REVIEW: ‘Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys,’ Episode 5 – “Show Them! The Pride of a Monk and a Doctor”

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Shine On Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 5 - But Why Tho

Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys is produced by Geno Studio. With the discovery that Ichibanboshi’s brother not only lives but serves as a field commander for the Masked Demons, the world has been put on its head for the young Shinsengumi commander. But while Ichibanboshi struggles with the ramifications of this revelation, life goes on for the rest of the Shinsengumi, and Sogen and Suzuran are about to make a startling discovery in Shine On Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 5.

While the simple fact that Ichibanboshi’s brother is alive is a big enough bombshell, further truths surrounding the reveal are poised to create some huge moral struggles for the show’s lead protagonist. I feel like how the series handles this particular arc moving forward will determine a lot about the show’s quality. If it fails to stick the landing on the narrative that Shine On Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 5 lays the groundwork for here, it could have massive consequences for the show. But while Ichibanboshi grapples with his changing reality, Sogen and Suzuran continue to investigate the nature of their enemies, as well as their strange weapons.

Much like last episode’s look at Gyataro, this week’s focus on Sogen and Suzuran does a wonderful job of building the duo’s personalities and history up through the events of the story. As the two characters search for answers, the show teaches the viewer about both characters in the most subtle ways that blend the character exposition perfectly with the ongoing narrative. While I’ve commented previously on how much the series had already made me like Sogen, Shine On Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 5 creates a wonderful dynamic between him and Suzuran that I hope we will see more of as the series continues.

The best part about these two is how the show deals with their different viewpoints and how one might expect them to be diametrically opposed. With Sogen being a man of science and Suzuran a man of faith, it is natural to expect a philosophical clash between the two. Happily, rather than take this obvious route, the series decides to deliver a more nuanced conversation between the two. There is a respect and open-mindedness between them that is refreshing from what one usually gets from discourses concerning two such characters.

The episode crafts some further nuance into these characters by revealing the reasons the two were in jail. While some of their compatriots were hardened criminals, these two were not so brutal. While some may agree with why Sogen was sent to jail, Suzuran is innocent of any actual crime, save for doing something those in power simply don’t like. This greatly strengthens the empathy the viewer feels for these two.

The visuals throughout this episode support the tone and events of the developing narrative nicely. While nothing portrayed during this episode ever truly grabbed my eye visually, nothing ever failed to deliver either.

When all is said and done, Shine On Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 5 brings another strong character entry to the series while continuing to push the primary narrative forward. Next week’s episode should kick off a new phase for the show and I find myself hopeful for its outcome.

Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 5 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.


Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 5
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys Episode 5 brings another strong character entry to the series while continuing to push the primary narrative forward. Next week’s episode should kick off a new phase for the show and I find myself hopeful for its outcome.

But Why Tho?
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