「焔の如く」 (Homura no Gotoku)
“Like a Blaze”
As I’ve briefly mentioned, Hakuouki is now considered a Monday show in light of AT-X airing a double-header when every other station only aired the recap special. That kind of handcuffs me blogging-wise, but the struggles of the Shinsengumi in their losing fight against pro-Imperial forces has me excited about the direction of this sequel. Story-wise, things are proceeding in accordance to the Boshin War, with the renaming of the Shinsengumi as the Kouyou Chinbutai being the major development here. This causes some unrest within the group, particularly in Nagakura Shinpachi (Tsuboi Tomohiro) and Harada Sanosuke (Yusa Kouji), who actually left the group after the upcoming Battle of Koushuu-Katsunuma over Koufu Castle. As depicted, they aren’t the least bit happy about how their shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, and the various other upper echelons in Bakufu secretly fled Osaka Castle in the last battle and headed to Edo by boat. I can’t blame them for rethinking about fighting for someone who doesn’t have any concern for their lives and was willing to just let them all die out there, which is surprisingly exactly what happened in history.
On the fictional side of things, Chizuru’s demon bloodline has drawn the wary eyes of Sannan Keisuke (Tobita Nobuo) in addition to the real threat, Kazama Chikage. At this point, I don’t see much coming from the Rasetsu unit since they were forced to stay behind. Kazama on the other hand will be around with Satsuma forces the very next episode, which should led to another heated exchange with Hijikata. Thus far, it’s been established that those two will be rivals for the rest of the series, and now it’s been hinted that Chizuru will be caught in between more than ever before. While I’m quite interested in seeing where that takes the story, I’m just as curious about seeing what becomes of the Shinsengumi themselves. Saitou Hajime (Toriumi Kousuke) is one of my favorite characters since he’s extremely loyal even in light of his reservation towards Kondou’s decision to take over Koufu Castle and make it their own, so his actions in this sequel are something I have my eye on. Aside from that, I assume the change to Western-style clothing is for pure fan appeal. Things are probably going to get pretty bloody next time though…
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