The Edo Era has ended after 260 years of history and the Meiji Era begins. However, bitter strife still continues between the soldiers of the new government and former Tokugawa retainers. This is the stage in which the surviving members of the Shinsengumi find themselves upon their return to Edo following their defeat at Tobafushimi.
Personally, I really really like this anime. (In fact, it's my favorite one as of now). But looking at the other reviews, I can tell that not everyone agrees... Well, I guess we all have our own opinions. :-/ Anyways, this review will also refer back to the first season, and may contain spoilers.
I found the story very interesting; and never once thought the anime was boring while watching it. I like the way that they make the anime last over a couple of years, rather than in a short amount of time like some other animes. But part of the reason why I
rather enjoyed the story plot is because of the fact that I enjoy things that are more serious and realistic; so if you're someone that likes something silly and fun, this anime definitely isn't for you. I think that that is another reason why some people found the anime boring...cause most animes nowadays are filled with silly little moments (that are also rather unrealistic) that are supposed to amuse the watcher. Hakuouki doesn't really have any of those, so once again I suggest that you should only watch this anime if you enjoy serious story plots. Hakuouki (especially the second season) also contains some sad moments, another thing that I always look for in anime. Personally I really like sad animes as well, which is another reason why Hakuouki matched my preferences so much.
Well, I'm not too picky about art, so I don't care too much about it. The only thing I really look for in an anime art-wise is whether or not I like the style of the characters. And well, I found that the style of Hakuouki looks very nice compared to many other animes, so I immediately took interest in it. Truthfully, the only reason I started watching Hakuouki was because of the fact that I saw a picture of the style and like it.
Actually I'm not really sure what it means by sound...so I'm just gonna assume they mean the music and stuff. As far as the OSTs go, I find that they really suit the anime so I'm giving the sound a 9. The openings and endings also really suited it, and I also enjoyed them personally, so all in all I say the sound is good.
Personally, I really like the characters in Hakuouki. I like how everyone acts realistically, and how I can imagine a real person acting like them. In other animes, I constantly find myself asking 'Would a person actually do that?' because of how ridiculous they make someone act. No, I don't really have anything against that, but since I like it when animes make characters act realistic, I found myself really liking the characters of Hakuouki. Now what I see a lot are people hating on the main female character; Chizuru. True, she's not as likable as the other 'main' characters, but I actually kinda like her. Yes, sometimes I found myself saying 'Come on Chizuru! Try to protect yourself for once!', but I personally thought it was realistic at the same time since back then women were treated as inferior to men. And since Hakuouki is pretty realistic as far as the way they make the characters act and the way they stick to history, I had nothing against Chizuru for being like that. And the reason why I found myself liking Chizuru was because of some lines she says in the anime. I don't know about other people, but I like having 'favorite lines' in certain animes, so Hakuouki is no different. And some of my 'favorite lines' in Hakuouki come from Chizuru herself, which (to me) shows how she is more mature than you'd initially think she'd be.
Well, I really like this anime; there's not much to say. :3 Pretty much all the reasons why I like it so much is said above, so I don't have anything to add.
So, all in all, I would only recommend this anime to people who enjoy animes that are more serious, have a bit of violence, have sad moments, and have characters that act more realistic than other animes. If you're looking for an anime that is either silly, fun, or romantic, I would suggest you looking for another anime. Yes, there are some moments that are more happy and fun, but there aren't many of those. And yes, there is also some romance in the anime, but it comes a lot later so those that are watching Hakuouki just for the romance would be disappointed.
Alot of people i have talked to, dislike this anime. Some of the reviews i have read, on here and on other sites, are poor.
In my opinion however this was a great anime. I may not be very experienced in anime watching, but i thought that this show had a great story line and great characters. I do wish this show had a bit of a happier way about it, but based on what it did have i think it was a very sad, yet amazing anime.
I would surely watch this again, and reccomend it to people. It may not be the best anime out
there, I have seen beter ones, but in my opinion it is no where near the worst and is great!
I gave this anime a 9/10 overal I think i need to see more anime to decide weather or not this is truely a great anime, but so far in my book it is excellent.
I'm starting to think that the folk that disliked this anime series simply didn't understand it. I'll be blunt. I'll go as far to say that this series is categorized wrong.
This is not a harem.
This is not shoujo.
It WAS an Otome.
It's not anymore.This is a history and character piece about war. This is a drama. This has to do with coping samurai during the dawn of the Meiji era. It's not a happy go lucky "we all want the girl" series. It can be very sad at times and characters will die.
If this does not appeal to you then look
elsewhere. Don't bother watching it then giving it poor reviews that say it's "boring" because you don't like Japanese history or can't understand a character contemplating why they are still alive when all their friends are dead.
It's also worth mentioning that the characters that form the backbone of the Shinsengumi squad in this anime are all taken from history and actually existed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinsengumi)
Chizuru still gets so much hatred for being "weak" but people really forget she's not walking around Tokyo in 2012. This is in the 1860's and she's a woman. I'm not sure what part of that is so hard to understand. This is the way it was. Women poured tea, sat in the back and rarely fought. Bashing the character because the show is set in the past is ridiculous.
That being said, this arc had some of the most gut-wrenching, well delivered monologues I have heard in a series to date and I've been watching anime for 20 years. Toshi's piece at the end of episode 16 had me bawling. I'm currently raving about this series and I'm having a hard time understanding why it gets such poor reviews.
This series is sad. I said that earlier but i don't think I got my point across. This second season is wrapping up the war in the only way you know it can end. I probably cried more during this second season than I have watching any other series. The story is fantastic and very enjoyable if you know what you're getting into and can handle the drama.
I found the art fitting and superb. Whether it be a scene with snow or a sword fight, it never fails to deliver. The sound and music is fitting for the era the anime is set in. Very little modern music here and the intro and ending songs are extremely well suited.
The characters do nothing but get better and shine in this arc. Every one gets his time to shine right up until the very end. Even some you may have thought weren't the best. I won' t give away any plot points but they do an excellent job of tugging on the heartstrings here with decisions they make.
The romantic relationship between the male and female leads continues to take a backseat to the war story being told until the very VERY end but, honestly, I'm happy with that. There is very little time or space for hearts and flowers in the war-torn countryside. It IS there but it's not very pronounced and their relationship is very traditionally Japanese. If you're here mainly for a love story with a small dash of war drama, look elsewhere because this is the exact opposite. This is a war drama with a pinch of a love story.
Overall, I got a lot of enjoyment out of this series. I enjoyed the history, the drama, and just the way the story was told. You'll end up blubbering like a baby at the end though. The end is also a little ambiguous as to what happens but if you're like me you'll look to the happy side.
10/10 - Amazingly well done. Too damn sad to watch again.
This anime is/was my favourite anime (at the time I wrote this review), you might be wondering why I only gave 9. Well, I've never given anything a 10, so this is about as close as it gets.
But putting that aside, Hakuouki is a beautiful anime that is wrongly classed. Even though it is classified as a harem, it's different. This anime isn't about all the male characters fighting for the female character's love or something, Hakuouki is a serious and sad (In a good way) anime.
The storyline of Hakuouki is really interesting. The story is based off real events that happened in
history. Therefore, making it easier to relate to the number of deaths in the battle or the circumstances of the characters. Since the storyline is based off real life events, it is very realistic. Hakuouki isn't like some other animes that portrays the main character having a near-perfect life with a few bumps along the way. No, Hakuouki is realistic and the lives of the main characters are far from perfect.
Art and Animation: 10
I absolutely adore this art style. When I first started watching the anime, I instantly got drawn in by the art style because I am extremely picky about the art style of an anime so if I don't like the art style of an anime, I drop it. But Hakuouki's art style is so beautiful, it drew me in.
Hakuouki's fight scenes were superb. It actually had two people fighting, sword to sword instead of flashes of light/colour where the swords are meant to be. I think Hakuouki's animation quality is pretty good, even if they did use some CGI for a few scenes. For me, I enjoyed the fighting scenes that were between two people. They captured the dominance and skills of the swordsman.
Hakuouki's OSTs, openings and endings were all beautiful. The OSTs featured really calm and not very upbeat tunes that really fit in with what was happening on screen. The openings and endings of each season aren't very modern and upbeat compared to other animes OPs and EDs. Some of the ending/openings have a sad tinge to the song and if you read the English translation for some of them, it relates quite well to what was/is happening in the story.
The characters in Hakuouki are extremely realistic, this makes it very easy to relate to how the characters are feeling and why they think a particular way. This is my personal opinion but the characters are also really cute, their personalities having little quirks. But just saying the characters actually look nothing like they did in real life.
Many people seem hate the main character, Yukimura Chizuru, a lot because she seems quite useless. I understand that because sometimes I found myself getting a little annoyed at her. BUT you can't expect her to be like modern day girls, this was set in Japan around the 1860s where females were people to either do house work and look after children or please men, so her personality and dependent-ness (don't think that's actually a word) is understandable
Overall I enjoyed this anime so much, it has risen to my favourites list. Hakuouki is more mature and serious than many of the animes out there, but there is a small tinge of comedy hidden within each episode.
Hakuouki, as well as being a historical anime, mixes in various aspects of the fantasy element. They use traditional Japanese 'Oni' instead of something borrowed off Western culture. Though the 'oni' is similar to a western vampire.
I believe Hakuouki is a balanced anime, but it is definitely for someone who likes sad, realistic, historical animes instead of goofy, school life animes. It also isn't an anime for people who love perfect endings (But obviously I'm not going to spoil the end of Hakuouki) where everything falls into place perfectly. Hakuouki is a very interesting historical anime.