Blu-Ray Review: Dai Shogun – The Complete Collection

MVM Entertainment brings us Swords, Ninjas and Mechs on Blu-Ray with Dai Shogun – The Complete Collection, but what can someone expect to receive from this ‘cool title’ of an anime series? Let’s find out.

Synopsis:

In a world where history took a different path, Japan has been isolated from the outside world by steam-powered robots that repel all invaders. Inside Japan, however, the people are divided into feuding and fighting feudal factions. Feisty Keiichiro Tokugawa dreams of changing this and unifying Japan, and he just may be the one man who can use the legendary giant robot Susanoo.

Unfortunately, just touching a woman makes him break out in hives, and the Susanoo ALSO requires a female copilot. In VERY close quarters. And just to twist the katana, while there seem to be plenty of women who might covet the copilot’s seat, not all of them have his best interests at heart! Who can he trust? Kiriko the Ninja?

Chiharu the fox-demon? Or will Keiichiro’s rash ambitions be thwarted by rashes and a totally rational phobia of the female form? It’s a giant robot show like no other as the birds, the bees, and the giant robots take flight in Dai Shogun!

Our View:

The expectation of Dai shogun is that it would see a war between rivalling factions fighting to overthrow the current regime through the use of swords, guns and mechs; but in reality it is a story that doesn’t know want it wants to be or where it wants to go. The progression of this obscure story isn’t helped either by J.C Staff and ACGT’s animation style that makes it seem like a ‘enhanced’ visual novel rather than an animated series. A deceitful series that does nothing but to cater to a fandom that doesn’t exit, with a story that offers no real purpose or entertaining merit.

The synopsis would lead you to believe that it is a story of a young warrior attempting take control of Japan through the use of strong willed power while fiding a co-pilot for the legendary mech known as Susanoo. In reality the story of Dai Shogun follows Keiichiro, a 17-year-old male living with his grandma at the popular bathhouse by day while fighting strong opponents at night, who learns that he is the illegitimate air to the Tokugawa throne and is destined to restore Japan’s peace using the powers of a mysterious mech known as Susanoo.

The twist is that Keiichiro has no interest in restoring peace and would rather find the strongest opponent to battle against, but when Kiriko, a ninja from the Iga clan, arrives the story begins to move in a different direction.

Kiriko has been tasked with protecting the true heir to the throne from danger and as such accompanies Keiichiro whenever he goes… in this case to the red light district looking for ‘entertainment’.

The journey of Keiichiro gets even more bizarre when its revealed that Susanoo, the mech which only the heir can pilot, can only be operated by a male and female who are both virgins. Upon discovering this fact Keiichiro opts to get rid of his virginity but, even more bizarrely, has been cursed by his mother to avoid such situation. The curse affecting Keiichiro sees his skin burn if touched or interacted with a female partner and as such Keiichiro is undecided on what to do.

This story of discovery of his true origins overshadows the entirety of the series as well as takes up a bulk of the time, but each episode – until the eighth episode at least – acts as a way to introduce new characters, whether it be friend or foe, who wish to obtain Susanoo for themselves.

One episode meanwhile, of which seems randomly placed, does see the Shinsengumi team uncover a government cover-up and then proceed to rampage throughout Japan in search of Susanoo in order to form a nation of their own ideals and soon enough the shinsengumi arrive on Keiichiro’s doorstep to do battle. A battle which is just as overly disappointing as the story, and the questionable animation design used by the studios.

Put simply Dai Shogun is a terrible series that features a vague (or overcomplicated story that serves no purposes) presented in the manner of a glorified visual novel. It has harem elements, comedy elements and fan-service elements; but nothing stands-up and instead just provides one long eye-sore of utter disappointment that’s not worthy of your time. Literally one of the worst shows I have had the privileges of watching.

Extras:

Dai Shogun is presented on a single blu-ray disc that contains all twelve episodes in Japanese with English subtitles and, surprisingly, it still finds room to place some bonus features. In this case viewers will find textless opening and closing songs for the series as well as a selection of trailers for other Sentai Filmwork related releases; some of which have been released in the UK previously.

I would say that this is a ‘barebones’ release with disc masters produced by Sentai Filmworks, but as it features everything on a single Blu-Ray disc there simply isn’t any room to fit any more content.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50
Region: B
Running Time: 4:51:54
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Dai Shogun was spectacularly surprising in its disappointment and forces me to say that it is the worst anime series I have ever watched. The story, the animation, the progression – everything is just exceptionally terrible with the only saving grace being the detailed character artwork and enjoyable Japanese voice cast. It seems Dai Shogun was produced on a limited budget, either that or the budget was spent on CGI mech animation, as it really is a gloried visual novel.

Characters do not move or walk on screen other than talk and instead of moving the camera shifts or pans around the character – exactly like a visual novel. Whether or not this was intentional is unclear; but it really does affect the quality of its presentation… not that it really matters as the story, and its pacing, was just as bad as the animation style.

The story itself follows 17 year old Keiichiro who learns that he is the heir of the Tokugawa clan and is fated to be the hero of Japan and becoming its leader. This would be achieved by Keiichiro piloting the legendary mech known as Susanoo but in order to do so he would need to find a female partner, and at a virgin at that.

For the most part the story explores Keiichiro’s origins and personalitiy while meeting new female characters, all of which are also virgins and quickly become attached to Keiichiro, while the later portions see a chain of different threats attacking Keiichiro in order to retrieve the legendary mech themselves.

The alternate part of this story is a love story. It’s not a harem per se, as only Kiriko and Chiharu have any interest in Keiichiro, but as the series progresses the relationship between Keiichiro and Kiriko become stronger with each trying to discover who (and what) they want. Chiharu meanwhile, who has feelings for Keiichiro, also has to overcome her own feelings due to a love confession from Keiichiro’s right hand man. As with the rest of the series it is a very lacklustre love story that doesn’t develop on screen and just occurs for the sake of the story; much like everything else.

Although Dai Shogun is a disappointing series with no real merits or entertaining values the Blu-Ray disc released by MVM Entertainment, of which uses assets authored by Sentai Filmworks, is up to the standards of what you would expect to receive. In short it is a solid product only let down by its content. Dai showgun may appeal to someone, but I struggle to figure out who as it doesn’t really offer anything other than time wasting.

Score: review-stars-2

Dai Shogun – The Complete Collection will be available on Blu-Ray via MVM Entertainment UK on the 19th August 2019.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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