Friday, November 3, 2017

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu: Bushido Spirits Ablaze

Okay. Fine. That was a bit of a serious title for once. Wolvenciel here with another on-time review following last week's anime, Touken Ranbu Hanamaru. Now I'm doing the more action-packed, guns ablaze, younger brother.

The Premise

Before anything, no its not gay. Sure its full of men swinging blades at evil spirits and there's not really much female characters in it but heavens its not gay.

Look at all the boys huh.
Katsugeki Touken Ranbu introduces a different take on the TR universe as a whole in the sense that it doesn't follow the game like it did in Hanamaru. In fact, the story starts by telling you that only two swords are able to be deployed in a certain era to stop the Time Retrograde Army (the bad guys).

P/S: For those who don't know what Touken Ranbu is, its a universe where a sword is given a human body to fight for their masters in protecting history from being altered by the bad guys.

The Focus

Katsugeki's story focuses on Hijikata Toshizou's (a Shinsengumi member) two swords. The brazen, more experienced Kanesada and the timid newcomer, Kunihiro. As the story goes on, they question themselves as to why they need to protect history from changing because sometimes they come upon a situation where bad things happen and they have to just sit still and let it happen.

There's also the fact that they question their own existences as swords and the dilemma that is meeting their previous owners. Because, you know, previous owner means they are probably dead.

Oh. Right. There's also lots and lots of sword fighting.

The Visuals

Okay so we all know the fact that this anime is made by that one studio that excels at animating people poking metal sticks at each other. I admit, it looks so damn good. It really does. Most of the fights are not as impressive as their previous work (Fate Unlimited Blade Works) but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't eye-catching.

They also captured the old japan scenery quite nicely. I'm not that good at talking about visuals though so look at the shots yourselves and be the judge of that.

What I Don't Like About The Visuals

The one thing I hated about this universe altogether is the fact that the Time Retrograde Army is covered in BLACK MIST. Sure it gives off that evil kind-of ominous malevolence seeping out of their bones and swords but I CAN'T SEE THE DETAILS.

Unless the fight is a close up one on one, you won't be able to see through all that black mist. I mean sure, let them give off the mist when they appear. Then stop. It would make the fight scenes so much better in my opinion.

There's also the fact that they can't create battle damage on the hunk of black mists as the swords fight and instead just vanish into thin air right after the sword boys cut them into pieces.

Not-So-Important Stuff

To not end the review(?) in a sour note, for those who really like the cute boys act like the ones they pulled off in Hanamaru, there's still plenty where that came from. Its not too overwhelming and can easily be passed off as a dumb shounen joke attempt at best.

For those who DO play the game, this time around, you can see the Saniwa's face. Yes, he's kind of cool in a sense too I guess.

Anyways, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu is perfect for those of you who likes bad ass fight scenes and jarringly beautiful animation while not actually neglecting the story itself. Its also a very cool way to introduce people who are not familiar with Japanese history and even more so for people who are. I definitely recommend it to anyone who fancy flashy sword fights and some bushido spirit on the side.

Plus it has a kick ass opening. Wolvenciel, out.

And yeah there's also a movie in the future. Probably.

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