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Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto — Collection 2 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese & English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: Yellow/White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-14 (V)
  • Run Time: 325 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 27, 2012
  • List Price: $69.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4.5/5]


Collection 2 of Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto (幕末機関説 いろはにほへと, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto) completes the story that began in the first collection that previously reviewed here. A chambara (swordplay; チャンバラ) drama with elements of paranormal fantasy set in Japan’s Bakamatsu (Late Tokugawa Shogunate) period, or the final years of the Edo period when the Tokugawa shogunate came to an end and Japan ended its isolationism, opening itself up to foreigners, mainly the British. It follows the samurai Akizuki Yōjirō tasked with finding the legendary artifact known as “The Head of the Conqueror,” as the nation stands at the brink of war,  and an acting troupe seeking revenge on the man who killed their families. The troupe use their plays as a rouse to expose to the public the corruption of government officials and draw out all the players in the vast conspiracy connected to the slaughter of their families. They won’t stop until they get their own revenge through blood. They cross paths with Akizuki, and their agendas seem to mesh – is it fate, or another part of the conspiracy? Part two of the collection finds the troupe continuing their search as the flames of war engulf the Shogunate, and the entire nation is drawn into a violent conflict. The discovery of a mystical sword with great powers threatens the balance, allegiances shift, and surprising twists shape the outcome of events as The Head of the Conqueror’s influence grows. Part two of this series grows ever darker and even more complex with every episode, and remains a brooding and beautiful to watch series.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The image quality of the digital animation, as to be expected, is clean, apart from the heavily applied digital grain that has been added for effect and does tend to soften the detail. The colors, line art, and backgrounds still pop nicely nevertheless.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Audio remains strong, even if it is only in stereo. DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) tracks are provided in the original Japanese and an English dub. They offer clean dialogue, reasonable dynamic range and good stereo panning.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

This barebones release provides little relevant to the series, only the clean opening and closing animation.

  • Clean Opening & Closing Animation
  • Additional Sentai Filmworks Trailers
  • English Disc Credits

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Collection 2 is a satisfying conclusion to this sweeping chambara series, but it the whole series must be watched from beginning to end otherwise it is very easy to lose track of all of the shifting subplots.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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[amazon-product]B008XEZXSY[/amazon-product]

Purchase Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]



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