Hello there. This is review number nineteen of my goal to reach one thousand. I’m still mowing down the Winter 2012 anime line up as I am excitedly waiting for the Spring 2012 line up to end. It’s close so I am excited. There’s not that many Winter anime that I haven’t reviewed yet so I am pretty proud to have reviewed that many anime.
The anime I am going to review today is Brave 10. It’s a twelve episode anime full of hot guys and sexy girls. That’s going to attract some viewers. Haha. This anime actually based on a novel about the “Sanada Ten Braves” and it has been adapted before in anime like Sengoku Basara and Samurai Deeper Kyo. Please note, I am reviewing Brave Ten and not comparing it to Sengoku Basara in terms of adaptation. This anime is a different creature and I’ll explain it in my reviews. Anways, let’s read on.
Brave Ten is about a lordless shinobi named Saizo Kirigakure who met a shrine maiden in the woods. The shrine maiden named Isanami seeks help from Saizo as she is being hunted down by ninjas. She has escaped a bloodbath in her temple and wishes to see Yukimura Sanada to help her avenge her fallen temple.
Sanada would take Isanami in after discovering her mysterious power and aims to gather ten strong warriors under him to so he can avenge Isanami’s temple and win the feudal war of Japan.
Taking the Pants Off
We are in feudal Japan where the land is divided into many Feudal Lords and everyone is out to conquer the whole country for themselves. A time where warriors are hot guys, who came out of a yaoi orgy, the preferred outfit is leather resembling a J rocker and shrine maidens apparently wear cycling shorts. We truly have missed the greatest era in the entire world. First of all, the anime is Historical. This feudal war state seems to be a great piece of medium in storytelling and sadly, if you’re not Japanese then you don’t really give two cents about it. The anime uses big names in Japan history and I was only able to catch them because I played a lot of Nobunaga Oda games. The anime uses the whole historical element as a backdrop so even if you’re not fond of Japanese history, the story is still easy to follow.
This anime had a huge potential. I was really excited to see it after watching the flashy opening sequence and seeing the first episode. Saizo is this cold guy who cares about nobody. He is a notorious assassin and has learned to trust nobody but himself. He meets this girl in the woods who would cling to him like lint. Isanami would bring trouble to Saizo where he was forced to protect the girl against ninjas and the like. Saizo and Isanami would then be aided by Sanada after this feudal lord discovers the hidden destructive power of Isanami. Saizo would then meet other allies and he would slowly begin to trust other people and even have a deep mutual understanding with Isanami.
I like the plot as it promises action, flashy characters and some decent character development. The first half of the anime involves Saizo and Isanami slowly forming a bond as both of them would always be trust into trouble. Isanami is your classic damsel in distress. She is loud, annoying and hard headed. So it’s no wonder this girl keeps getting kidnapped by the enemy. It’s all good though since we get to see a bad ass fight between Saizo and whoever. The fights are quick though but they exciting nonetheless. It’s also not a one sided fight where Saizo would always unleash a deadly move and win. There is great storytelling in the fight and Saizo would often ended being brutally wounded. The anime utilizes blood just right. It’s not gory but it does enhance the fights and make them more exciting. It’s a nice treat seeing Isanami herself being beaten up. Damsels should be beaten up. A quick punch in the face is awesome to watch.
Like I said, the anime has potential if it would only focus on Isanami and Saizo. The anime expands as new characters are introduced. Sanada needed ten warriors to feel strong so there is the first problem of the anime. Some characters are introduced pretty decently. They are given some screen time and some time to flaunt their special techniques and stuff. Other characters are super rushed. Some are just introduced to quickly move the story along and some aren’t even given time to shine. Heck, some of them would just appear and then join the group. It is a challenge to introduce ten characters in a twelve episode anime and still keeping the pacing of the story. The anime couldn’t do that. The later parts of the anime were just rushed and the viewers can never give enough emotional investment to care about what is happening. Since the main characters are introduced quite quickly, some of the villains aren’t even given justice. The later enemies just appeared and caused trouble. The villains are just fighting the characters and it would’ve been nice if they were introduced earlier so when they appear again, the fight would be more memorable.
Since the anime also introduce some historical characters like Masamune Date and other notable feudal Lords then the anime just falls over its own weight. The whole mystery surrounding Isanami isn’t greatly hyped. The final battles have no build up and later characters are just “bleh”. It would‘ve easily been fixed though if the anime wasn’t twelve episodes. This deserves twenty four episodes for the story to develop nicely. It was fun seeing the ten main characters interact with each other and the anime should’ve given more of that to enhance the story. The great potential the anime had vanishes into thin air and so the anime becomes an average bishounen action anime. It’s such a shame too because the story is very entertaining.
Sight and Sound
The character design is very nice. There is no hint of moe or any other nasty sh*t like that. The characters are all very mature and some of the bishie characters, like I said before, could appear in their own yaoi manga. They are drawn very nicely with masculine aspects but a hint of femininity weaved in them. I thought the anime was all hot guys but there also some pretty girls here. Isanami herself was quite nice. The character designs in notable characters are consistent and it helps enhance the anime a lot.
The outfit designs are great too even though they aren’t really the appropriate era attire. Some minor characters do wear the appropriate attire so the anime go balls out in clothing the characters. It is a nice addition though as they make the characters more intimidating and bad ass.
The fight scenes are nicely done even though the action is quick. The clashing of swords is fun to watch and I applaud the anime for making a memorable fight scene involving six characters. In the fight with the monk, the fight scene is brilliant as the characters would assist each other. I expected a huge clusterf*ck in the fight scenes but they are actually the best bits in the anime.
There are two opening song and they would just randomly play the second one. The first one is “Seirei Hirai” by Daisuke Ono and Tetsuya Kakihara. The opening song does a great job of inviting you to watch the anime. When coupled with the opening sequence, it makes the anime more promising. There is also an added bonus as both OP is sung by characters in the anime.
The other OP is “Tenka wo Odoru” by Hiroshi Kamiya and Toshiyuki Morikawa. It’s a bit more J-rockish but amazing nonetheless. The ED song is “Adeosu” by ADAPTER. This one is actually sung by a Jrock group. It fits the anime nicely but I was busy skipping the ending song to watch the next episode.
4/10 “A wonderful story bogged down by a rushed pacing and uninteresting characters.”
I still love the Saizo X Isanami connection. That is a very wonderful thing to watch so I would actually rate the first half of the anime an eight of ten and the later episodes a five of ten. The anime has awesome characters and if you’re a fan of bishie anime then this anime can do you no harm.