Hakuouki: Reimeiroku Episode 12- Blossoming Under the Moon [Final Impressions]

Sunmmary:

Serizawa’s illness worsens, but he refuses to rest. Kondou, Hijikata, Sannan-san all finalize the plan to assassinate Serizawa, which occurs after a party in the red-light district. As Ryunosuke is about to leave with them, Serizawa asks him to stay and enjoy the sake. Shinpachi, Heisuke, and Saitou are all left behind at the party, but as Ryunosuke tries to leave, Saitou commands him not to. As allowing Ryunosuke to return to the compound would result in the Roshigumi having to kill him as well, Heisuke and Saitou try yto prevent him from leaving. They are not successful, as Ryunosuke leaves anyway, and witnesses the last moments of Serizawa before he is killed by the Roshigumi. Ryunosuke realives that he wants to live, and attempts to escape from Okita, who is charged with killing him. Okita “fails” by pushing Ryunosuke into the river. Ryunosuke survives the fall into the river, and goes on to continue his adventures elsewhere, passing a Chizuru Yukimura as she sets out on her journey to hind her father. Kondou and Hijikata succeed Serizawa as the leaders of the Shinsengumi, and Sannan-san takes over the research of the Water of Life in order to treat the existing furies in the ranks.


Impressions:

OMG THIS FINALE. OK, I was really dreading this because, well, it’s the finale. The end of the third season of Hakuouki! There’s a lot less love-love than in the “Shinsengumi Kitan” arc of the story, but “Reimeiroku” was brilliant in itself.

As a male-dominated show, I felt this episode effectively wrapped up the entire season, and finally explained Serizawa as a whole. I actually want to know more about him, and the more I think about it, the more frustrated I get. He, by far, was more the antagonist of the show than any of the other factions that the Roshigumi was fighting, and I really think he would have been a great leader. Aside from his bad temper and sharp words, I think he really did care, deep down. All the alcohol is probably a need to numb the pain from the illness he was suffering from, which just caused the issue to get worse.

The kindness was overwhelming, it’s crazy. I really didn’t understand all, of it, but mostly I felt a lot of this episode had to do with dying with pride, and honour. Serizawa killed the woman that was staying with him, and despite trying to warn her away, she chose to stay. The bad part is that Serizawa was the one that killed, not the Roshigumi. This is his way of sparing her pain and protecting the Roshigumi from having to decide whether or not kills her. He made the choice, and killed her before the Roshigumi crashed into his room to kill him.

Though, the Roshigumi were not very subtle with their plan to kill Serizawa. At the beginning of the episode, Kondou requests a room change with Serizawa, and I suspect this is to put the target in a room that is more isolated. Ryunosuke, despite knowing that the Roshigumi will kill him, returns to the compound out of loyalty. Alright, Ryunosuke is by the far more useless fighter/samurai in the show, but he does get points for his loyalty until the end. Okita cleverly doesn’t kill him after Ryunosuke mans up and decides he wants to fight for his life, and not just sit around to be ordered.

All the guys were highlighted in their own ways this episode. A little bit of Kondou x Hijikata bonding, Shinpachi versus Saitou-kun in the rain (and obviously, Saitou won. :3)

Final Impressions:

Wow. What a season. I have to say, that was probably the best otome game based anime I’ve seen so far. It demonstrates the ability for anime to illustrate and tell a linear storyline, while hinting to the other stories of the characters in the show. If I had to describe it, it would be the extra, 12- episode OVA for the Shinesengumi Kitan arc of the anime.

The animation quality was really spot-on, and sometimes it was a little derpy, but overall, it was gorgeous. A lot of anime have a large cast of girls, but this show was about the MEN. Their story, their honour, their fight, and the pacing was clever in keeping your attention from week to week.

As for the music, there wasn’t anything special about the BGM, but the OP and ED helped set the tone of the show. Part whimsical, part truth, part myth.

 

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Kaitou

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