Hakuouki (episode 2)

April 12, 2010

Hajime Saitou holds a sword to Cizuru Yukimura's throat.

Don't mess with Saitou-san.

In episode two of Hakuouki, tensions flare, and a plot to burn Kyoto to the ground and kidnap the daimyo is discovered.

Chizuru finds that getting along with the members of the Shinsengumi isn’t easy. She accidentally offends some of them with innocent courtesies, such as offering to help with the food preparation. By the end of the episode, however, her help is needed, as a major plot to kidnap the daimyo is discovered. The plot is based upon an historical incident, in which the Shinsengumi attacked the conspirators at the Ikedaya Inn. Interestingly, the anime neither gives credence nor denies the darkest theory about this incident (quoting Wikipedia):

With the prisoner unresponsive, Hijikata was said to have suspended the man by his ankles, restraining his wrists, and driven five-inch spikes into the heels of the man’s feet. Placing lit candles upon the holes, hot wax dripped deep into his calves. The prisoner eventually claimed that they planned to set fire in Kyoto and capture Matsudaira Katamori, the daimyo of the Aizu clan whose duties included policing Kyoto at the time.

The anime merely shows Hijikata entering the room alone with the information he has gathered from the prisoner.

The rest of the episode mostly sets us up for what promises to be a nice fight next week, as the Shinsengumi engage the Chushuu forces at the Ikedaya Inn. Unfortunately, the Shinsengumi samurai are split to cover two locations, and Chizuru must race to the second location to alert the reinforcements, led by Hijikata, that the smaller group, led by Isami Kondou, needs their assistance.

One reason to look forward to the fight next week is the tiny preview of swordplay we saw in this episode, for example, in the fight illustrated in the two screen caps below, Susumu Yamazaki (seen on the right in the right-most image) fights some random samurai. In between the two images, the two swords have already struck, and the fighters have rebound from the impact. Look carefully at the image on the right and you can see who will win this fight. Yamazaki’s two-hand grip is still firm, whereas his opponent (on the left) has already lost control of his sword. This is a very elegant way of showing martial domination, especially in a fight that only lasts a few seconds on screen.

This episode already had a lot more action, and it looks like just a taste of what is coming next week!

Other Hakuoki matters (around the ‘Net)

Of course there are a bunch of characters in this show, and I’m bad at names, so I was thinking of putting together a table of characters for the show, but Hashi, of Hashihime blog is putting together an awesome one, that shows pictures of the characters, their names, and pictures, names, and links to further details on the voice actors, so go there and check it out!

Chizuru ? showing horns in shadow

Notice the horns visible in Chizuru's shadow.

The above image, seen in the OP, was pointed out on the AnimeSuki forum as showing Chizuru with horns (visible in the shadow). There is no real way of knowing what to make of this at the moment.

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5 Responses to “Hakuouki (episode 2)”

  1. Taka Says:

    I’m waiting for them to reintroduce the supernatural element. This episode was way better than the first to me. It was really speedily paced.

    I only rolled my eyes once at the “I am Spartacus” style response to Hijikata asking why Chizuru was eating with them.

    I was hoping Sannen-san got bitten by a zombie and was transforming into one. Sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case. He was just being mopey. At least he appeared (this episode) to get over it fairly quickly. I think he’s got some angst left in him for advising the bulk of the shinsengumi go to the wrong place.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Yeah, they seemed to mention them briefly in episode 2, where they implied that they were under the control of someone, but the person who made the comment was hushed up quickly. It will be interesting to see how they end up integrating that element. Personally, if they deliver a really good battle, I’ll be satisfied with next week’s episode.

  2. momomomooo Says:

    The picture at the bottom isnt Chizuru. Its somebody else!! Thought i might tell you. Well, did a review on my website of the original game. 🙂

  3. Fabrice Says:

    This is getting really exciting, I want to see the next episode! So Chizuru knows martial arts and how to handle a sword, huh? It’d be nice if she is a strong character that doesn’t need saving all the time.


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