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.
If you like a good historical tale which involves the supernatural, then both Bakumatsu and Hakuouki are great choices. They are set in the same time period, and both tell alternate versions of history which involve the presence of supernatural forces in one form or another, with plenty of swordplay to delight.
In an ancient and mythological land called Saiunkoku, the people have begun to recover from a period of war and famine; thus, when an official from the imperial court offers the impoverished and beautiful Shuurei more money than she could ever dream of in return for a favor, she jumps at the chance. What she doesn’t count on, however, is being asked to become a concubine to the recluse Emperor and help him transform into a better leader. What’s more, the Emperor shows little intelligence, seems to have no interest in ruling, and is rumored to prefer men. One thing’s for certain: Shuurei has her work cut out for her!
Both Hakuouki and Saiunkoku are stories about strong female characters who are surrounded by various male characters who are historical figures. They take place in two totally different time periods, but both protagonists similarly encourage and assist the characters around them. Saiunkoku is lighter and has more romance, but I think Hakuouki fans would enjoy it nonetheless.