Hakuouki 2

Hakuouki 2 (hekketsu-roku)

In 2008, Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan was released as a new generation of otomegame (simulation love games for girls) for PlayStation 2. The illustrations of characters was done by Kazuki Yone. Even though the game was yet to be released, a 15-page artbook was first produced by Dengeki called “Girl’s Style.” The series is part historical part fiction. Most of the characters are true Shinsengumi persons depicting their stations during the historical and political period (Kondou Isami, Hijikata Toshizou, Inoue Genzaburou, Okita Souji, Nagakura Shinpachi, Saitou Hajime, Harada Sanosuke, Todou Heisuke, Yamanami Keisuke and Yamazaki Susumu).

Second season of Hakuouki begins on October 3, 2010. The protagonist, Yukimura Chizuru, is the daughter of a doctor who works in Edo. The father leaves Edo to work as a volunteer doctor and moves to Kyoto without his daughter. As time passes by, Chizuru starts worrying about losing contact with her father, so she decides to go to Kyoto in search of him. On the way, Chizuru is attacked by few criminals and witnesses a fight between an oni and the Shinsengumi. Taking her into custody and saving her, the Shinsengumi debate on what to do with Chizuru when they discover that she is the daughter of the doctor they are also looking for. So they decide to become Chizuru’s protectors and help her look for her father(the doctor). Lots of events happen while she stays with the Shinsengumi, as they discover mysterious secrets and also fight against the Bakumatsu group. The story is overall romantic with a historical and political background.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. Maikaze by Yoshioka Aika
2. Akane Sora ni Negau by Mao

In the aftermath, the Shinsengumi bury the dead before departing by ship for Osaka Castle in Edo, where the Shogun is. Hijikata cannot believe he sacrificed a subordinate for his survival. He knew from the start that Kazama didn’t kill Inoue. If he did, Chizuru would have drawn her sword against him. He was just furious, and had to take it out and blame someone for the deed. The Rasetsu unit was obliterated in one night with silver bullets. They no longer have provisions, man power or ammunition. They have been abandoned and left to die. They will take the fight to a reinforced Edo. En route, Yamazaki passes his notebook to Chizuru. She will have to care and treat the men’s injuries from now on. Yamazaki succumbs to his wounds and is buried at sea. In the end, only Saitou, Shinpachi and Harada are the only human standing. Did the Shinsengumi die for the Bakufu in vain? What’s more, there will be more troops and more fighting waiting for them in Edo.

October 3, 2010 | ep. 0: Memories in Kyoto

Recap of where the last season left off.

October 10, 2010 | ep. 1: On Opposite Ends of the Sword-Fought Battle

The Shinsengumi, leaving Kyoto for greener pastures, establishes a new headquarters in Edo. In Kondou’s absence, Hijikata takes over the leadership of the Shinsengumi men. He, however, works himself weary, thus causing great concern to Chizuru and his ranking men. Even more startling is Hijikata controlling his urge to feed, further weakening his current state.

Hijikata westernized

Hijikata westernized

Soon, Kondou returns, much to the relief of many. The Shinsengumi is renamed Kouyou Chinbutai, acting under the orders of the emperor. Kouyou Chinbutai is a military unit formed in the Kai Province in 1868, led by Kondo Isami (aka Okubo Tsuyoshi). They will defend the Kofu Castle from pro-imperialist factions.

Unfortunately, the captains are not too pleased with the Tokugawa Shogunate, as he appears to be yielding to the Imperial faction. Aside from that, Nagakura Shinpachi is not only distressed by Kondou’s daimyo (大名) aspirations, but highly suspicious and distrustful of their leader’s plans. The loyalty of the members will soon be questioned as Kondou pushes for more power.

A daimyo is a powerful territorial lord. At one point in pre-modern Japan (from 10th century to middle 19th century), the daimyos were the most powerful feudal rulers following the Shogun. (The Sengoku period had the most prominent daimyos and internal fightings of Japan’s history: Sengoku Basara)

October 11, 2010 | ep. 2: The Hallway of Setbacks

Okita’s condition worsens, forcing Hijikata to leave him in Edo. Meanwhile, Kondou, Chizuru and Saito set up camp in Hino (Hijikata’s hometown).

The rest of the men move onward, preparing for their battle against the Imperial forces at Kofu Castle. Shinpachi’s distrust of Kondo slowly manifests itself as he questions not only the leadership of the unit, but their chances of winning the upcoming battle. Hijikata merely replies that in their current state, they are no match against the enemy.

Later that night in Hino, Chizuru, waking from a nightmare, follows Saito outside the camp. He permits her company and soon tells her his past. Their conversation is cut short when a messenger approaches them with news that the enemy has entered Kofu Castle. They react immediately, passing the message on to Kondou as they rush to their unit’s aid.

Kondou refuses to let the army retreat as the Imperial Troops besiege Kofu Castle. Hijikata is forced to seek reinforcements for his men. Before he leaves, he forms a pact with Chizuru. She is to stay alive and protect Kondou. In Hijikata’s absence, Kondou withdraws from the battle after seeing his men die.

Withdrawing from Kofu Castle in defeat, Shinpachi and Harada are stopped by Shiranui Kyou, Kazama Hikage’s minion, and a strange group of Rasetsu. Cornered, they are told that the Rasetsu is created by Chizuru’s father, Koudou.

Elsewhere, Kaoru is seen chatting up a strange man.

October 18, 2010 | ep. 3: Distant Shadow

Harada and Shinpachi continue their losing battle against the voluminous group of Rasetsu. Seeing no way out, Shiranui uses his last bullet to blow up a cart of explosives, thus creating an opening that even his arch-nemesis, Harada, escapes.

Kondou and Chizuru escape into the forest, but are confronted by Nagumo Kaoru. Kaoru jogs Chizuru’s memory of a sibling, but she doesn’t seem to remember. In his hatred of being separated from his own twin, and being forgotten, he vows to make Chizuru feel his pain too. Kaoru offers to take her with him, but she refuses and draws her short sword against him. Unprepared for the reaction, she is almost killed by him until Okita comes to her rescue. Unable to defeat Kaoru, Kazama suddenly appears. Before Kaoru is killed by Kazama, he reveals that everything he has done was for the love of his twin and to meet her again. The siblings each have a long and short sword, of which are yukimura clan’s heirloom.

After the rousing defeat at Kofu Castle, the Shinsengumi moves into residences at Hatamoto. Soon, Hijikata returns to Edo with new troops. However, Shinpachi and Harada depart from the Shinsengumi. If Kondou’s way is not their way, they will find their own path against Satsuma and Choushuu.

October 25, 2010 | ep. 4: Undying Sincerity

One night, Saito tails Sannan-san out, but loses him when he sees Amagiri tackling a Rasetsu. Saito goes to his aid, and in return, Amagiri tells him a shocking secret about the Rasetsu. Saito relays this information to the Shinsengumi, and Hijikata orders Sannan-san to stop all experiments on the Rasetsu Unit.

After this episode, the Shinsengumi once again relocate, this time to Aizu.

In the mean time, Chizuru witnesses Hijikata struggling with his vampiric urges. He, however, refuses her blood when she offers it to him. After settling in at Aizu, the enemy attacks the headquarters while the troops are out training. Kondou immediately orders Hijikata and the men to escape while he holds down the fort at Aizu. As they escape, they run into enemy soldiers. Despite Chizuru’s plea, Hijikata uses new powers and kills them all. After earning their freedom, Hijikata laments his choice of leaving Kondou behind.

Back at Aizu, Kondou peacefully surrenders to the enemy.

November 1, 2010 | ep. 5: Fleeting Dream

In Edo, Harada Sanosuke meets Shiranui to repay his debt to him.

Ootori Keisuke (14 April 1833—15 June 1911), the military commander of the last years of the Tokugawa shogunate and beginning of the Meiji Era, gathers 500 men of the Shogunate Army in Asakusa and left Edo after its surrender of the castle. In Ichikawa, he joins forces with Hijikata Toshizou, acting leader of the Shinsengumi to head for Aizu (where he combines his forces with Akizuki Tounosuke of Aizu and Tatsumi Naofumi of Kuwana to expand his force to 2000 men).

Ootori suggests to Hijikata to become the adviser to the vanguard, while Hijikata desperately petitions for Kondou’s life. Unfortunately, his pleas fall on deaf ears and Kondou is beheaded. While the old Bakufu army attacks Utsunomiya Castle in Nikkou, Hijikata faces his arch nemesis, Kazama, and is forced to transform into his Rasetsu form. He is badly wounded by Kazama’s demon-slaying sword, thus remains in Nikkou for medical treatment. Even though the Utsunomiya Castle was impregnated by way of Koyama, this would be Ootori’s final military victory. Besides that, Ootori was disappointed in Hijikata’s failure as an advisor.

Shinpachi visits his ailing leader before he takes leave towards Aizu with the rest.  Hijikata continues to feed on Chizuru.

November 8, 2010 | ep. 6: Shinning Light of the Dawn

In Nikkou, Okita is upset with Hijikata’s failed attempt at rescuing their fearless leader, Kondou. In the meantime, Saito takes the front line in place of Hijikata, while Okita remains behind as a guard to Hijikata. During this time, Okita overhears an assassination plot against Hijikata. Enraged, he turns his Rasetsu powers against them. Hijikata and Chizuru run to the spot to stop Okita, to see only his sword remaining.

Elsewhere, the New Government Army attacks the Shougitai. Harada and Shiranui stumble upon Koudou and a group of Rasetsu seeking blood. The two kill off the Rasetsu with silver bullets, but Harada is mortally wounded. Just as Koudou is about to kill Shiranui with a bomb, Harada hurls his spear at Kondou, making the bomb backfire on himself. The arch-enemies turn friends are never to be seen again by the Shinsengumi.

November 15, 2010 | ep. 7: Blade of the Sun  (“tendō no yaiba” 天道の刃)

The Shinsengumi goes into battle in Aizu with Saito taking the lead. He is sent to command Masaki, a young Aizu soldier and his men, but he resists Saito’s lead because he thinks Saito is not warrior based on his attire and the way he carries his sword. They resistance is futile after Masaki sees how Saito leads the men during the Shirakawa-guchi attack (even though they are later forced to retreat).

Hijikata recovers enough to return as the leader of the Shinsengumi. They attack Bonari Pass, but are outnumbered. This time, Masaki sacrifices himself to enable Saito and the Shinsengumi to escape.

Akizuki Tounosuke, leader of the Aizu, orders the men to retreat to Sendai to await reinforcements while he stays behind with Saito, who is honored by Masaki’s sacrifice.

November 22, 2010 | ep. 8: Scattering Cherry Blossoms  (“chizuru ōka” 散ずる桜花)

Arriving in Sendai, Hijikata meets with the admiral in charge of the town. It seems there a escalating deaths outside the castle. Hijikata and Chizuru immediately thinks of the Rasetsu Unit. Later, Heisuke shows up and relays that Sannan-san has joined the undead Kondou.

At that moment, Kondou appears with his zombie unit and kidnaps Chizuru.  He wants Chizuru to lead the Rasetsu to rebuild the Yukimura Clan. However, this is not what she wants. No one “species” deserves to live more than the other. Human and Oni lives are equal.

Hijikata and Heisuke try to stop Kondou, but are waylaid by Sannan-san, proving that he is indeed working for Kondou to build a new world where Rasetsu and Oni can live harmoniously. More surprisingly is the revelation that Sannan-san was spying on Kondou. The three men wield their swords against the Rasetsu and Kondou, who eventually dies protecting Chizuru. Unfortunately, Heisuke and Sannan-san too turn to ashes after they use up their life.

After this episode of in-fighting, the Shinsengumi eyes Ezo as their next base of operation while Chizuru remains in Sendai.

November 29, 2010 | ep. 9: The Blooming Hepatica (“yukiwarisō no hanasakite” 雪割草の花咲きて)

The solo Hijikata and his men capture a city guarded by the Matsumae Clan, but lose their battleship, the Kaiyo Maru, in the process. The ship was Japan’s first modern warship powered by both sails and steam. During this time apart form Chizuru, Hijikata begins to dream of her and drinking her blood.

Back in Sendai, Chizuru visits Koudou’s grave daily. During one such visit, Kazama Chikage shows up. Even though he has ceased his attacks on Hijikata, he will fulfill his promise to fight Hijikata once again.

On December 15, 1868, the independent Republic of Ezo (currently Hokkaido) is proclaimed, and Hijikata is elected as the Vice Commissioner answering to Ootori. Ootori secretly sends for Chizuru to work as Hijikata’s attendant. The Republic tries another attack at sea against the enemy, but having lost all their ships due to bad weather, the manage only with one. Forced to retreat, Hijikata pleads with Chizuru to leave, but she vows to stay with him until the end.

December 6, 2010 | ep. 10: The Pale, Dream-like Sakura (“mugen no haku sakura” 夢幻の薄桜)

The army led by Hijikata gains a few victories in Futamata-guchi, while the Ootori army falls in Matsumae-guchi. Soon, with more combined loses than wins, Hijikata is forced to retreat before another wave of attack occurs. During the pull back, Hijikata realizes that his body can’t hold out for long.

In Benten Daiba, the Republic of Ezo’s key fortress, Hijikata rejoins the newly defeated Shimada and Ootori. It’s not that they were unskilled, just outnumbered.

During their little time alone, Hijikata finally confesses his love to Chizuru and kisses her. Sadly, their happiness is short lived. The New Government Army attacks Benten Daiba and Hijikata is shot while on horseback. Unwilling to watch her new love to perish, she feeds him her blood. They attempt to return to Goryoukaku, but are stopped by Kazama. It seems that Hijikata is no longer a Rasetsu, but an Oni (after feeding repeatedly on Chizuru). Kazama then proceeds to rename Hijikata with an Oni name – Hakuouki. The two meet for the final time in battle and soon Kazama is killed, while Hijikata dies from his fatal injuries.

Mourning for her lost love, Chizuru is relieved of her grieve by a gentle hand wiping away her tears. She looks up, and much to her surprise, it is Hijikata.

Season 1: Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan

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