Although traumatized by witnessing the murder of his parents by one of the Choushuu, Ichimura Tetsunosuke's thirst for revenge lead him to desire strength. At the age of 15, Tetsunosuke approached the Shinsengumi, wanting to become one of its members. However, Tetsunosuke lacked the skill, mind and will to emotionlessly cut down whoever threatened peace and the Shinsengumi. Even with the support of his brother Tatsunosuke and his newfound friends of the Shinsengumi, little did Tetsunosuke know the blood and pain he would have to face being part of this historical group.
Peace Maker Kurogane is a historical action series based around the Shinsengumi; the Japanese police force active in the Edo period, perhaps now popularised in the West by the success of Gintama. Like many of its anime counterparts, the series is only loosely based on actual events, with much of the material taking an episodic, comedic route.
We follow Tetsunosuke, a young boy set on joining the Shinsengumi in an attempt to seek revenge on the man who killed his parents two years earlier. As far as revenge plots go; it's fairly typical, standard fare. As events heat up, however, the story begins to fall in line with history, with much of the action and drama centered around the Ikedaya incident. This affair was a clash between the Shinsengumi and a band of politically agitated ronin, which occurred in July, 1864. The story presents a splendid blend of historical and original material, with some events united more seamlessly than others. In-between the dotted story episodes are a variety of episodic ventures, which contain many of the series' most comedic moments, or at least aspire to. There's a little toilet humour and a couple of cheap punchlines, but for the most part, the comedic beats hit home. The story comes across as an entirely comprehensive piece, despite lapses in development, and while the premise comes across as cliche and overdone, the payoff is a satisfying and compelling watch.
The animation and art style complement each other well and the cinematography, while not overly complex, doesn't miss the mark. The action sequences are well choreographed, exquisitely animated and a wholly enjoyable experience. Gonzo do a fine job - watching Peace Maker, it dawned on me how much of a shame it was the studio now have such little presence.
The music is, for the most part, fairly forgettable. It doesn't come across as out of place or wrong - in fact it suits the setting well, with a variety of different tracks to emphasize certain moods or actions - but it never really pushes the boundaries of what can be accomplished.
With its roots in the historical Shinsengumi, the characters in Peace Maker -- for the most part -- are based on real people, albeit heavily edited in appearance and personality. Due to the inclusion of many comedic elements, the characters exert what I imagine are incredibly different characteristics to their historical counterparts. Nevertheless, the characters come across as an interesting bunch and are fun to watch. The character development isn't the most notable aspect of the series, however, and the characters lack a certain well-roundedness and portray only a select few attributes; the villain especially is rather one-dimensional. Appropriately, the leading character Tetsunosuke grows the most, and his journey at least has a sense of progress. Despite shortcomings, though, the cast are a rich, varied and exciting element that add a certain flair to the series.
Overall, Peace Maker is a thoroughly enjoyable watch. A fine blend of action and comedy not so unlike its could-be cousin, Gintama. Certain changes prevent it from being an entirely historically accurate show, but the original material is well written and well presented. Though perhaps not as memorable as it could have been, with a harmonious blend of comedy and action, it's a series entirely worth watching.read more
Wanna hear random? I was voting in a hot anime guys poll and I didn't recognize one of the candidates, so I looked him up (it was Susumu). And stumbled here. I read the synopsis, glanced at the rating, read the review... and thought, "Eh, why not give it a chance?" I think you should be thinking the same thing. ;)
Right now, I think my opinion is a little colored by how surprised I was by this anime. As I chain-watched episodes of this show, I kept on thinking things like: "Wow, I am actually really enjoying this"; "Why didn't I hear about this before?"; and "This is really good" in this surprised tone. I mean... I had never heard a peep about it before and I was just checking out a character picture to see decide if the guy was hot or not. But it ended up being really good. Funny, huh?
Story: I'd categorize it as a historical drama that uses action as backdrop, meaning that the plot and the characters are firmly in the forefront. There's definitely action (and it's exciting and occasionally graphic) but it isn't the central focus; it just helps fill in the finer details... it isn't action just for the sake of having action, you know what I mean?
When I first started watching and I saw Tetsu trying to join the Shinsengumi, I thought it was going to be like History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi -- a lot of training, a few fights, some comedy beats... and what I got instead was a compelling drama about identity and coping with your demons, along the lines of Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen (but younger, louder and generally more light-hearted). Set in the same time period as Rurouni, the era itself already is soaked in questions of identity and tradition vs. progress. It was surprisingly mature and well developed in both the depth of the characters and the breadth of the issues they tackled: the burdens of violence, the cost of peace, what shape do the scars of our pasts really take? And though I was personally rooting for one side, I don't think either side was actually labeled good or evil. I appreciated that the show seemed to be acknowledging that there isn't always a right or wrong -- sometimes there's just a conflict. There's also a nice serving of funny moments and conversations scattered throughout the storyline that are well used by the author. They either let you get to know the characters better or help make them more cute and loveable. Sometimes they break the tension so you can finally exhale. And most importantly, there was a weight to the story, which I attribute to good craftsmanship, that sucked me in. Things that mattered to them mattered to me too and I really wanted things to work out and go their way and... I just felt really invested in their story and I don't think that happens without really good storytelling.
The only nitpicky thing I could complain about, story-wise, might be the way that some of the storylines resolved. But I don't really want to go into detail because it might give things away... so, I'll leave it at that.
Character: A lot of the generic sort of stereotypes when it comes to a group of soldiers/police/etc. are represented here as well. Those familiar cliches rear their ugly heads again. I didn't mind, to be honest, because I did really like two pairs of characters particularly and those characters were executed well enough to keep me occupied. The first and most important is definitely the brothers, Tetsu and Tatsu. Their relationship was so interesting to me because it was different from anything I had seen before and yet so completely plausible for their circumstances. (I never know how much detail to go into or not go into and what constitutes a spoiler -- sorry!) Sure, it was exaggerated sometimes, for humor, for emphasis, whatever, but the heart of it rang true and when you realize what the root of the relationship actually is, it's, like, "Whoa. That really makes sense." ;) The second and much more ancillary relationship doesn't actually exist in the show, it's more of a similarity of character (that the show actually points out as well) between Hijikata and Yoshida as leaders of opposing factions in this turbulent and vicious time period. I thought it added something nice to the balance and the honesty of the story and the absense of "right."
Animation: Generally, I liked it. I wouldn't say it was outstanding. Or even above average. But it good. And it suited the story and the characters, I think. It's actually a pretty decent collection of good looking guys... too bad about the mullets. ...Did they actually wear mullets or was this just some very peculiar style choice by the mangaka? Some the action sequences were well done, I thought. No where near the caliber of the action in Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen, but as good as or better than the usual anime fare, I think.
Enjoyment: It's an odd thing because I feel like I was more interested and invested in the show than I can adequately explain. Maybe it's just me and my taste and this anime just happened to hit the right buttons. I don't know. But after I finished one episode, I immediately wanted to see what was going to happen next. And then I wanted to watch the one after that. And I didn't want to watch anything else. So even though I might not have done a great job explaining myself, I would probably suggest that you watch the first episode and see how it strikes you. If you like it, keep on watching -- I don't think it will disappoint you. If you hate it, well... at least you know, right? If you're ambivalent, watch another... and maybe another after that, until you make up your mind. ;)
P.S. The only thing about the voice acting I have to say is that it was fine minus two guys who were doing their impressions of Hisoka from Hunter x Hunter. I kept on checking to see if it was the same guy on MAL (it isn't) and it was driving me nuts just because they weren't as good at it as Hisoka's actor, Hiroki Takahashi.read more
did not enjoy it. watched with high hopes, not at all bloody as the box set promised. not only dropped it but, removed it form my collection. saw more action in power rangers.its slow no action and even less blood
Well this is my first review and everything might had been said but I think I'll try my best.
Story: It's one of the two best anime I've seen on the beggining of the Meiji area in Japan around 1865. In "Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen", the side of the Ishin Patriots is presented, but in Peace Maker, it's the side of the Shogun clans. Everything happens in a small periode of time from the encounter wiht the Shinsengumi to the end.
Art: Well, if you don't like blood, violence, injuries, or ... you won't like it so much, but it's well done. It's more colorfull than some violence anime, but the drawings keep the serious atmosphere when it's needed. The long serie of Rur. Kenshin didn't make such a good job.
Sound: Well, There isn't anything special, but it supports well the transitions between action and comedy.
Characters: For a 24 episodes anime, a lot of characters are presented and most of them are developped. They have their own personalities, but nothing too flashy or new. I liked the similarities between the two leaders. They look alike and it revels how much each side is acting the same way to achive two different goals.
Enjoyment/Overall: Well, a very good anime with a lot of actions and progression.(typical of shoumen) Very well done, fun and interesting to watch. Less comedy than in Kenshin (long serie) but still fun by parts. Well to say the truth, this anime cost me a mathematics exam!
It's very good, adicting... read more