Another video game adaptation, another disaster. Samurai Shodown continues the long tradition of bad anime with their roots in the coin-op world. Although some are bearable enough, Samurai Shodown is one of the absolute worst, making dreck like Tekken look vaguely entertaining.
As Samurai Shodown begins, a bunch of holy warriors are defeated by the traitorous Amokusa, a rebel who has decided to turn on her god and take over the world, yada yada yada. Although the warriors lose their bodies, their souls remain, and they are reborn 100 years later to destroy Amokusa. (Why Amokusa couldn't gather the forces of darkness and conquer the planet in their 100-year absence is beyond me.) At the center of the story is the burly Haohmaru, a happy-go-lucky fellow who doesn't remember his past as a holy warrior until the destruction of his village triggers the deeply buried memory of his previous life. But Haohmaru is uncontrollable in his rage over the death of his mother, and Amokusa may be able to exploit that weakness to destroy all the holy warriors.
There is not a single aspect of Samurai Shodown I can hold up and compliment. Wait...hmm...it's not offensive. Hmm...yep, that's it.
Otherwise, Samurai Shodown is a farce from one end to the other. The dub, which is all we have to listen to, is obnoxiously bad. Many years ago, I received a tape of amateurs trying to dub the first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam. I've long shown it to friends to make them laugh uncontrollably. Their dub job is masterful in comparison to the one on Samurai Shodown. Although Haohmaru's voice actor acquits himself, the rest of the cast is guilty of seriously bad accents, bad inflection, and dreadful overacting. (In fact, I'm not sure I've ever heard a voice actor overact as much as Amokusa's, who sounds like she's channeling the Wicked Witch of the West on uppers.)
The artwork is terrible. The animation is terrible. The soundtrack is terrible. The plot is terrible. Going into detail might add more length to this review, but it's not necessary. It's all bad. Take my word for it.
At the 11-minute mark, I had half a mind to turn it off and forget about reviewing it, but I bravely ventured forth. After about 45 minutes of the 63 minutes of actual program (don't let the advertising fool you into thinking it's longer), I gave up. As such, I won't flunk it if for some reason it becomes sufferable in its final minutes. At any rate, the only reason I'd recommend it is as a cure for insomnia--it's definitely cheaper and possibly more effective than sleeping pills.
Samurai Shodown -- violence -- D-