It is the era of Bakumatsu – the last years of the shogunate. In the general turmoil caused by warring groups with different political interests, a curious theatrical group known as the Yuyama Troupe is set out for revenge. They come across a mysterious young swordsman, Akizuki Youjirou, who seems to be burdened with a dark past. Thrown around by currents of history, powerful people from different factions and personal relations, Akizuki tries to fulfill his mission to destroy an ancient, cursed relic, the Lord’s Head, which has caused chaos and bloodshed for thousands of years.
Samurai Champloo is all about style, from the dj-style scratching scene changes to the hip-hop-inspired soundtrack to the eclectic character design. Mugen's fighting style is a funky meld of capoeira and limb-cutting, and Jin is the dramatic foil; he is all steel and old-school samurai style. What binds them together is the desire to test each other's abilities, and a promise to a girl named Fuu: to find the samurai that smells of sunflowers, who plays a pivotal role in her past. Together they travel through edo-era Japan, finding battle and comedy wherever they stop.
Samurai Champloo has more humor than Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto, but viewers will find striking similarities between the personalities of Youjirou and Jin. I strongly recommend Samurai Champloo to any Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto fan who is looking for another samurai anime and won't mind Samurai Champloo's lighter theme.
Although Samurai Champloo isn't as serious as Bakumatsu, something made those two shows feel alike. It must be a gut feel, since the only thing they certainly share is the fact that those are samurai shows, other then that, that take place in different eras and have completely different style. Still I dare to say that you might like one if you liked the other.
P.S. Samurai Champloo does get serious at times.
In Japan, legends tell of a strong clan of warriors who fought unarmed and walked the path of the undefeated. Since the Heian period, this clan known as the Shura helped shape and form history as we know it with the help of their legendary Mutsu Enmei-Ryuu style. Watch history unfold in this epic tale as the Shura and their ancestors witness the days of the swordfighter Musashi, fight with the one-eyed Jubei Yagyu and help influence the fall of the Shogunate and Shinsengumi; and most importantly, touch the hearts and minds of everyone they meet…
Can an anime strongly focused on the last phase of the Bakumatsu be a great show, enjoyable by all the people out there quite far from being history geeks?
Well, these shows surely prove that...
Well, watching the history parts of Bakumatsu i always have that creepy feeling, wait didnt i watch this already? But no, i didnt. The final episodes of Shura are telling a story about the same period in Japans history as Bakumatsu, even telling about some of the same historical figures in a differnet way. This suits both of this anime well. By the way, for me, Shura is the better one, beacuse its a bit more to the point. Bakumatsu has less sense of purpose so i lost the meaning of the plot on few occasions.
Hitomi was just a normal high school girl, until she was taken by the mysterious Van Fanel and dropped into a world of romance, magic and giant sword-wielding armor suits! Now Van, pilot of the famed armor suit Escaflowne; and Hitomi, whose hobby of predicting the future just became a frightening reality, must work together and fight the advanced technology of Zaibach: a force who want to shape Gaea to their visions of "peace". Follow Hitomi in her struggles against both these forces who seek to conquer this world, and her own confused heart.
Escaflowne isn't quite as dark as Bakumatsu, but it does have that same mysterious feeling to it. The plot has a few similarities as well: one is forced to choose between love and a mission that must be completed. Escaflowne might be a bit more romantic than Bakumatsu, but if you don't mind that you should definitely like it.
In the wake of a rebellion that shook Japan twenty years prior, Togame Hida, general director and strategist for the army, seeks to obtain the 12 "deviant blades" created by master swordsmith Shikizaki Kiki to help add stability and security to the Bakufu government. To aid in this endeavor, she looks to enlist the help of Yasuri Mutsune, head of the Kyotou-ryu school and hero of the rebellion. But when she arrives on the island where he lives in exile, she finds him dead, succeeded by his skilled yet slightly daft son Shichika. Undeterred, the two set off from the island in search of the swords armed only with Togami's sharp strategic mind and Shichika's powerful, swordless Kyotou-ryu.
Both series share the feeling of an epic journey, mixing adventure and action-packed fights with the search for supernatural artifacts and some more thought-provoking moment. They also have some historical references and a lot of different characters, some of whom, especially the main protagonists, do have a good amount of development. Oh, and they both have lots of dialogues (but most of them manage to be rather interesting).
Katanagatari is a bit more lighthearted and is generally easier to follow, but I'm fairly confident that fans of one won't be disappointed by the other.
The Sovereign’s Seal is a powerful yet dangerous weapon, protected and passed down through generations in the Riku house. Now that it has been stolen and used in a battle between the Kingdoms of Go and Gi, no one can rest without fear of a war. And so, the last descendant of Riku family, Rikuson Hakugen – chosen by the Seal to be the Crimson Warrior – abandons his beloved master Koumei to become a servant of Go. However, the situation becomes complicated when the Seal is stolen again, leaving Rikuson confused and uncertain about the path he is to follow. But in a war there is no time for hesitation. Will Rikuson be able to create his own destiny and, more importantly, stop the Seal’s power before it’s too late?
Both series are about an artifact which grants power to its user, however, the same power might corrupt its user. The main characters both wield swords to safeguard the peace in the world. Also, a question in both series is, who can be trusted?