The stage is the close of the Edo period, an age when, not unlike our own time, both natural and man-made disasters left chaos in their wake. Manjiro makes a living helping the people of the troubled capital city, but behind the scenes, he also works in secret to take back precious belongings stolen from the people by unjust political powers and conspiratorial menaces. The people call him "Get-backer Roman."
Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman is an anime that is based around the mascots of a pachinko game. That would not sound particularly appealing except for the character designs were done by Monkey Punch(Kato Kazuhiko), the artist behind the Lupin III series. If you are familiar with Lupin you probably noticed the similarities in the art style and even the characters looks. Also the anime had Satoshi Hirayama, someone who has worked on a few Lupin movies working on it. So, with such a recognized artists being involved with this anime why do so few people seem interested in it? I will try to answer that with
this review, but I just want to point out that despite the similarities this is NOT just Lupin in 1800s Japan.
Story(6): The story is fairly straight forward and not very original. It takes place in 1800s Japan, where a crew of "get backers" try their best to help out people in need. No matter what the problem is, or how dangerous, they deal with it. The leader of this crew is Roman, who is shown fairly early on to have a suit that pretty much gives him super powers. The suit has to be used sparingly though, so it is only used when things get serious. A few episodes in it is shown that there are some western naval forces off shore, and the story basically revolves around explaining what they're doing there and what their objective is. I would define this anime as an action/comedy, it is about half serious moments and fighting half comedy bits. This is where I felt the anime really lost a lot of its potential. There were very obvious issues with pacing, and lacklustre attempts at comedy. The writers attempted for it to be an action/comedy, but in my opinion they failed. The comedy falls short, and quite a few episodes are wasted on them trying to get laughs. For me the show felt at its best during the more serious moments. During the last few episodes it was clear that the time spent on failed comedy attempts could have been used for more back story and character progression. I know what they were going for, and I don't think the comedy should have been taken out completely but it just fell short. The serious moments still had a kind of parody type comedy to them, since a lot of the things that go on are just ridiculous. Kind of like JoJos Bizarre Adventure, how it isn't a comedy but some of situations that occur just make you laugh. Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman could have been improved greatly if the writers tried incorporating more of that style humor.
Art(8): I'm a sucker for Monkey Punch's art style and character design. Without a doubt the show looks good, it has that 80s-early 90s look but with the modern polish which I love. The animation during the action scenes is done very well. While I'm sure not many people would say it is bad, I'm sure there are some who just aren't a fan of this particular style. I happen to really like it.
Sound(6): Well, hard to really say all that much about the sound. It was good, the voice acting was very well done(apart from some amazingly bad engrish), and each character had a lot of personality. Never noticed any really bad sounding effects or anything like that, although I admit I don't pay that close of attention to that stuff. I enjoyed the OP and ED a lot. That is about it.
Character(8): Like the art the characters where one of the best things about the anime. Each character was likeable and had tons of personality. Everyone I've heard says the main character is just like Lupin, I don't completely disagree but they are different in a lot of ways. It isn't just Lupin with a beard in 1800s Japan, he has his own personality. One character who is very much like a Lupin character is Okuni, who is just like Mine Fujiko. There is also Suzuki who is very similar to Goemon. Still they both have their own personalities and differences, they're not just clones. The rest of the cast plays a big part too, especially the members of Romans inner circle who help him. Including Romans little sister Koharu, who is a prime example of good female character design. She is extremely cute and loveable, based completely off her personality and design not ecchi fanservice or panty shots. Then there is the rest of the gang. Gennai, a perverted old man who invents all the gadgets the crew needs. Hans, a German doctor who also has found a way to create zombies that he uses for assistance. And finally Kanade, a shrine priestess, who also like Koharu is a great example of good female character design. They all secretly work together to help others, no matter what risks it involves.
Enjoyment(7): I enjoyed the anime, it never really felt like I was forcing myself to finish an episode. The only thing that caused me to give it a 7 instead of an 8 is the lacklustre attempts at comedy, and one or two episodes that I felt were just not done well at all.
Overall(7): It's not perfect, but what pains me the most is the potential of what it could have been. Still, to anyone looking for a fun short anime that thought this looked interesting I would recommend you give it a shot.
Thank you if you read all of my review, this was my first attempt at doing a written review for an anime. I hope it was helpful.
Bueno, was there a time when you're watching some show and saw something that was similar from what you've watched from other shows. Or, do you have no idea that there maybe some scene that were plagiarize, well, this anime was simply what it is, in fact the Chinese have a term for that which they call it " chop suey" literally means mix together, and this anime was a mixture of various scene and spin offs from other shows or anime all loosely combined to form a sort of "Lupin III" like thing. The plot was nice, but the execution was bad, it
was enjoyable at first but it goes downhill from episode 3 to the ending. But what I like about this anime was its retro opening theme and a few of fanservices that come along, and that as good as it gets... for me, that is. So here are my ratings for each category:
Story: good #7
Like I said the story plot was good, but the execution is bad.
Art: fair # 6
I did mentioned about the few fanservices that comes with the show right? But I also like Otsu's illustration both in a kimono and in a catsuit.
Sound: fair #6
I don't have anything to say, but I do like this anime's opening theme, it basically combines retro with jazz.
Character: poor #3
Safe to say that director, Hirofumi Ogura did utilize the characters properly, in fact the characters themselves have very chaotic roles.
Overall: pathetic #1
Bueno, what can I say, this anime was a total "SNAFU," if only director Hirofumi Ogura try to make this anime as a good "Lupin III" spin off, then it would have been worth watching.
When I first read about Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman I was excited at the thought of a new show based on the works of Lupin the Third creator, Monkey Punch. Then I saw that it was based off of a Pachinko game and my expectations immediately soured. By reading a synopsis one might even think that this show would be a Lupin ripoff, what with the main character Roman also being a descendent of a known thief, however, that doesn't turn out to be the case either.
Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman tells the story of a man named Roman who goes by Manjiro in order to
hide his identity while working as a helper in 19th century Kyoto. Yes, that's his occupation. He helps people. As you can probably guess, this leaves both he and his sister struggling to make a living. By night, however, Roman behaves like Robin Hood and steals from the wealthy to give it to the poor (and never taking any money for himself, despite him also being very poor.) He also has a magic suit that turns him into a sentai hero and a team that aids him, made up of his sister, a priestess, a perverted old man and a German who makes zombies. If that sounds like a big jumble, well, it is. To make things more confusing, though, the story isn't even remotely concerned with him being a thief outside of the first few episodes, as the story tries it's hand at questionable political intrigue headed up by a laughable main villain.
That being said, the story does actually get more interesting later on, which somewhat makes up for the inconsistent comedy of the first few episodes. There are even some fairly decent dramatic moments every now and again. All in all, the story is a very mixed bag, with a final episode that is completely out of place because of the clumsily used anachronisms on display. Still, there's more going on plot-wise than it would appear, although the standalone episodes can grate a bit.
As far as the art goes, it isn't really anything special. The characters all have that distinctive Monkey Punch style, but they aren't particularly good-looking. It's obvious that the show's art was done on a small budget as it looks more like a year-round Toei show than a thirteen episode series probably should. It's not offensively bad-looking or anything, it's all just bland outside of the character designs. Still, the animation isn't terrible and the show is artistically consistent at the very least. Worth special mention, however, is Roman's sister's dog. This dog is drawn in a way that seems like the responsible artists weren't entirely sure what dogs actually looked like. Its eyes are too human and it doesn't appear to have teeth, nor does it move like a dog, which is quite creepy.
Sound-wise the show fairs much better. The cast is headed up by vets like Nakai Kazuya and Kitamura Eri, who bring both Roman and his sister Koharu to life effectively. Also worth mentioning is Uchida Maaya, who does an excellent job as the courtesan Okuni. The rest of the cast is also very good, with a lot of strong performances across the board, although some Engrish singing that pops up later in the series sounds strange to say the least. The music isn't particularly memorable, either, but it gets the job done adequately enough.
The character's themselves aren't particularly impressive, either. Roman is your standard hero who always wants to help and/or save every one simply because he's a friend of justice, although he does have a surprising (considering the nature of the show) bit of character development. His sister Koharu spends most of her screen-time complaining to her brother because of his lack of income and gambling, so she doesn't really do much. There's a priestess named Kanade who helps Roman out, although she doesn't really have much too her. She's mostly there to act like a ninja and get ogled by an old genre stand-by; the perverted old man. The old man, Gennai, can mostly be described as "stock", as he acts kooky and constantly stares at Koharu and Kanade. He also builds various machines, vehicles, and robots, because this is anime and it needs robots for some reason. The last member of Roman's team is a German scientist named Dr. Hans who makes zombies who also help the team out. He seems to be there simply for a weird factor and he speaks Japanese very strangely because he's foreign. The main cast is rounded out by a mysterious law enforcement agent named Magoichi, and the courtesan Okuni, who gets the most character development. She also seems a lot like a famous comic book character, whom you'll immediately think of as there are some extreme similarities between the two. Overall, the character's aren't terrible, but they aren't particularly likeable either, although at the same time, they don't grate.
Despite the shows shortcomings, it's pretty watchable. You won't ever be on the edge of your seat or anything, but there are definitely worse shows to watch. I'd say that the best way to sum the show up would be, "light, yet forgettable." The show lacks a consistent tone, jumping from comedy, to drama, to action, to confusing alternate history. The climax is also pretty bewilderingly stupid, along with the main bad guy's motivation making literally no sense whatsoever. If you really like shows set in pre-Industrialized Japan with a lot of anachronistic technology, you might get some enjoyment out of Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman, but your time is probably better spent elsewhere, unless you really want to hear Nakai Kazuya do something other than a tough guy or Uchida Maaya showing her impressive range.
One of the things about the Crack Fic Genre is that it can be touch and go on how successful the work is at pushing ones willing suspense of disbelief. Many times the work takes the believability issues to far and instead ends up grating on the nerves. This particular Anime though actually doesn't push to far and the stretching of believability is used well for comedic effect. This is what drew me into Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman in the first episode as well as the historical references and it remained through the entire series.
They style used also fits the genre well, not to mention the
music. What really makes this series though is the characters. Each has a very distinct personality that is blown over the top and exaggerated, and yet I couldn't help but falling in love with them, not to mention they didn't grate on my nerves. I also like how despite the fact the plot has an over all comedic tone to it, underneath there is a darker theme running. The connections between the characters relationship wise is also interesting as well.
One thing is for sure, I at first expected this to be a much longer series and was surprised to find out that it was as short as it was. On one side the series wasn't dragged out making it so that I got bored with the repetitiveness, but the funny thing is towards the end it got less repetitive and less formulate. In the long run it made for a fun laugh and an enjoyable ride.