*Spoiler warning* Do not read story section unless you've finished the series.
"Hakuouki" is based on a PS2 romance adventure otome game (games targeted toward girls).
The story starts with Yukimura Chizuru, daughter of a doctor in Edo (Tokyo's old name), arriving Kyoto in search of her father. She is saved by two Shinsengumi members from zombie-like demon, and gets taken into custody. Eventually she gains their trust and helps them out while looking for clues of her father.
Shinsengumi is an organization that actually existed in the late-Edo-period that acted as a 'special police' that served to suppress any anti-government movement in Kyoto. The actual organization only
existed for less than a decade, but their legacies have been depicted in various novels, movies, and TV doramas that they have become something of a symbol of justice in the Edo-era. The latest Shinsengumi hit has been the NHK Taiga dorama "Shinsengumi!" starring SMAP's Katori Shingo in 2004. NHK, the government-owned TV station's Taiga dorama series are known for practically guaranteed 15%+ viewership ratings and A-list actors.
This anime's events and characters are inspired by the actual Shinsengumi, but the story is completely fictional.
The title "Hakuouki" is a made-up word comprised of kanji "Light-colored Sakura" and "Ogre". It describes the fictional vampire-like white-haired (light color) undead (Sakura) demons (ogres) in this series. Sakura (Cherry blossoms) symbolizes death or short-lived beauty for the short span in which the pink flowers blossom in spring. (Sakura also symbolizes farewells and new meetings since they bloom during graduation and new school year, which is April in Japan, but that is probably not the case in this series)
Animation in general lacked detail, and characters' faces were really deformed in some scenes while they were extremely well-drawn in close up and action scenes.
One thing they really succeeded in this show was use of lighting to create mood. From hazy moonlight to orange glow in the daytime to bloody red sunset, the light always seemed to shine from one direction, and matched the atmosphere they were trying to create.
One fatal flaw in the animation... was character design in the sense that they were all too idolized. Sure, all the main characters wore Shinsengumi uniforms with swords around their waist, but all I saw was a bunch of host and a school girl in cosplay. It all comes down to fan service, and they all seemed out of place amid peasants and lowly Shinsengumi members who looked legitimately from the Edo-era.
They even went as far as trying to have Chizuru pass for a boy. I know back in the day, it was unthinkable for a girl to be dressed like a boy, but please, you must be joking.
Main characters looked like hosts, at least they sounded like hosts too. Despite the fact that they were totally out of place, they stayed consistent by speaking modern Japanese the whole way and and all the characters sounded like they should.
Music in slice-of-life scenes had a serene, calming flow that worked very nicely in the background, which intensified in plot twists or confrontations, enhancing drama in every occasion. Powerful drum beats are added in action scenes, which not only fit the era well, but also made them all that more exciting.
Theme songs were ridiculously good for this series. OP song was epic with extremely catchy tune, elegant lyric, and great vocal. Amazing piece of contemporary Jpop-Enka hybrid that really blew me away. ED was pretty good, the somber song worked nicely for this series since many episodes ended with a tragedy. Sound and Marketing department sure have a lot of work ahead of them if they're to match or surpass the theme song quality and compatibility in season 2.
Before we even get to the story... there was a major problem with power balance in this anime. I can accept Oni villains being insanely strong because they're not human, but how are some of the Shinsengumi members able to fight almost evenly against them? What's even more puzzling is that those fighters struggle against lowly samurai when outnumbered. From their performance against the Oni, they should be able to easily defeat 10 minions by themselves.
This leads to the main problem with the story: Irrational character motives and too much sudden story developments between events.
- Oni can so easily penetrate Shinsengumi's defense, as proven by Kazama and Nagumo. Why didn't they just come in and kidnap Chizuru anytime they wanted? There was nothing there to stop them from second or third tries after the first attempt failed. (Why did it even take that long to make the first attempt?)
- I didn't exactly see how Chizuru fell in love with Hijikata. Seemed just like Hijikata was being excessively strict few times, and got persuaded by other members to bend the rules. It was a WTF moment for me when Chizuru started blushing when her twin sister asked her if she's staying for love.
- Overly gullible characters. Gets tricked so easily by villains and has no self-discipline when given the choice with the elixir. These guys are definitely not leader materials, and it's a wonder Shinsengumi can last so long with such incompetent commanders.
- You're trying to kill Chizuru for seeing a classified subject, and the next second, you're trusting her to send messages in a life-or-death situation.
- Chizuru, do not walk toward vampires when you're bleeding! Use common sense.
- Chizuru, run when you see danger! You're helpless, and you staying around is not going to help the injured or dead.
- Chizuru, PLEASE TRY TO ACTIVATE SELF-DEFENSE INSTINCT OF YOUR BRAIN! Help will not always arrive out of blue.
- Hijikata drinking elixir in the last episode came out nowhere. Where did he even get it? And his motive makes no sense, I mean... you're not human anymore, just because someone (who you knew didn't kill your best friend) provoked you.
Making a non-cheesy fictional story based on historical events is difficult. Add vampires, Oni, rushed storyline, and this feat becomes practically impossible.
The least they could've done was provide more backgrounds to each incident rather than "XXX advanced their troops to Kyoto", battle scene, "And this will eventually come to be known as Battle of YYY" before jumping to another historical event.
I think they should've just used the Edo-era setting with original events rather than try to camouflage an actual event.
The DBZ-style talking during battles, or talking for so long that backup arrive certainly didn't make the story any more believable.
Another unrealistic jidaigeki, I would have to say this is girl's version of "Sengoku Basara". Instead of mindless battles, you have mindless melodrama, which starts to get pretty predictable even without knowledge of Japanese history. In the end, it was a bidanshi cosplay fest, as expected of a shoujo anime. The story jumps from one historical battle to another, it's easy to tell this is just another "Rurouni Kenshin"-inspired piece that hopped on bandwagon of the latest Shinsengumi craze initiated by the 2004 NHK Taiga dorama.
However, I have to say that the characters are charming as intended, and the Oni villains are cool enough to have me watch this season to the end, and if I have a lot of time to kill, I'll be able to tolerate another season just to see how bad it gets.
Ignoring the fact it's been a game, and the main female character is the most frustrating, ignorant and helpless ever, this is a brilliant anime.
Even if you find the story a little...sparse at times, the reason you should /definitely/ watch to the end of every single episode is the male characters - both the drawing of them and the personalities themselves. They aren't, like a lot of mangas based on games, guys who may be hot but are stupid, masochistic and aloof. They are warm, funny, incredibly good looking (a major bonus) and, of course, incredibly protective of the female protagonist.
Chizuru (the female protagonist)
is the only reason (alongside the plot sometimes having holes big enough to drive a truck through) you might find this a little tiresome. She is, considering her 'powers' (something you'll find out about) incredibly helpless and unable to fend for herself - something I find most INFURIATING in girl characters.
I sticked through it because I thought there would be some sort of 'Kick-ass' moment where she'd begin to shine, but so far nil-but maybe there is hope for the second series?
However, the guys do make up for it tenfold. A few I feel I should mention is Saitou, Okita and Heisuke.
Saitou is just...brilliant. He's more than adequate for man candy but also a brilliant swordsman and very smart. One of your serious glasses types (but obviously without the glasses)
Okita is a lovely character, he gets fleshed out a lot more than the others seem to (for instance, from what I can gather so far it seems as if she's getting together with Hijikata, but nothing has been developed in his character for you to warm to him at all.). I really enjoyed the episodes with him involved, and he's a sight for sore eyes!
Heisuke is my personal favourite. He's the youngest, same age as Chizuru, but utterly brilliant.
All in all, you should watch for the fight scenes (guys), and the man candy (girls) and just the characters! I highly recommend it.
Japan's history is written mostly in blood rather than ink, which represents the source of interest for many people, with me proudly among them.
The story evolves around the Shinsengumi, the late Tokugawa Shogunate secret police.
They are followed in their struggle against the changing times where the old samurai ways of fighting and living are replaced by the incursion of western culture.
In Hakuouki the concept of time is well determinate, meaning that events don't unfold day after day and neither do battles so from that point of view its a plus.
Being a historical inspired tale ensures a certain continuity of the episodes while presenting key elements
of that historical period.
I was literally enthralled by the fighting scenes because they aren't just flashed at great speed and because they add up to the fluidity of the series.
Also they are not displayed in the form of a white cut on a black background all while being dynamic and thrilling.
Artwork is a great combination of lighting and details that not only provides a great enviroment but also presents some of they best made individual characters I have seen in all my time since I started enjoying anime industry.
Characters have their own ideals struggles or rivalries but at times they merge into a single personality, for example when they all gather under one roof. They act according to their traits and each of them is faced with interior problems.
Since the army factor is very relevant to the series, the series display certain scenes that follow the morale of the support cast.
In the end if you enjoy a good action drama and historical tale then Hakuouki is definitely a good choice for you. It is very enjoyable while providing a good image of the events that unfolded during the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate
Hakuouki is an anime made by Studio DEEN, who have, in recent years, gained infamy for putting their names to a variety of very poor shows in recent years, as well as making a horribly butchered adaptation of Umineko. So, does Hakuouki enter the ranks of awful DEEN series, or does it redeem the studio? Well, put simply, it is terrible. It is a perfect example of why DEEN are a bad studio. There isn't a single good thing about it.
But before I get into the details about why Hakuouki is horrible, let's just sum up what Hakuouki is about for those not familiar with
the series. The series is introduced with a young "boy" trying to escape from a strange vampire-like demon. At the last minute, "he" is saved by a group of samurai, who then take "him" hostage. As it turns out, the "boy" has seen more than he should have done, and is now being held captive by a large group of suspiciously attractive men. As it also turns out, the boy is named Chizuru and is not a boy, and is a girl disguising as one. If this sounds cliché to you then that's probably because it is.
As it turns out, Chizuru is looking for her father, a doctor who went missing in Kyoto. Later on, it turns out that her father is involved with the medicine that turns men into the aforementioned vampires that are never once called vampires in spite of being nocturnal creatures once human but now superhuman who lust after human blood.
Now, the biggest problem with Hakuouki is, rather simply, that it is boring. Throughout the entire 12 episodes, the show held my interest for maybe 5 seconds at most. Despite being a show about swordsmen and demons, there is very little action. While a similar statement can be made of Saraiya Goyou, a similarly themed show that aired at the same time, the fact is that while the latter keeps the viewer's interest with a quirky style, fascinating dialogue, and originality, Hakuouki does nothing of the sort. Hakuouki is rather bland, having no real selling point other than the cast of bishonens. Stylistically, the themes that run through Hakuouki have been done before many times, and better. And the worst complaint that can be said of it is the dialogue. Hakuouki is an adaptation of a visual novel, but it doesn't seem to understand the "adaptation" part of that. Everything in this show is just talking. The action is almost never focused on, and is completely weightless when it is. The plot has no intrigue or suspense. It is just talking. This could have been forgiveable, but even worse is that the dialogue isn't even good. It's just boring and lifeless, and it begs the question of why this was taken from a VN at all when it simply acts exactly like one.
Now, I said before that the selling point of the show is the bishonens, but there's a problem with that too. As a heterosexual male, I know that I am not the target audience, but there are still some clear problems even taking that into account. For a start, there isn't a single character in this show with a likeable or memorable character trait. Every single one of them is completely one-dimensional. None of them are developed on, very few of them go through any kind of personal struggle, and at the end of it almost every character is simply forgettable. To make things worse, the character design in Hakuouki is extremely weak. It is often completely impossible to tell one character apart from another, with them all being uniformed, alongside many of them sharing various features with other characters, and combined with my previous complaint it can often make the show confusing out of a lack of basic knowledge for which character is which.
The only character who is actually worth mentioning here is Chizuru, the shoddily disguised centre of our reverse-harem. But don't mistake my meaning, she is by no means a good character. For the most part, she is only memorable simply for being the only girl. But due to her being in focus, unlike 90% of the cast, she becomes memorable, and her faults become noticeable. For one, she does not help the plot at all for most of the series, except towards the end, in which her only role is to become a living MacGuffin that the enemy forces want. When thrown into combat, she is completely useless, and seems to have no self-defence instinct whatsoever, leading other characters to become injured in her stead while she just stands there.
The ending is one of the few moments where the show is actually interesting, but it may also be the worst for the complete contradictions we are shown. Now, I don't want to spoil anybody, but it's going to be hard to discuss the ending without doing so, so if you are particularly spoiler-sensitive and want to watch this series for whatever reason, I would advise you to skip the rest of this paragraph. Basically, one of the samurai is killed in front of Chizuru, and a member of the enemy force is nearby at the time, though he was not the one responsible. Another member of the samurai sees this, blames the demon, and drinks the potion that turns people into the not-vampire creatures so he will have the strength to kill him. Now, there are several problems with this. For a start, a very curious question is raised... where did he get the potion? The potion is not supposed to be easily accessible, for obvious reasons. He had no reason to plan for an event like this, so he would not have prepared it. There is no foreshadowing or reason that suggests he was already considering the change. It simply doesn't make sense. But on top of that, after the battle, he reveals that he knew that the man wasn't responsible for his death. Which now means that the drinker just sentenced himself to a life as an undead monster to get revenge on a man he knew wasn't even responsible.
Sadly, Hakuouki repeatedly proves itself to be a terrible show without a single redeeming feature, but just to put the cherry on top, DEEN are giving it a sequel in the fall. Yes, you heard that right... somehow, this mess of an anime has gathered enough of a fanbase to warrant a sequel. So sadly, we haven't even seen the end of this series.
I'm sure I've made this clear by now, but my verdict on this anime is simply a no. It does not deserve to be watched by anybody, and if there is any justice in the world it will have been completely forgotten by the end of the year... at least if DEEN don't end up making a third series.
Final Words: I'd have more fun watching paint dry.
-Before you read this review, take note of this:
I haven't played the Hakuouki games or read the manga. This is from the perspective of someone who only watched the anime.
I really enjoyed the story. The historic content was interesting. The added elements of Rasetsu and the conflicts with the Oni were also captivating. There was nothing with the story that bothered me, and I didn't feel bored, not even once. I usually don't watch Shoujo anime because I hate sappy romance and girly stuff, but this anime was an exception. There were no scenes with girls crying that they love this and that. Chizuru
was more like a member of the Shinsengumi. There was even action and sword-fighting, and that was entertaining.
It was amazing. The characters looked perfect. The scenery was great. The fight scenes were animated well also. Nothing to complain about here.
Ending and opening sequences had nice songs that fit the anime. Sounds during the anime blended in well also.
I really like each Shinsengumi member. They all had different, but intriguing personalities. I would like to be around them, they were cool. The only character that bothered me was Chizuru. She tried to help out the Shinsengumi, but I still think she was a scaredy-cat. She couldn't protect herself.
What else can I say? It was one of my favorite animes. I even want to play the video game and read the manga now.
Hello all! I'm not very good at writing but I just thought I share my thoughts on this one because i really enjoyed the first episode!
Okay this anime got me hooked. The story line is pretty much what the synopsis is! I think this anime has great potential because the art, music, personality of each character is so interesting. I thought that the artwork was somewhat dark and yet tranquil. If you like SWORDS+SAMURAI ISH+VAMPIRES/OGRE this is the anime for you. Also! I'm so into the traditional Japanese historical setting. I think it connects the past for us viewers to relate to culture. And
i did do some research on the characters it turns out some of the characters are actual people that were military leaders so I thought that was SOOO COOL!
The opening has some hints on why I think the anime is going to do well. It hinted that there are going to be a lot of battles and each character will unfold their own tale. So I hope this helps you anime lovers. I really do love it and it's nice to finally see some hot boys fight with swords and transform into vampires if they drink this "medicine." :D
In terms of Romance, i don't want to say it is a typical romance story but in a way it is. The main female character is taken away and being protected by men. She is in a way imprisoned and kidnapped or forced against her will. Now i'm assuming love with unfold with one of the men so which is why this is a very successful romance story. If anyone reads old romance novels in general and if you don't then what makes a romance novel successful is a female usually gets kidnaped/forced to stay somewhere. At first the female will resent the men but slowly their kindness reveals and they end up falling in love. So mY PREDICTION is that this will also happen. Obviously though. haha but what i'm saying is this is "considered" a successful romance story based on what I've seen so far!!
-I apologize if this didn't help! This is like my second time writing a review~~ ^^* enjoy though!
After having watched 5 episodes of Hakuouki I feel at liberty to write that this is an excellent anime, worth every minute you take to watch it.
The story is good so far. Although not yet fully disclosed, it looks better as you watch each episode. I absolutely love the historical genre, and all the political turmoil taking place in the 19th century. I may be partial to the genre, but it evokes a constant feel of déjà vu, so I cannot go higher.
The main (male) characters (members of Kondo faction of Shinsengumi) are all named after real members of the faction. Other than that,
they are quite typical, and there's really nothing out of the ordinary in this department. Despite the fact that this anime takes the road already travelled in the portrayal of characters, it does it good. The characters are neither boring nor two-dimensional, and they have their respective personalities. It would be a sin not to mention the fact that there's a bunch of angry, virtuous sword-wielders who are beautiful, and that the main female character is not too annoying or too incapable of action.
I guess I should elaborate on my overall grade. Truth being told, if I wasn’t writing this review I would have given it an 8 or a 9. Because, when I don’t review a series I’m mostly governed by the level of enjoyment in grading it. After careful consideration, it is impossible to give it more than 7, because Hakuouki is obviously a series made for the sake of pure enjoyment.
its still too early to say how the anime will turn out to be, I mean we are just through with episode 1. I am already seeing mixed to awesome reviews for this anime series. And why not? Its a famous "Neo-Romance" game, which has been turned into an anime now, with Bishies as the center point. Although I do have mixed feelings for this one as we already know how the previous Neo-Romance animes have ended, for example La Corda D'oro. The female protagonist never ends up with any guy, a real DISAPPOINTMENT for romance enthusiasts like me :(. I am hoping this isn't
gonna happen here because even if the anime is having Romance as the central point, the historical & Political plot makes it more interesting (at least compared to a musical romance like Corda).
The main plot is about the main protagonist searching for her missing father and gets the help of the Shinsengumi. While helping her almost all the guys fall for her. Sounds very much like Corda, but here comes the difference, there are some mysterious secrets that the Shinsengumi are hiding for Chizuru, our main female lead. What is the Shinsengumi being so secretive about? Why keep a female disguised as a male in their group? And why are the Shinsengumi so keen on discovering Chizuru's missing father? What do they really want from Chizuru? These are some questions like these that left me hanging and craving for more :).
Art - 10
In one word the art is beautiful (Kire desu). Its awesomely gorgeous with the way the creators have captured the background of historical time Japan. I'm sure we can look forward some more marvelous action sequence and pictorial beauty in the coming up episodes.
Sound - 9
Sound seems very apt with the anime, especially the fight sequences. Although its still the start but the OP and ED are really cool songs and maybe you can check the soundtracks of this PS2 game online. I have heard some of the OST's and they are really good. Five stars ***** for music
Well I could have given it a 10 because of the bishies, but let's be real, bishies always look so dishy, especially in dating Sim changed into an anime series. So I tried to hold my bias here, but yes the characters look more real then in a 2-D game for sure :D.
Enjoyment - 9
OK, Bishies, history,politics with romance being the center plot and some comedy, drama and action thrown in between, you've got an almost perfect "Gourmet Delight" of entertainment served.
Yeah, the rating may change because we are just minus one episode so you never know ;)!!! I am looking forward to it, cant wait for the next one. MUST WATCH, that's all I can say for now.
It's a good setup, if you like reverse-harem. A young girl in search of her father is taken in by a group of warriors that is also searching for him. However, the plot didn't really advance all that fast. Certainly the political situation was constantly evolving, but in terms of what was going on the heroine, she was basically a bystander who did almost nothing.
Beautiful art, especially character design. And the fight scenes were surprisingly decent, for a reverse-harem. Fangirls who like guys with silver hair will be especially pleased.
The soundtrack worked fine with the show, but
there were no melodies that stood out to me. Not something I'd choose to listen to on its own.
I think character would get a 7 if not for Okita. The heroine was extremely boring and typical, the usual weak anime girl who is protected at every moment and does absolutely nothing for herself. I was fairly disappointed. I had real expectations for her development, but she was a lot like Yuki from Vampire Knight. Even after you find out she's a bit special, she doesn't do a single interesting thing. What's more, she often puts people in danger inadvertently because she can't stay put. Considering that her father was a doctor, at the very least she could have had some real medical knowledge, but all you see her doing is occasionally wrapping bandages.
In retrospect, I'm surprised I got through it. Until the very end, I was expecting the heroine to do something. I've seen enough anime at this point that I should've known better. Still, I'm a big fan of the reverse harem genre, and I had a weak spot for both Okita and Kazama.
I've suffered way more through other shows. That's why it gets a 7 even though I didn't get much out of it. I do not recommend this to guys. I do not recommend this to girls who like strong heroines. If you need comedy in your anime, or strong plot, it's also not for you. And there weren't enough fights to satisfy someone who likes a lot of swordplay in their shows. This is really just for reverse-harem/bishounen/vampire fans and maybe those who are especially into artistically beautiful anime regardless of content.
I really wanted to like Hakuouki since it presents a lot of interesting ideas. Ultimately however, Hakuouki never decides on a main plot. Instead it flirts with subplot after subplot, ultimately failing to adequately develop or resolve any of them.
Story - 3/10 (Poor)
The story is difficult to describe, because of the apparent lack of one. The anime begins with Chizuru, our appointed "protagonist", leaving her home and venturing to a city foreign to her in order to find her father. With this kind of opening, you'd expect that this quest would make up a significant portion of the anime.
After all, it is Chizuru's main motivation. Instead, Chizuru meets the Shinsengumi and she becomes merely the observer of their deeds, without having any real impact on their actions.
Of course, she's supposed to be relevant and there is a story line to suggest she's the most important person in the series, complete with high-powered "evil" after her. However, like the rest of the subplots, it is never really developed, fully explained, or concluded.
The fact that Chizuru is merely an observer for most of the anime could be acceptable. The Shinsengumi are embroiled in enough martial actions and political intrigue, not to mention a fair number of secrets, to carry the show. However, like Chizuru's story line, their actions are disjointed, never flushed out, and lack an overarching narrative. To the show's detriment, it's never really made clear what they're fighting for. Flushing out the ever present camaraderie of the Shinsengumi's members, perhaps giving a bit of background to their relationships with each other, would make their sacrifices and the ending meaningful. As it is, the conclusion doesn't conclude anything and all the noble actions of the Shinsengumi are left feeling hollow.
Art - 6 (Fair)
The characters look nice, vibrant, and fairly distinct from one another. Everything else is entirely forgettable.
Sound - 6 (Fair)
Nothing's wrong with the sound, but nothing stands out either.
Character - 6 (Fair)
The characters are easily the best thing about this anime. While Chizuru herself is the typical damsel in distress heroine, she isn't as annoying as some. Of course, that is mainly due to the fact that she is overshadowed by the Shinsengumi. The members of the Shinsengumi, while falling into the typical stereotypes, are given a sense of depth through their relationships with each other and their own individual conflicts.
I would rate the characters higher, but again the lack of a cohesive plot gets in the way. Many of these characters have subplots of their own that begin to flesh them out and make them genuinely likable. However, all of their stories are only partially developed then ignored completely. Which begs the question, why bother?
Enjoyment - 5 (Mediocre)
The lack of a solid driving force behind the events that occur in Hakuouki is a serious detraction and gets in the way of enjoying what the series does well. Even though the camaraderie between the Shinsengumi is interesting to watch, the fact that the conflicts faced by each member are summarily dismissed without resolution makes any attachment to the characters seem irrelevant.
Overall - 5 (Mediocre)
Hakuouki tries to do too much and in the end fails to deliver anything noteworthy. Perhaps if you've played/read the source material, you may find more enjoyment out of it. I am only considering the anime as it stands. There seems to be a sequel that may rectify the lack of any resolution to the plot, but considering how bafflingly mishandled the story development was in the 12 episodes this series was allotted, I don't have my hopes up. Overall, if you're interested in this anime, I suggest to wait for the sequel and see if its plot/subplots are sorted out in that one, otherwise you're bound to be disappointed.
"The protagonist, Yukimura Chizuru, is the daughter of a doctor who works in Edo. Her father "mysteriously" vanishes thus she has to leaves Edo to find her. When she arrives at Kyoto, Chizuru is attacked by criminals and witnesses a fight between an oni and the Shinsengumi...erm bishies. Taking her into custody and saving her, the bishies debate on what to do with Mary Sue errm Chizuru when they discover that she is the daughter of the doctor they are also looking for (whoa.. unexpected eh?). They decide to become Chizuru's playthings..ermm bodyguards and help her look for her father(the doctor). The story
is overall not romantic with a poorly adapted historical and political background."
I tried to enjoy this anime.. several times... but it in the end it failed. There is just too many mistakes.
1. The main character is useless. She can only cry and whine and offer words of encouragement. Like we haven't seen that before.
2. Other characters are only eye-candy. They don't really have a purpose except standing and looking pretty all the time.
3. Plot is absolutely ridiculous and just predictable.
4. Filerish Episodes
5. Unnecessary Time-Skips
6. No Character Development whatsoever.
These are just the list of reasons to not watch this pathetic excuse for an anime. I assure this animes' only purpose is for fan service. Girls are definitely going to eat this one up.
I've seen a lot of negative reviews on this anime citing that it's boring, there is too much history, not enough action and so on. Frankly, you're in the wrong section. If you read a description and don't recognize the time periods or groups the anime is using, don't downrate it because you are ignorant of history.
Now, that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this anime. It's set in a very similar time period to Rurouni Kenshin except Hakuouki is set before and during the revolution. It revolves around a girl named Chizuru who left Edo to search for her father in Kyoto. While there,
she runs into the Shinsengumi (who you may also remember from Kenshin) and they decide to keep her around because her father is the doctor they are looking for.
There is a lot of criticism for Chizuru's character. That she is a "Mary-Sue" and is weak. This anime is set in 1863 in a realistic Japanese backdrop. I don't think the women's rights movement had quite made it over there yet, folks. Chizuru is already walking the line by dressing like a man and carrying a sword for 99% of the show. Expecting her to suddenly turn into the ultra warrior during the age of samurai vs. bullets is, frankly, unrealistic. Keeping this in mind, I did find her character likeable. She really does do everything in her power to protect those around her and help as much as she can, despite being female. I can think of maybe 2 instances where she was "annoying" and both are easily made up for and forgotten. Chizuru also hides a powerful secret in her heritage that makes her wanted by several different groups hunting her.
The bulk of the rest of the cast is made up of bishonen and random soldiers. This anime is often classified as a "reverse harem" but I really don't see that. These guys do not fight over her, nor are more than 1 of then attracted to her. If having one female character and lots of males qualifies at as a harem then fine, but if you're expecting fights over the girl you're in the wrong section again.
The relationship between the heroine and the male lead doesn't even heat up until well towards the end of the 1st season and into the second. This is about 4 years in the anime. Make no mistake, this is definitely a character and history piece. At the end of it all, Hakuouki is about the overthrow of the Shogunate and the people it affected. It explores their relationships, their characters, and how far they are willing to go to survive in an era where samurai and ronin are a dying breed.
I found the story outstanding. I enjoy character and history pieces and this is one of my favorite settings. The Art is well done and they actually animate the sword fights instead of just showing that one still shot of the character swinging his sword. The music is, obviously, not modern at all but it fits this piece fantastically.
The characters are a tad weak. Not so much the female lead, but in the males. However, this could be attributed to there being 10 males for every 1 female in this series. Most of the male characters end up staying in the background even if they are named because there just isn't enough time to get to all of them. To be honest, I confused 2 of the main male characters with each other until close to the end of the first season. They aren't annoying or unlikeable, quite the opposite, but they just are not very memorable.
I enjoyed this anime a lot. I sat and devoured the first season in a sitting and am now working on the second. I am looking forward to the relationship between the male and female lead to finally blossom and I hope they have a happy ending!
This anime is one of the few rare decent reverse harem anime that exist. The fact that it was based on real life events may not seem original but it interprets them in its own way with supernatural twists added to it. I have not played the game, but as an anime only watcher I found it could be a standalone anime adaptation. The events that happened made sense to me and there is sufficient explanation of why certain events took place.
The plot progression is at first quite slow, but it is understandable to take some time for world building and understanding the characters
and their motives better.
The characters such as Hijikata Toshizo and Souji Okita were based on real life people in that era and if one has some background knowledge on them it may increase your enjoyment of this series. There is an added bonus of them all being very good looking as well.
The main female protagonist Yukimura Chizuru may be the weakest part of the story though. However, considering the era she lived in, she is actually quite brave to take the actions that she did. She also has an interesting backstory attached.
Another good thing in this anime is that the romance is not the most important thing to the story. Even if it is a reverse harem, it does not focus too much in the romance. There is no annoying cliche moments of being unable to decide which male interest she should choose. Her interactions with the other main characters other than the one she likes do not seem to be with romance in mind.
From the beginning there is a mystery that needs to be solved in which everything is revealed later on. There are various bits of information that is revealed throughout the series. It is later in the series that it starts getting intense. Even being prepared for it will not help. It is then you realise this is not like the typical reverse harem. Do not expect this to be a very fluffy slice of life anime. There are wars and conflicts happening all the time.
One thing to note is the action scenes. I was surprised to find the animation for the action scenes were pretty good. It is smooth and fluid, which is unexpected since this is supposed to be a shoujo anime.
The thing that stood out for me was the ost. It is simply amazing. The atmospheric ost just fits the series perfectly. The songs are played just at the right moments and adds to the melancholic scenes. While the setting is already beautiful with cherry blossoms as a recurring theme, it forms a perfect harmony with the ost.
After watching the whole series is when you would understand just why this series is good. This anime excels at beautiful sad moments and tragedy.
I really wanted to like this series. Maybe it was my fault for starting the first episode with high expectations.
Pros: If you're into ikemen, then this is a fine show for indulging your fancies. In fact, there's a gratuitous episode where the shinsengumi need to get topless for a physical. However, the pros end there. Beyond the beautiful faces, there's not much else. As there are many characters packed into 12 episodes, you never really get to know any of them.
Cons: I'm not sure what they were thinking when they thought they could pack all that Japanese history into a dozen episodes. At
any rate, it's not good as a historical anime. It's also no good if you're trying to watch it for romance or drama because there isn't enough of it. Again, way too overarching, packing all the characters and years of history. Character development is also lacking. Even the main protagonist, Chizuru, falls completely flat by the last episode. She actually started the series somewhat interesting, but as the plot unrolled, she regressed more and more until she was just a damsel in distress that cried and became a helpless ornament in the fighting scenes. Sigh.
Take away: Watch this show for the ikemen, and expect nothing more beyond their handsome faces. (Sadly, even their good looks were not enough to entice me into watching Season 2.)
After playing this game I started to watch and I loved it. All series are great and the characters are perfect. The story is also very good. The characters gave me a feeling of family. Has a warm story. This anime can make you cry like laugh.
Easy to connect to characters. Very good anime according to time of publication
Hakuoki impressed me a lot. There are a lot of scenes I can't get out of my mind.
Thanks for this lovely anime.
Oyununu oynadıktan sonra izlemeye başladım ve çok sevdim. Tüm seriler harika ve karakterler mükemmel. Hikaye de çok güzel. Karakterler bana bir aile hissi verdi.
Sıcak bir hikayesi var. Bu anime seni güldürürken ağlatabilir.
Karakterlere bağlanmak kolay. Yayın zamanına göre çok iyi anime
Hakuoki beni çok etkiledi. Aklımdan çıkamadığım pek çok sahne var.
Bu güzel anime için teşekkürler.
So when i started to watch this, i was really not sure if i was going to like it or not. It's a little old so i wasn't sure if the art styles would be as good as i am used too, on that account i was wrong to be concerned. Once i started watching it, i just loved it. The fighting is really well done and i like that the plot loosely follows historical events while adding in a good slice of fantasy. It was enough to keep my hooked the entire way threw. I don't think you have to be a girl to
enjoy watching it either, although its certainly catered to that audience. If it has any major flaw, i agree with others who don't really like the female lead very much. Although i don't think she is so bad as deserve some of the criticism. She is a little washy washy at times but she also has good moments as well.
The added fantasy in this anime helps it stand out among other historical anime. Despite what most people would think, the fantasy and historical drama themes are woven together perfectly. The romance isn't exactly the best, mostly because it's just an afterthought in my opinion.
The story ties your thoughts on what the participants in war go through to protect their honor and country. Though like most historical dramas, it's a real tear jerker. The plot makes it so that you start to understand what the characters are feeling throughout the many battles they fight.
One of the downsides to the anime was that Yukimura Chizuru can't
really protect herself. It makes sense, yes, but I have yet to find a good historical anime that features a female protagonist that doesn't constantly need saving.
Overall, this anime is very enjoyable and has a well-thought story.
I really like this anime :D I'm not a fan of historical anime, so i was sceptical at first, but this turned out rather good.
First of all, as a girl i must admit all the male protagonists are just kawaai
But thats not the reason i like it.
I find the idea of creating an all-wound healing medicine quite interesting.And also the "going insane " part.(You'll see when you watch the anime)
Time to time it really gets creepy.And the main character is also cool...Chizuru i mean.She's very brave and also kind.Not that it's something very special as a personality, but i've become quite attached to her.
this will be one of the 25-30 series animes, would be sad if they ruin it with fillers.
Oh and the music is really nice, i love watching the opening
Chizuru's story starts off in quite a common manner ( minus the rounin who are chasing her for reasons unknown ). Her father goes missing and she decides that it's been far too long since she heard from him so armed with a sword and a boy's attire, she sets out. Only to attract the attention of rounin who have nothing better do than chase a "boy" who did nothing to them ( I still have no idea why they were chasing her but well, rounin are rounin and we need something to start off with ).
Much to Chizuru's horror, the rounin are cut
down by demon-like men, their hair gleaming white in the dark of the night. And they're about to cut her down too, when three men suddenly appear and save the day. But no, these men are not your conventional heroes. They are part of the Shinsengumi, a group of "police officers" whom the general population share no feelings of camaraderie for, at that time, a rebellion was slowly stirring.
Chizuru is handled none-too-gently for witnessing what happened and the Vice-Commander, Hijikata Toushizou is convinced that "he" must be killed. The gentle Commander, Kondou Isami is hesitant and we are slowly introduced to the other characters at this point. Okita Souji, Saitou Hajime, Harada Sanosuke, Toudou Heisuke, Nagakura Shinpachi and Sannan Keisuke. Chizuru is saved by the fact that the Shinsengumi too, is searching for her father and they they agree to keep her with them until he is found.
Hakuouki is a historical anime and still surprisingly, all the main male characters are models of the real-life people, apart from Sannan-san. One thing that you'll love about the anime is the male characters. All of them, while fiercely protective of Chizuru, do not display what typical reverse harem boys do. They don't constantly try to grab her attention or sweep her off her feet, only trying to cheer her up and sharing their true feelings with her. If there are any special feelings, the boys give way to the canon couple because there is no time to fight over love when everything they've been fighting for is falling apart.
Chizuru, while spending time with the group, discovers quite accidentally exactly why the Shinsengumi are searching for her father and is shocked. A not-so-chance meeting with a mysterious blond who is after her reveals much about herself that even she had no idea about.
Most people describe Chizuru as a spineless character who is of absolutely no use but I think that's exactly what she exists for - to bring out the best of the male characters. It's true that she's mostly unable to fight for herself, having to constantly depend on others but it's not exactly her fault. She has the ability to move on and tries her best to help others.
The anime managed to capture my attention with the events that were going on. Slowly but surely, the cogs of fate began to turn and started breaking down the protective shield that made the Shinsengumi what it was. Hakuouki is not at all the sparkles and rainbows it appears to be. The events of the anime faithfully follow what happened in real life and then you begin to realise that victory doesn't come as easily as it appears to.
Even so, Hakuouki is intriguing exactly because of that. Enemies and evil are not black and white. It's a blend of colours, never singular and that's exactly what the inevitable war that the Shinsengumi are about to face is. The end of this first season points towards more bloodshed, tragedy and unfortunate events. At this point of time, can they keep holding on?
The characters are not one-sided. They have flaws, their own personalities and they make decisions that might not always be the right thing. Their lives, quite refreshingly, do not centre around the female lead and the choices they make might, at times, be surprising. If you're someone like me who has a strong interest in historical events, then Hakuouki is the anime for you. It explores what happened in a truly gripping way.
I fell in love with the OP and ED but the OSTs are quite mediocre. The voice acting, however, was superb and the characters were really expressed well, especially Okita's voice, which I really fell in love with and Chikage, whom Tsuda Kenjirou-san voiced ( I absolutely loved him as Spanner ).
The animation was one of the strong points, in my opinion, Hakuouki is rightfully not tagged reverse harem but the bishounen quality is still there and the colours are kind of dark-themed, there aren't really any bright colours.
Hakuouki, as the first part of the series, did a wonderful job of introducing the characters to us.
It's not just fans of historical anime, I honestly don't think action fans will be disappointed by this either and if you're a huge fan of romance, then Hakuouki will definitely fulfill your thirst for it. Masochistic people ( like me ) who just can't stop watching tragedies, then, this, surprisingly might just be your cup of tea.
The story is interesting, it's dynamic and, except the supernatural stuff, it's history based. This, for me, was the biggest surprise and enjoyment, the facts, the characters, the battles, the war, the ending, it all happened, and it shows the shift moment in Japan from swords to gun-power.
The characters (existed like I said). There are interesting, quite classic, the serious one, the funny one, the childish one, the quite one, the smart one and so one. (from girls perspective) they are sexy as hell.
The battles are enjoyable to watch, not bloody, but enough to show the fact, that
it's life and death.
The supernatural line in story bends in quite good and doesn't mess with the history fact to much.
The ending is perfect, even if you need a little drink after it.
Overall - enjoyable, interesting, very informative, beautiful and romance line, even if small, give the story its softness and sadness.