Each episode of Sengoku Choujuu Giga is abstract, adapting the historical Choju-jinbutsu-giga scrolls [translating to “Animal Person Caricatures,” or, Scrolls of Frolicking Animals] into 3-minute limited animation poems in anime format. The implied storytelling with its unconventional humor puts a unique twist on teaching real events, possibly. Concluding the first season review from years ago, the episode synopses below will impressionistically recreate the episodes through stylistically poetic interpretations of haiku with interpretive kigo, or maybe not.
Rating: ★★★★☆ [4/5]
Note: Haiku poetry is interpreted in English as syllables of 5-7-5. Those “beats” are more accurately counted by sound and are more often complete words or thoughts than syllables. The poems below are episode summaries, with their titles matching the episode title. I wrote poems one through three using 12 words, then expanded to 17 words to closer match haiku. Kigo, or seasonal words that necessitate haiku, are underlined.
Avalanche of emotions,
affairs chasing affairs,
or was it all food sickness?
“The Assault on Odawara Castle”
Cooling off the enemy,
takes serious tactical effort,
or maybe it doesn’t?
The humble scarecrow,
wrapped in smelly clothing,
could be the scared one…
“Body Double Audition”
When hunting for specific prey,
does the quality of the decoy matter,
if you are being hunted?
Coming of Spring springs action.
Who will protect the one needing protection?
Guard oneself from guarded guards.
“My First Banana”
When receiving a new food,
if the offering isn’t smoldering to touch,
it could be worth eating.
“Who Am I?”
Is the scarecrow a human,
wrapped in the clothes of a human,
or is it a scarecrow?
“The Guy No One Likes”
Give everyone the freeze, jerk.
Except, the guy that defends you, jerk.
Heed his advice there, jerk.
“Five Great Elders”
The hazy-moon sees it all,
the in-fighting and the miscommunication among elders,
but does meddling even help?
“Four Shimazu Brothers”
What makes a family thunderous?
Is it the blood relation between them?
Or that they’re familially supportive?
“Rumors of Kenshin”
While one goes for relief,
the others wonder about details, perhaps destructive,
or perhaps, desolate, and remote.
“Mistress of the Castle”
When preparing for a role,
fight off the internal sleet in private,
then proceed toward your victory.
In this story’s final act,
the street-comedian of absurdity and Japanese history,
reflects once more on flames.
Cons: The jokes are dense, nuanced, and high-context, requiring gleaning details from esoteric historical concepts that are shown without context. The series doesn’t teach Japanese history, at most, inspiring Sengoku-period research just to understand what just happened throughout each episode. It’s not always clear what is actually going on during some scenes. There are subtitle typos.
Pros: Even surface-level research can reveal hidden depths in storytelling and Japanese history. In “Mistress of the Castle,” Ii gathers her confidence to become the daimyo of her family, a real-life person that ruled in an era where women weren’t rulers. The episode explores this topic thoroughly and respectfully, its deftly absurd tone hiding its controversy.
|Sources: My viewing experiences.|
|Inspirations: I mainly just wanted to get this done.|
|Related: Other Series Reviews.|
|Pictures: Screenshots captured while watching.|
|Written On: 2019 June 28, July 01 03, December 12 13; 2020 January 02 [Some time. I couldn’t estimate the amount of time I spent writing each episode review. The outro review only took a few minutes.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 January 02 [The opening paragraph and haiku note went through several drafts. The reviews and outro were first drafts; final drafts.]|