For those keeping score from the video game and anime side of Sengoku BASARA, the first episode covers the fated meeting of Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura and their encounter with Oda Nobunaga. The TV series skimps on a lot of detail concerning this meeting so brush up on your Japanese history or watch the anime before viewing. The very first scene is involved Yukimura and Takeda Shingen in their signature 'Oyakata-sama!' 'Yukimura!' shouting match. The first 11 minutes of the episode were completely scenery-less. Everything had a hazy white or pitch black background. The battle sequences were a mix of CG work (ala Sin City) to cover the battle between the armies and actual choreographed sword play between the actors. The producers were kind enough to add in little special effects to make it seem like Date and Yukimura were using their special powers. This was also abundant in the opening sequence too.
Just when Date and Yukimura were really about to have fun, the Oda trio consisting of Nohime, Akechi Mitsuhide and Mori Ranmaru show up to crash the party. And standing behind them was Oda Nobunaga himself... but I'll get back to him. Of course, Katakura Kojuurou, Date's right-eye, cautioned him not to challenge Oda. But, Date can't resist a challenge so Oda gets to show off some of his awesome moves. A stylish battle then ensued between Oda and Takeda Shingen, who stepped in to save Date from a fatal blow. However, Takeda wasn't able to escape the battle unscathed.
The episode finally received some tangible scenery after the fight with Oda. The cast was outside the Takeda residence waiting to see if he'd be okay after taking a direct hit from Oda. While there, Date tried to toughen up Yukimura and a comical fist fight results. As the boys beat the crap out of each other, they were completely unaware of Takeda's forces limping back to the residence. Only when Kasuga and her lord Uesugi Kenshin showed up did they stop fighting and look up. The episode ends.
But the real highlight of the first episode must go to the Oda forces. Nohime looks and sounds like she walked right out of the video game. Mitsuhide was just as sadistic and crazed as he should of been. His actor has a good build for him. I'm going to miss Hayami Shou's voice though. Ranmaru's actor has a surprisingly 'grown up voice' since he's supposed to be a kid. The most surprising performance of all was delivered by the man himself, GACKT as Oda Nobunaga.
With GACKT anchoring this series, I think Sengoku BASARA: Moonlight Party will be quite entertaining to watch. I look forward to seeing more Sin City-esque visual effects; it really gives the show that video game feel. It's really hard to judge and entire show by only one episode but I think this series is moving in the right direction. Anyone looking for something serious should stay away from this. Fans of the series and of GACKT should definitely check it out.