Anime Review of Bakumatsu
“Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto” is a twenty-six episode Japanese anime series that combines the elements of the samurai and supernatural genres. The series was released in 2005 and so far there is not an English-dubbed version yet. It seems to have the feel of this game called “The Last Blade” which was one of SNK’s last game let alone fighting game titles.
The anime is set in the Bakumatsu era which is the Late Tokugawa Shogunate between 1853 and 1867. It’s the time where Japan ended its foreign policy of isolationism called “sakoku” and got modernized under the Meiji government. In short, it’s the period ending the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the start of the Meiji Restoration in which Japan got modernized.
Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto looks to be a more violent than “Rurouni Kenshin” which takes place during the Meiji Era. The main plotline revolves around trying to stop some evil supernatural force from destroying the world. At the same time, there’s a war between the Shogunate Forces and the Ishin Shishi whom are the pro-imperialist forces. Numerous factions have fought to seize personal power while using the chaos of the Bakumatsu period.
The series timeline is within the final years of the Bakumatsu era. The main character is a mysterious seventeen year old swordsman named Akidzuki Yojiro who possesses a special katana that can sense supernatural power. His glows mysteriously glows bright blue.
He is known as the “Eien no Shikaku” aka “Eternal Assassin” that wields the legendary sword called “Getsuruito” aka “Sword of Luna Tears.” Akidzuki is tasked with the mission of eliminating a supernatural being called the “Hasha no Kubi” aka “Head of the Conqueror” that appears during times of unrest and revolution. During that mission, he comes across a traveling theater troupe out for revenge for the killing of the group leader’s parents.
In the mission, Akidzuki is assisted by the leader of the Yuyama troupe named Yuyama Kakuojo. Her parents were murdered for being staunch supporters of the Emperor. She plays a very important role throughout the series towards the end.
The series takes Akidzuki and the others across Japan trying to destroy the Head of the Conqueror that had possessed a man named Enemoto. Akidzuki crosses paths with all sorts of people such as Kanna Sakyonosuke who is half-British and half-Japanese that uses guns in combat.
The group carries all sorts of assassinations and missions in the most creative ways possible: in the form of a Kabuki theatre. That was an interesting touch to the anime series.
Throughout the episodes the characters cross paths with real life historical figures such as: Saigo Takamori, Katsu Kaishu, Sakamoto Ryoma, H.S. Parkes, and T.B. Glover.
While they add a supernatural twist, the anime itself sticks close to all of the historical battles taking place during the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. If you enjoy samurai and supernatural themed titles, you may want to check this anime series out.
Tags: Bakumatsu , Anime , Tokugawa , Shogun
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