Ok so this episode was slightly better than the last but yeah.. it’s helped me make my verdict for this show. Sengoku Basara: Judge End is the black sheep of the Sengoku family.
I’m let down because unlike the rest of the Sengoku franchise of over-the-top, overly-dramatic plots and crazy action, Judge End has been a stoic, composed and toned-down show as though the series of events could’ve actually happened during the warring states era. All right maybe not so much could’ve happened but nonetheless, it’s more grounded than seasons 1, 2, movies 1 and 2. I was really expecting a lot out of Date Masamune vs Ishida’s big battle but it just didn’t quite explode in quite the same way it did back in episode 1. Yes there was a dragon but for all the self-torment and personal hell Lord Masamune went through to get to this renewed battle, the action just doesn’t seem to portray the pent-up anguish for revenge. I mean, all we kinda got was an excellent as always Nakai Kazuya‘s engrish ‘Go to Hell!’ then 6 swords against one and then it was kinda over.
The other battles don’t quite make up for the petty little swordplay between the one-eyed dragon and Ishida Mitsunari who was at one time, full of darkness if you recall a few episodes ago. Quantity does not make up for lack of quality fights. So even though we saw (i) old man battle it out with Honda robot, (ii) plum purple Chousoukabe finally getting vengeance by taking out green Mouri’s giant mirror sun reflecting weapon and (iii) sidekicks battling it out in the form of the right eye of Lord Masamune Katakura Koujuurou vs floating mummy Otani, it all fell flat and felt like how you’d turn the pages in school during a boring class rather than a page-turner in itself. Sad, sad and just sad really.
It’s quite unfortunate that Judge End has taken this turn for the lacklustre. I don’t understand why Honda and Otani had to use the remaining strengths left in them to cast their magic spheres into the sky just to form a tunnel leading to the main fight between purple Ishida and yellow Ieyasu. What was that for? It doesn’t add ANY effect or power to their respective lords so why? And Otani going on about the stars falling from the skies (in a way only he can see) – is this a link to what Tsuruhime saw in Ieyasu way back, that he’s surrounded in darkness? If so then why isn’t this storyline used more obviously? Ieyasu’s most heinous crime was to dupe the whole country by drawing strength through the supposed alliance of bonds when it’s actually all just for him to finally get to battle Ishida again. Along the way Mouri for one, takes the chance to spur Ishida in making one helluva mess of the land of the rising sun just so his land of Aki stays shielded from the effects of war. It’s suppose to be just Ieyasu vs Ishida but these two idiots just had to drag everyone into their
petty fight and so the verdict’s out – they need to square things away good themselves. That was one giant unnecessary roundabout way wasn’t it? At least make the rest of the party look more interesting rather than piecemeal strings just strung along… hopefully we at least get a final awesome battle between true rivals Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura in the final episode!