Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman (幕末義人伝 浪漫) is a Japanese anime television series created by studio TMS Entertainment, based on the CR Ginroku Gijinden Roman pachinko game, with original character designs by Lupin III creator Monkey Punch. In the fantasy historical story, the main character is a “helper” named Manjirou by day and a phantom thief “retriever” named Roman by night. Roman steals back people’s precious items that were unfairly taken from them.
The story is fairly straight forward and not very original. It takes place in 1800s Japan, where a crew of “get backers” try their best to help out people in need. No matter what the problem is, or how dangerous, they deal with it. The leader of this crew is Roman, who is shown fairly early on to have a suit that pretty much gives him super powers. The suit has to be used sparingly though, so it is only used when things get serious. A few episodes in it is shown that there are some western naval forces off shore, and the story basically revolves around explaining what they’re doing there and what their objective is. I would define this anime as an action/comedy, it is about half serious moments and fighting half comedy bits. This is where I felt the anime really lost a lot of its potential. There were very obvious issues with pacing, and lacklustre attempts at comedy. The writers attempted for it to be an action/comedy, but in my opinion they failed. The comedy falls short, and quite a few episodes are wasted on them trying to get laughs. For me the show felt at its best during the more serious moments. During the last few episodes it was clear that the time spent on failed comedy attempts could have been used for more back story and character progression. I know what they were going for, and I don’t think the comedy should have been taken out completely but it just fell short. The serious moments still had a kind of parody type comedy to them, since a lot of the things that go on are just ridiculous. Kind of like JoJos Bizarre Adventure, how it isn’t a comedy but some of situations that occur just make you laugh. Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman could have been improved greatly if the writers tried incorporating more of that style humor.
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