Ryan Wilson

Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East: Episode 1 – Anime Review

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Drop it off at the kennel

Drop it off at the kennel.

Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East
Episode 1: Borders
Publisher: Bandai Visual
Animation Production: Studio DEEN
Based on a Manga by: Miyuki Abe

It’s usually in the beginning of these reviews where I briefly discuss the plot of the series from what I can gather from the first episode, but to be honest I have no clue still what this show is all about. The most I’ve been able to understand is that the three main characters, Shino (far right), Sosuke (center, with crow) and Hamaji (not pictured) survived a fire that took their whole village. Because of this, Shino is able to pull a sword called Murasame out of his arm and Sosuke can turn into a dog. You might think that this build up is enough for an episode by itself, but Hakkenden doesn’t appear to know the meaning of the word “pacing”, as it throws pointless scenario after pointless scenario at you in quick succession.

Thankfully, the show is at least a technical marvel. If your internet connection can handle it, I suggest watching this show in 720p, as the animation and backgrounds are absolutely gorgeous. Sound is no slouch either, and I urge you to take note of Shino’s first transformation scene for some truly gut-wrenching effects, both aurally and visually.

I really want to like Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East, but at this time I’m very wary to even give the show the benefit of another episode. If they are able to solve the pacing issues with episode two, then I’d be more than happy to recommend the series, but at this time you’re better off skipping this one.

Judge for yourself: Crunchyroll

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