The Buccigire! Release date has been confirmed for July 8, 2022, the summer 2022 anime season.
Key visuals and the first PV for the upcoming Buccigire! TV anime are released by anime producer Twin Engine (Dororo, Vinland Saga).
The anime is directed by Tatsuo Hirakawa (Afro Samurai: Resurrection), key visuals – by Geno Studio (Golden Kamui), with Hiroyuki Takei (Shaman King) being the artist.
The anime airs every Friday on TOKYO MX. It is slated to be distributed on Amazon Prime Video streaming and Hikari TV to an international audience.
The first Twin Engine original TV anime, Buccigire! promises to be an interesting watch. It follows seven criminals chosen to act as important Shinsengumi members (who were wiped out by a mysterious force), meaning the plot is set during the Bakumatsu period (1853-1868). The impostors struggle to keep the peace in Kyoto, just like their predecessors.
That’s pretty much all that has been revealed plot-wise, but we got our first glimpse of the characters.
Bookstore! Main characters
Ichiban Boshi (CV Gen Sato)
A replacement for the Shinsengumi commander, Kondo Isami. Unlike the real Kondō, Boshi has an unconventional way of thinking and acting ad hoc.
Heisuke Tōdō (CV Toshiyuki Toyonaga)
The only surviving member of the Shinsengumi, the captain of the eighth unit. He is special about the Makoto flag (see below) because it has strong feelings for the now deceased real Shinsengumi members.
Sakuya (CV Shunichi Toki)
A replacement for Shinsengumi Vice Commander Hijikata Toshizō. An ex-murderer with a fickle personality.
Akira (CV Sumire Uesaka)
A replacement for Okita Soji, the captain of the first Shinsengumi unit. A skilled swordsman and a hard worker. Often dresses up as a man, despite being a woman.
Sogen (CV Shinichiro Miki)
A replacement for Yamanami Keisuke, the secretary general and a vice commander of the Shinsengumi. A mad scientist who handles scientific experiments.
Suzuran (CV Yuto Uemura)
A replacement for Saito Hajime, the captain of the Shinsengumi’s third unit. A monk and a playboy, Suzuran mourns all the dead, regardless of their denomination.
Gyataro (CV Wataru Takagi)
A replacement for Nagakura Shinpachi, the captain of the second unit of the Shinsengumi. Has committed all kinds of crimes.
BO (CV Fukushi Ochiai)
A replacement for Harada Sanosuke, the captain of the Shinsengumi’s tenth unit. A gentle glutton and a skilled writer.
Bookstore! — Shinsengumi references not to be missed
Unfortunately, there aren’t many anime that portray the Shinsengumi. Besides Hijikata Toshizou: Shiro no Kiseki, the only other franchise to make it (relatively) big is Hakuoki, an anime series inspired by two otome games of the same name (Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms and Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds).
From what has been revealed so far, Buccigire! will likely contain multiple references to the Shinsengumi members, of whom the international audience knows only a little.
For those interested in the tragic story of the last shogunate corps, Shinsengumi: Assassins of Honor (1969) is perhaps the best starting point, with an all-star cast led by Toshiro Mifune as Kondō Isami.
Trivia: The Hakuoki franchise had Shinichiro Miki voice Hijikata Toshizō, while he voices Sogen in Buccigire!.
The Bakumatsu Period (幕末, “End of the Bakufu”) lasted from 1853 to 1868. It was triggered by the Perry Expedition (1853-1854) and ended with the Meiji Restoration that effectively ended the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Edo period.
After the Restoration, Japan was restored to imperial rule under Emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito) and underwent rapid changes in politics and economy, leading to westernization of the country.
The Shinsengumi (新選組, “New Corps”) was a special police force under the direct supervision of the Bakufu (shogunate). It was special because it enabled commoners to become samurai and often recruited men from Edo sword schools.
It counted a few famous swordsmen, including Okita Sōji, who was considered a child prodigy.
The Shinsengumi members wore distinctive uniforms: light blue linen jackets with pointed white stripes at the bottom of the sleeves.
They fought under the banner of Makoto (誠, “sincerity”), which symbolized their loyalty to the Tokugawa. The symbol was on the Corps banner, white against a red background. According to several historical sources, the banner was about five feet long and nearly four feet wide.