REVIEW: ‘Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys,’ Episode 4 – “Search! For the Mysterious Magical Swords”

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BAkumatsu Bad Boys Episode 4 - But Why Tho

Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys is produced by Geno Studio. With the hunt for enemy spies continuing, the streets of the capital remain a dangerous place. But when assassins infiltrate the Shinsengumi itself in an attempt to kill Bo and Gyataro, the stakes are cracked up to a new level. But almost equally worrisome is how they came across their unique swords in Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 4.

This week’s story opens with assassins attempting to kill Bo and Gyataro. They are initially caught unaware, but thanks to the timely intervention of their swords—once again showing that these relics of Shinsengumi’s past possess an ever-growing awareness—they are saved. But while the attempt is upsetting, what makes matters worse is that it was an inside job. To respond to this growing threat, Heisuke decides to focus the group’s efforts on their one solid lead—the magic blades the killers wielded.

The one piece of information the Shinsengumi can glean from the assassins is that the magic swords are being distributed through the city by orphans. As it turns out, Gyataro lead a group of street orphans before he was thrown in jail. So he, Bo, and Ichibanbochi head out to see if any of Gyataro’s old “brothers” know anything.

One of my favorite parts of past episodes of this series is how it has been expanding upon the cast’s various personalities. Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 4 takes this theme further with Gyataro. Rather than utilize flashbacks to flesh out the character, the modern-day story does it perfectly well through the reaction of the orphans to the return of their friend. The joyous response from the assembled street urchins instantly tells us a lot about who this man was before the show began. While the backstories have always been integrated into the ongoing plot, this meshing brings the two into perfect harmony.

But while the bulk of this episode follows the trio in their quest for the mysterious magical swords, Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 4 also sees Akira return to the inn from the previous episode to confront the mysterious geisha. While we don’t know the full contents of the two’s conversation, it appears as if this moment could bring major repercussions to the plot.

Through these twin plots, this episode continues to build up the moments of the narrative nicely. A storm is brewing, and while the story feels like it is heading in the right direction, it doesn’t feel like it is rushing itself to get there. I hope the momentum of the narrative can continue to hold at this pace clear through to the finale. The animation follows through on the varied elements of the episode nicely. Combat, intrigue, and joy are all captured with due skill.

Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 4 delivers the show’s strongest episode yet. While many of the individual elements are on par with previous episodes, it is how this episode begins to lay out what is to come that helps get the show going in a stronger direction. A smooth narrative that combines character exploration seamlessly with the story, an escalating crisis, and a huge cliffhanger reveal hopefully layout the groundwork for great things to come.

Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 4 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.


Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 4
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 4 delivers the show’s strongest episode yet. While many of the individual elements are on par with previous episodes, it is how this episode begins to lay out what is to come that helps get the show going in a stronger direction. A smooth narrative that combines character exploration seamlessly with the story, an escalating crisis, and a huge cliffhanger reveal hopefully layout the groundwork for great things to come.

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