Brave 10

Title:Brave 10
ブレイブ-テン (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: ONO Daisuke
R1 License - NIS America
A year before the battle of Sekigahara that ended the Sengoku Period, the ninja Saizou Kirigakure meets the miko Nami Isa as she's attacked by assassins. Her shrine was destroyed by Tokugawa Ieyasu for siding with Yukimura Sanada. Meanwhile, Sanada has been gathering ten warriors known as Sanada's Brave 10, who have the power to change history. As they gather one by one, Nami's own mysterious power awakens.
(Synopsis courtesy of ANN)

A winter 2012 series

12 episodes(?)

OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2527#628]
(Five episodes watched):

It's always possible that a show about ten extraordinary fighters might wind up something like this:

Character #1: "I'm the most awesome warrior there is!"
Character #2: "No, I'm the most awesome warrior there is!"
Character #3: "You've both gotten it wrong! I'm the most awesome warrior there is!"

And so on and so on. I was skeptical at first, especially since the show seemed to be trying to ooze 'coolness'. It seemed melodramatic at times. Episode one seemed to have more than enough fighting to me, and the action scenes seemed confusing and I had a hard time telling what had just happened. I would have preferred that the time be spent on giving us a better idea of what's going on. I can't say what sort of story is coming together yet, and whether I will want to stick with it. But main characters Saizou and Isanami grew some personality as they talked with each other. She seems a touch goofy and thus likeable; he is gruff and secretive (he is a ninja, after all). I wish the focus had been kept on them to a greater extent, since they are fairly entertaining. Isanami has some strange power; will it be explained someday, or am I just supposed to accept it at face value? But all-in-all, I remained interested in Brave 10 after one episode, which is more than I can say for a number of action series that have come out recently.

One thing during episode two which sets off an alarm within my mind is the way that Isanami has become enamored with Saizou so quickly and so deeply. This seems more like fanboy wishful thinking than something that would happen in real life. Her father (adopted, but loved nevertheless) is brutally murdered, she witnesses horrifying acts of violence--and responds by swiftly falling in love and adopting a painfully cheerful attitude. Does that make sense?

Sometimes it's hard to tell characters apart, like Saizou and Kakei in episode three. I was relying on the clothing Saizou wore to distinguish him. On the other hand, the jokes are amusing and the fight in this episode was kind of cool (however, muskets have to be reloaded after every shot, Kakei). And in the end a 'magic' weapon decides everything, so no plausible explanation is forthcoming. I would much prefer a clever move which I wasn't expecting but really could happen--that would increase my respect for a character far more than his happening to wield a fancy weapon. Episode five wasn't so good. A fight takes place in some sort of dimly lit tunnel, but it is so dark that I frankly have no idea what is going on. Halfway through, a new character joins in and like everyone else we cannot see him at all; I wish I could recognize this guy's voice, I thought to myself, but I concentrate on reading subtitles, not listening to voices. It turns out that this really was a completely new character, making his debut in the series, but we had no way of knowing that, and the result is confusion and frustration. This show seems to rely on fancy tricks to 'thrill' us, but they are often ridiculous and implausible--like (if I understood this correctly) one fighter taking out an opponent by firing his musket through his own body to hit the other guy. Back in the days of primitive medical care it would be a miracle just to survive that, much less shrug it off with nothing more than a bandage and a groan or two afterwards. The heroes absorb so much punishment without collapsing or dying that I seriously began to think that maybe Saizou had some sort of immortality to him (that might actually be interesting, come to think of it). But all these cheap stunts mean that the show's plot and character development are neglected. I ran out of patience with this show and dropped it around here.

Last updated Tuesday, January 01 2013. Created Saturday, February 04 2012.

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