Zoku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru

Alt title: Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru 2

TV (12 eps)
3.746 out of 5 from 605 votes
Rank #2,382
Zoku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru

Second season of Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru.

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January - I Must Become Stronger

Episode 1

January - I Must Become Stronger

February - I Wish Tomorrow Will Be a Good Day, Too

Episode 2

February - I Wish Tomorrow Will Be a Good Day, Too

March - I Will Not Lose!

Episode 3

March - I Will Not Lose!

April - Because You're Our Comrade in This Citadel

Episode 4

April - Because You're Our Comrade in This Citadel

May - What I Can Do Because I'm Me

Episode 5

May - What I Can Do Because I'm Me

June - We're Counting on You from Now On, Too

Episode 6

June - We're Counting on You from Now On, Too

July - Now, It's Do-Or-Die

Episode 7

July - Now, It's Do-Or-Die

August - So Let's Keep This a Secret, Okay?

Episode 8

August - So Let's Keep This a Secret, Okay?

September - Sometimes It's Nice...

Episode 9

September - Sometimes It's Nice...

October - See, It's Fine, Right?

Episode 10

October - See, It's Fine, Right?

November - I'm Counting on You

Episode 11

November - I'm Counting on You

December - Stories of Hanamaru Days

Episode 12

December - Stories of Hanamaru Days

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Reviews

krofire
7

Four years prior to launch of video game “Azur Lane” the extremely similar “Kantai Collection” was released by DMM Games. Both had female moe anthropomorphic characters based upon World War II era battleships. A couple of years later DMM Games released the free-to-play game “Touken Ranbu” ("Wild Dance of Swords"), a copy of the “Kantai Collection”, featuring a large number of bishonen – attractive young men and boys – anthropmorphed from famous swords out of Japanese history. In 2016 & 2018 studio Doga Kobo released this anime version of the game. As is typical of the game-to-anime conversion the result is lacklustre and largely reliant upon proven formulas and a pre-formed audience ported over from the gaming world. The plot is almost non-existent with the pretty boys all based in a ”Citadel” in rural Japan sometime 200 years from now. Although touted as science fiction the genre is mostly just fantasy. The swords magically appear from nowhere and get transformed into young men through magical power. The citadel has a magical cherry tree that seems to blossom every few months whilst it grounds are stalked by talking foxes. Oh, yeah, there is a time machine in the Citadel that allows small groups of the swords to go back in time to do battle with the "historical retrograde army" whose mission is obscure… But it is alleged that they are trying to mess with Japanese history. The brief forays into the past (to demonstrate a bit for sword play) form very little of the content of the show. The assumed audience for this would be young men fascinated by swords, Japanese history and shogunate civil wars. If you roll up expecting a lot of manly action you will be disappointed for most of the focus is upon the interaction between the lads whilst in the citadel. They spend their time engaged in vaguely homoerotic activities, drinking tea and being very, very, nice to each other. The appeal of all this is probably pretty lost to most of us. Indeed, few outside Japan will understand the cultural and historical context. It is, at the best of times, a slice of life featuring young men who paint their nails and worry about whether they look cute or not. If it’s OK for the girls… Despite an all-male cast many characters are designed with highly feminine characteristics making it a curious show for anyone not familiar with this obscure sub-genre. Relationships between the characters are all quite “normal” and the show is very family friendly - if a little eccentric. It tries very hard to funny but the humour is genteel rather than rib-tickling. Season Two comes out looking much as Season One did so there is little point posting separate reviews. The second season teases out a few extra details that season one lacked and expanded the universe to include visits to the mythical “general store” and supplies a few extra details about the operation of the time machine. The only thing resembling a long-running plot device is way the swords are unable to separate their own personal loyalties from events they see during their travels back in time. Their mission is purely to “protect history” but it gets no more profound than that. Their nemesis is portrayed as a gang of monochrome trolls who seem to have no purpose other than to be all too easily defeated in battle. Like most such video-game induced shows the enemy is purely there to be cut to pieces and have no other motivations for the audience to be concerned with. They are cardboard cut-outs. As such this show is basically pretty boring. Unless this genre is really your thing then there are few if any takeaways for the general audience. It proved itself to be so terribly, terribly dull despite the many openings in the story into which something interesting could have been inserted.

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