Hakuouki: Reimeiroku Episode 8: The Silent Soldier
We can only go forward…
Yet another fury almost breaks free from the compound, but is quickly dispatched by Saitou. Saitou offers to teach Ryunosuke on how to use the sword, and it seems like Ryunosuke is caving. The Shinsengumi image is not improved by imposters that use the name to bully money from the locals.
While last episode highlighted Heisuke, this was the long-awaited Saitou-kun episode! Yeah! It might feel a bit tedious in most anime where there’s a lot of flashbacks, and every episode to boot, there was actually a good reason for why this episode works.
Hakuouki, at its’ most basic essence, is character-driven. Each character is highlighted in a different manner because each character is different, and it is unlikely there are any other characters that exactly the same. With the amount of care and trouble spent to make each and every “main character” different, it adds that extra flair. While a lot of anime are content to place their characters into boring molds, where you can immediately tell what kind of character they are (“loli,” tsundere, megane), Hakuouki completely avoids this, which I suspect is the biggest reasons for its popularity, outside of its artwork.
Saitou-kun joins the dojo that the Roshigumi originated from after a impressive sword fight with Okita. Okita, who probably is the star-student at the dojo is thrown for a loop very few sane people would ever challenge him to a duel and win/live. In this case, Saitou-kun was won over that he could be the way he was at the dojo, simply because Hijikata stated that what hand you use the sword does not make or break your skill or honour.
And we all know how much Saitou values honour. The issue of the Roshigumi/Shinsengumi getting dragged through the mud is not helping. Not only are there other samurai that are using their names for the wrong reason, theres Serizawa’s actions to contend with.
Serizawa has commanded the continued testing of the “Water of Life” on humans, and it’s the rest of the Roshigumi that have to clean up after him with no chance of arguing against the creation of the fury in the first place. This is actually getting kind of irritating to see Serizawa Ryunosuke again, and then doing something other stupid activity that doesn’t really help the Roshigumi as a collective. I really hope he didn’t really assault that woman…