Who and Why Ruined Shogun's Perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes Score?

Who and Why Ruined Shogun's Perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes Score?
Image credit: FX

It only took 2 negative reviews against 90 positive ones to take away Shogun’s crown. Who were the critics who hated Shogun, and how did they explain it?


  • Hulu and FX’s Shogun received the absolute majority of positive critic reviews, but two negative ones ruined its perfect 100% Tomatometer score.
  • According to the first critic, the show seemingly hates Japanese culture and people and wants its audience to feel the same way.
  • Their colleague added that Shogun forced the single white character’s POV onto the viewers while making most Japanese characters irrelevant.

Hulu and FX’s latest TV show Shogun became an instant hit as soon as it premiered, and for a good reason. Set in Medieval Japan, this epic saga follows three different characters as their fates dangerously intertwine against the backdrop of political intrigues, samurai wars, and the battle of the old and the new ways on the island.

But Shogun didn’t last too long with a 100% Tomatometer. Who and why ruined it?

Who Took a Shot at Shogun?

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At the time of writing, Hulu and FX’s sensational period drama has 90 positive critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes — and only 2 negative ones. Those were enough to take away Shogun’s crown and reduce its once-perfect 100% Tomatometer score to a less impressive 99%. Let’s see the reasoning behind the first negative review.

“It’s hard to call Shōgun anything other than a total condemnation of the Japanese and their way of life. <...> It doesn’t seem to like the world it’s set in or any of the people who live in it. <...> There’s a lot to enjoy in Shōgun, as long as you’re prepared to hate everything about ancient Japanese culture and the Japanese people who adhere to it,” wrote Giant Freakin Robot’s Joshua Tyler.

Who Killed Shogun?

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The first critic’s problem with Shogun revolved entirely around their distaste of how the Japanese people and customs were portrayed in the series. According to them, the show says next to nothing positive about this ancient culture and its people, and we can’t be the judges here; historical accuracy should be addressed by historians.

Let’s see what the second killer of Shogun’s perfect score had to say.

“FX’s Shogun is an inconsistent affair whose downsides ultimately outweigh its achievements. <...> The show loses its grip only a couple of episodes in. <...> Shogun isn’t the perspective shift that it could have been, it’s merely a perspective dilution. <...> With no emotional anchor, watching it is like being unmoored at sea,” The Indian Express’ Rohan Naahar wrote.

According to them, Shogun’s weakest point is its point of view that chains the audience to the sole white character in the show as their only anchor while throwing countless deviously unimportant local characters at them.

Basically, Shogun has poor POV handling and hates Japanese culture and people, if these two critics’ words are anything to go by. Do you agree with them?

Do you agree with these two critics?

Sources: Giant Freakin Robot, The Indian Express