Hakuouki Reimeiroku Episode 2: A Man’s Pride


Because samurai’s lives are short like the cherry blossom…

Summary:
Ryunosuke spots a newcomer outside the gates of the Mibu Temple, and it’s none other than Saitou Hajime. Saitou has returned to join the other Roshigumi for reasons unknown, but he’s accepted pretty quickly, and the daily tasks of patrolling and gathering sponsors for the Roshigumi become ever more dangerous. Serizawa nags on Ryunosuke as his personal gopher, and Ryunosuke still refuses to stand up for himself.


Impressions:

Serizawa is still not pulling the punches he launches at Ryunosuke, from waking him up in the middle of the night for sake, or making him give a massage in the middle of a meeting of leaders, he’s keen on driving Ryunosuke into the ground. Unlike Hijikata, Ryunosuke really is a dog…all bark and no bite. He’s willing to stand up to rogue samurai, but not willing to fight. Maybe he can’t fight? He carries the sword on his hip, but does nothing for it, refuses training. In a way, Ryunosuke doesn’t know what to do, so he needs Serizawa to give him orders, for now, at least.

Saitou seems popular, whoooooo!! He’s often looked down as the left-handed samurai, but the writers probably put that training session between the yandere Okita and tsundere Saitou as a chance to show off just how powerful they both are, and just why the rest of the Roshigumi all trust Saitou so much with any task, For him, it’s honour to the death. Straight and true totally what you want in a guy.

There’s some serious back-end issues between the Roshigumi and Serizawa. The Roshigumi share the story of how Serizawa threw a fit and burned down a building after a booking issue, and since Kondou was in charge…you can see where this is going. If he keeps in stomping on Kondou like this, something bad is going to happen. Dundundun. No suspense at all. Kondou does a dogeza to ask Serizawa to forgive him, but I don’t think that’s helping him. Pride is really, really important to each character, and only one that seems to lack it is Ryunosuke.

Speaking of stomping, Serizawa, did you really have to step on Ryunosuke’s junk to ask him for sake in the middle of the night? Really?

I think, so far, I’ve loved the politics (aside from the eye-candy) behind this anime. The Roshigumi try to get in on protecting the Shogun, and you really could see the little glimmer of why the Roshigumi, and later the Shinsengumi, would be willing to lay their lives and prides on the line to fight for what they believe is the right thing to do. But with all the warring factions, everyone thinks they’re doing right, so the Roshigumi are going to get caught in the middle, sooner or later.

I really, really, enjoy this show so far! Theme of this episode was definitely pride, whether it was Ryunosuke’s lack of it, Serizawa’s belittling of Kondou, Kondou’s love for the shogun, the Roshigumi’s desire to support Kondou, or just Saitou-kun’s desire to remain a “true samurai” until the end…it’s a beautiful thing in an era where it is sorely losing its value.

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Kaitou

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