Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

Bakumatsu takes place in Japan during the Bakumatsu era of Japan. It is the last days of the Tokugawa era, and the Meiji Restoration is occurring. A knowledge of this time period greatly helps in understanding the anime, but some information will be provided when you watch it. For example, the great earthquake in Tosa seems unimportant, but Tosa is the province of Sakamoto Ryoma, one of the important persons during the time period.

But Bakumatsu is not about those historic events. It is about Akizuki, a young swordsman who is hunting the Head of the Conqueror, a supernatural head that causes destruction. Along the way, Akizuki joins a theater of people who are out to get revenge for their parents. This is where some knowledge of history helps because the Ansei Purge was what killed their parents. At the head of the troupe is Sotetsu who is a mastermind. The possible love interest is Kakunojo, who gets a lot of screentime in the second half of the anime.

The plot is actually a lot more interesting than what I make it out to be. I couldn't make it short because there is just so much going on, especially the historical parts. After all, Bakumatsu even includes Hijikata and Okita from the Shinsegumi. The plot is complex in the first half, but quickly becomes a weaker good vs evil in the second half.

The music is very good here. Composed by Hideyuki Fukasawa, the music blends into the setting because the music sounds like it could have been played during Japan (I'm not knowledgeable in music, so I am probably wrong). Anyways, the soundtrack is good. It plays when it needs to be played, and the quiet pieces go where they belong. In episode 13 (I think), the track Shinnen plays and an amazing feeling surges forth. Because the piece fits that well.

Overall, Bakumatsu is an amazing anime. The characters are mostly well developed, and the bad guys are also believable (except Enomoto). The music is just fantastic, and the storyline is well paced. If I had a category for historical anime, I would rank Bakumatsu as number one.

Rating: 9/10

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