Serizawa bullies money out of the locals to support the Roshigumi. Kondou solves the problem with a meeting with the Aizu domain, where the samurai face off against each other in duels to show their swordsmanship. Ryunosuke is sent out on a errand to pick up ink. There, he runs into the maiko Kosuzu, and promptly offends her by telling her to stop talking back to samurai. It ends with a handprint to his face.
Oh wow, oh wow! I’m still buzzing from that episode! This was a great follow-up to last week’s dramatic developments around Okita, and instead, concentrated on developing the Roshigumi and their objectives. While Hijikata is very much against the idea of extorting money from locals to fund their goals, Serizawa’s crony is right that the samurai can do very little to support themselves otherwise. They can’t beg on the streets, they don’t have a craft, and last of all, they don’t have a patron. Fortunately, that solves itself this episode, as the Roshigumi “perform” for the Aizu domain to win them over. Which is a brilliant move on Kondou’s part, as who can pass up a good show? The Roshigumi are paired off in matches in the following order: Heisuke/Hijikata (Heisuke lost by a mile, and got a black eye, to boot), Shinpachi/Saitou-kun (:333 NO ONE CAN BEAT SAITOU-SAMA KYAAAAAAA~~~ <3 * cough *), Sannan-san vs Okita (outcome unknown).
Ryunosuke tries to talk to Hijikata about Okita, and Hijikata just shrugs him off, saying it’s Kondou’s job. I guess it’s true, in a way, since the only person that can really connect to Okita is Kondou. Such is bromance, not caring is a form of caring…?
Another drinking party! When samurai get drunk, shirts come off…I’M NOT A PERV, OK? Alright, I have say that this episode, the duel and drama make this a total fanservice episode. The manlier the Roshigumi get, the more fanservice there is. But what is fanservice? There’s not a whole lot of nudity, and obviously, the fanservice for girls is very different from guys. I guess, in this show, “fanservice” is something that titillates and alludes. If Harada just whipped his shirt off for no reason, or wasn’t Shinpachi is comparing muscles on physical exam day just for the heck of it(in Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan), girls would be less inclined to watch the anime…because there’s no reason for it. The fanservice in Hakuouki only works because of the story around it. Even if the excuse is as flimsy as getting drunk again at a sake party and everyone waking up in each other’s arms in the morning, there’s context. It’s not just random breast grabs or shower scenes with lower angle shots. TLDR; fanservice for girls is a lot more subtle, but effective nonetheless. * swoons *
The episode is well-rounded in its explanation of what it means to make one’s way in the world. The Roshigumi don’t know what to do in order to make money to support themselves, and Ryunosuke only learns how to see it after an encounter with the palm of Kosuzu’s hand. Ryunosuke is helped out this episode by Harada (something of a ladies’ man), when he unintentionally offends Kosuzu by telling her to just be quiet and serve sake, and hence, making light of her profession. All the hours of training, dancing, music, serving of a maiko is no easy feat…as is being a samurai. Effort and luck! Less so on the luck.
The Roshigumi got their uniforms this episode after getting hired by the Aizu domain. Saitou comments that they’re a bit flashy, which is true. The light blue and white seem too pure and bright for a time like this. Down side- they were bought with the money Serizawa bullied out of people. Up side, they’re memorable. After all, the Shinsengumi/Roshigumi are probably one of the most romantic backdrops of history. That’s why we have Hakuouki…they’re rather unforgettable in those colours.
Speaking of which, the “Wagtail Sword” technique… = _ = I swear I’m not thinking dirty thoughts…
Until next week~