Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

So, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto… couldn’t they have picked a longer and harder to pronounce title. I mean it’s not the longest, I’ve seen longer (this ,,I’ve seen longer” talk sounds like I’m gay), but the ideal title is one that you can pronounce 5 times. Try saying Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto 5 times. Well anyway, this is one of the requests we got for the ,,Do you know crappy-shit-ass anime” post, but unfortunately I can’t classify this one as such. I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s no masterpiece and it has some critical flaws, but it’s not retarded and I found myself enjoying it, although that started happening after the 6th episode, but we’ll get to that.
The story is about a guy named Youjiro Akidzuki and his destiny. He is an Eternal Assassin and an excellent samurai, and he must find and seal (or destroy) The Head of The Lord. No, not Jesus Christ. The Lord is some guy from China that was killed 2004 years ago and his head haunted and brought chaos, war and death to the land until he was sealed and brought to Japan. So of course now he was unsealed, and he starts spreading chaos. Akidzuki meets a traveling actor troupe that he kind of befriends. I’m not going to start naming them, it was hard enough to memorize them, but they play an important part in the story, especially the girl they call Chief. The story seems simplistic and boring at first, but that’s only for the first 6 or 7 episodes. These are the episodes that start the story. Here you have to struggle memorizing each character, understanding them and their purposes, and figuring out Akidzuki and the Lord’s Head, which is hard considering they don’t talk a lot about that. But if you get past these episodes the story starts accelerating and different twists and turns appear, which aren’t the most genius things, but are unexpected and work out well. Also, what I can promise you is action. The anime delivers good fight scenes, and there is one that I particularly like and that is Akidzuki’s fight with a guy wielding 2 pistols like a cowboy.
What I’d like to address is the ridiculous amount of characters. I mean the troupe alone makes up a quarter of the cast that is presented in the first 2 or 3 episodes, and that list grows every episode. Some of them die, but there is always someone to take his place. While I always welcome big and diverse character casts, here they went a bit overboard because it gets confusing and the fact that you have to memorize their names and background doesn’t help at all. Plus there are a lot of historical figures that play important parts in the story so it gets even more confusing. Reading about it you probably are thinking ,,Oh, he’s just exaggerating” but believe me, if you watch it, then you are gonna see a lot of screens that have names on it. Not like in the subs, but next to a characters face like saying ,,This is him”. And since I’m talking about history know that this is the second fuck up. As the name implies the action takes place in the Bakumatsu era. When is that? ,,Well go figure out yourselves” is what the anime implies. I mean it doesn’t give you a specific number. It’s confusing enough as it is, why not give me a historical time I don’t know about. And how could I? I never learned that at school and I’m sure neither have you. But you quickly see two guys with pistols fighting samurai so… I guess they present different visual clues and auditory facts that obviously hint you to the year 1856 or so. I’m guessing it’s the time that Japan got out of its political seclusion (yeah I know a little history). But… I welcome the fact that they try and mix history with entertainment, but… why in the love of fuck are they presenting me a FUCKING THESIS. I mean the narrator (yeah we have one of those) almost constantly presents you different historical facts that don’t influence the story and you don’t need. I mean it gets annoying, and it just takes up time. It’s confusing enough as it is, and plus if you’re gonna talk about some historical stuff, then present it to the end, don’t just go ,Because of this event, shit happened” cause I’ve no idea what the event consists of. Also there are a lot of historical characters, which is bad, but I think they did a good job with those. The fictional character are uninspired and it seems like the were copied from other anime and only had their shape and personal background changed, but they act and have the same personality as other characters from other anime. I mean this guy Akidzuki is a painfully obvious copy of Himura Kenshin from the OVA Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen also known as Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal. Watch Bakumatsu and Samurai X in parallel and you’ll be convinced. The only difference between them is their appearance and the fact that Akidzuki’s eyes glow a lot like he’s about to go Super Sayan. But the historical characters are better. It’s like… you know they are copies, but they are supposed to be copies, and excellent copies they are. I read about many of these characters on Wiki and was astound of how well they represented these characters. I saw some pictures and they even look the same (the real and the copy). It’s like they made ,,copy paste” from history directly into the anime. There are a lot of useless characters as well. But they try and make every one important. For example there was a messenger who averted a battle thanks to his speed and the message he delivered. But after a couple of episodes, when I forgot about him, they show a scene after a battle and some guy looks for his friend. Turns out his friend was the messenger, and he died in battle and the narrator suddenly comes in and starts talking about this guy saying ,,This guy, who did this, and thanks to that this did or didn’t happen, died like this on this day”. But even worse is when he (narrator) talks about certain characters that haven’t but WILL die. It’s like ,,This guy, know as this, who did this, and thanks to that this happened, will die like this after this much time”. It’s like they are spoiling. You don’t see that happen, but you know it, so it’s something like spoiling. And does this sound like fun, hearing the narrator talk a lot about shit you don’t care ?(unless you’re Japanese, which I apologize for saying such things) It’s like they wanted to include different stuff just to make the series longer.
The presentation is good. Although the characters have copied personalities, their models look good and rich in color and detail. Background is a bit fucked up, but only in night scenes, and those are few and usually have a lot of action going on, so you don’t pay much attention, but it’s like the background has one color scheme and that is a darkish blue. It’s monotonous, but I say again, you don’t pay much attention to it because of the action. The sound department didn’t slack of as well. They deliver believable voice acting, realistic sound effects and nice music, particularly the opening.
In conclusion this one has a lot of flaws but if you get past the first 6 episodes and accept the history lessons, you get a nice and fun experience that you might enjoy. Let’s put it this way… Although I don’t recommend it as a ,,must see", I’m not against you downloading it and giving it a try.

p.s. Although i found the full version of this song on YouTube, it contains a lot of spoilers for those that might be interested in checking this one out, so i put the short version, but know that the full versionn rocks.


Animenerdz said...

guess i'll give it a go when i finish the OUR WORK projects we planned yesterday

Sapphire Pyro said...

I've seen around one or two episodes of this, and I remember liking them. Perhaps I should continue it already *sees incredibly long watch/read list* . . . someday ^^; . . . xD