Peacemaker Kurogane is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated created by Nanae Chrono. It is unrelated to the Peace Maker manga by Ryōji Minagawa. The story begins in 19th century Japan before the Meiji Restoration, a chain of events that led to enormous changes in Japan’s political and social structure while the seeds of the revolution are being planted. The story follows the boy protagonist, Tetsunosuke Ichimura, who joins the Shinsengumi while seeking strength to avenge his parents’ death at the hands of a Chōshū rebel.
The prequel of Peacemaker Kurogane, Shinsengumi Imon Peace Maker was published by Enix in the magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan. Shinsengumi Imon Peace Maker was licensed in North America by Tokyopop.
An anime television series adaptation by Gonzo and produced by Geneon ran for 24 episodes, which aired on TV Asahi between October 7, 2003 and March 24, 2004. The US license for the anime is held by ADV Films under the title Peacemaker. The anime mostly follows the plot of the original manga Peace Maker, but also introduces characters that are only shown in Peacemaker Kurogane. The anime aired in the United States on Showtime Beyond, alongside Chrono Crusade. On June 25, 2010, anime distributor Funimation Entertainment announced on their online panel FuniCon 4.0, that they have acquired rights to the series along with 3 other ADV title, after ADV’s shutdown in 2009. The anime was broadcast in France by Déclic-Images. It was broadcast in Spain by Buzz Channel. It was broadcast in Saudi Arabia by space power, in the Philippines by QTV and Hero.
The anime uses two pieces of theme music. “You Gonna Feel” by Hav is the opening theme, while “Hey Jimmy!” by Hav is the ending theme of the anime.
Gonzo Digimation released the anime’s seven DVDs between December 21, 2003 and June 25, 2003. Gonzo Digimation released the DVD box set, containing all 7 DVDs, on December 22, 2004. ADV Films released the anime’s seven DVDs between September 14, 2004 and September 13, 2005. ADV Films released the DVD box set, containing all 7 DVDs, on November 15, 2005.
On April 14, 2016, it was announced that the manga would receive a new anime adaptation, which was later confirmed to be a two-part anime film that adapted a later arc of Peacemaker Kurogane. It is directed by Shigeru Kimiya and written by Eiji Umehara, with animation produced by White Fox and character designs by Sayaka Koiso. The first part titled Peacemaker Kurogane: Belief premiered in Japan on June 2, 2018. The second part titled Peacemaker Kurogane: Friend premiered on November 17, 2018.
Drama and animation CDs
On December 21, 2003, Geneon released an animation soundtrack CD for Peacemaker Kurogane. Geneon released a set of 5 Drama CDs for Peacemaker Kurogane. The first CD was released on December 21, 2003, the second CD on January 23, 2004, the third CD on February 25, 2004, the fourth CD on March 21, 2004 and the fifth CD on April 23, 2004 The songs were sung by Mitsuki Saiga, Yuka Imai, Joji Nakata, Takaya Toshi, Junichi Suwabe, Kappei Yamaguchi and Kenji Nomura. On November 25, 2005, Geneon released a Drama CD for the second season of Peacemaker Kurogane. The songs were sung by Mitsuki Saiga, Joji Nakata, Takaya Toshi, Kappei Yamaguchi, Kenji Nomura, Kousuke Torimi and Takahiro Sakurai.
On March 10, 2004, a soundtrack CD was released for the opening theme of Peacemaker Kurogane, “You Gonna Feel” by Hav.
A ten-episode live-action TV series adaptation of the manga aired on TBS entitled Shinsengumi Peace Maker. It premiered on January 15, 2010, and concluded on March 19, 2010.
- Tetsunosuke Ichimura
- The protagonist of Peacemaker Kurogane who was historically an actual member of the Shinsengumi. He is short, strong-willed and often underestimated by his peers. Tetsu also has a cheerful, active and competitive personality. He joins the Shinsengumi in order to become strong and to avenge the death of his parents at the hands of a member of the Chōshū clan, and ends up working as a page to Hijikata. At the time in 1864, Tetsu had psychogenic dwarfism and has not grown physically for two years due to his emotional scar. He has been more-or-less adopted as a mascot/little brother figure by the senior members of the Shinsengumi. He cries a lot.
- Tatsunosuke Ichimura
- Tatsu’s over-protective, easily worried and rather high-strung older brother/guardian (also an actual member of the Shinsengumi). He is polite, soft spoken and down to earth. After the death of their parents, he had to take care of himself and his brother. He in accordance with his more pacifist outlook, works only as a bookkeeper for the Shinsengumi. He has tried to put all thoughts of revenge for his parents’ deaths out of his mind, but convincing his younger brother to do the same is a little more difficult. Tatsu has a habit of apologizing for his little brother.
- Sōji Okita
- The first unit captain of the Shinsengumi. He is deceptively delicate-looking and has an overall sunny disposition that occasionally borders on childishness, but displays frighteningly deadly skill in combat situations. He shares a strong bond with Hijikata and is also one of the only people who has a deep understanding of Tetsu. He takes Tetsu seriously and often practices with him. In addition, Okita loves children and is rarely seen without his piglet Saizo when he is off-duty. He is the Shinsengumi’s best swordsman. Although he denies it, Okita is diagnosed with tuberculosis later in the series.
- Toshizō Hijikata
- The Shinsengumi’s second vice commander, Hijikata hides his compassion behind a cold and ruthless front, and is known as “the demon of the Shinsengumi”. A brilliant strategist and fighter, Hijikata’s talent for battle is extraordinary. When dealing with enemies, his method is highly practical and often reckless. He counts Kondō, Yamanami, and Okita among his closest friends, and is a stern master to his page Tetsu. His hobby consists of writing haiku.
- Sanosuke Harada
- The tenth unit captain and the best spear fighter in the Shinsengumi. Sanosuke is best friends with Nagakura Shinpachi and Todo Heisuke, forming a trio known as “The Three Comedians”, whose chief hobby seems to be annoying Tetsunosuke. He has a scar on his stomach from a failed seppuku attempt and is very proud of it.
- Shinpachi Nagakura
- The second unit captain of the Shinsengumi. He introduces himself to Tetsu as “Sanosuke’s keeper.” Like Tetsu, he is often underestimated by his height (and young appearance — he looks like a child, but is actually in his 20s). In fact, he is extremely skilled with his sword and is a swordsman of Okita’s level. He is also quite the joker, especially in conjunction with Sanosuke and Heisuke.
- Heisuke Tōdō
- The eighth unit captain of the Shinsengumi. Heisuke is the youngest member of Kondō’s group and the youngest captain of the Shinsengumi. Since he has a slight infatuation with small, cute animals, he always calls Tetsunosuke “Puppy Boy” (much to Tetsu’s dismay).
- Hajime Saitō
- The third unit captain of the Shinsengumi. The droopy-eyed and soft-spoken Saitō has a supernatural ability to sense ghosts, spiritual auras (which unnerves many of the other members), and is able to perceive information about future events. He has an inexplicable camaraderie with Okita. Also considered the best swordsman of the Shinsengumi at the same level of Okita Souji.
- Keisuke Yamanami
- The first vice commander of the Shinsengumi. Yamanami (often called “Sannan” by Kondō and Hijikata, which is an alternate reading of the kanji in his name) is a good-natured and thoughtful figure, providing a counterpoint to Hijikata’s blunt and Machiavellian tendencies. He also loves children and takes a shine to Tetsunosuke. He is beloved by his fellow Shinsengumi members, and, like Hijikata, is firmly opposed to putting a sword in Tetsu’s hands. He is carrying on a clandestine affair with a Shimabara courtesan named Akesato.
- Isami Kondō
- The commander of the Shinsengumi. Kondō is presented as a grandfatherly, slightly-clueless figure who is still fully aware of his and his organization’s goals. He opposes Hijikata’s mistreatment on Tetsunosuke.
- Ayumu Yamazaki
- The “den mother” of the Shinsengumi, Ayumu (most often known as “Ayu-nee”, or “big sister Ayu”) is the cook and housekeeper at the Shinsengumi compound. A pretty woman with a motherly nature, Ayumu is fully cognizant of what the people around her do for a living, and acts as a sort of big-sister figure to Tetsu. She is Susumu’s older sister, and, like him, a shinobi. She mentions in one episode them as being apart of the Oniwaban. While Susumu is based on the actual spy, Ayumu is a fictional character. She dies during the course of the anime by the hands of the Choshū clansmen.
- Susumu Yamazaki
- Ayumu’s younger brother, Susumu is one of the Shinsengumi’s spies, reporting directly to Hijikata. A skilled shinobi and information-gatherer, his nature emulates that of his superior’s. He often cross-dresses (quite convincingly) to gather information.
- Okita’s piglet pet. He lives with his “family” at the Shinsengumi Headquarters. He also has a habit of chasing Tetsunosuke more often than anyone else.