The 43rd NHK Taiga Drama is Shinsengumi!. The arrival of Commodore Perry's "Black Ships" rudely awakened Japan from 300 years of peaceful isolation from the world. Men set their eyes beyond Japan and began to demand change in society. Old clashed with the new, and thus began an age of turmoil. Amidst this confusion, one group remained true to the old ways and risked their lives to preserve the traditional shogunate system. Led by their charismatic captain, Kondo Isami, the Shinsengumi upheld the code of honor of the samurai. Tales abound of the feats of men like Kondo, Hijikata Toshizo, Saito Hajime, and Okita Soji. This NHK taiga drama brings to life the passion and glory of these men who lived during the most turbulent time in Japanese history. Full of pathos, action-packed, this is a series not to be missed by chambara fans.
Cast & Credits
The story of the drama is being told from Shinsengumi's perspective, and I felt like it was pretty fair. The only bad comment could be the pace and character developments,which were a little slow. There are no breath taking action scenes or tear jerker twist and turns, because the story more likely focuses on the caracters as well as the incidents. The acting is fairly executed since all the actors are pretty well experienced and well known. The music on the other hand was simply no good. I think especially the intro music is a complete failure. I do understand that they wanted to do something militar and heroic but to me it was simply annoying. Lastly,I recommend this drama not to those who want to watch a japanese version of "sageuk" but to those who want to know more about Japan's history lead by good actors and a little fiction to be more fastmoving. If you are interested, the rewatch value is higher and if not,than probably lower. Overall it was a good executed Taiga, which was a little slow and in my opinion a little sugar coated,but not boring and very educative.
The music theme, the less we talk about it the better.
Costume designs looked so cheap! The production was really bad. Action and fight scenes also weren't well choreographed. It would've been okay for another story, but this is the Shinsengumi!
In the end the main problem is the focus. So much time was wasted on stuff I didn't care about. Is it really that important to see every step of how Kondo gets himself a 2nd wife? And why spend so much time on a character like Sutesuke that not only didn't matter for us the Viewers, but also nobody else gave him any importance, all the way to the end. He was just used (in very stupid ways) to get some things to happen.
Anyways I don't regret watching it but I don't recommend it. If you want to know more about the Shinsengumi, watch samurai movies like Until the Last Sword is Drawn or Twilight Samurai.