A Tale of Warrior Spirit: Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ (MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

“Hakuouki” is a tale of warrior spirit.

What does this mean?

Based in the late Edo and early Maji Periods of Japan, this historical/ supernatural piece of creative fiction on the Shinsengumi is grounded in fact but heavily spiced with unexpected fantasy.

The group record of Kondo, Hijikata, Sannan, Okita, Saito, Nagakura, Harada, and Heisuke is told through the eyes of young Yukimura Chizuru, a 16-year-old girl who leaves home in search of her absent father, Kodo, who is well respected for his role as a doctor of western medicine. Her journey quickly leads her into the hands of the Wolves of Mibu; in a twist most unexpected, Chizuru becomes their ward, acting as their housekeeper while falling deeper and deeper into their lives in a way that proves that all our stories have the potential to intertwine. The most seemingly chance encounters can alter us irrevocably.

“Hakuouki” is one of the single most emotional anime programs that I’ve ever seen. I’ve re-viewed it so many times, and what keeps me returning is the depth of its feeling and examinations. Join these men on a pilgrimage of warrior conviction as they examine unchanging principles and the limits of their own strength.

Romance is present, but not singularly focal, straightforward, or simple. Action is present, well-contrived, and necessary, but it does not detract. Humor frequently peppers this episodic tale, but never once does it overwhelm the seriousness of circumstance.

I cannot recommend “Hakouki” highly enough.

There are several ways to enjoy the pinnacle of shoujo (dare I say anime in general?) that is the “Hakuouki” franchise, but I find that the watch order is of critical import when considering the series’ emotional impact. Below I include two orders for your consideration, but I highly suggest watch order “A” that one might garner the greatest appreciation for and experience the utmost power of the series. I strongly feel that watch order “B,” which includes spoilers by its nature, does not offer the same thrill of revelation offered by “A.” In watch order “A,” you watch events unfold and only after experiencing a breadth of emotion do you begin to understand why. In a way, the experience mirrors life; we don’t begin our journeys with all the information at hand. We learn and grow together as we go along.


Watch Order “A”—Production Order

  1. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Mysterious Tale of the Shinsengumi (2010)
  2. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Record of the Jade Blood (2010)
  3. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ A Memory of Snow Flowers (2011)
  4. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ Dawn of the Shinsengumi (2012)

Watch Order “B”—Canonical Events Order

  1. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ Dawn of the Shinsengumi (2012)
  2. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Mysterious Tale of the Shinsengumi (2010) **ONLY EP 1-8**
  3. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ A Memory of Snow Flowers (2011)
  4. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Mysterious Tale of the Shinsengumi (2010) **EP 9-12**
  5. Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Record of the Jade Blood (2010)

Only after completing a watch through of the available seasons do I recommend watching the feature length films: “Hakuoki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ Wild Dance of Kyoto” (2013) and “Hakuoki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ Warrior Spirit of the Blue Sky” (2014). These films present a slightly alternate but very possible reality and are difficult to understand without the greater detail provided by the series. They present themselves in some ways darker than the original anime, and yet in some ways more hopeful.


Everyone has a preference regarding subtitled or voice dubbed anime. I have seen the entirety of “Hakuouki” in the dub repeatedly, and I have seen many portions with subtitles. Even if you prefer subtitles, I highly HIGHLY suggest watching “Hakuouki” in the dub first if you’re a native English speaker. I say this not because the original voice cast is not talented. I am, after all, watching the subtitled version in pieces and I would not do that should it prove unworthy of my time. No, I suggest the voice dub because, in an anime this emotionally charged, in which every moment means something and every word has an inflection to be appreciated and understood clearly, in which every single glance may matter in a given moment and should not be missed, I strongly feel that you will get the most impact hearing the work in your own language.

My advice is that, at least on your first watch through, you choose the English dub. Watch it, absorb it in the way most linguistically accessible to you. The English cast is PHENOMENAL, as one might expect from an anime so worthy of praise.

The original “Hakuouki” game has spawned so much media that it is unreal, and this should be taken as testament to its greatness. Sometimes, shows that are only so-so get renewed, revamped, re-envisioned…

…but this is not one of them. “Hakuouki” is a masterpiece of anime.

Take a look at the trailers below if you’d like a spoiler-free taste of the titles above:


Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Mysterious Tale of the Shinsengumi (2010)

Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ The Record of the Jade Blood (2010)

Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ A Memory of Snow Flowers (2011)

Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ Dawn of the Shinsengumi (2012)


I feel very strongly about this title’s place in anime greatness, and I’d love to discuss it with you. In addition to those aspects of story and acting mentioned above, the animation and characterization are absolutely top notch.

Knowing the path of this emotional story, the opening to Hakuouki Reimeiroku (Dawn of the Shinsengumi) can nearly move me to tears on its own.

Help me get the word out, if you would. I don’t normally say things like this, but care to share the post? Let’s start a conversation. Let’s talk.

I hope this finds you well,

Shoujothoughts

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7 thoughts on “A Tale of Warrior Spirit: Hakuouki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ (MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

      • pokeninja90 says:

        *high five* LOL I did both, but I prefer the sub… the guys sound sexier in Japanese XD

        As for the order, I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure I watched in the standard order since I didn’t know any better at the time.

        Never saw the films so I can’t speak on the animation differences, but I will say I preferred the artistic style of the game!

        I’m gonna run through the entire series in preparation for the English release of Hakuouki: Shinkai Kaze no Shou in the Spring!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • shoujothoughts says:

        Both? Rock. On.

        If you liked the game and series that much, I really think you’ll enjoy the movies. They cram so many of the key emotions into such a short window, so some points feel rather intense in comparison to the series, and there are fewer gags. I find the art (non-close ups) of the movies to lag behind that of the series, but the visual effects are beautiful.

        I NEED A VITA TO PLAY THIS GAME. GOOD NIGHT.

        Anyway~~~, if you watch it in canonical order next time, let me know what you think. Otherwise, happy viewing.
        (^-^*)/

        Liked by 1 person

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