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Kaze Hikaru

Kaze Hikaru (translated as Shining Wind or Flash of Wind) is a shoujo manga by Taeko Watanabe, which started publishing in 1997 and still not finished till now(stuck at volume 12...or is it 13?), by Shogakukan Inc.

      

Kaze Hikaru is just another story version of Shinsengumi, with a fiction character as the main character, Seizaburo Kamiya(always called Sei, by Shinsen members). She is actually a 15 years old girl, whose family has been killed by choushuu samurai, and so she is determined to become a Shinsengumi member, to become a samurai and to forget that she is a girl, she wants to be a man.

The other main character next to Sei is Okita Souji, Shinsengumi's 1st regime captain. Okita is assigned by Hijikata to watch out for Sei and to become her sensei. Gradually Sei grow feelings for Okita, but one night....Okita accidentally find out about Sei's true identity that she is a female.
 

Isami Kondou in the manga is a very yasashii man, but is respected by the Shinsengumi members. He left his wife, Tsune and a daughter in Edo. In Kyoto, he meets a geisha named Komano and fell in love with her. Komano is a very gentle and soft woman. However, she actually has a poor lover, and she is willing to build a relationship with Isami, only to get his money, for her other lover. Sei was really upset with Komano and tells Isami about this, but Isami just smile and said that he already know. However, Isami feels happy and really comfortable around Komano, that's the only thing matters, coz Isami needs Komano by his side for now.

Sei's first impression on Hijikata, he is such a mean and viscious person. When Sei did a mistake, it was Okita who got a punch from Hijikata, coz he thinks Okita didn't watch out for Sei. Sei really hate his rude manners. But, as time goes by, Sei get to see the real Hijikata. He is actually also a good and nice man. But to make Shinsengumi as the most respected troops and since Isami is a kind-hearted person, he feels he needs to change and become a cold-hearted person for the sake of Shinsengumi. One funny thing, Hijikata secretly loves writing poems, and he was really embarrased when Sei found his poem book^^;

Yamanami is one of Sei's most favorite Shinsengumi member, because he is a very, very gentle and nice man. Yamanami's lover in this manga is also named Akesato, a geisha, and she knows Sei's secret. Akesato has always been the one who helps Sei with girl problems(e.g: monthly period^^;). And later, Yamanami also found out Sei's secret from Akesato. Sadly......Yamanami and Akesato's love story ends tragically....='(

Saitou Hajime in this manga is zenzen chigau with the one in NHK's Shinsengumi and/or Rurouni Kenshin!!^^ Such a different characteristic...he also has no expressions most of the time......but, more of the 'blur' type x) And I cannot associate the word kakkoi to this version of Saitou(unlike in NHK's or RK)...hehe, coz he is just plain weird and sometimes silly ^-^
 

The manga is packed with funny humors, makes it really entertaining, and good drawings too. Really fun to read it^^ One thing I hate though from this manga....I dislike the yaoi elements!!>.< (pls no offense to yaoi fans x))
 

Peacemaker Kurogane

An anime adaptation of Shinsengumi. The main character is Tetsu, a 15 years old boy, who insist to join Shinsengumi, coz his father was killed by Choshuu samurai.
However, Hijikata, of course, rejected him, coz he is such a small-sized boy. But Okita tries to persuade him, and later Tetsu is accepted as Hijikata's attendant.

The anime consists of 24 episodes, each 20 minutes. And the storyline expand around after Serizawa is killed to Ikedaya Affair only. So its a happy ending ^_^ But its kind of a mix up, too. Since Okita-tachi have already refer themselves as "1st regime captain", "10th regime captain", even before the Ikedaya Affair^^
 

Takes me awhile to adapt with this anime. The themesongs are these hard-rock songs, that doesnt sound like songs at all to my ears, just a bunch of loud noises. But I get to used to it around the 11th-12th ep or so =P I was expecting they will use Yellow Monkey or Laruku songs, but I was wrong x)
Also hard for me to adapt with the different appearances of the characters! I was dissapointed that Isami Kondou looked like in his mid-50s. Hijikata is described good-looking, but antagonist good-looks(if u know what i mean^^). Okita is described really female-ish(pic on the right). Saitou looked like a zombie(haha!). Nagakura is small-sized. But after awhile, I was able to get used to it, and just enjoy the anime^^

The most hillarious part in this anime, must be the episode where Okita steal Hijikata's haiku poetry book!! LOL!!^o^ Hijikata is raged and flared up like a monster! haha! Okita hands over the book to Tetsu, so Hijikata looking really scary chase around Tetsu. Then, Tetsu give the book to Nagakura and Harada, they were laughing at the poetries when they read it, and they dont know it is Hijikata's. They were laughing out loud, while Hijikata with flames surrounds him, is standing right behind them....LOL!!! Nagakura and Harada end up being chased around the Mibu Village, by Hijikata....haha....hillarious!^.^

There are almost no romance in this adaptation. There are only Akesato, Yamanami's lover, described as the queen of geisha, stunningly beautiful and elegant. And Saya, a mute girl worked at Akesato's geisha house as servant, Tetsu's love interest.
Shinsengumi's main enemy here is not Katsura Kogoro. But a man named Yoshida, from the Choshuu clan. Sakamoto Ryouma also appear in this anime, characteristics almost the same with the NHK version^^
The overall production of this anime, is just so-so to me. Its enjoyable, but not really that impressive(or maybe I am still not really an anime fan x)).

 

Gohatto [Taboo]

A 2000 production movie, directed by Nagisa Oshima. Based on "Maegami no Sozaburo" and "Sanjogawara Ranjin" from Shinsengumi Keppuroku by Ryotaro Shiba. Starring Beat Takeshi(as Hijikata), Ryuhei Matsuda(as Sozaburo Kano), Takeda Shinji(as Okita), and Yoichi Sai(as Kondou).
Sets in 1865, right after Shinsengumi moves to the Nishi Honganji temple....I'm really dissapointed with this movie. Definitely not my cup of tea!>_< I've actually heard of the homosexual contents in the movie, that's why I know that I will dislike this movie from the first place, coz I can also already imagine that the atmosphere would be dark. But a friend of mine, says it has great fighting scenes and technique. So I thought, I'll give it a try.
 

I thought, this is a -Shinsengumi conflicts with Choshu- story, with homosexual matters as the side story. Turns out this movie is actually mainly about the homosexual daily lifes in Shinsengumi, with -Shinsengumi conflicts with Choshu- as the SIDE story!!! I felt violated! All the movie talks about, is how everyone really takes notice this new member...a beautiful boy named Kano Sozaburo...and how Shinsengumi members attracted to him and courting him. Kondou and Hijikata are interested in Sozaburo's swordskill....while Takeda Kanryuusai interested sexually to him. Another Shinsengumi member, was rumoured to be Sozaburo's lover. While another member, is jealous and forced Sozaburo to commit adultery with him, yes...!! Man-to-man adultery! I feel sick!!-_-
Then, Hijikata ask Yamazaki Susumu's help to guide Sozaburo to recognize woman. So Yamazaki try to take him to Shimabara, the geisha district. But, in Shimabara, Sozaburo do not do anything with the geisha, and just go back to the temple(yappari...gay da!~_~).
Hijikata told Sozaburo to kill his lover, Tashiro. And Sozaburo did just that, without mercy. In the end, Hijikata realized that Sozaburo is an evil person.....and also realized that the person Sozaburo falls in love with, is actually Okita. The ending is....Okita kills Sozaburo.........
 

Kondou and Hijikata are in their 30s!! Why do they have 50s yrs old men to act as them?? I dont like Beat Takeshi!>_< Not his acting nor his movies productions(well, an exception for Battle Royale^^;).....to think of it, althou Gohatto is not a Takeshi Beat's movie...but the dark atmosphere, and the plain plot, is really similar with Takeshi's style! The dark atmosphere in this movie, is just like any other samurai movies I've seen....I dont like it!! Too dark.....and plain.... The fighting scenes....yes, are not bad... enjoyed them.

 

And gladly, I announce Okita Souji character in this movie is likeable, lovable!!^^ I like him....Takeda Shinji turns out not bad as Okita! He can pull off Okita very well.....
I also like Inoue Genzaburo in this movie ^_^ Fits in very well!!

I despise Kano Sozaburo!!! Ekhhh....!! Such a disgusting boy!! Dislike, dislike him!! It is said, he is beautiful.....from which angle?!?!? He is not beautiful nor handsome at all!!~_~

Actually, the most thing I'm dissapointed at with this movie is how this movie is actually mainly about the homosexual daily lifes in Shinsengumi, with -Shinsengumi conflicts with Choshu- as the SIDE story....and not the other way around! I can may still put up with it....if it doesnt talk mainly about the homosexual matters....
Surprisingly, it won a Cannes Film Festival award....? Shinjiranaaaaai.....!!
 

Rurouni Kenshin

A popular manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki, translated as [Kenshin, The Wanderer], but more well-known here as Samurai X. Published in 1994 or so by SHUEISHA Inc.

The story actually sets, few years later after the Meiji Restoration, in 1870s. The main character is Himura Kenshin. He is a cheerful wanderer. But later readers get to know more of his dark past as the viscious hitokiri battousai(#1 slayer), from flashbacks.

 

In 13-14 years of age, he has become one of the choushuu samurai, with Kogoro Katsura as the leader of his group. Being a choushuu samurai, of course he has experienced lots of encounters with Shinsengumi as his enemy(yes, Shinsen is the antagonist here!^_~). He has fought Okita Souji, Saitou Hajime and other Shinsengumi's captains. Ever since the Ikeda-ya Jihen, Katsura told Kenshin to isolate himself in a far village and he better get married with the woman he loved, Tomoe, who is 3 years older than Kenshin...for not raising suspicion from Shinsengumi. Kenshin and Tomoe lived happily together, until one day, she died because of an incident. After Meiji Restoration successfully defeated Shinsengumi, Kenshin decided not to be a slayer anymore and become a wanderer....and this is where the story starts...^-^

 

The only ex-Shinsengumi member who has a big role in this manga, is Saitou Hajime. He has become a policeman, ever since Shinsengumi vanished. And he is Kenshin's rival, but also a friend^^ A complicated relationship =P

Rurouni Kenshin was a very popular manga, because of its strong-built characters and a very well-written and interesting plot story. Makes the manga got so many fans. And the animation was produced too. Most memorable stuff for me, from Rurouni Kenshin anime are the soundtrack themesongs!! Cool!^^d
 

Shura no Toki

Shura no Toki is a 14-volumes shonen manga, which has also been adapted to an animation series. In Indonesia, the manga released by Elex, with the title Samurai.

Shura no Toki is a story about Mutsu-Enmei Ryu, a deadly bare-hand martial arts style owned by the Mutsu family, which is told has never been beaten for thousand years and has been inherited to each generation.

There are 5 Mutsu generations in 3 periods in the story: Yoshitsune period, Musashi period and in the end of Tokugawa-era period. Shinsengumi appears in that last period (for only 2 volumes). Shinsengumi is neither good or bad here, just different view with the Mutsu-s, coz the Mutsu-s are friends with Sakamoto Ryouma, so they have to confront Shinsengumi from time to time. Hijikata and Okita are the only Shinsengumi members which constantly appears in this manga. They appears in episode 17-25 in the anime series, they fights Izumi Mutsu, simply only to know which is stronger between them, not for any political reason whatsoever.

~thanks to Chris~

Chuusingura 1/47

The Chuusingura incident was actually about 160 years before the Shinsengumi era. However, the incident pretty much reminds a lot of people with Shinsengumi, coz it has much similarity.

Just like Shinsengumi, there has been a lot of Chuusingura adaptation made to dramas, movies and theatrical stage-play(kabuki). But the only Chuusingura adaptation I've seen was only Chuusingura 1/47 with Takuya Kimura as the leading role. It was a 3-episodes FujiTV drama special in 2001. Starring all-star casts: Takuya Kimura, Eri Fukatsu, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Koichi Sato, Takako Matsu, Junichi Okada(V6), Satoshi Tsumabuki, Yasuko Matsuyuki, and many more.

However, I would've really drop this serial by episode 1, if not because of Kimura and Takako Matsu x) I dont know what happened, but I was not interested at all. The special made so heavy-handed with no humor at all, there are no characters development(I guess, due to the 3-eps span), the story is a bit hard to follow.....and just....uninteresting x) (sumimasen!) The acting of the stars are really good, too bad it was not supported with a good script...

 
 

Toshiie to Matsu

No relation at all with Shinsengumi, actually....except the fact that the serial have Tokugawa Ieyasu character appeared, the historical figure, who built the Tokugawa bakufu which lasted for hundred of years, and Tokugawa bakufu is what Shinsengumi defends for.

Actually, I just wanted to compare this serial with Shinsengumi, being an NHK 2002 Taiga Drama^^ Turns out, 'Toshiie to Matsu' is really not bad at all. I've only seen half of the series, though(24 eps), but I think it is enough to get to know what the serial is like, coz I dont see there'll be more development and changes, after seeing those 24 eps were all done in the same way, same plot method, same humors, and the story also not develope enough...altho Toshiie's position in the army keeps getting higher by the episode, but that's it...

This taiga drama starred by Toshiaki Karasawa, Nanako Matsushima, Takashi Sorimachi, Yutaka Takenouchi, Noriko Sakai, Misato Tanaka, Hideaki Ito, and many more! Such an all-star casts.....if only this is a modern drama, I would have a full-interest in this one! ;P The overall story is an average good. But, I keep skipping the war parts and scenes. And even thou I watched this in subs that I can understand, I still cannot follow the story very well, esp. the dialogues about war, Toshiie's career position and some more political stuff. Hard for me to follow, maybe because I'm not interested enough...I dunno....

However it was done with humor here and there(not as many humor as Shinsengumi, still^^), so I can still enjoy the drama quite well. Althou the humor is sometimes a bit weird and too old x) Its not the 'trendy-drama humors', like Shinsengumi has^^;
I really love Matsushima's acting in this drama...I love her character, Matsu! Such an interesting character!!^_^
 

The story is about Toshiie Maeda(Karasawa) who dedicates himself and work for Oda Nobunaga(Sorimachi). Then, Toshiie later betrothed to Matsu(Matsushima), a really good and supportive wife. Matsu keeps supporting and have a big role in Toshiie's career. Yutaka Takenouchi acted as Toshiie's younger brother, but have such a short role in the drama, he died in the 15th episode^^; Mostly tells about Toshiie's career, Toshiie's close friendship with 2 other generals, Hideyoshi and Kuranosuke. Matsu also become bestfriends with One(Hideyoshi's wife, acted by Noriko Sakai) and Haru(Kuranosuke's wife). Also, Toshiie and Matsu's relationship with their master, Oda Nobunaga.

Some episodes have really interesting plots, but as an overall production, I'd say its an average good. The all-star casts quite save 'em, and I was taken the most with Matsu's character^^