Hakuouki: Reimeiroku Episode 7- Red Moon and the Dog
Serizawa discusses with Hijikata how to deal with the issue of killing the sumo wrestlers in Kyoto, and it ends in a stalemate. Okita offers to kill himself as a joke, but it is outright denied. The Roshigumi continue their patrols. Saitou notes that the raids and arrests seem to have an alternative reason than “justice”- Serizawa’s crony has been using the prisoners as test subjects for the “Water of Life.” When the newly-formed fury escapes from the compound, Heisuke teams up with Ryunosuke to take it down.
The inequality of the Japanese society becomes a lot more apparent, and it brings to light all the injustices that exist in a hierarchy in this episode. Hijikata and Kondou struggle with their identities as “bushi” – honourable samurai – outside of having a family lineage to count on. I suppose, despite the turmoil of the current time in Hakuouki, it is also shown as a time of opportunity. Hijikata and Kondou came from a small dojo, and would have lived out their lives as farmers, but by choosing to actively go out and seek to serve the shogunate, they are changing their path. It’s not an easy path, as it’s often blocked by foolish actions and arrogant men. Okita and Serizawa’s actions in Kyoto against the sumo wrestlers did not help the tensions in the group at all.
The observation of “the way of the warrior,” in my opinion, extends beyond the blood one is born with. Both Kondou and Hijikata are born of a lower class, they exhibit more of the “chivalry,” “loyalty,” and “honor” than those of the “actual” blood class, which is of course, Serizawa. Serizawa repeatedly points out that he the only one making progress in the Roshigumi in terms of serving, but you notice that he said “him,” and not all of the Roshigumi. Hijikata and Kondou try to comes to term with their lack of lineage, but they fully understand that they need to work to prove themselves. I guess samurai blood is like a “gold star” in Super Mario? Everyone else has to struggle to catch up with those born into power.
Hijikata’s intentions making Kondou are becoming more and more apparent, but he’s really obvious about it. If Serizawa is so afraid of the Roshigumi killing him, why doesn’t he just try and kill them first? I think this has more to do with the unity that Hijikata and Kondou bring. As much as the triangle of men hate each other, they all very much interdependent in order to keep together. Kondou inspires the loyalty, Hijikata brings the order, and Serizawa…I guess he’s the “face”? Since he knows how to talk the higher-ups, and is of the actual samurai class.
The theme of dogs comes to mind, since the main “pairing” in this episode was Ryunosuke x Heisuke. Heisuke’s personality, coupled with Ryunosuke’s “dog” status in the group= dogs. Heisuke is cast in a kinder light, since he is one of the younger guys in the Roshigumi, and doesn’t have the same burden of responsibility as everyone else. What’s with the blushing around Ryunosuke, Heisuke? DON”T TELL ME THAT WAS JUST PHYSICAL EXERTION FROM SWINGING YOUR SWORD. HUH? HUH? I thought so. ;D It’s beautiful, this pairing. Kondou x Hijikata is all only brotherly love, sorry.
For a show that is based on an otome game, Hakuouki: Reimeiroku manages to stay out of the generic traps that otome game adaptations often fall into. Alright, Ryunosuke is nowhere near a main character (he barely gets any screentime), but we don’t hate him.
The inspector group that includes the newly recruited ninja Yamazaki…I wonder what their function in this show will be…and what is the climax of this season? If we finish, I mean.