Anime Review: Hakkenden, The

Hakkenden, The
Warpshadow

Review The Hakkenden Written by Warpshadow Rating very good

Let's say you are strolling down the isles of your local video store (a sacred place to all hard core anime fans) and you see this DVD collection called the Hakkenden. Puzzled you wonder whether it is worth your money. If you couldn't get enough of Samurai anime from Ruroni Kenshin then I would have to say that it is a very good investment. It is the feudal era and the Satomi clan is under attack. In a moment of jest the lord of the Satomi clan promises the family dog that if he can bring him the head of the enemy's leader the dog can marry the princess Fuse. Much to his suprise the dog comes back a few days later with the lord's head. Trapped by the promise he had made the lord had no choice but to have the princess marry the dog. Together the two go into seclusion and despite the princess's best efforts she becomes pregnant. The two are discovered by a man who loved the princess and he tries to kill the dog but kills both of them. The spirits of the eight puppies the princess was carrying are reincarnated as eight warriors with a strange destiny.

The Hakkenden is a rich and complex story with a good dose of samurai sword fighting mixed in. A good part of this comes from the fact that the Oav is based off of a novel written in the Tokugawa era rather than manga like most anime. This show isn't for everyone. The size of the cast and the complexity of the plot can easily bewilder some people. The plot also jumps around the various characters which also undermines the continuity of the story. Even so Hakkenden is still a great story for those that can handle all of the plot twists thrown at the viewer.

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