Final Review: Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman

DISCLAIMER: Anime reviews on this blog will attempt minimal to no spoilers unless other noted. If a review seems dull or shallow, it’s because I’m trying to make sure not to go into too detail for those who are actually interested in the show before or after reading the review or those who have yet to finish the title. If you want further details, there are usually tons of reviews that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Furthermore, anime reviews in general are the sole opinion of the author writing it and thus differ across the users. There is no such thing as a “right answer” only a majority agreement. You are free to have your own opinions and thereby free to state and/or argue/debate in the comments section below or on the Fansub TV Forums. The review is not necessarily meant to serve as a recommendation but rather a personal opinion of having completed the series.

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman is an anime inspired based off a pachinko game with designs and animation inspired by Monkey Punch, creator of the Lupin III franchise. Set in a fantasy, historical setting, Roman acts as both a thief and a helper with the primary purpose to help the weak being bullied by the strong and/or wealthy. Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman premiered during the Winter  2012/2013 anime season and was simulcasted by CrunchyRoll.

I will keep this short. There is no real story here. The show is about a helper who goes about his daily life trying to make a living while doing so for others as well. And of course, the show ends up throwing in very odd elements, including mecha suits. The show tries to be silly yet at the same time serious, making it a very difficult series to comprehend in terms of direction.

Art is pretty average. Character designs are unsurprisingly like Lupin III characters yet act nothing like them despite the significant resemblances. Animation is basic and nothing more.

OP and ED themes are not really memorable. Music is sub average overall. Seiyuu cast is decent.

Enjoyment? None, none, and none. I thought the whole mecha suit was an interesting parody for a little bit but the show doesn’t really take it much further than that and acts as if it’s normal for a historical setting.

Overall, the show tries to put together too many things. It didn’t really have any potential to begin with and shows like Samurai Champloo, Lupin III, and Gintama far outclass this title.

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0/1): Nothing
  • Character Personalities (0/1): Boring
  • Character Development (1/2): It’s there
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (0/2): I hardly remember the characters outside their faces.
  • Pacing: (0/1): Kind of jumpy.
  • Reasonable/Plausible (0/2): Stuff kind of just happens.
  • Conclusion (0/1): Cheesy and nonsensical conclusion
  • Total: 1/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (1/2): Average
  • Character Designs (1.5/2): Strong resemblance to Lupin III characters
  • Fluidity (1/2): Basic
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (0.5/2): Flashy mech suits
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (0.5/2): Relatively weak for a TMS title
  • Total: 4.5/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (1/3): Mostly forgettable
  • Background Music (0.5/2): Below average
  • Sound Effects (0.5/2): Below average
  • Seiyuu (2/3): Decent cast
  • Total: 4/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (0/2): None
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (0/2): None
  • Presentation: (0/2): Silly then serious then silly, rinse and repeat.
  • Re-watchable (0/1): None
  • Recommendation (0/2): Lupin III, Gintama, Samurai Champloo
  • Value (0/1): None
  • Total: 0/10

Preliminary Score: 4/10

Final Score: 2/10

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