Posted by psgels on 21 October 2006 with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Ooh, that was another great episode. But first: a few names, taken from the official website. I knew that learning Hiragana would come in handy some day.

Akizuki Youjirou: he’s the main character of this story. Has a strong sense of justice, and seems to have some kind of mission to stop some kind of mission, planned by the bad guys which involves supernatural beings.

Yuyama Kakunojou: she’s the main female character. She’s a member of the theatre group. When she was young, the guy from the previous episode killed her father, a wealthy merchant and her mother. She then fled along with either her brother or best friend and the old guy. She appears in this anime in two forms: a normal form, and a performing form, in which she wears a wig. I can imagine that more people would have trouble recognizing her.

Ibaragi Soutetsu, otherwise known as “Sensei”. He’s probably the one who founded the theatre group, and he handles the management, writes the scripts, and seems to be a very talented swordsman as well.

Shiranui Kozou (I could have sworn I heard this name before… must be my imagination): he’s probably one of the main actors in the theatre group. It seems that he takes the lead in their missions as well, due to his large amount of charisma.

Ebisu no Zukin: He either was Yuyama’s brother or best friend when they were young. He used to be very protective of her, what ended in him getting buried under a pile of burning woodblocks. His face was ruined, that’s why he always conceals his face. Because of that, his personality turned from protective to rather scary and to-the-point. His parts mainly are the one of the side-characters or villains.

Kakashi no Keishin: he forms the muscles behind the theatre group. He moves the heavy pieces of theatre equipment across and under the stage, and we saw him even work as a temporary personal elevator for Akazuki in the first episode.

Zagashira: he’s the old man who used to be very close to both Emusu and Yuyama. He took care of them when Yuyama’s parents died, and finally he came in contact with Ibaraza, and the three joined his theatre group, looking for revenge.

Benimaru: he’s the young boy who’s with the theatre group. He, along with who is most probably his sister, takes care of the small jobs who have to be done, as getting visitors into the theatre, handing out pamphlets, playing as extras and handling the small pieces of decor.

Kobako: most probably Benimara’s older sister. Quite cheerful, as well as her younger brother.

Nakaiya Juubei: probably the main bad guy for now. He has some kind of affinity with spirits, and some kind of history with Akizuki.

Hario Genba: he’s the guy with the scarred face who was killed in the previous episode. At one time, he lead some kind of army and killed Yuyama’s parents. When Emusu tried to struggle against him, he made a careless mistake and his face ended up being halfly burned. It seems that he either worked for Nakaiya, who became sick of him and sought a way to kill him, or he was working for someone who got in the way of Nakaiya, thus forcing the latter to kill him.

Kawai Tsuginosuke: I had to think for a while before I found out who this guy is. He was the samurai who was sitting right next to Nakaiya Juubei, wasn’t he?

Kotoha: a newly introduced character this episode. Her role will probably come later in the anime, and she seems to be connected to the person below. Looking at her clothing and way of talking would suggest that she works at some kind of brothel, though I could be wrong in this. The end of the episode also shows that she knows the theatre group.

Katsu Awa-no-kami Kaishuu (Katsu Kaishuu): another newly introduced character, he’s got his own troubles, as he needs a bodyguard around him. Because of this, he’ll probably get involved with Akizuki and the others.

Saigou Kichinosuke Takamori (Saigo Takamori): the sniper who was partially responsible for killing off Hariwa Genba. He’s hired by Nakaiya, and during this episode, we see him attempting to kill Yuyama. This means that Nakaiya has some kind of grudge against the theatre group, which hints at some kind of history between the two parties as well.

Sadly, even more characters were introduced this episode, but the creators didn’t find them important enough to give them a place on the website. Thankfully, their names did appear on the screen as they were introduced. At least. For some of them. -_-

Koma no Shouten-sama: a very old person, probably a master in martial arts. That, or he is very knowledgeable. The fact that Akizuki refers to him with “sama” and not “sensei” makes me suspect the latter. I suspect that Akizuki served under him at some point.

The name of Shouten-sama’s assistant/bodyguard shall forever remain a mystery, though. If I had to guess, it’d be Shinza, though that was just a random word Shouten-sama used when he looked at him. Anyway, Shinza seems to be looking over Shouten-sama. It’s clear that he’s an old man, and quite respected as well. This indeed suggests that he hired some kind of help or bodyguard.

Katsu gets a visitor during this episode. His name also is displayed, but in kanji and katakana combined. He seems to be a foreigner, named H. S. Parkes. He comes to deliver Katsu a bodyguard, as apparently, he’s in danger. Whether this is because of Nakaiya or another person, I don’t really know.

The name of this bodyguard is never known, even though his role in this anime will probably be rather large, as he’s quite skilled. His character also seems interesting, with the one eye missing at all.

Then, during one explanation, another person gets shown: Saigoukichi no Suketakamori. He either sent the bodyguard to Katsu, or he forms some kind of threat. (Yes, I’m watching this anime without understanding any word of the dialogue. Nice, isn’t it? ^^;)

A thing I liked in this episode was the way the bodyguard was introduced. Firstly, H. S. Packs appeared on the screen, and only when the bodyguard appeared, the background music took a turn towards a very serious, suspenseful tune. It’s also a nice touch to see the enemy sniper actually practicing his aim at the sea. This would suggest that one of his future missions involves sniping people from a boat. At least, if he somehow manages to escape from the cliff-hanger. Things looked pretty hopeless when he was surrounded by both Akizuki and the theatre group.

Anyhow, it’s great to see that finally people other than myself are starting to blog about this series. I really began to find things strange when I appeared to be the only one to talk about such a high-quality series for more than a week. Ah well, once the first subs start appearing, I’ll believe that this series will be gaining popularity fast. But still, this series doesn’t deserve to be carried in such low-quality raws. It’s very ironic: the show with the best production values of the season gets to be packaged in the lowest quality video files. (^^;)

15 Responses

  1. aurabolt says:

    >Emusu(?) no Zusan

    Someone corrected this for me on my blog. He’s actually Kakunoju’s servant, not her brother. And the name’s probably Ebisu.

  2. asdfsdfhh says:

    Ibaragi
    Shiranui
    Ebisu no Zukin
    Benimaru
    Juubei
    Hario
    Tsuginosuke
    Kotoha
    Koma
    i think that stuff in front of h.s. parks(?) name means he’s a british minister living in japan, i guess a missionary

  3. w says:

    The names are split up as Katsu Awa-no-kami Kaishuu, and the Awa-no-kami is just a title so you can call him Katsu Kaishuu. And the other one is Saigou Kichinosuke Takamori, aka Saigo Takamori. The british guy is H.S. Parkes Go google all the bolded names up. They’re all real existing characters; you can find entries on them in Wikipedia.

    The place Akizuki went to in this episode was his home town, Koma. The kanji of that name refers to an old Korean kingdom as well, so it’s possible they might have Korean roots. Not like it matters.
    So the Shouten-sama and Other Dude were probably his old masters of the tradition.

    Also, Soutetsu doesn’t necessarily ahve to be the founder of the troupe; he only does the scriptwriting and isn’t the logistical head in the way Zagashira is, or the leader like Kakunojou. But, he is of course the mastermind because using specific plays, he is scripting out certain things to happen.

  4. psgels psgels says:

    Ah, thanks a lot for the corrections. I think I corrected all of them now.

    And true, Soutetsu doesn’t neccesarily have to be the founder of the troupe. The way he talked and acted made me suspect he did.

  5. misterk says:

    I’m so glad you continue to blog this excellent anime, as it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. I made some comments based on what I understood from the episodes (but my Japanese is poor). Hope they are helpful, and sorry for the length of this post.

    Comments on Setting:

    Bakumatsu period. A period of restless transition for Japan, after foreign gunships heralded the beginning of the end of centuries-old isolationist policy. The backdrop of the anime appears to be struggles between the Tokugawa Shogunate and a progressive faction that probably later brings about the Meiji Restoration. I think in the prologue the narrator is saying something like “the last era in which battles were fought with swords : Bakumatsu.”

    Comments on Characters:

    ——======= The Bad Guys =======——

    * Nakaiya Juubee *
    main villain thus far. was thought to have died 10 years ago but reappeared in ep1 trying to auction off suspicious goods (an inadequately sealed demon). what’s the story behind his miraculous resurrection? Appears to be behind most of the nefarious doings thus far in the series, but I still can’t tell who he’s working for.
    * TB Glover *
    White guy w/mustache, plots with Nakaiya Juubee aboard British ship.

    ——======= The Other Guys =======——

    * Prince Arisugawanomiya Taruhito *
    * Saigou Kichinosuke Takamori *
    the Prince plots with Saigou Takamori in ep1. The two appear only briefly in this episode. Saigou appears very briefly in ep3 in a spell of narratorial exposition (during Katsu Kaishuu’s meeting with the British diplomat).
    The family of Arisugawa-no-miya was a cadet branch of the Imperial Family. Taruhito was head of the Arisugawa-no-miya line from 1886 – 1895.
    * Sakamoto Ryouma *
    His assassination was shown at the end of ep1. Apparently in large part responsible for Japan’s beginnings of a modern navy, among other great accomplishments. An important man who probably had many conflicts with the Shogunate. In RL, they never knew exactly who killed him. He died in 1867.
    Akizuki was his bodyguard but failed to protect him and is devastated about it.
    They seem to have had a personal relationship. In Akizuki’s first appearance in ep1 he thinks sadly of something Sakamoto Ryouma said, and calls him “Ryouma-san”. It seems like Ryouma has already died by this point in the story and the assassination scene at the end is just a flashback.
    * Akizuki Youjiro *
    (our hero)
    First the bad guys investigate him and call him a hero (I think they said he performed a national service), then the theater troupe sensei says he’s a criminal. This makes sense if he was the bodyguard who failed to protect Sakamoto Ryouma — the Shogunate would want Sakamoto dead, and the progressives would want to protect him because of his work for the modernization of Japan.
    Akizuki seems to be eating his heart out over his failure. Never smiles and occasionally has painful memories of things Ryouma said to him.
    * Katsu Awanokami Kaishuu *
    Likes music and sake, seen briefly in ep1, and again in ep3. Not sure yet what his role is in the anime.
    * HS Parks *
    Scary looking guy with terrible accent. The kanji says he is a British diplomat (does that mean the bad guy’s British friend is non-official?). Parks provides Katsu Kaishuu with a young, sharp-looking bodyguard (a sort of Western counterpart to Akizuki).

    * “Sensei” from the theater troupe *
    It seems that “sensei” from the theater troupe (or someone who looks very much like him) is one of the progressives working to modernize Japan. At the beginning of ep1, dressed in Western clothes, he defeats two Shogunate soldiers to get the “secret message” from the Shogun (Yoshinobu) that they’re carrying. One soldier recognizes him and calls him “Ryuuho”. The narrator says something like, “… if the message is not passed on, Edo will become a battleground … ”
    At the end of the machine-gun slaughter scene in ep2, “sensei” tells the police not to stop Akizuki and says something about “for a new Japan.” If “sensei” and “Ryuuho” are indeed the same person, he plays a very deep game, messing around with politics with the theater troupe as his cover identity.

  6. Luna Buzz says:

    Thanks your doing a great job!

  7. LadyKnight says:

    great job on the names!!! *thumbs up*

    well finally you’re not the only one blogging this series! :D and yea have to agree that such an awesome anime shouldn’t be in such low quality RAW… not too bad, still watchable though…

    and yay! they’ve changed the ending credits! this time not just words but pictures too! ^^ the cliff hanger was awesome… makes you want to grab the next ep and see what happens to that sniper…

    based on ep2 and ep3, there might be some sparks (hopefully) between Yajiro and Kakunojo… ^^ i mean, during the OP credit we saw her in tears and him with this shocked expression… let’s have a bit of romance shall we? =D

  8. asdfdfh says:

    woops, i was thinking of the wrong kind of minister

  9. impz says:

    RAWR, ps, u can read raws!!!!

    I wish i can so that i can watch this show and follow it. Now, the motivation to learn japanese is just greater now…Sigh, someone sub this….chinese, english, whatever =3

  10. bobloblaw says:

    anikimeiski has very kindly provided a script for the first ep on his blog: http://anikimeiski.blogspot.com/

  11. LadyKnight says:

    hey hey hey!!! go grab the first ep subbed by Pino-no-Usagi & Shinsen Subs!!! i’m downloading now to see how well they did the job… PnU is a new group which also joined with Ureshii (who’s doing Ghost Hunt) on Pumpkin Scissors… so what are you waiting for? go grab the torrent!!! =D

  12. psgels psgels says:

    Yes, I’ve seen it. And I’m beginning to love this series more and more. A few things also were cleared up:

    – Yuyama is the leader of the troupe. It therefore isn’t strange that the troupe is called the Kakunojou Yuyama Troupe.
    – Zagashira is the manager of the troupe
    – Ibaragi is the scriptwriter and mastermind behind the troupe. He is the one who suggested the troupe to go to Yokohama, and he definitely has a mysterious past.

    Still, it makes me wonder who founded the troupe in the first place. Did Emisu, Yuyama and Zagashira found the troupe themselves, and the others joined in, or did the three of them join an existing troupe, and became the leader and manager over time?

    Also, Hario Genba didn’t get his scars because his face was pushed into the fire after he killed Yuyama’s parents, like I first thought. The scars appeared during his first fight with Akizuki, in which a piece of burning wood dropped on top of him.

    Kawai Tsuginosuke appears to be some kind of important policeman or government official. In the end, it turned out that Hario Genba just used him. One thing I missed is that during the second episode, they were actually trying to move the gattling guns he just bought.

  13. LadyKnight says:

    well the video quality was about the same as the RAW and Shinsen DID mention they’ll try to grab a DVD quality one… =D oh? which part was it on the fire and the scar? i seemed to have missed it…

    no wonder i kept hearing Kakunojou Yuyama so many times… and that the manager called her (through my poor knowledge of Japanese) something like leader… thanks for the notes…

    gosh i love the music!!! and Yojiro’s eyes when it turned blue… i especially love the BGM during the scene his eyes turned blue when sensing the youkai (or whatever that thing is)…

    really different style of anime plot… =D

  14. psgels psgels says:

    Well, the scene is never shown directly, but we do see Hario Genba without scars during the first episode and with scars during the second episode. That has to say something, doesn’t it? ;)

  15. LadyKnight says:

    yea i went back and watched it… yup… you’re right…

    hm… for now i think i’ll just get whoever group sub it fast, since KissSub is also working on it but h264 version (don’t really fancy that version)… KissSub has better translation and extra notes too but Shinsen DID admit that they’re not likely to put extra notes till they get better RAW qualities…

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    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 05:54 AM)
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    Oh right it’s Halloween….I completely forgot.
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    @Bam And Happy Halloween to you as well.
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    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 03:42 AM)
    @Emma Wish I could tell you more.
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