Onimusha is based on Capcom’s video game series of the same name, which started in 2001 and has sold over 8.6 million copies worldwide. The games are set in Japan’s feudal Sengoku period, a time of civil war and chaos, where the ambitious warlord Oda Nobunaga seeks to unify the country under his rule. However, Nobunaga has made a pact with the Genma, a race of evil demons that grant him power in exchange for human souls. Standing against him are the Onimusha, warriors who wield the power of the Oni, benevolent spirits that oppose the Genma.
One of the strengths of the anime is its action scenes, which are fast-paced, intense, and brutal. The animation is a mix of 2D and 3D CGI, which gives the series a distinctive look. The 2D animation is smooth and fluid, capturing the movements and expressions of the characters. The 3D animation is used mainly for the backgrounds and the Genma creatures, creating a contrast between the realistic and the fantastical. The sword fights are choreographed with skill and flair, showcasing Musashi’s prowess and style. The battles are also bloody and gory, as limbs are severed, heads are chopped off, and blood splatters everywhere. The anime does not shy away from showing the horror and cruelty of war and demonology.
Another strength of the anime is its characters, who are well-developed and engaging. Musashi is a charismatic and complex protagonist, who is both arrogant and humble, ruthless and compassionate, cynical and idealistic. He is not a typical hero who fights for justice or honor; he fights for himself and his own goals. However, he also has a sense of morality and empathy that makes him respect his enemies and allies alike. He grows as a character throughout the series, as he faces challenges that test his skills, beliefs, and emotions.
The other characters are also well-written and memorable, each with their own personality, backstory, and role in the story. They add depth and diversity to the series and make it more enjoyable to watch.
The anime also has a rich and immersive setting, which is faithful to the historical and cultural aspects of the Sengoku period. The anime depicts the various locations, events, and figures that shaped Japan’s history, such as the Battle of Okehazama, the Honnoji Incident, the Siege of Osaka Castle, and the Tokugawa Shogunate. The anime also incorporates elements of Japanese folklore and mythology, such as the Oni, the Genma, the Shinto gods, and the Five Elements. The anime creates a world that is both realistic and fantastical, seamlessly blending history and fantasy.
One of the weaknesses of the anime is its animation quality, which is inconsistent and sometimes clunky. The 2D and 3D animations do not always blend well together, creating a jarring effect. The 3D animation is also sometimes stiff and unnatural, especially for the human characters. The facial expressions and lip movements are often off-sync or lacking in emotion. The anime could have benefited from more polish and refinement in its animation.
Another weakness of the anime is its pacing, which is sometimes too fast or too slow. The anime tries to cover a lot of ground in 12 episodes, which results in some scenes being rushed or skipped over. Some important events or characters are not given enough time or attention to develop properly. On the other hand, some scenes are dragged out or repeated unnecessarily, which slows down the momentum and excitement of the story. The anime could have used more balance and focus in its storytelling.
Overall, Onimusha is a bloody and brilliant anime adaptation of Capcom’s classic game series. It is a thrilling and faithful adaptation that captures the essence and spirit of the games.
It is a must-watch for fans of samurai action, demonic creatures, and Japanese folklore. It is also a great introduction for newcomers who want to experience the legendary world of Onimusha. Onimusha is one of Netflix’s best anime offerings to date and a worthy addition to the Onimusha franchise.
Final Score – [7/10]
Reviewed by - Arpita Mondal
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