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Gakuen Basara Anime Cover

Score: 6.17/10

Synopsis

A heated battle is once again revving up at Basara Academy between baseball star Masamune Date and soccer ace Yukimura Sanada. What's more, ever since student council chairman Hideyoshi Toyotomi received a suspension, leaving the seat up for grabs, a host of class "warlords" have become embroiled in a quest for supreme power. Amid Ieyasu Tokugawa's appeals to bonds of kinship and Mitsunari Ishida's fervor to defeat him, who will wrest ultimate control of the domain in "troubled" times? (Source: TBS Global Business)

If there's an award for most weird and wild show for 2018, Gakuen Basara is for sure in the running. I wasn't really a fan of Sengoku Basara. I only watched the first season, but I felt it was a pretty average series that I was only really interested in because of my interest in the Warring States period of Japan. But, I liked it enough that when I heard about Gakuen Basara, a school-setting version of Sengoku Basara. So, knowing a lot about the real-world individuals, I decided that at the very least, this show would be a good laugh at crazy, school versions of people I find fascinating. If anything, this show is a great pile of fun. Seeing characters like Ieyasu Tokugawa, Yukimura Sanada, and Date Masemune existing in a school environment is just a basic point that is simply hysterical. The show itself is formatted, for the most part, as each episode having two stories per episode, though there are several plot threads that culminate in the last episode. The actual comedic value of each story vary wildly. Some, such as Kanbei's struggles in life, or the entire festival episode are fantastic, though other one, such as the episode focused around the female characters, or Keiji's attempts to woo Magoichi are downright awful. There's a decent balance, and for the most part the episodes are very watchable, there are just more then a few moments in which the show can get a little boring. There's also the fact that there are a lot of character-centric jokes that can get a little tiresome by the end, but these moments are far and few between. I honestly think I would've enjoyed this show without having seen Sengoku Basara, as imagining the historical figures, like Tokugawa or Mitsunari engaging in such a petty squabble is simply hysterical. The way they incorporate people from the Warring States period (as they are in Sengoku Basara, of course) into the show is done very clervly, and in a way that's generally very funny - stuff like Nobunaga being the demon-like Headmaster of the School, or legendary warlords being teachers is brilliant. The comedy of the stories are all nice, but the characters are absolutely the highlight here. Mitsunari was by far my favourite, as his obsession with Ieyasu led to a ton of insane scenes where he attempts to take control and just fail miserably, generally. My only complaint is there wasn't enough screaming between Yukimura and Takeda. Additionally, all the voice acting is nothing short of fantastic, with all the voice actors doing their best versions of the character, even in such a bizzare and wacky setting. The way the ongoing plot threads, such as Hideyoshi's suspension and Ieyasu and Mitsunari's war over the student council come together really nicely, and creates a sense of continuity and build-up to the finale, especially in the last four or so episodes. I honestly didn't expect the show to have any continuity between episodes, but having everything come together, (sans a sort of 'and the story goes on' ending) gives the show a boost it would've suffered without. Visually, the show looks fine and never looks worse then that - it never looks or sounds amazing, but it also doesn't really need to for a gag show like this. Gakuen Basara isn't amazing, not by a mile. But it never tries to be, and that's fine. It's simply a fun, crazy gag spin-off for an already odd show. It's not always hilarious, but there are a lot more hits then misses. Fans of Sengoku Basara will love this - people who are interested in the Warring States Period might also really enjoy this, though I'd recommend seeing Sengoku Basara first. It was a fun watch, and I might not ever watch it again, but it's the perfect kind of show you just kick back, switch your brain off, and have a great time watching.

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