August 13, 2022

Shine on! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Premiere Shows Creative Criminal Use

The following contains spoilers for Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 1 “A Conspiracy! The Shinsengumi Made Criminals,” streaming now on Crunchyroll.

Shine on! Bakumatsu Bad Boys is part of an action-packed anime lineup for summer 2022. The promo videos feature an action-packed battle sequence with interesting character designs. This anime is set in medieval Japan, where most people wield a katana. Although the main organization is technically a law enforcement agency, the officers come from varied and intriguing backgrounds.

Shine on! Bakumatsu Bad Boys‘ blurb easily spoils the reason behind the unusual case. All but one of the Shinsengumi members were wiped out by an unknown force. In order to maintain the image of the organization, they are forced to employ seven criminals to be part of it.

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The first criminal introduced in Episode 1 is the Samurai Killer Ichibanboshi, who was arrested and soon imprisoned after attempting to take on several masked samurai himself. But instead of being beheaded, he and a few other criminals found themselves in the presence of a scarred man. He introduces himself as Todo Heisuke, the captain of Shinsengumi’s Team 8, and offers the criminals an offer that’s hard to refuse – become a member of the Shinsengumi or meet their demise.

Sakuya the Assassin is the first to make a memorable impression. He was not only the first to accept Heisuke’s offer, but also quickly murdered the only criminal who refused to join the group. Next to join is Bou, the big eater, whose only requirement to join was being able to eat a lot. Gyatarou the crime collector, Sogen the psychopathic doctor, Suzuran the depraved monk, and Akira, the only female in the group, followed suit after establishing their own personal terms. The last to join the team was Ichibanboshi – but not without convincing.

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Although they’re supposed to be law enforcement, this group can’t just change their ways with the snap of their fingers. Heisuke divided them into groups of three and each team was tasked with patrolling and apprehending criminals. The leader himself joined Bou and Gyatarou, and it didn’t take long for the two criminals to cause trouble. Bou ate without regard, prompting Heisuke to pay for his meal. Meanwhile, Gyatarou couldn’t help picking his pockets.

The second group consists of Akira, Sogen and Suzuran. Suzuran flirted with Akira constantly, even though the latter paid him little attention. Sogen’s love of anatomy and dissection also showed quickly when the group came across a beating victim, but he eventually healed the injured person. Finally, Sakuya’s love for cutting others came through as they chased after the culprit. Oddly enough, the only notable featureless was the series’ main character, Ichibanboshi.

Shine on! Bakumatsu Bad Boys may have just begun, but it’s already clear that the charms of this anime lie in its colorful cast. The new Shinsengumi may be mostly criminals, but they aren’t necessarily evil. It may be more appropriate to describe them as peculiar people or just people with odd hobbies. That being said, their antics and character development are what viewers are most looking forward to.

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