Chizuru Yukimura has come to Kyoto looking for her father, a doctor who has gone missing. While there, she witnesses a fight between an Oni and the Shinsengumi. Taking her into custody, the Shinsengumi debates on what to do with Chizuru, when they discover that she is the daughter of the doctor for whom they are also looking. The Shinsengumi then take Chizuru along on their search after the missing doctor, from adventure to adventure.
It is like the anime, just a review or summary. There is some changes, like you get to see Yukimura Chizuru use her demon power, but other than that don't waste your time watching this. I regret buying this, and watching it. It is basically the same to the anime but it is split shorter and have some few new moments that have nothing really to do with the main part. You will get to see her brother more but it is not worth it.
I started this film in the hope of initiating myself to the historical series because it is true that the "historical" genre isn't my cup of tea. I didn't see the original series and I didn't play visual novel so I discovered this series with this new movie. This film takes up the main plot but there have been some changes if I understand correctly.
Why didn't I enjoy this movie and why wouldn't I recommend it?
This movie seems to have skipped many important passages. We move from a plot to another without understanding the link between the two stories.
The characters have no characterization and the
evolution of their personality is very badly shown and poorly explained. There is no interaction between the characters, they are together because the writer said so.
The main character, Chizuru, isn't very appreciable. She is weak, useless and always serves the reverse harem. She has no personality (= she is sweet and kind, meh) and only wishes to find her missing father. Nothing interesting about this character. Hijikata has an interesting design but we don't have much information as well. He seems to enjoy Chizuru but the development of their romance is blurred.
As for the other characters, they are useless or incoherent. They don't have enough screentime so they can be developed. They appear as "extras" that have no real motivation except to protect the Shinsengumi. They don't respect the samurai code because they don't hesitate to take the "weird" potion to heal their wounds. They are only there to enthrall the spectators who will make ships between male characters. (They are handsome men so I guess...)
The animation is probably the best part of this film because it's flawless. The action scenes are particularly well-worked and intense. The dark atmosphere is very well represented thanks to the use of pleasant dull colors. The chara design of the characters seem a bit shoujo but I liked it.
Concerning the soundtrack, nothing exceptional. The seiyuus did a great job as usual even though I am not fond of Chizuru's voice but it's completely subjective. It's certainly not unpleasant.
Personally I don't recommend this movie. It had great potential but the whole is underexploited. Maybe I'll try the original series to compare both but for now I'm not very motivated ~
First of all, it's very important that you have already watched the TV serie before you watch this movie. This is NOT a recap movie, it DOES has some elements of the anime, but it's a RETELLING of the first story, with a completely different setting.
As a brief summary, our story start when our heroine, Chizuru Yukimura, decide to go out and looking for her father, which had disappeared. As things go, she discover in the worst way that the streets hide more strange things that she have imagined: bloody creatures, ready to take her blood, as well as a group of young, good looking
and mysterious men that protect the peace on the streets. She's saved, but what's the cost? Now she knows too much, and it's taken as a "hostage" by the famous Shinsengumi.
Here we discover that those men are surrounded by mysteries, and with a long war extending around the country. We have then 3 different stories: the Shinsengumi, fighting for their country (based on the original story of Japan); the furies, the mysterious bloody creatures that have a direct connection with Shinsengumi; and Chizuru, who's going to discover lot of things about her past and who she really is.
The characters are very unique, especially the guys from Shinsengumi. They have very distinct personalities and for me it was impossible to hate any of them, even having my favorite. The villains are also very nice, it just feel they always go away in the most important part of the fights, but they still play their roles; I absolutely love Kazama and I loved how in the movie they showed his demon form not just in the end, it made him seems more interesting as a villain during the story than in the first anime. Chizuru is a thing for me, I don't like heroines from reverse harens because they're weak and stupid, and that's exactly what Chizuru is, she's just useless in all the stuff that happen around Shinsengumi imo, still, there's a very specific part in the movie where I loved her, it's an event that didn't appear in the TV serie and it's amazing, when you see, you'll definitely remember of this part here, 'cause it's where Chizuru shines in this movie. And well, secondary characters are also enjoyable, although they don't have much screen time here, since the movie is way more focused on the Shinsengumi.
The animation is simply gorgeous. Studio Deen made an amazing work in this movie, everything seems so well made, a thing that didn't happen in the anime, where the animation is poor, without details and even the characters eyes seems without life; in the movie no, their hair and eyes are always shining, and I love it. Also the sceneries are beautifully done, the cherry blossoms and the moon, even a scene where it's shown a river it's perfectly done. I like to reinforce because Deen isn't one of my favorite studios, especially because they don't have quality in their animation, but they put all their effort to make this movie, it definitely seems something very expensive and well detailed.
The background songs and the music for this movie are ok. I'm not a fan of the sound for the anime but it's really enjoyable, and it fits for the scenes; in the movie, things aren't different, very similar background songs that fit with the fight scenes and all that old Japan atmosphere.
Overall, this movie was amazing. Even without following lot of events from the original visual novel, I really liked to see a "new route" being created once more for this story, but also some scenes we didn't have in the previous TV serie. I guarantee this new retelling of the Hakuouki series is amazing! I dare to say is more enjoyable than the TV one, may be because of the new animation, may be because it's more focused on the main guys, or even because the main character got more attention this time, it’s perfect in many ways! So if you enjoyed the anime, you'll probably enjoy the movie too.
i apologise in advance; my reviews are not as detailed as others...
essentially this story is about the rise and fall of the shinsengumi. it's a historical action drama (with a supernatural element).
i much preferred this film version the the series. as 12 episodes had to be condensed into 95 minutes, the pacing is better, although the drawback is that there is less character development and some of the incidents that lead the characters to act as they do, such as when 2 members of the shinsengumi left, had to be glossed over. some of the wonderful humour of the first few episodes
is missing also.
however, i feel that these losses are compensated for by some excellent sword fights, and most significantly, the portrayal of Chizuru here, in comparison to the series, is a breath of fresh air. no longer is she an annoying child who's talents extend to fainting and making tea. she is resourceful, smart, passionate, and a fighter. although we sadly don't get to see her fight here, they way she gets her sword out tells you that she means business.
the animation, as with the series is of a very good standard, very clear, very bright and fluid. the plot is easy to follow, if a little rushed. i am not sure the storytelling would be a completely satisfying experience if you have not watched the series first. however, i would recommend that any one who is a fan of samurai style anime to give this a try.