The Hakkenden: Shin Shou

Alt title: The Legend Of The Dog Warriors: The Hakkenden - Shin Shou

OVA (7 eps x 29 min)
1993 - 1995
3.359 out of 5 from 87 votes
Rank #8,290
The Hakkenden: Shin Shou

Continuation of The Legend Of The Dog Warriors: The Hakkenden.

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Oh boy, where to even begin. If you watched the first part and is waiting for more of the same, beware! Ths part feels completely different from the first one. Let's analise everything. To start with, the story. The barebones of the story are still there but the overall tone changed for the worse, the story feels deprived of the charm of the first OVA. Where the first part felt much more solid, standing on its own with a clear goal, this one feels like it is floating aimlessly. The first episode, while being a mix of what the series was and at the same time showing glimpses of what is to come, gets a pass, but by the second episode you can't run from the craziness, and this leads us to the animation. Right off the bat, even in the first episode, you feel like something is off. After a little thought it becomes clear what it is, the character design completely changed (and it will keep on changing), so much, that you can barely recognize most of the cast. The animation on the first few episodes feels very, very experimental (some parts even rotoscoped) especially during the fight scenes (do you remember that naruto x pain fight? Yes, that one...). Around episode 4, the animation gets more usual and they seem to set out on a character design once and for all. Overall, this part keeps much of the same obstacles of the first part, like flashbacks that start and end without the viewer even realise, many different characters and names to sow confusion, new characters and all of this gets even more agravated due to the aforementioned changes. The characters in this part are a shell of their former selfes, not only their design changed but their personality was stripped out and they feel like automatons. The music keeps on giving and the vibe is still there. Nothing to complain. All in all, if you watched the first part the second is a must (fortunately or not), and this is the only reason why I would recommend this OVA.

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