First Impression – Hakuouki Reimeiroku

Pick your bishie

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve made an appearance in a review. What review to choose but Hakuouki Reimeiroku. That “I wish it was just a damn BL but they always have to add 1 chick to make this otome game turned anime shit.” But really now, I hope that we can get past all of that in this prequel to that sad piece of work and enjoy the… view.
What do you get when you cross a group of Shinsengumi with a scarily profitable series? …I don’t know where this joke is going either. Anyways, season 3 of Hakuouki is here and one episode in, I can tell that the main guy is going to have the crap kicked out of him regularly. …Yep.
I’ll continue it for you, Kara! Group of Shinsengumi and scarily profitable series? More Shinsengumi members acting gay with each other of course! I bet that’s what they do behind the scene anyway, so you’ll have to sneak up during their break time, Ness. Let’s see how homo this anime is.

Story

Kara // …I can already tell that the storyline is going to be depressing. I haven’t actually played this game (mainly because anything related to Hakuouki is LOOOOONG and I don’t even consider this an otome game), but I know that this is during the Shinsengumi’s ‘glory days’ and that’s depressing in itself because they all die in the end. ヽ(´ー`)ノ On the other hand though, good god was this first episode slow. It was entirely devoted to unnecessarily reintroducing the characters that we’ve already been watching for two seasons (there is that time gap, but again. Most people have been seeing these people for 2 seasons already.) Even more pointless, 24 or so minutes later, I still don’t know where the plot is headed. I’m not saying that the first two seasons had better pacing or characters, but at least by the first episode of the first season,  Chizuru had the whole plot of looking for her father. Ibuki said himself that he has no real goals and he just figured things would work out in Kyoto. The only things that have been established is that he has attitude problems, the old man is a bitch and now he’s in an abusive relationship with that same bitchy old man until god knows how long. The plot could go anywhere (or nowhere) from there. At least it has potential though since they haven’t confirmed anything yet (and you know, they haven’t even started on the ancient samurai vampi- I mean, uh, rasetsu plot that’s sure to come up). They haven’t lost me yet.

Guilty Pleasure/Bishies

Ness // I’m unsure if this series will be as dramatic compared to the sequel considering the events shown so far in this first episode. Though, you can obviously see the hostility between Hijikata and Serizawa which I’m assuming will eventually lead to some big plot of betrayal. When we get to that point, I’m wondering what Ibuki will do and which side he will take.

Can you ever have too many bishies in an anime? They’re all eye-candy and possible candidates for that harem girls build up in their dreams. Though, it could become hard to choose from such a large group, but I’m sure we all have our picks… teeheehee. Well, considering that this is based from an otome game, what more could you expect to satisfy all the fangirls out there? I for one, take in that guilty pleasure of viewing such beautifully drawn shounen’s animated into hot BAMF characters with some smexy voice actors behind them giving even more life (or even purpose) to that bishie. Indeed, girls will watch this anime for the bishies but we must not forget the story and where it will be leading us to.

Characters

anaaga // It’s hard to describe the bishies in this Hakuouki prequel- actually, no. They’re just stereotype bishies. That’s it. There’s the naïve Kondou, calm Hijikata, sadistic Okita, etc. etc. remembering how little they developed in the original Hakuouki, I doubt they’ll do that in the prequel. With the exception of Hijikata, Hajime, and Okita though. That’s what it seems because their characters are somehow different from how they were in the sequel. Hijikata seems to be more of a n00b vice-captain, and Okita’s aura feels more sadistic. The reason why Hajime is included in the “character development” is because he was introduced late in this episode. Maybe this is the time where he just arrived in Shinsengumi? Will there be some kind of backstory for his character? I’m damn curious. Ehm, anyhow, with the exception of those three, I doubt that the others will undergo through some kind of drastic character development. Since this is based on historical otome game and all, and what’s the point of otome game again? Getting laid with 2D bishies. Some plot here and there, but all that matters are the bishies. So yeah, this is just the first episode, but I’m not expecting much from the characters.

And that, of course, includes the newly-introduced Ibuki Ryunosuke and Serizawa Kamo. But, they’re new! Big deal. Serizawa Kamo is one kind of an asshole. He’s just exceptionally rude for someone who’s living in that period, and I doubt he’ll change. Heck, I’m sure that rude character of his will be his downfall. Ibuki has some potential to be a good character, but remember who he’s replacing. It’s no other than the useless Chizuru. And what did Chizuru do? Nothing.If the original didn’t do anything, I doubt Ibuki will do anything either. And to make it even worse, Ibuki isn’t even a better character than Chizuru. Somehow Ibuki’s rude existence annoys me already. Chizuru feels tolerable compared to him. Man, I’m not expecting anything at all now, remembering how sucky the characters are.

Reimeiroku Premise & Thoughts

Ness // Being saved by a SOB drunkard who’s all high and mighty on himself is probably one of the worst things that can happen to you. It’s most common that if someone saves your life, you’ll feel in-debt to them. Unfortunately, having to fulfill such a debt can be so extreme that we get into Ibuki’s situation of becoming a servant. I’m sure that there could have been many other solutions to Ibuki’s problem like getting help from Kondo. But of course the story has to go the hard route that will lead to more dramatic effects.

As stated earlier, I was wondering what will happen with Ibuki when or if problems with Serizawa arise against the others. I’m sure that Ibuki will become close to the other main members of the Shinsengumi but will Ibuki become loyal to Serizawa? You can see that their relationship isn’t extremely poor because even though Ibuki is treated like a servant, he isn’t treated like a slave. You can also see the stubborn kid side of Ibuki when interacting with Serizawa.

Knowing that this is a premise to the events in Hekketsuroku, we unfortunately know what’s bound to happen to certain characters. Doesn’t that make you feel frustrated at this series for making a prequel? I feel somewhat distraught knowing that… “Hey, this new bishie was introduced but we don’t see him in the sequel so there’s only few options on what happened to him.” Oh so sad indeed. This whole series franchise is a Tragedy. It reels in the viewers with the bishies. Yeah they have a good plot which could have gone many different ways. It’s interesting enough because of the setting, characters and anticipation of what will happen that eventually lead to Hekketsuroku. There is also some touches of romance with the one girl that will be presented (which seems so in this new series too) but there is down right only tragedy waiting to happen. But nevertheless, this show will go on and people will watch this. I for one, will be included in the mass.

Seiyuu & Thoughts

anaaga // I must be heartless, because I literally don’t give a damn about the characters at all. With this crappy unclear first episode, Hakuouki Reimeiroku is already in the last of my Watched List. Little clarity (excused, since this is just a retelling of the internal conflict in Shinsengumi) was given in this episode, and the new characters pissed me off. Heck, even their voices pissed me off. Nakata Jouji and Seki Tomokazu did a great job at sounding assholes, because they really did sound like assholes. I totally forgot that Kotomine Kirei was bullying Gilgamesh like mad in this episode, because the voices didn’t sound like them. I tip my hat off for Nakata Jouji and Seki Tomokazu. Keep it up! Make me hate Ibuki and Serizawa more and more! I’ll think of them as the main yaoi couple in this anime. Yep, the ghey scenes and the bishies are the only things that make me watch this anime. I want to expect more in this anime, but I can’t. It’s DEEN.

Studio & Thoughts

Kara // What do I think of the animation studio AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…HAHA…HAHAHAHAHAHA DEEN. There was definitely less crappy animation then it’s predecessors, but at the same time, there was little to no action, so I can’t really comment on that yet. That being said, DEEN’s crappy background character filler art was definitely still there, so it wasn’t perfect either. As for directing, Yamasaki seems to be doing the same thing he’s done for the first two seasons. …By the same thing, I mean taking things at his own pace. This was waaaaaay too slow for me. Though he does have a way at making the fangirls happy, so he’ll probably be extending that to this season in the future. Overall: seiyuu=excellent (same ones from the game, you can’t go wrong there),

characters=good (again, game. You can’t go wrong), pacing=meh (there’s room for improvement), over milked franchise guaranteed to make money? Check. …Animation studio? LOL DEEN. So unless they stray COMPLETELY from the Hakuouki formula and what they’ve been doing this whole time, there’s no way for DEEN to mess this up. On the other side of that though, I can’t see this summer anime being ranked more than mediocre compared to everything else. My interest in Hakuouki has definitely waned since I first played the game, but I do believe that I’ll watch this.

Preview: Some kind of sword duel?

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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13 Responses to “First Impression – Hakuouki Reimeiroku”

  1. akagami says:

    I couldn’t tell the verdict… should I check this out? Should I not? My list this season is long enough that I’ve decided I’m only going to add shows that are recommended.

    • akagami says:

      Some of the character designs remind me of Brave10, for some reason.

    • Karakuri says:

      Uhhh…. I’m pretty sure this will be boring unless you like:

      a.) Heavily implied BL where nothing BL actually happens

      b.) bishies sword fighting occasionally

      c.) depression

      d.) watching the main character having his ass handed to him at least once an episode.

      I wouldn’t recommend this unless you’ve watched and liked the first two series.

    • anaaga says:

      GOD, NO. DON’T.

      Unless you like bishies doing gay things to each other

      And depression

    • akagami says:

      Thanks kuri and aga, I’ll save myself from wanting to stab my eyes with forks. Depression is scary.

  2. Alynn says:

    I watched the other Hakuouki things… so I attempted to watch this. So far not good/ sure. Maybe I’ll watch another before I judge, but meh. I have a lot of better things to catch up on/ watch.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    I haven’t watched this. I thought I’d read the post just for the fun of it and see how the story goes where I saw that part where Kara was mentioning something about an ancient samurai vampire (first paragraph). LOL. I’m pretty sure that was some deliberate teasing on Kara’s part if certain people were reading and if it was, I’m happy. If it wasn’t, I’m glad anyway. If that really was the case and it turned out to be the girl, that would be all the reason I need to start watching. I’d even brave the possible BL parts just to see her.

    • Karakuri says:

      …I hate to disappoint you Briar, but I’m afraid that there aren’t any female vampires in this. I don’t even think there are any females this season of Hakuouki. OTL

      LOL do you have a vampire detector or something?! I didn’t think anyone would catch on to that. xDD

      • BlackBriar says:

        LOL. I know but I just couldn’t let such an opportunity pass by. But still, I’d love to see a female vampire chomping down on unsuspecting people. Even if it’s in the feudal era.

        Hahaha!! Yeah, you can call it that. I have a vampire radar built in. The minute I see or hear any hint of the subject, warning bells go off. Plus, I remembered the Otome review you made on Hakuouki. There were vampiric element in that too and you said you were waiting for me to pick up on those. I couldn’t help but feel they were tests. LOL.

  4. Sushi GoKart says:

    My Nessu-chan! Hello there :D But yeah I don’t think I will pick up this series from the beginning. I will continue to avoid it like the plague.

    • Ness says:

      I don’t blame you. Considering the ending of the sequel. I see no need for a Prequel. It’s horrific thinking about how it will all lead to the end.

  5. Hime says:

    Maybe this was a bad Hakuouki to start with but…meh, PRETTEH PRETTEH BOYS AW YEAH GET A HAIRCUT

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