top of page



Based on James Clavell's 1975 novel, which was previously adapted to a miniseries in 1980, Shōgun may be gory on the surface, but what lies beneath is the true wonder of this series.


Set in Japan in the year 1600, Lord Yoshii Toranaga is fighting for his life as his enemies on the Council of Regents unite against him, when a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village.


Going into a samurai centric series such as Shōgun comes with a certain expectation. The series most certainly provides those shocking gory moments, but there is a more captivating scenario taking place within. Shōgun takes it upon itself to make sure the story-line is in the limelight. There is emphasis on the politics within these uncertain times. The show repeatedly makes you aware that due to the culture of these people, every single decision is life or death, and that's what gets you hooked, waiting on the next episode to see how the story progress'. Even in the finale, Shōgun doesn't shy away from not sticking to the norm, but stays true to itself right to the last moments.

The series wouldn't be successful without it's characters, and there are plenty of them. John Blackthone aka. Barbarian, Anjin-san (Cosmo Jarvis) is at the center, the a washed up sailor with his thick British accent (although it's technically meant to be Portuguese). Lord Toranaga, the leader on the eve of war, played expertly by Hiroyuki Sanada (The Twilight Samurai). Mariko, assigned to translate for the Anjin but becomes an unlikely love interest, played by Anna Sawai (Monarch: Legacy of Monsters). There are enjoyable characters that filter in and out throughout Shōgun which only makes it more enjoyable to go on this journey with them.


All this talk of war, and no gruesome scenes to discuss? Well you certainly won't be disappointed. There are some moments in this show that will hit you at your core. Right from the first episode Shōgun shows it's colours; Beheadings, boiled alive, assassinations, the list goes on. However, if you squeamish folk think you'll get away with camera turns at the right moment, you need to think again. The gore may come in spatters, but you see every gut spilled, every head slice and every body evaporated (this scene in particular is shocking).

This may just be the must watch series of the year. Without pulling its punches in the key action moments, there is a beauty within Shōgun that shines through the claret smeared across the screen.


Shogun rating

All 10 episode of Shōgun are now streaming on Disney+


bottom of page