Anime Review: Hakouki: Hekketsu-roku Episode 1

(Originally published on Livejournal on 11/25/10)

Anime Review in a Minute:
Hakuouki: Hekketsu-roku Episode 1

Anime Review in a Minute: What this is all about. — Watching all the anime shows so you don’t HAVE to!

tl;dr review: The Hakuouki Shinsengumi regroups to prepare for battle again; Nothing of significance happens, followed by nothing of significance happening.

The Skinny: After defeat, the Shinsengumi retreats to Edo to establish their new headquarters and lick their wounds. Chizuru is concerned that Hijikata has been working non-stop to the point of exhaustion, and also ashamed that she’s essentially useless. Kondo arrives and informs everyone that they have the support of the shogunate and have been directed to defend the nearby Koufu Castle. Several of them put on Western-style clothes and they march out…but mostly they spend the episode just sitting around and talking 90% of the time.

Assorted video captures from the episode – click on each picture for a full-sized view in a new window:

My Thoughts: Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan was one of the very first of the Spring 2010 shows that I reviewed back in April, and gave it a thumbs-down. But since it was among the first reviews and I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time (other than going by gut reactions), I thought I might have given the show a bit of the short-shrift, and it deserved a second chance. Hakuouki: Hekketsu-roku is essentially the first episode of the second season, and the perfect opportunity to revisit the series and reconsider my first impressions.

Aaaaaaaaaand…turns out my first impressions were spot-on. Hekketsu-roku is just as blithely boring as the earlier show, as everyone is mostly sitting around and talking to each other, mostly as a recap from the last season and setting up the plot for the new season. In fact, nearly all the action took place during the brief flash-back sequences. Boring, boring, boring. Oh, and the eyecandy bit where they play dress-up in western clothes for no reason other than to give the fangirls something to squeal about was odd, too.

For more info:

Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haku%C5%8Dki
My Anime List entry: http://myanimelist.net/anime/6895/Hakuouki
Opening video sequence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Faav9rcNAr0

The Verdict: — Strike out…again.

The tally for Fall 2010 season first episodes so far:
Passing Grade: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, The World God Only Knows, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, Psychic Detective Yakumo, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Letter Bee Reverse, Bakuman, Otome Youkai Zakura, Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi, Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge, Kuragehime

Failing grade: MM!, Star Driver, Iron Man, Fortune Arterial, Motto To Love-ru, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Yumeiro Patissiere Professional, Tamayura, To Aru Majutsu no Index 2, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Sora no Otoshimono Forte, Yosuga no Sora, Robin With His 100 Friends, Agriculture Girl, Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu Special, You Are Umasou

The last of the Fall 2010 shows to review — almost done!: To Aru Kagaku no Railgun Special, Koe de Oshigoto (It’s essentially porn with the barest semblance of a fig-leaf), Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector

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