Title: Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun, 八犬伝 -東方八犬異聞-
Producers: Bandai Visual, Studio Deen, Sentai Filmworks
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Shoujo, Supernatural
Duration: 24 min. per episode
When their village was wiped out five years ago, only Shino Inuzuka, Sosuke Inukawa, and the girl Hamaji, who was raised as if she were their sister, survived. And both men inexplicably have the same peony-shaped birthmark. When they went north as part of the army three years ago, they went to confront demons and came back forever transformed. Now the Imperial Church has come for Shino and Sosuke and they must find eight mystical gems and their owners or face a fate worse than death at the hands of the Church.
Fansubs watched: Anime Koi
A crow, a dog and a wolf all wake in a bedroom, and a demon trapped in the cells by monks, a shame there isn’t any action this episode. In a grand mansion, foxes are busy running around serving some noisy guest, the kidnapped Hamaji. Kaname seems rather fond of Hamaji and her pestering as she gives him a hard time for kidnapping her. In the meantime, Shino and Sousuke arrive at the capital and are greeted by the church’s men and a strange person, Riou who appeared on that fateful night. Shino and Sousuke are escorted to their hotel where Shino leaves to have fun around town. Outside a shrine, a strange man falls on top of Shino knocking him out. Monks appear outside and they talk about the person’s brother being a demon, who has been locked up due to his destructive powers. The person, Kobungo, is still sitting on Shino when his father arrives to apologises to the monks about his rash behavior, and find out that he had been sitting on someone. Kobungo takes Shino out for a feed to apologise, but also to learn more about Shino and his tattoo that his brother shares with him. Sousuke comes to pick Shino up where the scene transition to a person in chains. It is the next day and Sousuke goes outside for a bit and leaves Shino alone sleeping, but a giant wolf and Riou soon visits him. Shino then calls for Murasame who becomes a more gigantic version. Sousuke comes back in and is confused. Riou then takes Shino and Sousuke to where Hamaji is being held, and to their luck Hamaji is angry that they are late. Later on, everyone is out shopping but Shino senses something strange, a dragonfly. The dragonfly then returns to one of the monks, who visits the chained brother and attacks him with his army of dragonflies.
There is no action in this episode, which is a shame since the first episode had some nice action scenes and monster designs. The majority of this episode is to paint the next arc, where there seems to be another person who can use demons like Shino but is trapped in jail under the shrine. And it’s also seen that the monks are the villains, strange isn’t it? It also seems that the people that kidnapped Hamaji may not seem so evil, opposed to the initial reaction in the first episode. But of course, it could be all for looks. We are also introduced to another character, Kobungo who may be a reoccurring character that may help Shino since his goal is to free his brother, and that the monks want to target Shino since he has the mark.
The second episode has some plot progression and the meeting between Shino and Riou since the incident that occurred some time ago. Though it does remain to be seen what Hamaji’s powers are, since she was also present at the incident but doesn’t show any powers. Maybe her stubbornness became a power. It is also revealed that Shino cannot age due to Murasame and much to Riou’s surprise that he is able to bond with the crow quite easily. The monk has a weird animal, some metallic dragonfly, which by the way has the creepiest method of being summoned, through the monk’s ear. It like the thing hides in his brain and the design of the dragonfly thing itself is quite unsettling. But hopefully there will be some glorious action soon and some awesome monster designs. This episode though, was done well with all the explanations but some things are still mysterious. We are also informed that Shino was pretty much a girl when he was younger, due to some tradition that had him raised as a female- odd.
The second episode of Hakkenden isn’t a bad one. Sure there isn’t any fighting but the premise and story has started to open up and pick up its pace. And dammit, those dragonflies look creepy as hell.