Brave10 Episode 1 and First Impressions

The Warring States Era, one year prior to the Battle of Sekigahara. The young and directionless Iga Ninja, Kirigakure Saizou, comes across Isanami, a Miko who escaped from Izumo and was being attacked by assassins. Isanami was on her way to Shinshu to seek aid from Sanada Yukimura after the Izumo Grand Shrine was burned to the ground by assailants under Tokugawa Ieyasu’s command.
Meanwhile, Sanada Yukimura tries to gather 10 of the strongest warriors to form the Sanada Ten Braves, to serve as his trump card in the brewing wars. As the brave warriors gather and battles erupt, Isanami ‘s hidden power begins to awaken…?!
The Sanada Ten Braves, history’s most beautiful, magnificent warriors! Together these ten hold the power to shape history!!”

A blend of action and swordfighting, seasoned with comedy and with a dash of ninjas for good measure.

Brave10 begins with the ever popular in media res, with the Miko Isanami escaping from the burning of her shrine, enemies in close pursuit, and bumping into Kirigakure Saizou who is lounging around. Their first exchange was actually pretty funny, with their dramatic meeting where Isanami falls into Saizou’s arms, and Saizou being cool and asking if she was being chased… followed by turning around and walking away when learning that she indeed was. Yeah, guess he’s not a standard hero of justice protagonist.

However, seeing as the show must go on, our antihero protagonist is forced into defeating Isanami’s pursuers, which he does quite efficiently (you know you’re a group of generic enemies when you all get defeated with the first move). Bribed with a bowl of soba, Saizou ends up escorting Isanami until they are judged to be suspicious and attacked by the ninja Sarutobi Sasuke. A brief clash ensues, broken up by (big surprise) Isanami who demands to see Sasuke’s lord, Sanada Yukimura.

Isanami gets an audience with Yukimura, and recaps the burning of her shrine by Tokugawa Ieyasu. Yukimura declines to help her, even after her emotion-filled recollections, and then Saizou leaves. Not a good day for Isanami. But these happenings seem quite realistic – I wouldn’t expect people to want to get involved in other people’s troubles, especially not if they involve armed ninjas. On that note, Isanami seems exceedingly optimistic for thinking that Yukimura would lend her his support and that Saizou would help her out of compassion. Fortunately, she’s lucky enough to have some sort of crazy destruction superpower connected to the gem in her hairband, the sort of power usually connected with evil final bosses. This interests Yukimura enough to keep her around, and Saizou joins him as well after being extorted by Isanami over his debt for the soba.

Saizou’s character is interesting. Definitely does not seem like a stock protagonist who values justice and protecting the weak –  I’d say Sasuke would be more fit for that role. Saizou has a pretty rough demeanor and a pretty uninvolved nature, perhaps connected to his ronin state and contempt for lords. Or maybe his contempt for lords is just because of excessive pride, which from his character does seem like something he might have a lot of. It does seem like he might be at least a bit sympathetic for Isanami, as he protects her when he could have run and joins Yukimura at her request, over a trivial debt. I can see him eventually warming up to the other characters, or at least Isanami.

I wasn’t sure what kind of quality to expect from this when I started, but it turned out that the first episode is excellent. Interesting characters, cool fight scenes, several pretty funny moments, and a lot of plot development in the future (knocking on some wood) including six or seven more warriors to be introduced. The episode leaves us in a lot of mystery, like why Saizou is a wandering ronin ninja or what Yukimura plans to do with ten warriors. Mystery definitely isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. A great first episode, leaving me highly anticipating the next.

Also: not my first time seeing a male protagonist wake up with a girl unexpectedly sleeping next to him. Definitely my first time seeing the male protagonist toss the futon and the girl after waking.

1 Response to “Brave10 Episode 1 and First Impressions”

  1. 25 June 2015 at 10:49 pm

    get the greatest hospitals around

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