When people make certain decisions in their lives and truly desire something, it could forever change their life, it could even come true if they worked really hard in this world to achieve it, but that’s under the understanding of our world. But, what ‘if’ you were about to die and really desired to live, what would happen? Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun is an historical and supernatural anime that revolves around the story of 18 years old Inuzuka Shino, Inukawa Sousuke, and Murasame. Inuzuka Shino was supposed to be dead 5 years ago without the help of Saitome Rio. Rio ‘implanted’ Murasame in Shino’s body to have a second chance in life but the price was that Shino will never die and will always be trapped in a 13 years old body of his. Inukawa Sousuke was also revived but had to live in a consequences of having half of his soul was gone and have the ability of transforming to a dog named Yoshiro.
The story line is definitely unique, however there is an absence of a central plot or it tends to stray from it. What kept me interested were the characters and their background stories. With the introduction of each character, there are minor plots that keep you interested, however it is usually resolved within the following episode. The story line tends to feel like a collection of stories that are somewhat connected to a central plot however it feels mostly disconnected.
The story goes about it really slowly with barely anything happening. Some of you viewers might give up with this anime 5 episodes in, because let’s be honest, nothing actually happens for like a good 7 to 8 episodes, for me it wasn’t till the 9th one that it really got interesting. It’s around there, that all the previous episodes start to make sense, this anime is just simply, you getting to know the characters, the feel of the story, what they are and get into the feel of it, but honestly I think it failed at getting you into it, until you get to that exact part of the series. Anyway, it’s more like a long introduction of sorts, still if you got through a whole lot of nothing then you are definitely are rewarded with a lot of mystery. I’m sure you will be going straight onto season 2 in no time just wanting to know more, and what the outcome could be, well, at least I certainly am.
The characters were surprisingly very well done, they weren’t boring. Shino, the protagonist, is very childish however he has a sensitive and caring side that makes him very enjoyable. Sousuke, his childhood friend, maintains a calm and loyal attitude and is seen accompanying Shino mostly everywhere. He provides a balance to Shino, who would otherwise be a typical bratty protagonist. Hamaji is another childhood friend, but her presence in the story is not a prominent halfway through. She appear to be immature and demanding but later displays a level of maturity far greater than most of the characters, even the adult ones. She is a refreshing character, who although lacks a background story of her own, adds a silly and realistic feel to the story. She is a main character but acts mainly as supporting. Not only are their personalities in great variety and incredibly different from one another, but their stories are what truly make this series a great one.
The artwork is definitely done incredibly well. It is one of the first things that drew me in. The characters all have defining features that are immediately noticeable and match the multitude of personalities presented. The background is captured beautifully. Each district, each of the places that the characters visits are almost like a painted work of art. The artwork is the defining beauty of this series. As for the sounds in the anime, they were fairly good, they did add to some scenes and scenarios, so they definitely did a good job there. Overall, Hakkenden is a very good series if you don’t mind the lack of a central plot. Don’t fret though because it does keep you interested if you get into it. It does tend to leave you wondering what it all leads into.