Samurai Jam – Bakumatsu Rock
Japanese Title: 幕末Rock
Animated by Studio Deen – Licensed by NAS, Marvelous Inc.
English Release Date: July 30th, 2014/August 6th, 2014 (Crunchyroll)
This post is an impression of Samurai Jam – Bakumatsu Rock episodes five to six, and is a weekly feature on Boss Dungeon after each new episode has aired on Crunchyroll.
More episodes of ‘Samurai Rock Stars Fight The Power!’, and I decided to combine two episodes into one re-cap because not only do they refer to the same character arc, but also I’m behind so we need to get cracking! The government is making more of an effort to stop Rock Music from spreading, which means our heroes are having a tricky time finding gigs. Kogorou is spending this time trying to figure out what kind of rock star he’s going to be, and is working towards discovering his Peace Soul. Meanwhile, Officer Souji is working closely with the government to learn a new Heaven’ Song, but his health is deteriorating due to his own Peace Soul being suppressed. Can either of them work it out in the end?
In both episodes, it’s made more clear that Rock music in general is illegal, and there’s an actual power behind the government sanctioned Heaven’s Songs. This is something that’s been getting better over the course of the series, as the heroes have gone from playing rock music whenever they liked to suddenly being forced to consider the safety of their actions. I reckon I have a good idea of what the government are, and what their plan to enslave the world involves, so the show can focus on the main characters that are introduced. We also get to learn how the rock band fits into all this, which is something that’s been well overdue in this show. We now have a clear picture of who’s on what side, and what each character is trying to do. We don’t learn everything about the government idols, but that just means there’s the promise of more character development in the future.
The two characters who awaken their Peace Souls are Kogorou and Souji, and both are given large amounts of development in each episode. Kogorou doesn’t go through a big emotional breakdown, which is good, but his realization that he should be a good person is a little basic, and I assume there’s still more to the character we don’t know. It’s annoying that we’re still trying to figure out who this character is, but I suppose it’s enough that I like the guy. Meanwhile, Souji’s flashbacks are actually interesting, where we see a clear sense of development from his childhood to being a huge idol superstar. He’s always seemed ‘Cool but rude’ in the show, but having the show open up to what he is actually like was really cool. The final song he sings in episode six was a highlight as far as musical performances in the show go, and I could really get behind any more episodes that focus on him.
Overall, both episodes were enough to keep me interested in this world after six episodes, and I’d be happy to keep watching. It’s all somewhat dedicate to the cliches of the anime genre, but the presentation and settings are fun. The characters continue to be a laugh as well, and it seems that everyone gets to be as goofy as the material needs them to be, even if they get occasional character development moments. The show has maintained a carefree and goofy atmosphere throughout these six episodes, and I can forgive a lot of its faults for that. The music continues to be catchy and well produced, the expansion into more fantasy-style visuals is great to witness. Overall, I’d recommend giving this show a chance, just to see if you enjoy this sort of silly bishonen romp. I sure do!
Just to remind you again, the entire soundtrack is right HERE!
Samurai Jam – Bakumatsu Rock is licensed by NAS and Marvelous Inc. for localized distribution.
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