Yumeiro 23, Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan 1

I suppose since ep24 of Yumeiro Pattisiere is out, I maybe ought to do ep23 …

A trifle this time, another filler before the Cake Grand Prix starts up again. The gang, along with Ichida, attend a circus, and Ichigo and Ichida get lost and meet Amelie, the infant phenomenon. She lets them play backstage. Trampolines! Elephant feeding! It’s all happy until Ichigo bakes them a cake to say thanks.

And it becomes a question of how to get the kids, one who hates spinich, the other who hates carrots, to enjoy a food using both. Nothing amazing in the answer; Ichigo just tries (with Andou’s help) and finally succeeds. There’s supposed to be some tension as to whether Ichida, who has become friends with Amelie, can get the cake there before the circus leaves town, but since we know he will, we don’t get worried. The circus scenes liven things up a little, and so does Kashino.

Fairy Juggling!

I don’t know what to make of Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan. That’s partly because I know next to nothing about Japanese history, so things taken for granted by Japanese viewers go whoosh over my head. Also, I don’t know if I liked ep1 all that much.

This looks like a mismatch.

It starts out fine, with a girl named Chizuru running away from outlaws who are killed by an interesting loony. Then the loony is killed by some men, who then are about to kill Chizuru for witnessing. Instead, one of them, Toshi, tells them to take her to headquarters. All well and good, but at this point the episode begins to fall apart. First, the girl is introduced to the group, the Shinsengumi, literally. While I’m trying to figure out who is who, I’m also trying to figure out why this fairly secretive group hasn’t figured out the obvious.

Apparently the Shinsengumi is an all-boys outfit.

Chizuru is ordered quite specifically not to pry into their affairs, but she does anyway. And the youngest and stupidest of them tells her something. He’s slugged by another guy, and then they proceed to tell her more. Maybe because she’s a girl, or she just happens to be searching for her famous doctor father, and so are they. I’m betting on the former.

In other words the first episode was a bit of bloodshed and way too much talk and clumsy character introduction—no, scratch that. They make an effort to establish personality by behavior, it’s just that there are several of characters and they try to do it all at once. I can’t say this is the best-run organization, at least in terms of keeping secrets. The story that might unfold has promise. Chizuru isn’t the most interesting lead character in the world. Well, I’ll give it another episode or two.

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