Anime Vice News

BAKUMATSU GIJINDEN ROMAN #1 - - Special Review

I'm not sure what I just watched but, holy crap, was it entertaining!

It feels good when your hunches are validated. Dropping into this series cold, I felt like it just had to be based on some side-story about one of Lupin III’s ancestors, because the lead seems exactly like what the master thief would’ve looked like if he were operating in historical Japan. Well, a little online research reveals that, in fact, Monkey Punch did the character designs for this show, so my intuition proved right.

I also suspected that the lead might be voiced by Hiroaki Hirata, the gruff and eccentric character actor who played the leads in TIGER & BUNNY and SPACE BROTHERS. Turns out it’s actually Kazuya Nakai; whom I had previously confused with Hirata when he was voicing Mugen in SAMURAI CHAMPLOO. While my guess wasn’t right, it’s at least supporting my thesis that these two dudes sound very similar, so double kudos on me.

Anyway, what about the show itself…?

This pilot was absolutely all over the place. What initially looked like it was going to be the simple story of a Robin Hood-like hero in the Meiji Restoration (I think?), somehow leads to the sublimely-absurd sight of that same character transforming into a superhero and chopping an entire fortress in half with his bare hand as if it were a stack of plywood. I’m still pretty confused about how we got from Point A to Point C but, holy shit, if I wasn’t outrageously entertained along the way.

There are plenty of other surreal non-sequitors in the show - - from a couple of sack-cloth homunculi to a literal rain of coins to - - and I’m just as befuddled as to how they all fit together. However, there’s just something so inherently appealing about this good-natured n’er-do-well “Roman” that made all that messiness play positively. Out of all of the pilots I’ve watched this season, this is definitely one of most entertaining.

At the least, it’s not about MMO’s gettin’ real, right?

Watch this episode, "A Lavish Banquet of Raining Coins" here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Kino88on Jan. 23, 2013 at 1:31 p.m.

one of these days' I have to sit down, and watch some Lupin, right after I figure out which of the many, many, different versions I should start with that is.....

YotaruVegetaon Jan. 23, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.

Roman went into very ridiculous territory in that last act. I was shocked that they would take it to superhero territory. The show is...alright. I think it feels like this is the type of show that's written hastily and has nowhere to go narritively, but it's at least light-hearted and silly.

Lurkeroon Jan. 23, 2013 at 1:54 p.m.

I had reservations about this show after seeing clips that made the show seem all over the place. If you say that it is still entertaining I may end up watching it after all. I want to wait for a few more episodes to be released and then I will read comments on how the series is.

Marshal Victoryon Jan. 23, 2013 at 3:58 p.m.

@Kino88: Start with what pic thats from the 1971 animation tv series.Then just work your way up. I cant say i have watched a bad luppin movie or tv series. but i havent seen the one that was on cartoon network either.

Back ta the main topic .This show after 3 episodes reminds me of..

So instead of the werid west ( west / fantasy ) we have Weird Genroku era (1688-1704) /weird science show.its has that feel of thats not historicaly right but it kinda works.

Its not for history purests for sure.Odd grovy mix of gunpoweder ,frankenstein science ,swords ,sorcery an super heroes kinda.I wil also day animation quality was pretty good.Their are moments where the character who you know who they look like almost tounge in cheeck hat tip to those characters.

This show was the suprise hit with me of the winter 2013 season.

AURON570on Jan. 23, 2013 at 4:42 p.m.

@Kino88: If it counts for anything.. I went into Mine Fujiko with no prior experience of the Lupin franchise, and I enjoyed it quite a bit!

YotaruVegetaon Jan. 23, 2013 at 8:23 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: I am not seeing an image.

GokaiRedon Jan. 23, 2013 at 9:12 p.m.
@Kino88 said:

one of these days' I have to sit down, and watch some Lupin, right after I figure out which of the many, many, different versions I should start with that is.....

Do what i did, you could start with Lupin part II it's the one that got dubbed and has the most references to the era it was made (it might get a chuckle out of you). The animation isn't as good as the 3rd or 1st series but that's because it has the longest consecutive episodes so i assume they cut a few corner to make so many. 
Castle of Caligastro has Lupin's sexual predator personality neutered, and Fugiko's less of bitch but it's good, most of the TV specials and Movies are good. My fav is 1$ Money Wars, except the series you don't need to watch them in any order. The Dubs are usually great.
Marshal Victoryon Jan. 23, 2013 at 9:28 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta: Hmm maybe a add blocker or flash player blocker? its a youtube link to http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oVrZE5Y2lV4

which is Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Open . I see the vid an played it from here to.

@GokaiRed: hmm http://www.hulu.com/#!lupin-the-third-part-1 they dont have the 1st episode .. thats the 1971 series .. http://www.hulu.com/#!lupin-the-third-part-2

is 1977 an at times feels scoby do-ish .I own the 71 series on dvd an totaly prefer subs . it does have dubs to.Just prefer the subs.

YotaruVegetaon Jan. 24, 2013 at 6:08 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: No, adblocker is totally off.

Marshal Victoryon Jan. 24, 2013 at 6:12 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta: How about flash blocker think they ahve a version for chrome to but i use it in firefox.Seriously its just that youtube link.Not sure why it would show up as a pic not found kinda icon.

Dig Deeper into Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman

Adapted from a pachinko game with character designs by Monkey Punch. A noble thief in the Meiji era tries to steal money from corrupt merchants and give it to the poor.

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