Hakuouki 18 – carnage

November 24, 2010

Really nice texture on the hills in the upper-left.

Bad things happen. The story of the Shinsengumi could never have ended in triumph. Bad things had to happen. Well, bad things happen in episode 18 of Hakuouki Hekketsu-Rokku). I won’t discuss the tragic events. Instead my remarks are directed towards the artwork. When the first season began, there were some who doubted Studio DEEN would follow through, and that quality would drop late in the (first) season. My experience is just the opposite. I believe the consistency has been improved in the second season, so what had been a handful of really striking images per episode, are now more the norm.

I haven’t mentioned the title cards before. They are simple and elegant. This one reminds me of lacquered wood.


This episode's title seems to have been chosen for it's irony.

Much of the events of this episode transpire at night, which is taken advantage of here to provide strong black framing elements.

Dramatic use of perspective. The effect of this scene was also heightened by use of movement in the cloud layer.

Notice the excellent detail in the background, including the roof tiles and woodwork railings.

Almost still life. I really enjoy historical settings because they offer an opportunity to depict the many beautiful artifacts of physical culture that were common in earlier times.

Still life: roadside statue. Again, the image captures the spirit of a nocturnal scene, especially in the use of color. The cool blueish shadows on the left are contrasted by the warmer, localized light source on the right.

Again the warm, localized light is very evocative of a night time scene. Season one scenes tended to have much flatter, less dramatic lighting.

I continue to be pleased with this series. It has a tragic subject, so I don’t expect to come away excited and happy at the end of each episode. What I do expect is to have a rich visual experience and an evoked sense of pathos for the Shinsengumi and their fate as they struggled against the changes brought with the modern era.

3 Responses to “Hakuouki 18 – carnage”

  1. Jan S. Says:

    The art is very lovely in this second season. Possibly the increased number of night scenes corresponds with the darker tone of this season…?

    As to the striking images, I’ve seen a lot of the still pictures from the video game and the anime has reproduced many of them – for example, the one where Chizuru is leaning against Hijikata’s back after he kills all the soldiers. I’m looking forward to seeing more of them in the series.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      It has definitely made the ride more enjoyable. As to the dark scenes, they did happen in season one as well, and this episode was a bit unusual in a couple of respects, but, I agree, the second season has an even darker tone to the story, so the night scenes work well with it.

      I’m really interested to see where things go from here. This episode was so intense, it could have been a final episode!

  2. angela Says:

    I think the imagery used in the final episode at the end was very dramatic-it alone stirred up something that while it was very pretty–it felt dangerously pretty, and it disturbed me–because I felt like what good had just happened 3 second ago, was about to be short-lived.–it felt like an ending stage display

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