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|Brash 15-year-old Ichimura Tetsunosuke attempts to join a doujo of killers so that he can learn to avenge his father's death.
|"Peace Maker Kurogane" is an odd bird of a show - it has the feel of a typical TV Tokyo-style shounen action series, with a young hero, cute pet and a mix of humor and action. But it also has graphic violence and attempts to deliver a more substantial message than the usual afternoon kid's show. Thus it's not too surprising that "PMK" is in a late night time slot. What we have here is another foray into the late Edo era, with brash 15-year-old Ichimura Tetsunosuke attempting to join a doujo of killers so that he can learn to avenge his father's death. In the first episode Tetsunosuke is shown that he is really out of his depth, both physically and mentally, but this doesn't dissuade him from his goal.
All the trappings of traditional samurai films, TV shows and especially anime are present in this show, and if it were being done "straight", it might work in a familiar manner. But there are obvious attempts to aim the show to a younger audience that conflict with the graphic violence and serious undercurrents that make a late-night time slot mandatory. First off, there is the use of numerous anachronisms, such as the "peace sign" and various loaner words that would be out of place in a story set in the mid-19th century US, let alone in late Edo period Japan. I can't understand letting this get through other than to believe that the anachronisms are being deliberated used to make a potential teenaged viewership feel more comfortable. Then there is the addition of the young super swordsman Okita Souji (with his pet pig) who appears to be there to add a bit of androgynous appeal to the otherwise scruffy cast.
So I'm of two minds on this show. On one hand, if "Peace Maker Kurogane" were a serious samurai drama about a young man of that era trying to make the choice between violence and non-violence it might have some potential. But if it is just another semi-comic "kid learns to be a man through fighting" show than all of the potential will go to waste. My only source of hope that it might not end up in a predictable manner is the brief flash-forward prolog to the first episode that implied that there would be some dramatic resolution by the end of the series.
The androgynous swordsman and the comedy fit uneasily with the rest of it. (GC)
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|2003-10-07 to 2004-03-24
|References & Help
|Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.