Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East is an anime series based on a manga by Miyuki Abe.
Five years before the beginning of the series, all but three people died in a plague that struck Otsuka village. The three survivors (Shino, Sosuke, and Hamaji) took shelter in a church at a nearby village that's located near a dark and dangerous forest. The people of the village view the church and the survivors with suspicion.
Shino Inuzuka is an 18-year-old boy who looks more like he's 13. He has a living sword called Murasame on his right arm, and the Imperial Church is trying to get its hands on Murasame.
Sosuke Inukawa can shape shift into a wolf. He doesn't have any relatives, so he treats Shino and Hamaji like family. Hamaji is like a sister to the other two, and she tries to make sure that everyone is fed properly. Unfortunately, she's not a very good cook.
The first episode opens with Otsuka village being burned to the ground, and Hamaji crying over a dying Shino. A stranger appears and asks Shino whether or not he wants to live. The stranger pulls out a sword, and then the scene changes to Shino in the present. During the episode, we see the villagers' distrust of the survivors, as well as the Imperial Church taking steps to try to get a hold of Murasame.
I really appreciated how the first episode was executed. While there was information that the writers needed to convey in order to establish the story, characters, and world, they were able to do it in such a way that the action kept moving and what information was being provided didn't feel like an "info dump." Enough establishing information was revealed to make a viewer interested in the characters and want to keep watch the series in order to find out what happens. This is a series that I would be willing to watch more of in the future.
I was also impressed by the animation that was used for Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East. I thought that the animation style being utilized effectively complemented the story being told in the series.
Personally, I would recommend Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East to anime viewers who are 13 or 14 years of age and older.
|Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East||12||2013-ongoing||Mitsue Yamazaki||Studio DEEN||Sentai Filmworks|