Film Friday- Hakuōki

Film Friday- Hakuōki

Two new films were released in 2013 and 2014. First film was released in August 2013 and was released on DVDs February 2014. The film is a retelling of both seasons in greater detail and with a slightly different ending. The second film was released on March 8, 2014. The anime television series and films have been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America.

Hakuōki is a otome video game series by Idea Factory, first designed for the PlayStation 2 and then later ported to PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 3DS. It has been adapted into anime series animated by Studio Deen; the first season began airing in Japan on the TV Kanagawa and UHF stations on April 4, 2010. The second season began airing on October 10, 2010 and ended on December 12, 2010. The series has also been adapted as two different manga series. A third series based on the prequel, Hakuōki Reimeiroku aired in summer of 2012.

Plot

Chizuru Yukimura heads to Kyoto to search for her father, finding herself attacked by mad men before they are cut down by members of the Shinsengumi who take her into custody for interrogation. Upon learning that she is a girl and the daughter of a doctor who developed the Water of Life elixir that turns those that drink it into invincible blood lusting berserkers called Rasetsu, the Shinsengumi decide to keep her as an aide in their search. In time, as the Shinsengumi aid the shogunate in the Bakufu, Chizuru begins to develop a bond with the Shinsengumi and its aloof member Toshizo Hijikata. However, as time passes, Chizuru and Shinsengumi confront a mysterious faction who call themselves Oni (Demons) and that Chizuru is also an Oni with father revealed to be experimenting on the Water of Life to create the Rasetsu to wipe out the human race.

Chizuru Yukimura 
Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (Japanese); Brittney Karbowski (English)
Chizuru is the main protagonist of the series. She comes to Kyoto in search of her missing father, Kodo Yukimura, a practitioner of Western medicine. Unknown to Chizuru, her father under orders from the Shogunate develops the Water of Life, an elixir that increases the drinker’s healing abilities, speed, and strength yet could turn the drinker into a mindless killing monster called a Rasetsu. At the beginning of the series, she is seen being chased by two men, who were suddenly attacked by two Rasetsu. She witnesses Hajime Saito kill off the Rasetsu and is then taken to the Shinsengumi headquarters by Toshizo Hijikata, where they allow her to stay, because they too were in search of her father. Eventually, she falls in love with Hijikata Toshizo.
Chizuru has a secret unknown to herself: she is in fact a pureblood member of the Oni Ichizoku (the Demon Clan), and the head of the Oni of the East is of Yukimura descent. Because Oni have scattered and declined in numbers over the centuries, Chikage Kazama seeks her out to create a lineage of pure-blooded Oni. She is the wielder of a short sword which is a mate to with Kaoru’s katana. They are part of the Yukimura Family’s heirloom.
Toshizo Hijikata
Voiced by: Shinichiro Miki (Japanese); Andrew Love (English)
Hijikata is the Vice-commander of the Shinsengumi and makes most of the Shinsengumi’s decisions. He is called Oni-fukuchou (Demon Vice-commander) and is both feared and respected by his men. He is also often referred to as “Toshi” by Kondo. Hijikata is the one who brought Chizuru back to the Shinsengumi headquarters the night she witnessed a Rasetsu on the loose that attacked two men chasing her. He is responsible for her welfare, and even though he acts as if this were to his dismay, he cares for Chizuru’s safety, and is often shown protecting her during battles. Hijikata drinks the Water of Life and becomes a Rasetsu in order to defeat Chikage, fueled by rage after seeing fellow Shinsengumi warrior Genzaburo Inoue dead. Even though Inoue had been killed by Satchō warriors (Satsuma-Chōshū alliance), Hijikata takes it out on Chikage, starting a duel as Chikage goads him. At the end of Season 2 he acknowledge his love for Chizuru. At the end of the anime series he either dies from a combination of the Water of Life and wounds that he attained through a battle with Chikage Kazama, or he lives (as suggested by the fact that his body didn’t disappear). His ending is ambiguous. But hinted that he’s still alive as wiping Chizuru’s tear and saying her name while smiling at her. He is based on the historical Hijikata Toshizō.
Souji Okita
Voiced by: Showtaro Morikubo (Japanese); Blake Shepard (English)
Okita is the First Division Captain and a peerless swordsman. He suffers from tuberculosis, and is later visited by Nagumo Kaoru who gives him a bottle of the Water of Life to cure his tuberculosis. Driven by guilt at being incapacitated by his illness, Okita drinks the elixir. Although he becomes a Rasetsu, the Shinsengumi discover that he does not benefit from accelerated healing when wounded by silver weapons, thus discovering the weakness of Rasetsu. Souji was sent away because his illness got worse, but he later showed up to confront Hijikata about Kondo’s death. He was last seen protecting Hijikata from rogue samurais, and turned into ashes after killing all the rogues. He is based on the historical Okita Sōji.
Hajime Saito 
Voiced by: Kōsuke Toriumi (Japanese); Leraldo Anzaldua (English)
Saito is the leader of the Third Division who is a master of the left hand sword technique and is a skilled swordsman who evens Okita’s skills. He is taciturn but also very loyal, polite, and wise. He often analyzes the situation before attacking to figure out which actions are necessary to complete the mission. Saito left the Shinsengumi apparently to join Itou’s group, but later it turns out that he was commanded by Hijikata to infiltrate Itou’s group for information concerning Itou’s plans. In the anime he is seen making a final charge against the enemy as his comrades are all slain. He is based on the historical Saitō Hajime.
Heisuke Todo 
Voiced by: Hiroyuki Yoshino (Japanese); Greg Ayres (English)
Heisuke is the Eighth Division captain of the Shinsengumi. He is around the same age as Chizuru and is very protective of her, before he died. He leaves the Shinsengumi, following Itou along with Hajime Saito, but later returns. He too has taken the Water of Life to recover from injuries. He is based on the historical Tōdō Heisuke.
Sanosuke Harada 
Voiced by: Kōji Yusa (Japanese); Illich Guardiola (TV), Phil Hyde (Movies) (English)
Harada is the Tenth Division Captain and prefers the spear to the sword, but he is seen carrying both. In the anime he has a fierce rivalry with Kyō Shiranui, pitting his spear against Shiranui’s pistol. He is based on the historical Harada Sanosuke.
Chikage Kazama
Voiced by: Kenjirō Tsuda (Japanese); Corey Hartzog (English)
Member of the Bakumatsu, enemies of the Shinsengumi. He is the strongest Oni of the West and is after Chizuru, so that they can mate and create stronger Oni. His reasons for this are unknown, but his attempts to take Chizuru have so far been thwarted by the interference of the Shinsengumi. Despite being arrogant and cynical, he is not entirely cold-blooded as he later saves Chizuru (although this might have been for his own purposes) and even escorted her back to the estate rather than harassing her. Kazama is usually followed by his two demon companions Amagiri and Shiranui, and it is implied by Sen-hime that he is a royal blood, like her. In his Oni form, he grows white horns and his hair fades to match. His eyes also become yellow. But later in the series and OVA he is seen to truly love Chizuru.

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