Strong, intense, and cute! The most laid-back Shinsengumi in history arrives!! An official spinoff series by Hashimoto Eiji (manga) and Umemura Shinya (story) of Chiruran Shinsengumi Requiem. Here's the laid-back everyday life of the Shinsengumi warriors.
It’s extremely uncommon to actually get a decent short. Obviously due to the time restriction of each show, it will limit how much of a competent story can get told. Many times it will also delve into ‘how many lines can we quickly fit in in a certain amount of time’ resulting in all of the characters talking extremely fast. This normally takes me out of the show and Chiruran does this to an extent but never to a level where it feels forced.
And despite the time limit a story that interests me can get told, detailing the shenanigans of the Shinsengumi which for those
that don’t know are the Shoguns Protectors. But the show transcends this and decides to use its time limit to its advantage by allowing for short comedy skits to create the story that the anime is based around.
The animation is obviously subpar, it’s a short, but I wouldn’t describe as being specifically bad for a short. It actually kind of rocks the whole Chibi thing it’s doing and despite them being miniature human beings, they feel very realistic. Despite it also being a short, they have decided to include a short opening which is a pretty sick rock song for the time it’s been given. Kind of surprises me that they even bothered to licence a song because that would obviously cost money and again limit the time they have for the actual story. Making me wonder about whether they did it on purpose to limit themselves?
One of the best shorts I have seen in a while. It doesn’t feel forced and due to the time limit, you could probably get through it pretty quick and enjoy it to an extent and I would put if far above any of the other shorts this season.
The Shinsengumi have a mythic status in Japanese history. Ronin & commoners whose loyalty to the shogunate & the Bushido code during the Bakumatsu period has becoming an enduring image, particularly on the political right, of the Samurai spirit.
Chiruran ½ is not that Shinsengumi. A spin off of the Chiruran: Shinsengumi Requiem
manga, it falls into the same vein as Lychee Light Club, AOT: Junior High & Ao Oni The Animation in being a comedy short that puts a humorous spin on the characters from its parent story. For the most part a simple sitcom, Chiruran ½ distils its characters down to their most
recognisable character trait – Souji the pretty boy, Haijime the sadist etc - & has them react to things in comically over the top ways. Pretty standard stuff & while you don't have to know the source material to watch, familiarity with the series will possibly make things seem less rote.
Of course, it wouldn't be an anime comedy if there wasn't someone there to spoil the joke by shouting it. Toshizou fills that role in this instance, though his shtick is fortunately more limited than such foil characters tend to be. Chiruran ½ relies more on physical & visual comedy than a few recent comedy shorts, which has the added benefit of meaning each episode isn't in a mad rush to cram as many words into three minutes as possible. The jokes are mostly allowed to run at their own pace, which means you won't get to the end of an episode & realise you've no memory of what happened.
But while Chiruran ½ has its moments, it really isn't anything notable. As well as being a spinoff, it's also a period comedy that ran at the same time as not only the Goliath that is Gintama, but also two shorts set during the warring states period; Sengoku Choujuu Giga & Ninja Girl & Samurai Master. Compared to them, Chosun ½ feels at best average & a bit forgettable, almost like a shorter version of the Touken Ranbou pretty sword boys series from Fall 2016. Then again, there's much worse things you could do with the thirty minutes it takes to watch – like watching an episode of Touken Ranbou.