Thursday, October 21, 2010

Shinsengumi Chronicles

Once again, Animeigo and I are on the same page. In this case, it's page 194 of Warring Clans, Flashing Blades where I noted that Shinsengumi Chronicles is "largely accurate and impressive in its scope and devotion to a thorough retelling of the events of the day." Those unfamiliar with the Shinsengumi, a ronin militia formed during the downfall of the Tokugawa shogunate, should probably read the whole review, as I spend a bit of time discussing the background and forming of this most legendary aggregation of lethal swordsmen. But even it you don't, Animeigo has done their usual whiz-bang job of providing lots of supplemental material to bring you up to speed.

One thing puzzles me, though. My name is on the back of the DVD case, after the quote "Samurai Knights of the Roundtable … " -- something I've never said or written in connection with this film. Either Animeigo's marketing department is confused, or they're just making stuff up. I understand they're under considerable stress just now, suffering from both a bad economy and consumer flight from disc-based media. But really, fellas, "Samurai Knights of the Roundtable"? Give me some credit. That's not only corny, but wholly inaccurate. These Shinsengumi guys operated more like gangsters than mythical Arthurian knights of old, something you surely know, so why wouldn't I?

But never mind this lapse, Shinsengumi Chronicles is a great samurai film, one of the best and highly recommended.

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