There is only one thing wrong with this otherwise flawless series. I found out that there is a second part to this story, and you can only conclude it by reading the manga. If that sits well with you then picking up this fantastic NIS release is a no-brainer. A super cranky ninja named Saizo finds himself unwillingly saving a priestess named Isanami. Isanami’s home, the Izumo temple, had been brutally burned and she is the only survivor. She manages to bribe Saizo with food into escorting her to Shinshuu to enlist the aid of laidback, playboy lord, Sanada Yukimura. While Yukimura allows Isanami (and Saizo) to stay, he has his own agenda. He is in the process of gathering his brave ten warriors who will help him take over the world.
The fighting is totally kick-ass and there’s a ton of great eye-candy as can be expected in a series like this. It is a nice change of pace from the usual slice-of-life anime that NIS releases. It has the same feel as Naruto/Bleach but it still has a uniqueness to it. One of the best parts of the show is that you learn just enough about each character that it leaves you wanting more. While the anime can stand on its own as only 1 season, there is so much potential for additional story line and the opportunity to really flesh everyone charters out. The ending song was pretty entrancing. All characters personality was well put, I just thought it was a bit quick on how each character was introduced in the story. I also had a friend (who watched the series with me) point out that you have to be willing to suspend a lot of disbelief too. Wounds heal incredibly quickly. One person has a sword run all the way through his right hand, but the next day he’s sent off on a mission and uses his sword like he was never hurt.
This set contains the 12-episode series on two Blu-ray discs, each in its own keepcase case and housed in a sturdy slipcase. I’ve said this in ever NIS review but they are my #1 favorite publishers. They seem to take a lot of care into their packages. The 1.78:1 anamorphic image looks very good. The colors are strong and solid and they’re accurately reproduced and come through clearly. The level of detail is very good and the lines are tight. The best extra isn’t found on the discs however. That award goes to the very nice hardcover book that is included with the set. This attractive full-color book includes large images along with a synopsis from each episode, character design sheets, interviews with the creators, and more.
If you don’t like whiny female characters, this might be an anime to skip over as well. A girl being pursued by assassins runs into a ronin samurai. He saves her and subsequently can’t get rid of her, as she begs for him to escort her to a nearby castle. Once there the lord is initially reluctant to help her but turns out not to be so helpless after all, additionally the lord seems to have a plan of his own, the formation of a group of 10 warriors. She just happens to make the cut! However, don’t get it confused, as Brave 10 as a whole is something that honestly sounded interesting when I read up the description. It started off decent enough—albeit generic—but I found myself not being able to put the remote down. I loved every second, admist the small criticisms.
The art of the anime series, definitely portrays, the high speed action of the ninja attacks, and assaults. Even when action isn’t the main focus of the story, the scenes, of them talking or gathering information from Yukimura, or Isanami giving Saizo a rude awakening in the morning, it’s quite crisp. It has an extremely simple and straight-forward storytelling method which doesn’t tend to be over-complicated or try to be something it is not. If this were an adaptation, it would have made a good transition. It’s easy to absorb, and while it has no deeper meaning to speak of, it won’t leave you with any plot holes. I hope this is the start of more action/adventure anime from NIS. Recommended!