The Bucchigire! release date is confirmed for July 8, 2022, the Summer 2022 anime season.
Key visuals and the first PV for the upcoming Bucchigire! TV anime have been released by anime producer Twin Engine (Dororo, Vinland Saga).
The anime is directed by Tatsuo Hirakawa (Afro Samurai: Resurrection), key visuals — by Geno Studio (Golden Kamui), with Hiroyuki Takei (Shaman King) being in charge of the character draft.
The anime will be broadcast every Friday on TOKYO MX. It is scheduled to be distributed on Amazon Prime Video streaming and Hikari TV for international audiences.
The first Twin Engine original TV anime, Bucchigire! promises to be an interesting watch. It follows seven criminals chosen to double as key Shinsengumi members (who were wiped out by a mysterious force), meaning the plot is set during the Bakumatsu period (1853-1868). The imposters struggle to keep peace in Kyoto, just like their predecessors did.
That’s pretty much all that has been disclosed plot-wise, but we’ve received the first glimpse at the characters.
Ichiban Boshi (CV Gen Sato)
A replacement for the Shinsengumi commander, Kondō Isami. Unlike the real Kondō, Boshi has an unconventional way of thinking and acts ad hoc.
Heisuke Tōdō (CV Toshiyuki Toyonaga)
The only surviving member of the Shinsengumi, the eighth unit captain. He is particular about the Makoto flag (see below) because he maintains strong feelings towards the now-deceased genuine Shinsengumi members.
Sakuya (CV Shunichi Toki)
A replacement for Shinsengumi Vice-Commander Hijikata Toshizō. An ex-assassin with a fickle personality.
Akira (CV Sumire Uesaka)
A replacement for Okita Sōji, the captain of the first Shinsengumi unit. A skilled swordsman and a hard worker. Often dresses as a man, despite being a woman.
Sogen (CV Shinichiro Miki)
A replacement for Yamanami Keisuke, the General Secretary and a Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi. A mad scientist who handles scientific experiments.
Suzuran (CV Yuto Uemura)
A replacement for Saitō Hajime, the captain of the third unit of the Shinsengumi. A monk and a playboy, Suzuran mourns all deceased regardless of their denomination.
Gyataro (CV Wataru Takagi)
A replacement for Nagakura Shinpachi, the captain of the second unit of the Shinsengumi. Has committed all kinds of crimes.
BO (CV Fukushi Ochiai)
A replacement for Harada Sanosuke, the captain of the tenth unit of the Shinsengumi. A gentle glutton and a skilled writer.
Sadly enough, there aren’t many anime depicting the Shinsengumi. In addition to Hijikata Toshizou: Shiro no Kiseki, the only other franchise that has made it (relatively) big is Hakuoki — a series of anime inspired by two namesake otome games (Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms and Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds).
From what has been disclosed so far, Bucchigire! is likely to feature multiple references to the Shinsengumi members, of which international audiences know but a little.
For those interested in the tragic tale of the last shogunate corps, perhaps the best starting point is Shinsengumi: Assassins of Honor (1969), starring an all-star cast led by Toshiro Mifune as Kondō Isami.
Trivia: The Hakuoki franchise had Shinichiro Miki voice Hijikata Toshizō, whereas he’s voicing Sogen in Bucchigire!.
The Bakumatsu period (幕末, “End of the Bakufu”) lasted from 1853 to 1868. It was triggered by the Perry Expedition (1853–54) and ended with the Meiji Restoration that effectively put a stop to the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Edo period.
Following the restoration, Japan was reinstated to imperial rule under the emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito) and underwent rapid changes in politics and economics, bringing about Westernization of the country.
The Shinsengumi (新選組, “New Corps”) was a special police force under direct supervision of the Bakufu (shogunate). It was special in that it allowed commoners to become samurai and often recruited men from Edo sword schools.
It numbered a couple of famous swordsmen, including Okita Sōji, who was considered a prodigy.
The Shinsengumi members wore distinctive uniforms — light blue linen jackets with pointed white stripes at the base of the sleeves.
They fought under the Makoto flag (誠, “sincerity”), which symbolized their loyalty to the Tokugawa. The symbol was emblazoned on the corps’ banner, white against a red background. According to various historical sources, the banner was ca. five feet long and nearly four feet wide.