Bakumatsu Rock~ First Impressions
THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR “BAKUMATSU ROCK” EPISODE 1
Now when I first saw the PV for Bakumatsu Rock, one word sprang to my mind; “ridiculous”. Of course, I mean that in a good sense. Absurd anime such as FLCL and Excel Saga have always been a draw for me, with their blend of wacky visuals and humor. Here you have an anime about the Bakumatsu Era (mid-19th century), in which their equivalent of ‘idols’ sing the Heavens Song to effectively brainwash the masses, mostly to coax fangirls of the hot and spicy singers to give up all their hard earned cash. That is until Sakamoto Ryouma shows up, an unruly ruffian with a thick Yakuza accent, who is intent on bringing a new style of music into the spotlight. Rock.
Visually, Bakumatsu Rock doesn’t look too shabby. There’s fluidity where there needs to be, but it just seems to have the same production qualities as many of the other anime released nowadays. If there’s one thing I can say, it’s that the characters were definitely designed with a female audience in mind. Now, when I initially saw the PV, I received a Samurai Champloo vibe, yes there would be a little bit of handsome, but it would be more likely to appeal to males. How wrong I was.
This was even more evident during one particular scene which seemed to be the talk of the town after the episode aired. Now first let me establish that in a fight against those evil capital officials, Ryouma meets two other wannabe rockers, Katsura Kogorou and Takasugi Shinsaku. When they join forces to rock their opponents out of the arena, for some reason they undergo what I can only describe as some sort of yaoi transformation sequence, in which their shirts rip open on their rippling muscles, their true spirit shining through at last! Yes, it was possibly more bizarre than the entire premise of the show itself.
All in all, Bakumatsu Rock wasn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s early days. I’m holding out to see where it goes from here, and because the seiyuu of the main characters are all real-life rockers, which is rad to say the least. Rock on!
~Over and out.