Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kittan Review
What really made me watch this series is its setting, handsome samurais during the edo era and that they turn into vampires and then one girl accidentally stumbled upon their secrets, its really my kind of show. The setting is unique but the writers wasn’t able to fully utilize it. It really has a lot of potential and I think it would have been better if they have focused a bit on fleshing out the historical battles in the series because it really need details since I don’t basically know what’s going on with the war. They keep jumping from one event to another, I can’t really follow it since I’m not familiar with Japanese history, all I know is that some part of it is fictional, I just don’t know which part. I wish they made use of the higher ups that manipulates the war from behind since those peoples would make a good antagonist beside Kazama and company. I also had a problem with the character’s motivation specially in the last episode when Hijikata was babbling about being fake warriors and then drank the Ochimizu and later on said that he had done that because he lost control of his emotions. If you can’t understand what I’m saying here go watch the last episode and you’ll be able to make sense of what I’m saying here. There were still a lot of plot holes like why is Chizuru’s father together with Kazama and what happened to Chizuru’s brother, I hope those will be answered in season 2. I really hope that this won’t turn out like Vampire Knight but I’m not keeping my hopes up so that I won’t be that disappointed.
While my impression on the story is mostly negative, the art on the other hand is really commendable. I could feel the edo era with every episode mainly because of the background and the bgm that accompanied it. The background isn’t really detailed but what makes up for it is the lighting during certain scenes. The lighting reflects the mood in every episode, the setting sun, falling cherry blossoms etc. The character designs are really good they stand out from the norm, the guys are really handsome and Chizuru really looks adorable but I think the original material is more superior than the anime. Well, that’s usually the case since its from a different medium and a good example of that is Vampire Knight and Maid-sama since the original drawing of the mangaka is more stunning than the anime version because it has been simplified and I can forgive that since its inevitable. The animation on the other hand is really good and I wasn’t expecting that from Studio DEEN. The animation during the fight scenes are really detailed but sometimes it looks cheap and that’s probably because of lack of budget but that didn’t get in the way of the sword fight scenes since I really enjoyed it. There are also some instances that the faces of the characters are deformed but I don’t mind it since that’s a common event during the middle part of a series.
To tell you the truth I don’t really like the character of Chizuru since she’s really helpless all the time that I often wish she would die on the course of the series. She’s always a damsel in distress, sure she has a katana but it’s really useless with her, I haven’t even saw her battle someone. I don’t really like useless girls like her, it would have been more interesting if she could fight someone and defend herself even if she’s weak I’ll accept that at least she’s trying. The characterization in this series is really weak since their characters is not that developed and I think I could overlook that because there will be season 2 but as it stands now, there is only one character that had caught my attention and that’s Kazama. I really expect this series to have a love story but I haven’t even had a glimpse of it, I don’t know who Chizuru likes since she keeps on blushing to anyone she talks to. Series that are based on otome games usually has a problem with who the girl would end up to and I’m tired of that so I hope Chizuru would choose someone even if it’s Hijikata or anyone I’m fine with it but I really prefer Kazama since I think they really fit each other.
From the opening song to the ending song I could really feel the ancient Japan setting from the series and I like it because it feels like every time I watch the series I’m transported back in time and like I’m living during that era. The OP song “Izayoi Namida” by Aika Yoshiokais really beautiful accompanied by an awesome opening animation it makes the opening of every episode exciting. The ED song “Kimi no Kioku” by mao on the other hand, I like it than the OP songsince it’s really catchy and the lyrics of the song kind of tells a story and it’s really sad. The ending animation that accompanied that song are mostly stills but the art is really awesome specially the lighting.
I still enjoyed this series despite it’s flaws and mainly because of the twist and revelations from some of the episodes. I really enjoyed it also because of the handsome guys and I’ve got to admit Chizuru still looks adorable even thought she keeps pissing me off. The premise is really interesting that every episode I’m always looking forward on what they would reveal and I’m still looking forward for the next season since this ended with a lot of untied knots. I won’t recommend this to everyone since I think it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea because not everyone watch shows because of it’s bishies and potential love story and people might get annoyed with Chizuru and yours truly is often annoyed with her. I will recommend this to people who are interested in watching shows that has ridiculously handsome guys and a story where the girl is surrounded with those guys and add the fact that those guys are samurais and vampires at the same time, so if you like this kind of series I think it’s worth a try.