After watching the last episode, I'm a little disappointed and back with an updated review.
I'm have watched the entire series including both Season 1 and 2. So I'm under that assumption you watched Season 1.
First off, the first season focused on Shino, a boy who looks like he's 13 but is actually 18 because he is the holder of a living sword name Murasame, has to travel from village to village to find these beads or gems. It gets a little annoying where the story doesn't progress unless Shino goes traveling to another village or town
In the second season, the series focus a
little more on the plot and detail and brings the characters together Shino met from Season 1. They do still have to go to another town or village but it was a little more in depth. One thing that appeals a little more in Season 2 is a little more focus on the characters. They spent two episodes each for Daikaku and Yana and surprisingly two and a half to three episodes focused on Shinobu.
But after that, they rushed the ending in two episodes. There was so much information and stuff thrown at you that it's hard to swallow it all in one gulp.
However, the overall concept of the story is unique with the Eight Dogs of the East and the different gems/beads.
The art is absolutely amazing. The depth and detail on each character is quite unique. A lot of time was spent on the characters with each character being different even including the characters that only show up once or twice. The landscape and environment is always breathtaking. Even the small house of Daikaku out in the mountain was pretty well done. The Imperial Capital in which the series likes to focus around is always elegant. The detail putted into the city was quite superb. I could babble on and on about it but you won't see how beautiful it is until you watch and pay attention to it.
Like I said about the story, there was a much better improvement on the characters themselves from Season 1. They bring all the previous characters together at the Capital which was interesting. The characters also show a bit of emotion towards one another and at times it can be amusing and funny when they meet each other at the Imperial Capital. One thing I liked is that they spent three episodes on Shinobu. It allowed us to understand Shinobu's past and how he feels. I wish they did that with the other characters such as Dousetsu for example. They only introduced him in one episode in Season 1 and brought him back by bringing him to the capital in another episode. Hamaji didn't make much of a debut and there wasn't a lot of development even though she was essential to Sosuke and Shino. I wished they did more cameo on her.
Despite the small flaws in the story and character, I always looked forward to a new episode every Monday on Crunchyroll. It makes my Monday always better after school. The blend of different supernatural allowed a large variety of imagination. Each character has there own unique powers and 'abilities' making them unique. **I'm gonna list some examples so if you haven't watched it, I recommend moving to the next paragraph. Shino has Murasame which is a crow that can turn into a sword giving Shino some special powers like rain. Shinobu is a tengu who has these beautiful white wings that allows him to make wings and fly. Daikaku has this amusing eye on his forehead that can destroy any spirits or demons like. And what's amusing is that both Shino and Shinobu look young but chronologically, they're 18 and 22. So it was nice to see something different from the norm.**
Overall, I would give it a high 7 or low 8. But since I can't do that, I gave it an 8 because there was a lot of potential in the series. I just wished it wasn't very rushed since the anime is based off the manga. I really wished they would focus a little more on the characters that didn't get the spotlight.
If you read the manga, the anime does leave quite a bit of detail and hints that I find significant. So I recommend reading the manga if you can.
And for the last episode. I'm really upset at the rushed ending. I normally have these 'feels' at the end of most anime but this one, it wasn't as impact-fully because it was rushed so much. You kind of expect for a rushed series especially after watching Episode 4 from Season 1. The ending was kind of predictable to in my eyes. However, there was a lot of cliffhangers and mysterious questions that allows Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun to go for a third season. Despite a 'The End' in Episode 13, the ending they left allows a possibility for a third season if they desire. I don't think the manga has actually 'ended' thus another positive side for those who want a Season 3.
Other than the rushed ending, it was still a comforting and warmth ending. Everyone seems very happy and I loved that they did scenes of each character. Even the characters that only made a small debut made a cameo.
In the end, it was a nice series with a unique turn on supernatural like genre. I loved the protagonist Shino as he is a very cute boy. It was an enjoyable series and I would recommend it but it wasn't the best anime.
This review will contain spoilers for the first season only, it is strongly advised to watch the first season before viewing the second season.
Hakkenden season 2 continues right where season 1 left off. In this season Shino and his group continue to search for all eight of the marbles. The new character Ao becomes slightly more present in the second season, but not as much as I would have liked him to. Although I did enjoy this season, I found the second season to not be as "good" as the first season in terms of episode quality consistency. I expected the plot to be
more in depth, but it felt extremely rushed. A lot of the episode were wasted on side-plots that did not relate to the original main plot. If this were a longer anime it'd be more understandable, but with only 13 episodes left the plot should have been more focused. Some episodes were simply awesome, while others were dull. What I did like though, was how well the tone switched so subtly, whether is was from happy to sad, or sad to funny. All the tones were well done, sad moments were truly meaningful, and the funny moments were actually funny. The anime did pick up in progression towards the end pleasantly.
There is not as much character development as I hoped to be, and there seems to be a lack of consistency in episode quality. Some episodes are very interesting, while others are irrelevant to the plot, or simply just dull and not entertaining. Coincidence is a key word, the characters with marbles seem to randomly gather together. The story even mocks itself by mentioning how coincidental all of these events are. What the story does do though is, create a strong "family" bond between all the characters that come into the story. Each character is given a back story and a defined personality.
The art is exemplary, it's evident that a lot of time and focus was spent on the colors and details. This anime would not be worth watching if it were not for the simple eye candy of how pretty everything is. The colors are soothing to look at and the characters are well drawn.
The OP is okay, the ED is better than the OP and provides a great end to each episode.
I'd still definitely recommend watching the second season if you enjoyed the first season. I wouldn't have too high expectations, but nevertheless, I still enjoyed watching this season. Towards the end the anime started to catch back on track and really become interesting.
If you liked the first season, then you will like this season twice as much. While the first season introduced the main cast, this season expands on their stories and answers some of the unanswered questions posed initially.
So far we haven't found all of the 8 holders of the jewels but are getting pretty damm close. It's kinda weird that looking for them is kinda like a side-thing but this doesn't hurt the story at all. I am very happy that we get to find out more about the characters' past. It makes the story seem more complex, like the characters are all linked
to something bigger. They have also introduced some very nice side stories that featured minor characters, some recurring, some not.
I am very happy to say that there has not been a single dull episode so far. The story is a little hard to predict but it's very engaging and makes you wish you had more. Overall I'm very existed to see how this anime progresses.
The art was good and I loved the opening, but as I went farther down it just droned on, they were getting anywhere the main characters powers were the only one I actually knew, the rest were fodder in my eyes. There was the 2 demon guys and some other people was all I remember because of how poor character development. True I never finished the serious but It was because how boring it was getting, the only thing that kept me going for episodes 4-8 was the music and the mystery of their enemy, but even that wasn't enough. I really wish there
was more action or at least more character development, because even the demon dudes were kinds just there.