Shogun - Series 2024

Shogun - Series 2024

It is quite common that highly anticipated series do not ultimately reach the quality initially expected.

Less common, however, are series from which nothing groundbreaking was expected, but they eventually became real hits. Shogun can be classified among such series.

Game of Thrones from Japan

Shogun was not exactly a Cinderella in this year's TV production, but there was not much talk about it before its release. Yet, it was clear from the beginning that it would be a very expensive spectacle.

Many times we have seen that a generous budget does not automatically mean a good work. Fortunately, this is different in this case.

Shogun has strong support in James Clavell's bestselling novel of the same name. It is gratifying that the series sticks quite closely to its famous source material, as the novel is excellent.

There were concerns that the creators of the new Shogun series might deviate significantly from the book, but fortunately, this did not happen. Although it is possible to find many small deviations, the overall direction and essence of the original work remain unchanged.

In both the book and the latest series, we follow the fate of English sailor John Blackthorne, who is forced to slowly come to terms with the specific reality of Japan after being shipwrecked on its shores. This reality includes murders, intrigues, and religious oppression—things we love to see on our TV screens.

In this regard, Shogun resembles the early seasons of Game of Thrones. However, it would be cheap to accuse its creators of plagiarism, especially since Clavell finished Shogun in 1975, while the Song of Ice and Fire series came out much later.

A Visual Feast

For obvious reasons, you won't find any dragons or other magical creatures in Shogun. Nevertheless, the series features numerous attractions beyond the meticulous script that can sufficiently captivate even today's viewers spoiled by special effects.

First, we are naturally captivated by the top-notch visual execution. Every second, it feels like we are watching a story from ancient Japan. The sets and costumes here can only be rated as top-notch with a star.

Their historical accuracy is also appreciated by professional historians specializing in feudal Japan.

Equally captivating are the performances. Each actor in the series delivers, at worst, a very good performance. Most actors, however, excel.

Hiroyuki Sanada as Lord Toranaga exudes concentrated charisma, stealing every scene he is in.

Close behind are Cosmo Jarvis, who plays John Blackthorne, and Anna Sawai, who transforms into Toda Mariko in Shogun.

Series of the Year?

Although spring has just begun, it is quite possible that we already have the series of the year behind us. Shogun practically has no weak spots.

The series that are yet to be released this year will have a very hard time competing with such heavyweight competition.