In the final years of the Bakumatsu, wandering mercenary Yojiro Akizuki travels the length and breadth of Japan. And while he employs his sword in the usual fashion, he also uses it to help him locate supernatural items which he pursues with single-minded determination, often with bloody results. In the course of his quest, he crosses paths with a traveling theater group whose members have their own dark agenda. Is it a chance meeting or the result of some, as yet, undiscovered conspiracy?
I think it's important to firstly note that this anime is heavily influenced by Japan's history.
It is a re-telling of what Japan went through in the final years of the Edo period, when the Samurai, Ronins, Citizens, and Military forces from Japan and foreign countries, fought for control of the country. The interesting battles and real-life tales of betrayal and backstabbing, are retold with a hint of the supernatural element, which although seemingly far fetched, does hold more than a hint of realism. The story is fascinating, but if the viewer is not into the history genre and does not care about sitting through, what may at times seem like a history or Asian culture class, then this series is definitely not for them.
I enjoyed this tale immensely, as it was good to see the behind the scene drama of such an important era in world history. Some of the events are fictional, injected into the series so as to make it more "watchable" and a few of the characters never existed in real life, but it does make things fascinating.
The Supernatural factor, which focuses on the protagonist's journey to destroy an object that is too powerful to remain intact among humans, can be used as an element to show what happens in real life when man becomes consumed with power and greed, and their drive to do the "right then" soon gives way to the very thing they sought to fight against. Though the powerful object did not truly exist, the story does well to incorporate into history.
The Art for the series is good. It suits the story and its time-line perfectly, and is solid for all 26 episodes. The only problem I had, which really boils down to my preference, is that the art does have a smoky-like appearance at times, as if it is being viewed through a very very thin film of mist. I can understand why the method was used, as it does relate to certain scenes in the story, but since I like to view things nice and sharp it didn't win me over completely.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the sound is good, despite there being only a few scores, which were all used repetitively. But the thing is, they suited the story perfectly and since it's obvious that the creators did not want anything drastic and over the topic, it was right on the mark.
I'm tempted to say that the characters are Very Good, but I think "Good" is more accurate.
The lead protagonist, Akizuki, has quite a somewhat stiff and at times unreadable attitude, which suits his role perfectly. It may be viewed by some as "boring" but when really get into the story, you can tell why it's the best design for him.
Ibaragi Sōtetsu's character is one to look out for, although I don't need to tell anyone that because as soon as he is spotted, he will command your attention. I think it's very common for a character to be present whose true motives are unknown to the other characters, but very obvious to the viewer, but in Sotetsu's case he will keep you guessing about his real intentions until the very end. His character design is practically flawless.
Those two aside, even though a majority of the character designs aren't particularly intricate, someone will pop up every now and then that's quite interesting to watch.
So like I said, I enjoyed the story enough, even though it may not be extremely outstanding or addictive. I also can understand how the consistent 'history lesson breakdown' may easily be confusing and annoying to some. If you're interested about Japan's past, and a realistic view of Ronins and Samurai, you should really give this series a shot.
Although I haven\'t seen much of this anime, I feel I have to express myself about it, so I\'ll make this short. The story itself is certainly a refreshing change of pace from other anime which either ignore placing fantasy elements, or go overboard and spin a wild tale of youkai and miko. The art style is definitely top notch for a modern anime, especially taking into account it is not an OVA. As for the character development, I\'ve seen about 10 episodes or so, and I find the character development quite lacking, the main character simply meets up with the others and they quickly join forces. Also the main character\'s past is shrowded in mystery, too much, you hardly even know why he does what he does. I certainly don\'t get the feeling that he does it out of the goodness of his heart, although it is hinted at a duty of his, I want to see more, but not too much, otherwise the mysterious aura around him vanishes. Overall an enjoyable historical anime with some dash of demons, interesting sword styles, and sometimes a bit over the top action sequences.read more
When i started with this one i was too tired of watching mecha and school stuff which i can never get enough of. I thought that this was going to be an anime that i'd rather get out of my way before going back to where i was. But the show like all anime builds up on you. I remember being so intrigued at one point that i took a day off work to finish the series.
The ending in particular was a satisfying one...mostly that is. The songs were really catchy...in fact i still find myself humming them quite often. The only thing i hated was that they concentrated a tad too bit on the politics which is slightly a hassle. Analogies between historical personailities and characters are well placed. Character relevance is well balanced and each character is treated as a component to narate some element of the story which is a great thing since i have found that most of the time shows have good characters which are wasted or forgotten in the course of the story.
This is a great show for those interested in epic love sagas of warriors. do enjoy!read more
Its nice to watch a historical series once in a while, you'll learn a lot on this kinds of shows. Its really interesting how they incorporate fiction along these historical events that which occured in Japan. And for me, who doesn't really know what took place on Japan, I really enjoyed Bakumatsu as an history lesson and an anime series as well. Well I'm not entirely sure though if the series is accurate, I'll look into it later.
As for the story goes, the Lord's head came from a rebel who rebelled against the king of Qin dynasty(in china of course) it was approximately 2004(correct me if I'm wrong) years ago when the rebel was beheaded. He swore to take revenge on everyone who opposed him, bringing his vengeful head to fruition. Qin's king ordered his people to seal the mysteriously weird re skull, so he decided to seal the head in the Land of the rising sun which is we all know Japan. Well of course, if there's something sealed; the chances of having it unsealed is effing big. Which happened in the story, and that's when our bishounen ronin comes in! Akidzuki Youjiro is a descendant of those who sealed the Lord's head, so therefore; he's tasked to reseal the effing wild red skull who loves to float around weirdly.
Art, its good. Considering the series is 7 years old, its pretty well made. The attention on details were fantastic, main characters are pretty drawn too. As for the background characters, its chuck full of samurai-hair-styled guys, you know? Those who have long hairs and bald? Meh, you know it already! And a lot of Kimono girls too! And I actually loved the female protag! I mean she cosplays really goodas if cosplay existed that time, she's an actress in the story. So she's good at makeup and things alike)!
Music? The Opening reminded me a lot of a Magia, the ending theme of Mahou Shoujo Madoka. I don't know why. Well anyway, nothing to discuss about the music on this one, they only had 1 OP and 1 ED, but the music playing on the last episode was kinda good.
Enjoyment? In the early parts, I didn't quite enjoyed it, since there weren't a lot of action scenes. Which you would expect from an action series like this, and then I remembered; Bakumatsu is a historical show. Meaning, a lot of narration was needed. But in the later in the show, it showed a lot of promise of being a good action series, which I quite enjoyed.
Overall. Honestly, I watched the series because of Akidzuki(male protag). My feminine side quickly fell when I first saw him(its not weird to have a feminine side right? Don't get me wrong though! I ain't into Boku no Piko shit!). I mean the detail on him is quite impressive, if I could be like him; I'd make a lot girls bow before me. Kidding aside, the series is a good! As I said earlier, it was a history lesson for me, being I'm not from Japan. I learned a lot from Bakumatsu. So if you're looking for a historical-somewhat-action series with a little twist of magic and some supernatural occurances, I'd recommend Bakumatsu.