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Hakkenden, Vol. 5

3.8 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000GHP6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #927,958 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 12, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The Hakkenden animated series is based on a very old Japanese novel (Nanso Satomi Hakkenden) that has a story that is anything but out-dated. It has historical dates and figures in it but has a fair dossage of supernatural bad guys and great action sequences. The simplified plot is that a Japanese Lord's daughter is forced to marry her pet dog that saved her province from an overly-oppressive Shogun. This was because the Lord jokingly said to the dog that if he killed the Shogun, he could have his daughter's hand in marriage. After living with the dog for many years, she released eight spirits from a beaded necklace when she died. These spirits would later become known as the Eight Dog Warriors.
I really liked the first video in this series. The story can be mighty hard to follow at times but it's obvious there is a very good plot in the works early on. The animation is good and not so good depending on the part of the show. Talking scenes and more idle moments in the show tend to have animation of a questionable quality. Once the fight scenes kick in however, it is top notch!
So if you are already a fan of anime and are looking for something with more of a historical slant to it and a very complex story, then the Hakkenden is just what you're looking for.
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Format: VHS Tape
The first thing that hits you about this series is it's atmosphere. Based on a 200 year old novel, and set in the Feudal era of Japan, this series drips of the mysticism and and deadly grace of that era, with it's haunting background music, it's bloody sword battles and war scenes, and it's defined characters. The story is unusual; two clans are at war; the Satomi and Anza. The Satomi is at a brutal disadvantage, and in desperation and jest, the lord of the Satomi clan makes a pact with his dog. The result is amazing; among other things, it includes a curse, prayer-beads and eight warriors who we are yet to meet, and who are yet to meet each other. All this is made pretty clear in the first 1/2 hour episode of the series; what really keeps blowing me away is just how much of the plot is fitted in to each episode. Even after just episode one, the cares of the Satomi clan became my own. So, why didn't it get five stars then? Well, for all it's wonderful plot, the animation was a bit cruddy at places. I read somewhere that a lot of different creators took turns in producing each episode, and there are marked differences in the quality from episode to episode, even within an episode. When the quality is good, it really is something to behold, but when it's not....UGH!! -_-;; However, don't let that deter you, if you're into anime with a strong plot and diverse and equally strong characters. It's definitely a series to watch if you're an anime fan, or a fan of Samurai stories, or (like me) you're both!
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By A Customer on December 5, 2001
Format: DVD
I read the back cover and got ready for some real entertainment. While I like some of the mech warrior type anime, I really just love history/fantasy based, anime of ancient Japan.
I thought the story was a little hard to follow at first because they kept throwing in new people in every episode. Then about the time when I could watch the movie without having to think who was who and how they realated to everyone else they went and messed with the animation. There was 2 or 3 episodes in the middle of the series where the animation was quite horrifying and someone nausiating to watch. Everyone had horses teeth and their faces looked like a wax doll stuck in the fire. At that point the series went back to confusing (since it was hard to tell the people apart since the animation style changed so drastically).
All in all, if you are going mostly for story and don't care about animation style, then give this one a try....but my biggest suggestion on this one is rent it or borrow a copy before you decide to buy!!!
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By A Customer on October 17, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Even with such a great story, this animation series is barely adequate to tell the story. The story is presented in a very confused way and in some places inconsistent.
The animation in the first 4 or 5 episodes, while interesting, appeared to be very inconsistent from scene to scene, as if done by three different animation teams. In the middle, the animation becomes more consistent within each episode yet the style changes completely, twice. These changes were not for the better. In episodes 8-10, the animation was very ugly.
Even character personalities seemed to change throughout the series. There were so many characters, especially with the changes and inconsistencies with the animation, that sometimes it was be hard to keep track of each character. The plot timeline at times had inconsistencies, but I supposed that it went with the mystical nature of the story; yet, the confused telling of the story developed this aspect poorly.
The animation and story telling in the last 3 episodes (11-13) was best of the entire series.
I probably should have given more stars to this review. While the animation was not great, the story even if poorly presented held my attention through out the series. However, I didn't want potential buyers to feel as though they weren't warned about the failings of the series.
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