Thursday, 9 August 2012

And so my love for the Shinsengumi continues...

Sorry I realise its been a long time since I last posted, but I haven't had the time to write :(

Today I am going to write about my love for historic anime and manga that are based on the Shinsengumi. Why? Because why not XD

For starters, I like stories based around the Shinsengumi because I like the Shinsengumi! I find their story really interesting and the individuals within the group fascinating. I do sometimes go on researches of particular members. Because yhea, I'm a history geek...

ANYWAYS. In the context of anime/manga, I like series based around them because even if theres fictional characters to the story, theres nearly always the core group thats consistent and I like seeing how different authors choose to portray those characters. (The core group being the captains and the characters who are key to the politics within the group I.e Serizawa, Kondou, Hijikata, Okita etc.)

My favourite manga solely based on them is Kaze Hikaru. Its a shojo for a change!! Yay. The main plot revolves around a young girl Sei, (fictional) who pretends to be a boy to join the Shinsengumi, as they saved her life in an incident which also left her orphaned. In the process she falls in love with Okita. Its just a good romance series, but you also see the character torn between wanting to be a woman for him and wanting to remain a man to fight at his side. But theres also a very strong historical narrative throughout of the Shinsengumi's actual history. The author also tries to keep things as historically accurate in terms of dress, buildings etc, which I also like.I also really like the way the Shinsengumi members are depicted. As its a shojo they're really funny and friendly. Some shonen mangas make them more realistic i.e. more tough and some not so pleasant. I find this version of them quite refreshing because of that.

 So yhea, I really like this manga and would recommend it, but I wouldn't necessarily say its for everyone. For those who are not familiar with politics behind Meiji Restoration I would just wiki things so you know whos on whos side and what ideologies their following etc. (In fact any historically based series I would do this.) Its not heavy in it, but as the Shinsengumi were part of the revolution so its still part of the story.

As for anime, I'm watching a current season anime called Hakuouki Reimeiroku, which is a prequel to Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan. I actually haven't seen the Shinsengumi Kitan yet, but as the prequels just been released I thought I may as well watch it in that order.

Hakuouki Reimeiroku is so, so good. Seriously. Its almost like a chimbara series. All the characters are pretty hard core and stupidly beautiful for some reason :S. This is not so historically accurate... just take a look at those hairstyles!
I'm not complaining though! Its still a good series and one of the reasons is its visuals! Again a historical narrative runs through. Hakuouki Reimeiroku is the set up of the Shinsengumi from what I can gather. I will probably do an update once I have seen Shinsengumi Kidan! :) This is think would appeal to a wider audience than Kaze Hikaru would.

To finish off I have to throw Rurouni Kenshin out there. The Shinsengumi appears very little, even in the OVAs which are set in the revolution but ITS SUCH A GOOD SERIES!! I would recommend the manga over the anime I think. The live action film is coming out this month I believe and I am so excited because Kenshin is one of my all time favourite series!! The only Shinsengumi character that really features much is Hajime Saitou, who is a policeman after the restoration. (That much is true, going after a fictional villain called Makoto Shishio is not! XD)

I'll leave you with Sato Takeru, who is Kenshin in the live action adaptation coming out this year! (I may end up doing drama reviews based around specific actors, and he happens to be one that I follow ^.^)


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