風雲維新ダイ☆ショーグン 第1話 「世継ぎ騒乱、慶一郎登場!」
Fuuun Ishin Dai☆Shogun #01. 「Succession Mayhem, Keiichirou Appears!」
Source Material: Original series
Studio(s): J.C Staff, ACGT
Director(s): Takeshi Watanabe (渡部 高志)
Writer(s): Dai Satou (佐藤 大)
Fuuun Ishin Dai Shougun is an original series by studios J.C. Staff and ACGT, headed by director Watanabe Takashi and series composer Dai Satou.
Tokugawa Keiichirou is a descendent to the ruling Tokugawa shogunate, but since birth he has been raised by the elderly Otomi, owner of one of the best bathhouses in Nagasaki. A natural brute, Keiichirou has spent his young adult life getting into fights and inadvertently uniting Nagasaki under one leader, himself. When he finally has no one left who opposes him, he gets mixed up in the mysterious case of the sex-house murderer, the culprit a woman dressed in a red kimono who seduces and stabs seventeen-year old males to death. After being false accused himself, confronting a fearsome female ninja, and discovering the murder of one of his own underlings, Keeichirou is finally attacked himself by the culprit, a female assailant who was hunting him the whole time. By news of the aforementioned female ninja, Kiriko Hattori, and his grandmother, Keiichirou discovers that the Tokugawa shogunate is being overthrown and that he is a rightful inheritor of the Tokugawa bloodline. He is taken to the inner chambers of the bathhouse to witness the rise of a giant robot called Onigami, an ancient machine that can only be piloted by a true virgin of the Tokugawa bloodline, a condition that points all fingers at none other than Keiichirou.
I swear, I haven’t seen that many lens flares since my last viewing of Star Trek Into Darkness. Oddly enough, as with J.J. Abrams’s take on the rebooted series, they gave Fuuun Ishin Dai Shougun a certain visual touch that made it shine on-screen a bit more, figuratively and literally. It’s been a while since my last historical adaptation, Oda Nobuna no Yabou back in 2012, if I remember correctly. And while I’ve taken some courses in Japanese history and culture within that time-frame, I don’t think I’m in any position still to gauge this, or any other, show’s historical accuracy. But for the most part, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to be a necessity because this series is a bastardization of Japanese history in the whole sense of the word. Anachronistic technology, gender-bending, over-stylized personalities, and… all those lens flares… I just can’t help but to reiterate their presence. The story takes place in an alternate Japan in which the Meiji Restoration of 1868 never happened. Instead, with the use of giant robots to drive away foreign ships, Japan remained isolated from the rest of the world, and remained in the relatively primitive Edo period, where people don’t even have baths in their own homes, . But what they do have is giant robots. Imagine that. So it’s obviously nonsensical, everything here so far, but there’s something about the way Fuuun Ishin Dai Shougun presents itself that gives the impression that it has fully accepted itself as a ridiculous story, so much so, that’s it’s almost admirable how much fun it’s making out of itself. It’s kind of amazing, actually, considering the role of Dai Satou, a man with wholly accomplished works under his belt (Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Wolf’s Rain, Samurai Champloo, Eureka Seven, Ergo Proxy, Toward the Terra, Eden of the East, Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, etc), the man who has been quoted saying he only works on series with “meaningful stories”, as series composer. A premiere episode of gratuitous boobage, homoerotic jokes, and ninja grannies is a far cry from those of the aforementioned series, to say the least. But it’s not all for naught. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about Fuuun Ishin Dai Shougun gives it a certain oomph that prevents me from writing it off as a hapless train-wreck as I did with last season’s Nobunaga the Fool, or any other resembling predecessors. What’s even more inexplicable is that, in comparing to Nobunaga the Fool, the main cast of both series essentially share the exact same archetypes, the zealous, easy-going protagonist fated to be a ruler, the pervert of a best friend, and the well-rounded heroine come to guide the hero to his fate. Yet one completely triumphs over the other in delivery and has me much more attached to the characters. How? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the lens flares… In any case, I think I’ll allot the achievement to the series composer, as I imagine script-writing to be one of the core components of a show that often gets overlooked when it actually does provide for a lot of direct and indirect impressions. And in giving Dai Satou the benefit of the doubt, since I’ve never really disliked anything to come from his creative mind, I’m also going to place my bets on what’s to come. Seeing as how Fuuun Ishin Dai Shougun is perfectly enjoyable right now, it developing into a grander story is just what it needs to bring it up to the next level of entertainment. And if that doesn’t happen, I’m more than willing to give it a few more episodes at this point just to find out why I’m so lenient towards it.