Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys is produced by Geno Studio. With the new Shinsengumi formed, it’s time for the group to get to work. Their first mission is to escort a notable intellectual on his journey to a nearby naval academy. But while on their way, their employer thinks he recognizes Sakuya from somewhere, prompting a glimpse into the killer’s past in Shine On Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 2.
With its cast assembled and the broad strokes of its plot in place, this episode focuses the bulk of its efforts on fleshing out the members of the Shinsengumi. While much of this effort is focused on Sakuya, the show does a great job of giving the entire team moments large or small to highlight character traits and small foibles. I like how the cast is coming together in Shine On Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 2. There are a lot of fun interactions between the team members. Not only that, but the show does a good job of blending more serious moments into its narrative among the more lighthearted aspects without either getting in the way of the other. This allows the show to avoid any jarring tonal changes as the episode flows from serious to jovial and back.
But while Shine On Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 2 gives each character their due, its central focus is on Sakuya. What we see of this killer’s past is handled well, if not in a particularly original way. While this episode doesn’t deliver a complete picture of the Shinsengumi’s coldest member, it presents a classic framework viewers will be all too familiar with.
This episode also spends some time establishing where the series takes place in Japan’s history. As the group arrives at their destination, American navy steam ships are seen drilling with their cannon. Discussions are had about how Japan should deal with foreign powers, implying the border has not yet been fully opened.
The presence of the cannons also prompts some discussion about the fate of swordsmanship in the growing gunpowder era. It feels like the failing place of the sword in society may become a recurring theme in this show’s narrative, like many others that take place during this transitory era of history. This glimpse into their nation’s future further prompts character revelations as each has their feelings about where their world is headed.
The visuals do a solid job of delivering the story’s various beats. With most of the narrative comprising the group’s fairly calm trip, there isn’t a lot to show off in the style department. While there is some heavier emotion to Sakuya’s backstory exploration, the visuals handle these moments in a way that falls into the good category. It never hurts the emotional narrative but doesn’t manage to augment it either. Rather it delivers Sakuya’s tale in a clear, but uninspired fashion.
When all is said and done, Shine On Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 2 does a fine job developing its story and cast. While it is still struggling to stand out, the series continues to deliver a competent and fun adventure.
Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 2 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 2 does a fine job developing its story and cast. While it is still struggling to stand out, the series continues to deliver a competent and fun adventure.