My review on Dangerous Seduction‘s Asuka Hino is TWO WEEKS late, but it’s not my fault!!! I was blindsided! Derailed! Waylaid! Tossed mercilessly into anime hell! And the way down was both excruciating and delicious. *SHIVER*
It’s been a LOOOONG while since I last watched any anime. The last ones I remember watching (sporadically, at that) were Golden Time, Strike the Blood, Guilty Crown, and My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (aka Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru and My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected). And then J/Kdrama and otoge took over my life, so it was a refreshing experience to discover new AND old anime and be reminded just how great anime are, and how they are NOT ‘just cartoons’. (I just wish I didn’t ‘have to’ watch them one after another in a mad frenzy. It really was like I had been starved of something I really needed and just didn’t know it.)
These are what I had been ‘busy with’ day and night as I procrastinated over darling Hino’s review (and the rest of my life TBH):
Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru
This 12-episode series is the anime incarnation of the popular browser game by DMM and Nitro+ that started airing in October 2016.
As in the game, the anime revolves around (an ever-increasing number of) historical Japanese swords-turned-ikemen* warriors brought to life by a mysterious Saniwa/sage and sent back in time to stop the Historical Revisionists and their History Retrograde Army of demons from, well, changing history. *(hot/good-looking guy)
The story primarily follows Yasusada Yamatonokami, one of the uchigatana (samurai sword) used by the Shinsengumi’s Okita Souji (the other being Kiyomitsu Kashuu), as he struggles to make peace with the infamous Ikedaya Affair and his new life as a touken danshi/sword warrior of the Hanamaru Citadel. In the meantime, there is no shortage of all manner and shape of danshi to please every kind of viewer, and their trials and shenanigans will touch and entertain you with each episode.
Even without playing the game, I fell in love with the quirky characters and the animation that made them come to life. It was difficult to tell the story of each toudan (abbre. of touken danshi), especially since there were ALMOST FIFTY that ‘popped out’ out of the Saniwa’s work room over the course of the show, but enough was told about enough characters to make you laugh with them, cry with them, root for them… and all without making you forget about the main story arc involving Yasusada.
And, man, I couldn’t get that OP (opening song/video) out of my head for DAYS! Yasusada and Kiyomitsu were just a-dooooo-rable dancing to that really catchy theme song!