First Look: Bakumatsu

Game Adaptation by Studio DEEN
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

The oppressive Tokugawa Shogunate and their state funded Boy Band have taken the music from the people. With his burning passion and magic guitar, one man… oh wait, that was Bakumatsu Rock, which was kind of fun. This is a boring show about two samurai transported to alternate history Japan where the Tokugawa shogunate never came to power.

Jel’s verdict: More Boring Than Actual History

If there’s any good that comes out of this season it might be I’ve finally found a cure for my insomnia. I’m on a pretty long streak of watching incredibly boring first episodes and Bakumatsu easily joins that list. This is based on an otome game as the run of the mill pretty samurai dudes would indicate, but oddly enough they decided to remove the self-insert heroine and just tell the story straight up. Unfortunately, what’s left is still not very good.

Exploring this particular alternate history is the most interesting thing the show has going for it as I don’t recall ever seeing it come up. But I don’t think Bakumatsu has any intentions on tackling the political or social implications of the Tokugawa shogunate never existing, it’s just a bunch of attractive samurai guys spouting bland dialogue and engaging in very poorly animated sword fights. Every single one of those things can be found in other shows and done better, meaning there is zero reason to watch this show.

Even if someone did make a legitimate effort to tackle a world without Tokugawa, I think it would have been more interesting to explore the impact further down in history, like into the early 20th century or maybe even present day. Given Japan’s history, that would require a level of nuance I would never ask from a show like this. I’m just saying that might be interesting. “Interesting” is not what we are getting here at all though, and Bakumatsu can be safely avoided.

2 thoughts on “First Look: Bakumatsu

  1. Just a note though, the alternate history isn’t “the Tokugawa shogunate never existed” but, “the Tokugawa shogunate was overthrown and replaced by a new shogunate, the Meiji restoration never happened”. The way it was presented was certainly confusing

    • Thanks for clarifying. I don’t know if that changes much as far as the show being good, but that is a notable difference.

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