In 1863, Izuminokami Kanesada and his partner, Horikawa Kunihiro, arrive in the streets of Edo from the future to investigate their master's reports of an upcoming enemy invasion. As humanoid manifestations of the famous Toshizou Hijikata's swords, they have been tasked with protecting history from the Retrograde Army that seeks to alter it. Soon enlisting the help of other sword warriors, they continuously battle the mysterious army throughout the Bakumatsu period. However, their journey will not be an easy one. Fraught with blood and betrayal in the chaotic era closest to their hearts, the duo will be forced to make difficult decisions with everything they care about on the line. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
I choose to watch this anime on a whim and wasn’t disappointed. . At the beginning it was difficult to understand at times because it is based on a game, so the viewer is expected to have previous knowledge of the mechanics of this world. I pieced it together myself, but otherwise I recommend finding a quick summary of this universe, because it can be complicated.
The story itself was pretty good. The concept for the anime was different, and though I had read it was similar to drifters and was intrigued, it was different enough to be interesting. For the first few episodes I found the story to be a bit slow and somewhat predictable, but if you can plough through that the story line progresses fairly well.
What I really loved was the fact that as a viewer you can see that this anime came from a game. Its great to watch the characters complain about being put on mission after mission, like you would do to characters you control in a game. And I loved the previews for each episode.
I loved the art for this anime! I honestly kept getting distracted from the plot and obvious violence by just how pretty it was. Don’t get me wrong, the backgrounds at times were a bit iffy, especially compared to the character designs, but when there is blood liberally flying yet I’m still focused on a pretty face I’ll say thats impressive.
I was a fan of the opening and closing themes, they gave the anime a good vibe. As someone who always watches both, regardless of whether I’m binging the anime (as I did) or am watching it episode by episode, these themes were decent.
As for the sound during the anime, the effects were good and the ‘battle’ music was well chosen, adding to the suspense.
As I already said, I am in love with this character design. As for the characters themselves, they were well varied and interesting. As someone who hasn’t played the game (although I really want to now) or watched the other adaption, I didn’t really know what to expect.
The mix of personalties, while at first a bit cliche, grew on me and I loved the inclusion of a range of other characters, rather than just the main 6.
Character development was pretty good too. As I’ve said, at the beginning this anime is rather cliche, with the two characters (Izuminokami and Mutsunokami in this case) who constantly butt heads etc. But as the story progresses so do the characters, and their backstories, while pretty sad, were also interesting to learn as you could see how their ‘owners’ (that will make sense) shaped the characters.
I really enjoyed watching this anime! Although it was a bit predictable at times, I was drawn to the characters and their story and had to keep watching (as seen by the binge that ended at 6am). All of the elements worked well together and by the end I was very wrapped up by the characters and their emotional turmoil.
I really want to play the game now, and will find a way… eventually 🙂
Overall, I really enjoyed this anime. For something I chose to watch offhandedly, it was a surprising success, and I can’t wait for the apparent movie adaption in the future(!). While you should probably know some of the backstory behind the story, especially the mechanics of it, if you want a challenge just do what I did and wing it.