Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Hakuouki" Review

So after FMA, I was a little lost. I wanted to watch FMA: Brotherhood, but I needed time in between the series. I didn't feel like watching something super cute and girly like "Fruits Basket", either. Fortunately, my friends General Snips and May came to the rescue with "Hakuouki". I absolutely loved this show, and it was a nice break from the fast pace of FMA. Because of school starting, and being busy during summer it took me forever to watch, and I watched half of it in Japanese with the subtitles, but I remember most of it.


The protagonist, Yukimura Chizuru, is the daughter of a doctor who works in Edo. The father leaves Edo to work as a volunteer doctor and moves to Kyoto without his daughter. As time passes by, Chizuru starts worrying about losing contact with her father, so she decides to go to Kyoto in search of him. On the way, Chizuru is attacked by few criminals and witnesses a fight between an oni and the Shinsengumi. Taking her into custody and saving her, the Shinsengumi debate on what to do with Chizuru when they discover that she is the daughter of the doctor they are also looking for. So they decide to become Chizuru's protectors and help her look for her father (the doctor). Lots of events happen while she stays with the Shinsengumi, as they discover mysterious secrets and also fight against the Bakumatsu group. 
from: Here

It is based off of the real life Shinsengumi Samuri group, which was started in the early/mid 1800's. Go check out this page for more information of the Shinsengumi and the character's real-life counterparts.

This show is about samurai and a rebellion and changing times, so there is quite a bit of sword fighting/blood/injuries and deaths. One of the characters has tuberculosis, and there are quite a few scenes where he is seen coughing up blood. There's no super intense gore or anything that I can remember.

On a moral level, it takes place/was made in Japan, so the obvious religion and mythology come into play occasionally. There are creatures referred to as "Oni" or "Demons", and some people try to re-create those creatures. They come out as somewhat vampire like. Ok, let me explain. They are created killing machines, and sometimes they loose their grip on reality and go into a rage that can only be stopped by drinking blood. As you can imagine, this can cause a number of problems when some of the members of the Shinsingumi are turned into these half-demons.

 I have to admit, I am really bad at remembering if there is swearing in anything. It goes in one ear and out the other. But I wrote myself a note! So now i know to say "there is some foul language, but honestly, it's not much worse than most other animes I have reviewed so far." So there you go.

Oh, and you may need a box of tissues and chocolate for the second season. Just sayin', especially if you get attached to any of the characters.

I believe you can buy it on Amazon, but I watched the subs on YouTube, and the English dub on an off-site, so if you want a link for that I can send it to you. It's not exactly a popular/well known show, so it's not available on most sites like Netflix or Hulu.

Chizuru Yukimura
Daww... she's such a cutie
Our heroine is a strong and complex character who is very well written, animated, and acted. Some people say she is weak willed and pathetic. I say that for a woman of Imperial Japan, she is extremely strong and has completely destroyed all gender roles of her time. Yeah, she's my favorite character of the show.

Let's take a moment to appreciate how great a character she is! (BECAUSE HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HER SHES JUST TOO CUTE!!!)
Well, she's a bit clumsy :) (Go watch the video it's priceless)
But she's strong, too. Ok, I'm done ranting about her.

Toshizo Hijikata
You really could smile more
HIjakata is the Vice-Commander of the Shinsingumi.  At first his character seems cold and distant, but as time goes on he becomes a likable character. Personally, he isn't my favorite, but I did like him. He has a few surprising character traits, though, and the audience gets to know him better in the second season. He is generally refered to as Hijikata

Souji Okita
Bby you're my favorite :'(
Souji Okita, commander of the first unit, is a good natured, though often sarcastic, character. He instantly became my favorite... which I guess just goes to show that I always fall in love with the ones with the most tragic plot. He is alternately called by Okita and Souji. Okita is his family name.

Sanosuke Harada
Idk if i ship or bro-ship him with Chizuru
Sanosuke Harada is the tallest among the commanders. He is easily the most cheerful of the group, and is often making jokes with the others. He becomes very close with Chizuru, and I love how their relationship grows throughout the series. He is also very close with  He's my third favorite :). He is generally referred to as Sano, but Harada is also common.

Saitou Hajime
Haha, this scene ^.^
Saitou Hajime is the leader of the third division. He is a master swordsman, and is one of the best of the best in the Shinsingumi. His talent lies in quickly cutting down his enemy in one move, a style called Iaijutsu. Though he is an excellent warrior, he seems to be rather shy. The times he does talk, though, he usually has something important to say. He looooves swords. I think it would be fair to say he is much like us fangirls... once he starts talking about swords, he doesn't stop! He really is a great character, and I probably would have liked him even more if he had more screen time. He and Souji have a close friendship, and he is mostly called Saitou.

I now realize I have written more about him than any other character... haha, and I thought there wouldn't be much to say about him! 

Heisuke Toudou
He's almost as cute a Chizuru... almost...
Heiskue Toudou (or Todo, but I guess the spelling is irrelevant) is the the youngest of the commanders, being only 18. He's energetic, out going, friendly, and is a bit of a prankster. He, Sano, and Shinpachi are very close friends *can you hear that? that's me crying my eyes out over my perfect BroT3*. Sometimes he is called Heisuke, sometimes he is called Toudou.

Shinpachi Nagakura
And the last member of the epic 3
Shinpachi Nagakura is a relatively light hearted character, and enjoys having a good time with his friends and comrades. As I said earlier, he, Sano, and Heisuke have a close relationship. He is most commonly called Shinpachi.

I believe that I have covered the most important characters. A little side note: there is an OVA for each of the main characters. They are the ultimate source ship and bro-ship material.

Well, I'll spare you from the "not so spoiler free end" after this long post. Instead, I have a few questions about the way I do these reviews:
Should I make them less biased or more personal?
Does the lay-out work and make sense?
Is there something I should add/not do?
Should I go from a more Christian-like stand point?
Should I talk about acting/production quality?
What can I do to improve the reviews?

I would love it if you shared input!

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