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'The best TV I've seen in a long time' What viewers are saying about Disney drama Shōgun

The sprawling drama is set in Japan

Cosmo Jarvis as John Blackthorne, Nestor Carbonell as Rodrigues
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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Shōgun is the latest Disney+ offering, and it is a biggie for the streaming platform. Based on the bestselling1975 novel by James Clavell, the sprawling historical drama takes place in Japan in the 1500s, and follows two very different men - the first English sailor to arrive in Japan and a shrewd Lord vying for power, as well as a female samurai, and how fate brings them together - but is it worth the watch? 

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Taking to Twitter/X to discuss, one person wrote: “The two-episode premiere of #Shogun is the BEST TV I have seen in a long time. The storytelling along with the acting is one of the best. The show carries itself in a way no other show has or ever will. Hiroyuki Sanada is a phenomenal actor and it shows.” Another person added: “FX's #SHOGUN is genuinely spectacular, a sprawling, ambitious reminder of why TV as a medium is so darn great, and a thoughtful, necessary reimagining of the occasionally problematic original.” 

WATCH: Shōgun is the newest show on Disney+

Another fan added: “#Shogun is MASTERFUL, MAJESTIC, and GROUNDBREAKING, showcasing an unprecedented scale of authenticity. With stunning locales, amazing set design, detailed costumes, and a captivating storyline that will immerse you in another era. Truly unparalleled. #ShogunFX." 

Another person predicted that there would be plenty of award nominations, posting: “Come award season for the 2024 year. #Shogun will definitely be nominated in the TV categories and I can see Hiroyuki Sanada winning a few acting awards for his role.” 

Eita Okuno as Saeki Nobutatsu, Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko, Hiromoto Ida as Kiyama Ukon Sadanaga
Eita Okuno as Saeki Nobutatsu, Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko, Hiromoto Ida as Kiyama Ukon Sadanaga

So, what is the show all about? The official synopsis reads: “Shōgun… is set in Japan in the year 1600 at the dawn of a century-defining civil war. Hiroyuki Sanada stars as Lord Yoshii Toranaga who 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, its English pilot, John Blackthorne comes bearing secrets that could help Toranaga tip the scales of power and devastate the formidable influence of Blackthorne’s own enemies — the Jesuit priests and Portuguese merchants.

“Toranaga’s and Blackthorne’s fates become inextricably tied to their translator, Toda Mariko, a mysterious Christian noblewoman and the last of a disgraced line. While serving her lord amidst this fraught political landscape, Mariko must reconcile her newfound companionship with Blackthorne, her commitment to the faith that saved her and her duty to her late father.” 

Speaking about joining the project, Cosmo Jarvis, who plays English sailor John Blackthorne, said: “I very much appreciated how interesting of a premise it had with regard to the time period and the country it’s set in. And the archetypal story strokes that were involved in it, which wasn’t something I’d come into contact with very often. 

“You don’t often get a chance to play archetypal work, and that was interesting to me. But foremost, it was the adventure of it.”