Project #272: Onihei

(Yume): Hello, my name is Yume and welcome to Project Nitsuj. Let’s talk about a man named Heizou Hasegawa. Nicknamed the Onihei which means demon, Heizou was a police officer in ancient Japan. He was the chief of a special task force which specialized in arson-robberies throughout Edo. Despite being named the Onihei, Heizou was the opposite of that. He was feared by criminals but respected and admired by everyone who worked with him. He was very forgiving and merciful to criminals who committed crimes out of a necessity to live and who followed a code of honor such as not killing or robbing from the poor. In fact, a lot of the criminals he captured were reformed by him and became his spies who helped him and his task solve some of the more difficult crimes that happened in Edo so if you’re looking for an authority figure who used the spy network efficiently, Heizou is your guy. Because he was such an amazing historical figure it only makes since to make an anime about him and that’s what they did with Onihei Hankachō. Often shorten to just Onihei, the anime is based off the historical novels of Shōtarō Ikenami which follow the life and tales of Heizou. The novels were released in the 60s but reached such a high level of popularity that people have based plays, movies, and live-action shows off the novels, and now they add an anime to that list. Released in 2017 and under the production of Studio M2, the newest studio founded by Masao Murayama who left MAPPA and formed this new studio (I’m starting to think he might have a problem), this was an anime that a lot of people skipped over and because of that it developed an underrated appreciation which is why we’re gonna look at it today. Now originally Mira was supposed to do this review with me, but she’s caught a slight cold and will be unable to make it this week. Luckily, I’ve found a replacement for her. Please welcome my co-host, Seras.

(Seras): Thank you Yume. I’m glad to be here everyone. I don’t know much about this Heizou guy or this series but if you’re praising it so much Yume it must be good.

(Yume): That it is. Let’s take a historical trip to the past. This is Onihei.

Opening and Ending

(Yume): Our opening for this anime is “Onihei ~Edo wo Hashiru~” by Kouhei Tanaka. It’s an instrumental which combines the ancient sounds of Japan with a L.A. Noire feel to it. It’s a marvelous opening that sets the tone and setting of the anime perfectly and makes you feel like you’re about to watch a crime show. If you like the openings of Cowboy Bebop and Baccano, you’ll like this opening.

(Seras): The ending is “Soshite.. Ikinasai” by Saori Yuki. The song is nice and peaceful. Not really my cup of tea but if you like nice and peaceful songs that make you feel calm than this song is for you. Not a big fan of this genre but I don’t think it’s bad.

Episodes 1-4

(Yume): The anime starts in the year 1783 during Japan’s Tenmei era where arson and theft are pretty high. A group of arsons are escaping until one of them gets captured and left behind. He gets taken in for questioning but refuses to talk so the chief Heizou voiced by Kenyuu Horiuchi, begins torturing him such as putting a nail through his foot and pouring hot oil on it (Seras: So uncivilized). A few months go by and the prisoner whose name is Kumehachi still hasn’t talk however Heizou does develop somewhat of friendship with the guy as they talk about his past such as how he never knew his real parents and was raised by his grandmother until she died one day and grew up as a performer. Heizou also said he didn’t know who his mother was and we find out he adopted the daughter of a thief and decided to raise her himself. One day the guards are talking about a gruesome crime scene where everybody was murder and the women were raped and then murdered (Seras: Sadly, this was quite normal back then). The police have clues indicating it was Tanbei of Chigashira but Kumehachi overhears their talk and informs them it wasn’t him because he once traveled with Tanbei and even though he was a thief he had three rules that he followed. Never kill, don’t steal from the poor, and don’t rape women. These rules were hammered into anybody who followed Tanbei but Kumehachi in his youthful phase tried to rape a woman on one of the raids and got found out. He was excommunicated from the group no matter how many times he begged for forgiveness and decided that he would dedicate his life to following the three rules of Tanbei as a way to repent for his mistakes. After another massacre occurs a sole survivor says the killers are meeting at Shimada Lounge and Kumehachi begs Heizou to let him capture the men who bring shame to Tanbei’s name and principles promising to return to his cell once the mission is complete and Heizou lets him do it. So they send Kumehachi into the Shimada Lounge (which is a the red light district) and he stays there for a 10 days until the leader of the group of thieves shows up revealing himself to be Tanbei who has abandoned his three principles and invites Kumehachi to rejoin his group giving him a meeting location and everything. Kumehachi gives this information to Heizou and his men and they raid the place (scene here: and capture Tanbei and the others (throw the sword at them). Heizou offers Kumehachi a job as a spy and tells him to think about it.

In episode 2 one of the vassals (a holder of land) within the Honjo area is up to no good so Heizou heads there to investigate. On this mission, we get to take a walk down memory lane as this was the area that Heizou grew up in. It was here that Heizou learned the way of the sword, met his first crush Ofusa who got away from him because she married into another family (that sucks), and met his friend/rival Samanosuke. After walking the grounds of his dojo he runs into Samanosuke and they go out to get a drink and catch-up with each other. After that, Heizou sees Hiko another acquaintance from his past exiting the mansion of a vassal named Kakunosuke Hattori and questions him. Hiko tells him that Kakunosuke has been swindling people out of money within the area and anyone who doesn’t pay his fees gets beaten up (Seras: I’m starting to think the Japanese were the original mobsters). His wife is also no different as she pretty much shares the same sadistic mind as her husband (birds of a feather. (Seras): Flock together). Hiko offers to act as Heizou’s spy and after a few days go by Hiko reports that Kakunosuke plans on burglarizing a store and killing everyone in it. Heizou sends in his men and they manage to arrest Kakunosuke and his wife who happens to be Ofusa (well this is some reunion). We find out that after Ofusa got married she got pregnant right away (Seras: The husband works fast) but tragedy struck when she had a miscarriage and later on her husband died after getting kicked in the head by a horse. Ofusa soon got kicked out of the house and family and met Kakunosuke where she gained a warped way of thinking and wanted to get revenge on the family that disowned her. After hearing her testimony, Samanosuke is shocked that the woman he once loved is no more (such is the curse of time) and she gets taken away.

Episode 3 is a rather exciting episode. A ronin by the name of Hanshiro is on a journey to find the man that killed his father who was also a samurai. In order to cover his traveling expenses (which were very high back then. (Seras): And yet people still complain about traveling expenses today) he takes up jobs assassinating people in fact we find out later he’s assassinated so many people that he has visions where he’s covered in the blood of people he’s slain in the past. Anyway, someone has tasked him with assassinating Heizou and he almost succeeds but each time Heizou fights him off or he gets saved by his squad. As the episode progresses we see Hanshiro develop a relationship with a girl named Osaki a maid who works at the place he’s staying at (Seras: Who has one of the most depressing faces I’ve seen). One day, when Osaki is getting scolded by her masters Hanshiro kills them and she falls for him (because that’s what any girl would do if they saw someone murder for them. Don’t call the cops or scream your head off. Just fall in love with the guy and run away with him. Just how low self-esteem does this girl have?). Hanshiro decides to run away with Osaki and start a new life somewhere else where nobody knows who they are but they need money so Hanshiro decides to give it one more try at assassinating Heizou. Of course, Heizou has now become familiar with his methods of attack and waits for him at an inn. Once Hanshiro enters Heizou’s room trying to assassinate him, Heizou is ready and beats him because Hanshiro is holding himself back. In the past Hanshiro had nothing to live for outside of revenge (he is literally a walking corpse) but now that Osaki has come into the picture he now has a reason to live and see tomorrow meaning the man who didn’t fear death now fears it. Beaten and afraid to die, Hanshiro makes a run for it where it seems like he’s going to get away (Seras: Even Heizou seems like he was going to let him escape) but he gets attacked and killed by the innkeeper who in an amazing twist was the samurai that Hanshiro was searching for this whole time (

In episode 4 Omasa an old acquaintance of Heizou comes to visit asking for help. She works for a thief named Genpachi and his men who rob and kill people (that’s kind of what thieves do honey). After Genpachi killed an innocent bystander in one of their last jobs, Omasa has enough and wants things to end so she’s gone to Heizou for help. Heizou agrees to help her and he has her act as his spy for the case. He sends Hiko to aid her and they follow Genpachi back to the place he’s staying at. Hiko goes to tell Heizou but that turns out to be a mistake as Genpachi knew he was being followed and captures Omasa taking her to his real hideout. Thanks to a trail of blood left by Omasa (Seras: That’s some good dedication right there), Heizou and Hiko find the hideout and Heizou storms the place himself to save Omasa while Hiko goes to get the others. We get an amazing series of animation as Heizou storms the place himself taking on the thieves single-handedly and actually kills quite a few of them. Even when he takes a bow to the shoulder and a spear to the ribs he continues to fight (this guy puts the tough in tough). Eventually the numbers catch up to him and he’s backed into a corner but Hiko arrives in the nick of time with the others and they arrest everyone. Omasa gets saved (and doing rather well for a woman who got kidnapped, possibly raped, and nearly bleed to death) and agrees to continue acting as Heizou’s spy.

Episodes 5-8

(Seras): For episode 5 we focus on a character named Chugo who works under Heizou. There’s been a string of murders in the city caused by a man named Shugoro of Hakabi and everyone is put on patrol especially Chugo who everyone considers to be the weakest member of the team (Yume: Well he does look soft and cuddly. Like a rabbit or a dumpling). He gets put in charge of patrolling the red light district (well aren’t you the lucky one) where he goes into one of the brothels and meets a prostitute named Omatsu who totally likes him because he’s her type (Yume: Like I said. Soft and cuddly like a rabbit). He goes there numerous times (Yume: Apparently he likes to do it as much as a rabbit as well) completely using up all his money and going broke but Omatsu covers his bill with the money she got from this man calling himself Kawagoe. Eventually Chugo gets discovered and reprimanded for his actions (wow, usually you praise a guy for getting some. How the times have changed) by being moved to office work. We find out that Kawagoe is actually Shugoro and is planning one final job before going off to Sendai. Chugo gets the Omatsu fever and sneaks out to go see her where he happens to see one of Shugoro’s men. At first he tries to ignore him but the dying words of his father telling him to live honestly ring in his head and he follows the man back to Shugoro’s hideout. He manages to get Heizou a message and he and the others arrive onto the scene where they raid the place. Shugoro tries to escape but he succumbs to his wounds and dies in the streets where Chugo gets credit for his death. He gets paid 3 ryus for a job well done and gets told that the brothel Omatsu is in is closing down since it’s so close to the shogunate’s temple (but that’s why people come by to visit you. (Yume): All they do is voice their complaints). He rushes there hoping to see her but it’s too late, however, he finds out she’s in another town and rushes to go see her.

In the sixth episode Heizou is on a journey to visit his father’s grave. Chugo has gone with him as protection but Heizou wants to have a quiet and peaceful journey alone so he pays off Chugo to go have fun with some women (that boy has the libido of a rabbit in heat). As he travels alone he befriends a thief by the name of Zenpachi who wants to rob a man named Ichigoro a corrupted brewery owner who treats his employees like crap and does some shady business on the side (that sounds like almost every corporate leader in the world). Using a fake name, Heizou agrees to help him and they make it into the estate safely where they rob Ichigoro of two crates of money (Yume: It was a big deal back then) and rescue some servants who tried to escape who also steal a crate and bag. They unfortunately get discovered but thanks to Zenpachi’s thief book which has records or every house in town as well as secret passageways and exit strategies they manage to escape safely (I like this guy, he studies his targets and comes up with the best solutions to beat them. My kind of thinking). The next day Zenpachi offers the book to Heizou since he doesn’t have much time in the world as he’s been having chest pain but the corrupted police come in to arrest them until Chugo shows up and reveals Heizou’s true identity (Yume: And everyone in the room dropped a brick because of it) where Heizou covers for Zenpachi and letting him go but only this one time since he was such a good traveling companion (which is true, he was fun). Also, Zenpachi is in good health. He got examined by a doctor who said that his sickness was all in his head.

Episode 7 is a rather touching episode. In the episode a gang of thieves have been killing and raping people around town. They have a suspect who was part of the gang and knows where they’re hiding but he won’t talk. Upon seeing the suspect and his slightly burnt face Heizou recognizes the man as Otomatsu a boy he met in the past (and now the past comes back to haunt him). As a child Otomatsu grew up in a broken home. His real father died when he was 4 and his mother (Yume: A very weak woman mentally) was dating this terrible man who would beat Otomatsu on a daily basis. Heizou sees the beating and beats the man up telling Otomatsu to come see him again should this ever happen again. At first, things seemed to be going well for Otomatsu. The man stopped beating him but after a while he began attacking Otomatsu again only more violently. The mother finally steps in telling him to stop (oh my God she actually watched her own son get beat up? (Yume): Like I said a very weak woman) but this only angers the man and he begins beating her up until Otomatsu takes a wooden sword and kills the man himself. Rather than be thankful the mother calls Otomatsu a murderer saying she wish he was never born (that bitch). Otomatsu soon ran away from home where he joined a group of thieves and he blames Heizou for his predicament (oh don’t give me that crap. I’m sorry you had a shitty childhood, but Heizou wasn’t the one who told you to run off and join a group of thieves. That was your choice and yours alone. Own up to your choices). While it’s true Otomatsu tried to contact Heizou when the beatings started up again, unfortunately, Heizou was out of town on business and the men working under Heizou believing him to be a street urchin turned him away. Otomatsu refuses to talk until he sees Heizou’s daughter Ojun, Heizou’s adopted daughter. Originally, she was the daughter of a thief that Heizou either caught or killed (never specified. (Yume): I’m going with killed) and now Heizou and his wife are raising her along with their incompetent son. Otomatsu agrees to talk but only if he’s allowed to watch Ojun from a far one more time (Yume: That’s not creepy at all). His request gets granted and when he sees her he outright tells Ojun that her father is a thief who didn’t love her (what the hell is wrong with you? We get it, you had a shitty childhood but that gives no right to make her childhood terrible). Ojun soon runs away from home but Heizou finds her by the river trying to catch a sweetfish since she destroyed the one Heizou was going to eat for dinner where he manages to save her from drowning. We get a touching scene where she apologizes and just wanted to do something nice for him since she’s not his real daughter, but Heizou tells her that it doesn’t matter to him. Whether she’s his child or not Heizou and his wife love her just like their own child. The next day in court Otomatsu expects Heizou to be furious but instead he’s not if anything Heizou seems grateful to Otomatsu as it bought him and Ojun closer together and he’s right. Otomatsu breaks down in tears and tells them where the thieves are where they catch them all easily. The next day Otomatsu decides he wants to be executed for his crimes and receives one last hug from Heizou before his death (it’s a sad scene, I can’t lie). A few days go by with Heizou feeling down blaming himself for what happened to Otomatsu (Yume: Don’t. What happened to Otomatsu was terrible but just like Seras said he chose to continue down the path of pain instead of learning from his past and choosing to go a different route. There’s was nothing not even Heizou could do to save him) until Ojun cheers him up.

In episode 8 Heizou has caught a cold and becomes bed-ridden (even onis get sick). While bed-ridden, someone breaks into his house and steals his father’s smoking pipe (breaking into an officers house. Not sure if that’s brave or just foolish). While drinking at a boathouse (Yume: That sounds lovely, they should bring those back) Heizou sees that the boatman has a smoking pipe similar to the one he lost and begins to suspect him of being the thief. The next day he sends Kumehachi to investigate where we find out the boatman named Tomogoro used to be a thief along with Kumehachi back in the day until he retired. Tomogoro tells Kumehachi that he did in fact rob Heizou of his family pipe back when he still had a cold (oh well that doesn’t count. (Yume): Doesn’t matter how you get the gold as long as you get it). Kumehachi reports his investigation to Heizou and he decides to play around with Tomogoro. Heizou has Kumehachi steal his seal and then has Kumehachi make a bet with Tomogoro to return the pipe and steal the seal that Kumehachi will put back (it works out better when you see it). Tomogoro accepts this challenge and performs his task but only because Heizou allowed him. The next night Heizou goes to have a drink with Tomogoro where he shows him his pipe and gives him the scare of his life.

Episodes 9-13

(Yume): Episode 9 gives us another inside look into Heizou’s younger days. We see that back then he was an unruly man who was studying to be a samurai but would drink, gamble, flirt with prostitutes, and get into fights (Seras: Besides the flirting with prostitutes and gambling not much has changed). He also had some family issues. Apparently, he was the illegitimate son of a samurai so Heizou’s mother treated him like crap because of it (Seras: Jealous bitch. With a face like hers I can understand why he cheated). This lifestyle changed however when he met a wandering samurai named Matsuoka who came to the dojo and challenged the master. The two engaged in an intense stare off with each other for half an hour not attacking each other because neither one had an opening (one move is the difference between life and death). Matsuoka admits defeat and Heizou challenges him to a surprise dual and loses with one strike. Heizou challenges him again the next day and while he lasts longer this time around he still loses however he gains a great amount of respect for Matsuoka calling him master and everything. Matsuoka also takes an interest in Heizou and tells him not to do anything that would bring shame or dishonor to his dojo and stay on the right path. Before long Heizou cleans up his act but once he finds out his “mother” has chosen his cousin as the heir of the family he falls back into his old habits and takes up a job to rob someone. On the night of the heist he acts as the boatman for the thieves and we see that one of them is Matsuoka who berates Heizou for dishonoring the name of his dojo and throws him off the boat so he won’t be associated with them. Matsuoka and the other thieves escape with Heizou not knowing what happened to him after that but even despite this Heizou still holds Matsuoka in high respect because he was the man that made Heizou who he is today (and for that we say thank you).

In episode 10 Heizou tells Ojun the tale of Wasuke a carpenter and a thief who would construct buildings and then rob them without a trace since he helped build them he knows the layout and everything (Seras: That’s actually quite clever). In the story we follow Wasuke and see that he quit being a thief a long time after the death of his wife. He’s now back in Edo where someone he used to work with wants his help in robbing the Kozuya paper company. The original plans were burnt but Wasuke has a good memory and can easily remember the layout and secrets with ease but he refuses to help. He goes to visit his brother, his wife, and their son Isotaro who happens to be the illegitimate son of Wasuke. After the death of his wife, Wasuke was overcome with sadness and blamed himself for her death. He felt he was unworthy to be a dad so he left Isotaro in the hands of his brother to care for and raise (well at least he didn’t abandon him like most dads do). Isotaro is the assistant manager at Kozuya but the current master of the company treats him like crap because the first master liked Isotaro and considered him to be his successor and marry his daughter (Seras: And then he would really be rolling in that money) but he died and now the current master holds resentment towards him. Isotaro gets framed for stealing money and not wanting to bring shame to his family decides to hang himself and to make matters even sadder (and darker) Wasuke’s brother and his wife take their lives as well by drowning. Sad and angry at what happened to his family, Wasuke plots revenge and teams up with the thieves to rob Kozuya. They take all the gold and escape via river but Heizou learns of their plans and is waiting for them which works out in Wasuke’s favor. Robbing Kozuya was only step one of his master plan, for step two he tells the thieves to throw all the money in the river to lighten their load and the final touch for Wasuke’s revenge, destroying Kozuya’s contracts (Seras: I’m assuming that was a big deal back then. (Yume): Yes, very). With his revenge complete, Wasuke passes away from what I want to say is a heart attack and four years later Kozuya went bankrupt and closed its stores down for good (Seras: That’s some good revenge right there).

Episode 11 focuses on Heizou’s wife Hisae where we meet her former love Kondo. In the past Hisae, Kondo, and Heizou were all neighbors (he married his neighbor? (Seras): I’m shocked too. All this time I thought she was a prostitute) and Kondo was seeing Hisae (he was her first). However, Kondo was a terrible boyfriend. He ignored Hisae quite a bit and spent most of his money and time on prostitutes. One day, he and a prostitute try to rob a place but they got caught and Kondo escaped killing 3 people in the process. It’s been 24 years since he disappeared and now he’s called up Hisae to talk to her while Heizou is away on business. He doesn’t do anything to her, he just talks to her and then she leaves (nice catching up with you Kondo, let’s not do it again) which was a part of Kondo’s plan to kidnap Ojun (Seras: Why? (Yume): Good question, I honestly have no idea why he’s doing all of this). They manage to find and save Ojun, make the people who kidnapped her pay (if there’s a moral here it’s don’t mess with Heizou’s family), and capture Kondo. Once in jail he and Heizou come face to face where Kondo tells Heizou that he was Hisae’s first (who the hell cares? (Seras): Yeah! He married her, gave birth to a lazy son, and adopted a girl while you’re locked in a jail cell. No matter how you look at this situation he won in the end). Heizou just laughs at him saying he doesn’t care (see? You wasted all this time for nothing. (Seras): You may have watered the garden first, but you didn’t plant no seeds), Hisae is his wife and he’ll be with her now and forever.

Episode 12 starts off on a sad note. We open on a woman who is the wife of Koyanagi (a member of the Arson police and works under Heizou) who gives birth to a child only to have it die after birth and she dies as well (Seras: Wow, what did he do to piss God off?). About a year goes by and we see that Koyanagi who is usually a calm man has become quite harsh and isn’t afraid to jump into danger at the cause of his life (Seras: He’s clearly become suicidal. (Yume): Yes, but he won’t kill himself and die a dishonorable death). On the anniversary of their deaths he spots a woman about to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge with her baby (this is a very dark episode) but Koyanagi stops her. He takes them to a safe house and finds out that her name is Otaka and she’s the wife of a thief named Matahachi they caught not too long ago (well this complicates the relationship). In the past, Otaka thought Matahachi was a craftsman but when he got caught one of his accomplices showed up at Otaka’s house with a letter and money from Matahachi. Koyanagi wants to make things right so he goes behind Heizou’s back and makes Matahachi a deal. He says he’ll allow Matahachi to see them one last time on the condition that once the sunrises he’ll give them the name of his accomplice and his whereabouts since he murdered two people. Matahachi agrees to this condition and Koyanagi lets him out. On their way to Otaka, Matahachi escapes and Koyanagi is arrested for helping a prisoner escape where he makes no excuse for his actions or tries to defend himself (he knows he messed up and he’s prepared to die for his mistake). Six months pass and when it’s time for Heizou to pass judgement on Koyanagi, Matahachi returns (Seras: The prodigal thief returns. Who knew?) with his accomplice and begs them to let Koyanagi go. Koyanagi is released and allowed to rejoin the Arson Theft Control.

(Seras): In the final episode we focus on the real life thief Matataro escaping with his band of thieves when he gets stopped by his future wife Omasa who wants to go with him (even back than girls were into bad boys). Since love affairs were banned within the group Matataro begrudgingly leaves her behind. We fast forward 10 years later where we see that Omasa is now a spy working under Heizou and the gang of thieves that Matataro is a part of is committing murder in Edo. Since Matataro was the son of the leader everyone thinks he’s responsible for these heinous acts but Omasa doesn’t believe it’s him (Yume: She still loves him) but instead Bunkichi the younger brother of Matataro. After doing a bit of digging she finds out that Matataro is in Edo and leaves a note with her friend asking to meet him. But a spy of the thieves kills Omasa’s friend and they go to attack her where she gets cornered by Bunkichi who wants to know where Matataro is (that seems to be the million-dollar question for this episode). She gets saved by Matataro and they flee to an inn where Matataro explains that Bunkichi took over the gang and has been killing people disrespecting the thief’s code of honor (Yume: There is no honor among thieves) and now he’s come to convince his brother to stop what he’s doing or if need be kill him (we’re leaning towards the ladder). The next day Omasa and Matataro follow Bunkichi’s spy back to his hideout where Matataro confronts Bunkichi who refuses to change so a fight breaks out. Matataro does a good job defending himself long enough for Heizou and the rest of the Arson Theft Control to show up and fight. Bunkichi tries to escape but gets chased down by Matataro where he tries to kill him but Matataro turns the tables and instead kills Bunkichi. Heizou allows Matataro to leave with his life however he is not allowed to return to Edo (that seems fair). Sometime later as the credits roll Heizou informs Omasa that Matataro died from an epidemic in Kyoto (Yume: Which is a little different from literature. In truth Matataro fled to Kyoto with Omasa where they got married. It was there that Matataro did in fact die from an epidemic and Omasa returned to Edo where she remarried).

Final Thoughts

(Seras): Well Yume I’m not gonna lie, this truly was an underrated anime.

(Yume): I know right? The story is very enjoyable. Each episode presents a problem and a good life lesson that you can apply to your life or experience in the past. While some stories are stronger than others and they can get repetitive at times, they’re all very well-written, enjoyable, and offer a different perspective from different characters.

(Seras): Speaking of characters, they’re all good and serve their part. The best character is of course Heizou. He’s a deep, respectful, and understanding man. He loves his family, his job, and the people he works with. His life is mixed with both joy and hardship where he’s learned from it all and become the man he is today. The rest of the characters aren’t as deep or as explored as Heizou but for what we get, they’re all good characters who once again play their roles perfectly, have unique personalities and serve their part throughout the anime.

(Yume): The animation is elegant and realistic like a Japanese painting come to life. The color palette they use feels like your in Japan and has a serious tone that fits with the setting, atmosphere, and theme of the anime. While the fight scenes aren’t all that spectacular, fast, or flashy they look good and move fluidly.

(Seras): While the animation captures the feel of ancient Japan, the music gives it that L.A. Noire setting and works in harmony with the anime. It’s very similar to the music of Samurai Champloo, it shouldn’t work but when you get people who know what they’re doing, you work with them, and give them a clear idea on what you want the music to sound like it all comes together and that’s what happens here. Everything comes together and creates one of the most unique and interesting OSTs I’ve seen in a long time.

Final Score

(Yume): The final score for Onihei is 7.5 out of 10.

(Seras): I’m giving it a 7.5 as well.

(Yume): Onihei is a very well-written and entertaining anime with great characters, good animation, and an interesting soundtrack. But sadly, this anime was very underrated when it came out so if you like samurai stories and well-written shows that are easy to understand and follow than check this anime out you won’t be disappointed.

(Seras): Thanks for ready and we’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.

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