent action, adventure, fantasy anime. By recent, I mean the first season aired during the winter season of 2024. And the second season is about to begin airing during the summer season.

I don’t think this series is good enough for another season. It’s very average. And by average, I don’t mean on par with good anime in the same genre. I mean it’s as basic as an anime can be. It doesn’t do anything very poorly or all that well.

Think of it this way, it’s an action-adventure anime that I rate lower than Boruto. That should tell you everything you need to know. But in case it doesn’t allow me to go into a bit more detail, starting with the action content.

Shakuyaku stopping Shinsuke, Tama, and Jinka from the anime series Sengoku Youko
Shakuyaku stopping Shinsuke, Tama, and Jinka

The action in this series isn’t very good. It doesn’t have great animation, which always improves action scenes. But more than that, the action scenes themselves aren’t very interesting. There’s not much in terms of fight choreography. It’s mostly just Shinsuke swinging his sword and Jinka punching things with giant spirit fists.

Then, there’s the plot. Our main characters go around defeating humans and katawara (spirits) to make the world a safer place for everyone. That’s the extent of the plot. There’s no realistic end goal. And that might not sound like an issue, but it makes it a bit hard to get invested in what’s going on.

Oh, and the villains are bad, too. Spoiler, but the main villains of the series are the mother of one of the main characters and her old man lover. Why are they villains? Because “villains gonna villain” or something. They didn’t really have a reason. They’re just the bad guys.

The Main Characters Have Potential

The one good thing I can say about Sengoku Youko is that the main characters have potential. At least, some of them do. The four main characters are Tama Youko, Jinka Yamato, Shinsuke Hyoudou, and Shakuyaku. Shakuyaku is my favorite, and Jinka is my least favorite.

So, let’s start with Jinka and work our way up to Shakuyaku. Jinka’s the one who I’m not sure has all that much potential. His whole thing is that he’s a human who wants to become a katawara. That never changes, but in the final episode or two, he finally realizes that humans aren’t that bad.

I just don’t think Jinka’s arc is all that interesting, and he’s not very likable, either. Tama, on the other hand, is far more likable, though only slightly more interesting. She’s a katawara whom Jinka refers to as his older sister.

Shakuyaku from the anime series Sengoku Youko
Shakuyaku

What’s good about Tama? She looks cute, and I like her rambunctious personality. That’s about it. It doesn’t take much to be better than Jinka. However, I’ll also say that Tama’s a bit more interesting because of her relationship with humans. She loves humans despite being a katawara, which is the opposite of Jinka, who hates humans despite being one.

Shinsuke was my least favorite character when the series started. He was a weakling wannabe samurai who was also pretty annoying. But after something happens toward the middle of the season (I’ll spoil it later), Shinsuke’s personality changes. And I actually liked him after that.

Shakuyaku is my favorite character mostly because she’s cute, both visually and personality-wise. Add a cute girl with pink hair to any anime, and I’m sold. But, of all the characters, I’d argue Shakuyaku has the most developed personality. And, in fact, she has two personalities. A katawara lives inside her.

I’ll Watch the Second Season Against My Better Judgement

Normally, I wouldn’t bother watching a second season of a series like this one. However, since it begins airing in about three weeks, I figured, “Why not?” Then I can review that season and compare it to this one to see if the series improved.

Also, based on the cover art for the second season, it looks like it’s going to follow different characters. It looks like one of the minor antagonists from this season will be the protagonist of the next season. That sounds kind of interesting.

Okay, but it’s time to talk about the spoiler involving Shinsuke from earlier. Why did his personality change? Because Shakuyaku died. Well, technically, I think Tama said Shakuyaku turned into a rock and might turn back into a human in about a thousand years. But that’s basically dying.

Tama angry with Jinka from the anime series Sengoku Youko
Tama angry with Jinka

After that happened, Shinsuke stopped wanting to be a hero. Instead, he’s out for revenge. He wants to make everyone who had any hand in what happened to Shakuyaku pay. And that’s why I started liking his character. His quest for vengeance is way more interesting than him being a bumbling idiot like he was in the first half.

So, I’m interested in seeing if and how Shinsuke’s story will continue. At what point will he be satisfied with his revenge? Will Shakuyaku come back? Oh, and I almost forgot, that minor villain whom I said seems to be the protagonist in the second season? From what I remember, he “died” along with Shakuyaku.

Basically, it looks like the new season will focus more on the characters I like and less on the characters I don’t. Hopefully, there will be more improvements, though. I’d like to see a better plot get introduced, as well.

Final Thoughts

In the end, I gave Sengoku Youko a 5/10. As I said at the start of this review, it’s completely average. If you’re looking for a good shounen action series, this isn’t going to be it. But if you like mediocre anime, go for it.

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