Sengoku Collection / Parallel World Samurai Episode #04 Anime Review

Sengoku Collection / Parallel World Samurai Episode #04 Anime Review Warning – work of fiction ahead!

What They Say:
Without the help of her retainer, Date Masamune is easily tricked when she arrives in modern day Japan. After being thrown in jail, she remembers the life and power she once had. Will she be able to break out or will Nobunga take her secret treasure before then.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a few of the well known names having been dealt with so far, it’s only natural that the fourth episode of the series introduces us to Date Masamune. Her arrival in the world has certainly not gone anywhere as well as the others as she’s found herself working for some yakuza, which in turn has gotten her picked up by the cops and now thrown in prison. Which is why we have a cute little disclaimer at the start of the episode that this is entirely a work of fiction and no real prisons were used as models for this story. Which is just humorous to have before a show that deals with mighty warriors from the past via a parallel world where they were girls thrust into our present. Yes, let’s remind the viewers that we’re not dealing with reality here.

With Masamune having no real clue about the modern world as she doesn’t even know what a cop is, prison is going to be both rough and useful for her. It can give her that brief bit of an education but also provide a world that she’s familiar with to some degree due to the cruelty and how it all works. While she’s in there, we get the flashbacks both to her far flung past where she’s a kind of disconnected leader, one who prefers to let people under her handle things, and to the present as well where she’s brought into the yakuza because of her strength and how she carries herself, which in turn leads to her arrest. It’s an interesting series of movements overall, especially in comparison to the others who have been transported here, because she’s the one who didn’t nearly immediately give up on the kind of life she had but rather continued to live by force.

Life on the inside of a women’s prison like this is definitely tough and they make no bones about it with how the women are cruel to each other and as Masamune spends her days doing things such as digging holes and then filling them in. She carries herself well for what it is, her position always a strong part of who she is, but even she can be pushed in a situation like this. Unsurprisingly, her presence there eventually does inspire a riot, but she has her larger goal in mind in getting out, which is what leads us back to what we’ve seen in each episode with how Nobunaga is manipulating things now. Seeing Masamune getting back into the real world with the way she looks is definitely humorous, but they pair it with a perfect piece of music that makes it compelling to watch in a really fun way. It goes back to an old school style as she deals with her debts, leaving you grinning the whole way.

In Summary:
There’s a part of me that continues to be surprised that I’m enjoying this series, or that this series is even being made, because its structure and style just feels very odd and unusual. It may be playing to certain formulaic aspects but it’s working through a bigger storyline as well. And introducing things piecemeal like this, with each character getting their own episode for the moment at least, really does allow each of them to stand on their own rather than how they interact with Nobunaga or some other constant character that is the lead. That’s the big selling point for me now, in addition to the great character designs and fun animation, as you really get a self contained episode about that particular warrior (or pairing) in the present and how they’re adjusting to things. Or not. Masamune brings a darker side to the table and it works well for the character and the series as a whole so far.

Grade: B

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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