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Hakuouki (薄桜鬼)


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“Shinsen-gumi”, they lived honestly at the end of Edo-era, is one of popular theme of dramas and manga. “Hakuoki” is a game that recreates Shinsen-gumi into otome game adding up some fantasy. “Hakuoki” was released in 2008 as a love-adventure game for women, since then it has been developed into TV animation, theatrical play, musical, and various performing arts. The theatrical play has great castings that Taichi Saotome, prince of saucy glance, as Toshizou Hijikta and Tomoka Kurokawa as Chizuru Yukimura. The new animation will be released in March 2014; the popularity does not seem to be ceased.

The setting is in Kyoto at the end of Edo-era. A main character, Chizuru Yukimura, had lived in Edo. However, she could not reach his father, who was a doctor in Kyoto. She disguised with a man and left for Kyoto. She was involved in the shocking scene and saved from Shinsen-gumi. Since then, she started searching her father with them. Mr. Kazukiyo, who also gets involvement in “Hiiro no Kakera”, is in charge of the characters’ design. His work is somehow sharp, handsome and lonesome. Anyways, the pictures are so beautiful. At the event, we can see the still graphic. All of them are so beautiful and give us a sigh. I wish I could put them into the photo frame. Characters’ facial expression and precise setting allure us into the story. Personally, I like package illustration of “Hakuoki memories of Shinsen-gumi” (PS2.version). I am so moved to imagine that Shinsen-gumi had this kind of calm and peace daily life.

Because Shinsen-gumi is a main character and based on historical facts, the story is tragic. Even in the game, it could not be the happy ending unfortunately such as all they were survived, beat Oni and new administration and Chizuru created harem.

Furthermore, the existence of Rasetsu increases the fragility of the story. When a character take a medicine, Ochimizu that comes from Europe, the person becomes invincible existence, Rasetsu. Under the Rasetsu, a person uses up the life and gains lifelong power. Eventually the person becomes just ash and vanished. That made me so sad when a character became Rasetsu and sacrificed its life and fought. They appealed to my feeling. I was fascinated. Especially I was moved Souji Okita. It was way to cool to save Chizuru and fought alone.
I enjoyed from animation to game. I was desperate and sorry for a couple of days after I saw the ending of the fight between Hijikata of Shinsen-gumi and Chikage Kazama of Oni at the ending of the second series of animation program. But Hijikata in the game had different development; my feeling was saved. If you watched the animated program first, please play the game also.

When I talk about my favorite character, I take the high road. I would say I like Toshizou Hijikata. Shinichiro Miki, voice acted Hijikata, delivers loutish but tenderly (definitely you must enjoy the game with ear buds). Although Hijikata is strict to both others and himself, he is a really vice commander of Shinsen-gumi. He always took his course of actions regard to members; he was kind from bottom of his heart but clumsy. Actually he was weak alcohol insisting that “I do not drink, it’s not I can’t drink”; I love his stubbornness. I really love him. His had concrete personality, so I observe him with peace, but he could show his real feeling more. Some people avoid playing and watching this story because of genre; otome game, but it is shameful. I would like many people read this story and look into their lives twisted the dramatic era but got through their lives to the end.

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