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Shinsengumi Keppuroku : ShinsengumiHQ

Shinsengumi Keppuroku

November 28, 2008 · Filed Under Uncategorized 


Screencaps by M

Comments on Shinsengumi Keppuroku by SHQ member Secretarytocapt3 with any additional comments appearing in different color text. example–BarbSheridan

Based on Shiba Ryotaro’s legendary novel…now I understand why it is a major source of inspiration for Shinsengumi fans to devote their lives to research.

Tidbits…[again its a movie not a documentary]
Hijikata “The Shinsengumi is a fighting unit not a social club”

Shinsengumi (after dumping a bucket of water on someone who gets knocked unconscious during “practice”) “The Shinsengumi is not a soft city dojo!” Kenjutsu teachers commence yelling at people who didn’t want to work out…some pulling the seated guys to stand up and fight…talk about pressure

*dunk them in the water until they talk torture

*use the base of the sword for indoor fighting, no wide swings…watch for walls/ceilings

*during the Ikedaya affair armor/spears were transported to the city hall and the troops were sent there to prepare after they ate dinner (perhaps to prevent people from realizing their movements)…troops not allowed to leave headquarters before dinner/deployment…split up go to city hall in groups of 3 to prevent desertions

*Yamazaki (as in Shinsengumi Chronicles aka I want to Die a Samurai) had been watching the inn for some time as a medicine peddlar… in this depiction he is actually serving food to the revolutionaries and steps over the sword of one guest and uses his “rudeness” as a pretense to collect everyone’s sword and place them at the entrance (but the revolutionaries were armed during the fight)…Yamazaki is THE man in this series!

[Yamazaki is indeed cool and very thorough in this though he's not the hot young PMK ninja you might expect]

Weird/funny quotes
Hijikata “Festival brawls are my specialty”
Kondo (right after Ikedaya to 2 women whose business and personal belongings got trashed) “sorry about the mess”

[LOVED the way they threw the ruined garments they planned to sell at him]

Aizu folks (who arrive fashionably late to Ikedaya) “sorry we took so long”
Hijikata “we’ve made enemies”

3 members of the Shinsengumi died (1 at Ikedaya 2 from their wounds at a later time)
Aizu: 10 dead, 50 injured (it seemed that night Kyoto turned into a war zone) and Aizu attacked one of the clan’s headquarters (really confusing)
Ishin Shishi: 7 dead 23 injured
estimated 2 hours of fighting

besides the gold given as a reward to the Shinsen. they also received an official letter of appreciation from the palace which had not been issued in 250 years (I guess they didn’t like to do paperwork)

There were at least a couple of revenge attacks/ambushes after Ikedaya

Kondo was offered the post as an official vassal of the Shogun but stays w/ the Shinsen. because he is ready to accept the consequences (of Ikedaya)

[flashback to Serizawa Kamo]

Shinsen vs. sumo….no one in the Shinsen were killed/hurt in this scuffle however some wrestlers were killed

Shinsen runs in to report to Hijikata
“Serizawa Kamo is aiming a cannon at the Yamatoya silk shop”
Hijikata “we’re supposed to be protecting the city…this is a terrible precedence”

Hijikata (on killing S.K.) “When gangrene sets in we need to amputate before the whole body rots”

[Serizawa in this series was such a grimy slimeball. I was actually glad they did away with him.]

Idea of Hijikata not wanting Kondo to “soil” his hands in S.K. murder

100 ryo was used to pay for a funeral
[hist. S.H. stole 50 ryo from Itou...poor Itou he gets betrayed and robbed blind!]

Okita’s game of tag with children gets interrupted by Choshu scouts

Okita’s doctor is Nakarai Gensatsu (sounds like RK’s Dr. Genzai)

Explanation of the whole Okita vs Black Cat thing

Boy with Bangs
Script and overall story had some key differences from Gohatto version…and the boy looks totally like a girl!

[I think this should have been "Zombie Boy with Bangs" This kid looked seriously drugged to me.]

funny part: Hijikata tells Yamazaki to take the boy to Shimabara…
Yamazaki Susumu “Men should be with women…[pauses and looks away dead pan face] right women”

Kondou kills the boy and says he did not slay the boy but he slayed the devil within—Hijikata notes that Kondou fails to mention ‘ who was possessed by the devil/desire

(this version was to me more “dense” than Gohatto and in many ways better!)

Itou affair is actually portrayed as very very long and complicated…Itou teams up with the Mito clan (where Serizawa Kamo came from) and begins a complex plan of manipulating Yamanami (leading to Y’s death) in an attempt to destroy the group from within.

[The whole Yamanami affair was touching, and I was pleasantly surprised when Hijikata gave Okita orders to bring him back "BUT if you don't see him return and give your report." Okita--"You mean let him go?" Hijikata--"If you don't see him, return and give your report...." Yamanami, of course waited at a small roadside restaurant right out in the open so Okita had to have seen him and he insisted on returning...]

Itou’s job in the Shinsengumi by the way was as an official liaison with the Satsuma (well, before they teamed up with Choshu)

Takeda was from a family who were retainers to Matsudaira
***hist. Takeda may have been killed by S.H. this is a mystery mentioned on Japanese sites***

Itou intros Takeda to Satsuma

Note to self: If Saitou says he is going to escort you somewhere, turn down his offer

Takeda confesses xxxxxxx connection to Saitou…xxxxxxx is next on the list (secretarytocapt3 gets lost here)

Hijikata speaks to Saitou privately and chooses him for the Itou mission his reason being “I trust you” (duh)

Saitou with the Itou crowd jumps up to volunteer to kill Kondou and even sets his own deadline of 3 days. Itou and friends are happy and acknowledge Saitou had the skill to do so “ahhh you are a kenjutsu teacher for the Shinsengumi”

Kondo allowed his men to visit with former Shinsengumi who left w/ Itou

(S.H. NOT shown stealing $)

Saitou returns to the Shinsengumi by disguising himself as a beggar and waits in front of headquarters until someone recognizes him…Hijikata has him hideout with the Kishu(?) clan

Itou’s last meal/evening was spent at Kondo’s guest house

Todou Heisuke urged to escape during the brawl at Aburona… (place where Itou people get slaughtered)…but Todou stays and dies by the hands of his former friends.

[Nagakura pulled off fellow members who repeatedly attack Todou after it's clear he's mortally wounded.]

Shinsengumi watch Bakufu army practice French military tactics and learn that Hijikata wanted the Shinsen. to adopt these western strategies as well

Harada and family…very cute.

[I loved the interaction between Harada's wife and Nagakura's girlfriend/future wife. I also found it quite interesting that Harada and Nagakura spoke of being with the Shinsengumi as "We do our job. We get paid. We have fun." It was clear that their "job" was top priority though as they're called away from a night off and immediately so without even bidding the women a farewell.]

Swordsmiths and sword sharpening seemed to take a while as Okita had to wait a couple of days to get his sword back…a sword owner and sword smith can learn from each other and have neat conversations

Okita’s Kikuichimonji sword was 700 years old

How the Shinsengumi’s loss of Okita (declining health) and Kondo (shot by Itou folks) within a close time frame was devastating

Clans formerly loyal to the Bakufu changed sides
Bakufu army had no fighting spirit

Lord of Aizu + Shogun leave Osaka Castle…which puts the Shinsengumi in a hard political situation…Hijikata confronts Matsudaira and asks “so we have been used?” etc…this is where you wish Hijikata grabbed Matsudaira’s collar and slams him against the wall

Charter members, Nagakura, Sano, Saito were all considered to be “drop outs”

I thought I’d “seen it all” in terms of dramatic portrayals boy was I wrong…interesting story line of widow seeking revenge on Kondou, Shinohara the “eccentric” in the Shinsengumi who was a good samurai/person and victim in the Itou business, weird psycho hitokiri in the ranks of the Shinsengumi…theme of Shinsengumi fighting to the end not only for the sake of their fallen comrades but acknowledgment of the valor of their enemies (the idea of being ready for the consequences)

Kondou+Hijikata’s peasant background is mentioned constantly as an insult…they had a chip on their shoulder

Saitou is mentioned here and there…in the case of Hijikata wanting a Iaido expert to practice with the group…but the iaido guy wants to use a real sword so Hijikata wanted him to fight Saitou with a real sword (I guess Saitou was handy to have around for these situations)

Excellent cast for Kondou, Hijikata (tall imposing confident and cynical/cunning)…Okita who looks much better than the photo shown on the cover of the dvd (hands down best Okita I’ve seen)…Saitou is very young/eager to please Hijikata/while taking Kanryu on a walk pretty -scary-

Only slow part was the episode dealing with Okita and his love interest his doctor’s daughter which is actually VERY relevant as the doctor knows about Okita’s serious condition…the series is only 11 episodes and very well paced.

Series exceeded my expectations and the female characters are well developed too!

[It WAS very very good I highly recommend seeing it if at all possible. The actors portraying Hijikata and Okita (Hiroaki Murakami and Shunsuke Nakamura) were excellent and quite believable and you know I have to be the one to point out that they have serious fangirl appeal. Also I've been told that Murakami portrays the blind, older brother of the new NHK Hijikata. The man has some serious screen presence with his brief appearance really standing out--And that was before I'd even seen him in this series.]


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