Peacemaker Kurogane: Innocence Lost Vol. 1
Are there any recently released anime series that are not made by Gonzo? Enter the latest title to hit the states: Peacemaker Kurogane. Being a huge Gonzo fan, I was rather anxious to get my hands on this title, and soon you will see why. Swords, samurai, violence, and comedy: what a perfect combination!
The story resides in the late eighteenth century, when the Japanese people are ruled by the Shogun. Unlike Rurouni Kenshin, where the group known as the Shinsengumi are evil, Peacemaker Kurogane changes the light and makes them on the side of good. The series takes place in Kyoto, where the Chosu are unhappy with the current rule of the Shogun, desiring to overthrow the political system.
Peacemaker Kurogane opens with a teaser of events to occur later in the series. After a little foreplay, we are introduced to Tetsunosuke Ichimaura and his older brother, Tatsu. Tetsunosuke (Tetsu) is a wild and headstrong young boy, hell-bent on joining the Shinsengumi. His determination is fueled by the vicious murder of his parents. Tatsu is the total opposite of Tetsu: quiet and nowhere near wild. Tatsu attempts to keep his sibling out of trouble and he apologizes for every wrong that Tetsu commits. He plays a large role as the guardian/parental figurehead in the wake of their parents' death. Tatsu accomplishes this role because he is always there to comfort Tetsu when he is angered or hurt.
The Shinsengumi is a group that serves the Shogun, killing without mercy. Tetsu believes that joining the Shinsengumi is the best option for obtaining his revenge. He tries countless times to be accepted within their ranks, but he is turned away due to his size. Even with his older brother, Tatsu pleading for him to not join, Tetsu still continues. Thankfully, his efforts are not overlooked. The captain of the first unit, Soji Okita, notices the boy's hard-fought efforts and befriends both Tetsu and his older brother.
Soji is a highly interesting character who acts very feminine and carries around a small pig. As the old saying goes, "Don't judge a book by its cover", and Soji is the perfect example. On the outside, Soji looks like a gentle soul, but he is a vicious killer that shows no mercy. While enjoying lunch with the brothers, Soji invites Tetsu in the Shinsengumi compound to spar. Tetsu does well and surprises a few individuals, but Soji ends up beating Tetsu. During the practice battle, Commander Hijikata is informed of the Tetsu-Soji sparring session and is shocked when he hears Tetsu's surname. Hijikata ends the battle and dismisses Tetsu from joining the Shinsengumi.
Tetsu is discouraged, but he vows to not give up. While following Hijiakata, Tetsu witnesses the vicious life of the Shinsengumi. Even after these events, Tetsu is still determined to join. He decides to sit in front of the Shinsengumi base until they allow him in.
Hijiakata finally allows Tetsu into the Shinsengumi, but only as a page. Throughout the remainder of the series, Tetsu is too busy causing trouble instead of doing what normal pages do. Tetsu would rather prove that he is worthy of becoming a fighting member rather than doing the mundane duties of a page. During one mission, Tetsu ends up fighting members of Chosu. While battling them, he meets a beautiful girl named Saya, who he ends up fighting for. After some time, the members become serious and use their swords. He is saved when members of the Shinsengumi come to his aid. During the skirmish, Tetsu witnesses firsthand the real Soji.
Peacemaker Kurogane looks highly promising. For those who require a Rurouni Kenshin fix, look no further. The plot appears slowly, and they certainly do not skimp on the bloodshed and killing. One issue I have is how I feel about the main character, Tetsu. Throughout most of the series, he is an annoying brat that cries and moans when he doesn't get what he wants. I honestly believe that someone needs to give the kid a spanking to set him straight. Besides the main character, Peacemaker Kurogane is great and I cannot wait for more.
Something that surprised me is that the Japanese voice actor for Tetsu is a woman. Keeping true to the original, ADV used Luci Christian and she did a great job voicing Tetsu. I honestly didn't know it was her until I saw the credits. One voice that made me laugh was the pig that Soji carries around: Monica Rial. Overall, I thought ADV did a great job dubbing this show so far.
The extra that comes with the Limited Edition box is a copy of Volume One of the Peacemaker Kurogane manga. It is a nice bonus.
I look forward to seeing how Peacemaker Kurogane progresses. Since it is a Gonzo series, I expect wonderful things. I am hoping Tetsu will just grow up and become less annoying. Besides all that, I recommend this show.