Genres: Action, Historical, Martial Arts, Supernatural
Yukimura Chizuru’s father left Edo to be a volunteer doctor in the city of Kyoto. He wrote her daily about his life in the city until one day the letter stopped arriving. After a month of silence Chizuru donned a man’s clothes, a sword, and headed to Kyoto in search of her father. For reasons unknown to her, a group of men begin chasing her around town. Before they can corner her, oni appear and slay her pursuers. The oni find her cowering behind a basket and attack, only to be stopped and slayed by young men of the Shinsengumi. She is taken captive by these men due to her seeing too much; they believe she is a boy.
Now a captive of the Shinsengumi, Chizuru is brought before its senior members in Kyoto. Kondou Isami, Hijikata Toshizo, Okita Souji, and the remainder of the primary cast discuss their situation. A few vote for her death as a witness, other yet recommend leniency is she behaves and forgets. They decide to leave her locked in a room under 24 hour guard. They continue to discuss the situation and agree that she will be allowed to live as long as she stay with them under the lead of Toshizo. Toshizo reluctantly agrees and when her gender is brought up half the men already knew, the rest are dumbfounded.
Over the next few months, Chizuru begins to gain the trust of the men around her. She is allowed to attend communal dinners and eventually is given the task of helping and injured warrior, Sannan Keisuke, recover from the malaise his wounds have brought on him. One day while a swordsman by the name of Saito Hajime is practicing, Chizuru asks if she would be allowed to join their patrols to search for her father. Hajime agrees on the terms that she prove her swordsmanship to him. In a fraction of a second her blade is on the ground and his sword is at her neck. However, he notes that she moved with purpose and allows her to join them. Souji lets her know that Hajime is their best swordsman and his words are the closest thing to praise she will hear from him.
Moving in to the city, they encounter a plot by the Bakumatsu group. They capture one of their agents when Chizuru stumbles into their restaurant and is attacked. Moving to stop the Bakumatsu from burning the city to the ground, the Shinsengumi are forced to split in two to check both possible meeting locations. The smaller team encounters them first and Chizuru is sent to warn the rest of the group of the impending battle.
The core of this series story has not yet been fully revealed and the action is having a bit of trouble holding on to my attention while I wait. I can see hints of depth under the surface of this series, but will probably only wait so long for it to be revealed.
Overall Hook Rating: C