Hacookie Episode 8 – Chizuru becomes ….a woman?

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If anything, this is probably the sleeper hit of this season. I am not sure why everyone is not watching this. Is it the fact that people feel threatened with their masculinity if they watch a show filled with bishies? There’s actually a pretty interesting plot in this series, and it’s a huge pity that no one actually bothers with this. Anyway, I am blogging this as long as I have some time to spare on it, so let’s see how Chizuru becomes a woman.

Quick summary

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Chizuru is still troubled by the ghost clan’s words that her father is with them. However, a chat with the very similar looking San-chan lifted her spirits. Later on, Chizuru warned Okita to take care of his health, while Okita mentioned that he copied Hijikata’s hairstyle. Shinpachi was reprimanded by Hijikata over their supposed lax behavior. Shinpachi was angry that Hijikata was neglecting the older members of the Shinsegumi while they attracted new blood. Hijikata apologized, and admitted that he was harsh on them because he did not want to let others feel that he was being biased to the older members. The Shinsegumi also took up an order to take care of a fallen board, and a group tried to assault the Shinsegumi who are defending the board. Harada fought them off, but noticed “Chizuru” in the group.

Through the reward of defending the board, Harada treated everyone to a brothel. Harada then told everyone about how he saw Chizuru in the rebel group, and somehow it led to Chizuru dressing up as a gal. They started to wolf-whistle her, and she got embarrassed as she ran away. She then had a short discussion with Hijikata on his character, as the boys have a nice nights out.

Thoughts

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I keep thinking back about the words my wife said on Hakuouki Episode7, when she noted how Chizuru is such a masochist. She really is ONE because when people compliment her on her new found femininity, she gets all awkward and angry about it. Like ….ok, this thought section is starting off very poorly. Honestly speaking though, this episode is pretty solid because it throws in a few more interesting twists, especially how it is likely that Harada did not see Chizuru (duh), but saw San. This is quite an interesting twist because I really thought San-chan will simply be eye candy for this series.

I also appreciate the little things that Okita noted. It almost feels like Okita is the only person who truly understands Chizuru. He also has this rather malicious humor in him, which makes him much harder to understand compared to the other quite stereotypically bishie characters. I am finding him to be one of my favorite characters in this show right now, simply because he is somewhat like flowing water, even though it is clear he has softened his edge with Chizuru a lot.

Is it just me but is the series forcefully trying to put Hijikata and Chizuru together as a couple? I am not sure if it is just my wrong impression but it almost feels like they are trying to which feels a little weird. I really find that Okita and Chizuru would seem somewhat more appropriate as a couple, compared to the solemn Hijikata. Nonetheless, his “I am always good looking” reply is just so awesome. For those who do not know Japanese, that comment came about when the courtesan said that she always heard that Hijikata was a demon, but he turned out to be good looking enough to be an actor. So, he was lying when he said he can hold his liquor. Clearly, he can’t. Despite my comments about Hijikata and Chizuru being a couple, there is a bit more depth in Hijikata’s character, showing that he is really acting in a way that was forced into him.

I also wonder about the conversation between the courtesan and San-chan about the oni/ghost clan. If someone has the great ability of moonspeak, I will be more than glad to get a lecture on what was actually said. Lastly, I must say this: Chizuru is so adorable if she dolls up. Make up really makes a whole lot of a difference for a plain looking girl huh? I am so glad that my wife seldom puts on make up (she’s pretty cute as it is) because if she is always in make up, I might get terrified to see how she does look like without it. Yes, a superficial guy here, so I guess that’s how all the other Shinsegumi felt. Just like me.

So, who do you want Chizuru to end up with?

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32 Comments

  1. Posted May 25, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    “I am not sure why everyone is not watching this. Is it the fact that people feel threatened with their masculinity if they watch a show filled with bishies?”

    Actually, not for me anyway. I lasted through seven episodes, but I just couldn’t take how much of a stupid damsel in distress Chizuru was:: she’d rush right into extremely dangerous situations, she kept poking her nose into things that don’t involve her, and when she’s in trouble the bishies all pop up to protect her. I’m not sure if this episode was any different, but seven episodes of that over and over just were too much for me, and I’d rather go with Uragiri for my bishie show of this season.

    • Impz
      Posted May 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Hhahaha, I actually couldn’t be bothered with Chizuru and started watching the show for lol (at least for Chizuru’s stupidity) and story plot (the story plot is actually pretty decent for a change). I, for one, hate the damsel in distress who cannot seem to find herself out of trouble, and it’s very annoying to say the very least. Hence, it’s understandable that people might be turned off. However, there are many leads in anime who sucks so badly despite having a very good story. As such, I guess I did manage to ignore the stupidity of Chizuru while enjoying the half decent plot.

      I am not saying it is a masterpiece, because the flaws are clear to sight. It’s just that it is not THAT BAD of a show.

    • Posted May 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      That’s something I sensed in the first episode, the only one I watched. The show looked like it had potential, and I didn’t mind the bishies (they had swords). It’s just that a show has to be really entertaining for me to ignore such a main character. And it just didn’t hold up against whatever else I had watched that day, or something.

  2. Hana
    Posted May 25, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Er, it’s kinda hard to care about who she ends up with when, as the main character, she’s just so bland. If she was a little more intelligent, or fiery, or funny, or… well, let’s say I can’t think of a single thing that really stands out about her. I know most shoujo heroines don’t have the best track record in terms of originality, but I think that it is this, along with an opening sequence which just screams reverse-harem bishie fest and little else, I can see why many would think it’s just that – an empty bishie fest. Plus the fact that half of the Shinsengumi bishies’ looks and names make them pretty hard to tell them apart at first doesn’t help matters either. So in this sense I completely agree with psgels (and that Uragiri, or Uraboku or whatever else people call it, is probably a better series).

    However as Impz says, this is a shame, because there is fairly solid plot that’s (slowly) gathering momentum, as well as the beautiful character designs, colours and backgrounds. Overall, I think that there’s a good blend of action, suspense, humour, romance and supernatural shenanigans to make this a very entertaining series, in addition to the eye-candy of course. To answer your question Impz, I think she’ll probably end up with Mr purple eyes too, he seems to fit that the ‘tall dark and stoic’/ ‘strong silent’ type many ladies go gaga over (Okita seems more like the cheeky third point in the possible love triangle). Then again, all of the men seem to have a soft spot for Chizuru, especially after appearing in THAT dress so who knows, it’s also likely that she might not end up with anyone at all.

    • Impz
      Posted May 25, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Lol, I am not into bishies at all. As such, Uraboku is something that makes me roll my eyes in like whatever. I do feel at times that the character distinction between them are not clear enough, and I have a huge difficulty trying to remember their names. The issue though is also that I can never remember names anyway, so that is a common feature for a long long time. Shoujo heroines is one of my pet peeves in shoujo, simply because they are always damsels in distress or totally useless. I hate that because it just makes the story so bland and predictable. I prefer some ass kicking in my women. :P

      Yes, I totally agree with you on the fact that it does have some good things going on for the show, but the problem is that the various flaws can make or break someone’s interest in it. Also, I just think that it’s so annoying that the dark stoic mysterious type always win the romance of the shoujo character. Bah, boring! :>

      • Hana
        Posted May 26, 2010 at 3:39 am | Permalink

        Lol, as a happily married man I’d be worried if you were. The eye-roll-factor is indeed high with Uraboku too, so I can see why many wouldn’t get past its derivative OP sequence either. However, seeing as that also has what you call an ‘annoying…dark stoic mysterious type’ as its male lead is interesting in itself. Unless I’m reading too much into it, I guess the general appeal of this type is two-fold: women like the challenge of melting the apparent coldness and the idea that all it needs is a good woman to change a man for the ‘better’; and also the stability/commitment etc. that such stoicism represents. In short, boring = safe. And pretty eyes also help. :D

        • Impz
          Posted May 26, 2010 at 5:25 am | Permalink

          You can happily talk to my wife. She’s a huge fan of the cold dark-haired man that is all warm inside to protect a single person and will be melted inside stereotype, as well as the too-nice-to-be-real gentleman. Honestly, she rants on all the time about me not being good enough, not like the cute bishies in anime. That, by the way, always makes me laugh at her silliness :P

          Well, I am quite sure that there are some crazy married men out there who likes yaoi and anything manly. I mean, you have people who like all the weird things out there, so nothing fazes or surprises me anymore.

  3. inachan
    Posted May 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m following Hakuouki but I feel as something is off and I can’t fully enjoy it. Bishies are beautiful, Chizuru is cute and I love the historical period this is set, however something with pacing, storytelling, poor animation and mishandled situations make this show look cheap. I think it had potential to be a very interesting show but the execution of it is pulling it down.
    I’m glad you are blogging it and I will follow your posts.

    As for Chizuru, I would like her to end up with Okita. I think their interaction is the more developed and the one that has the more natural feeling. I like Saitou too. Right now I would not want her to end up with Hijikata, tough; it feels a bit off.

    (My firs comment on THAT, yay!!! )

    • Impz
      Posted May 25, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      I think the reason is because the story tends to go all over the place rather than focus on a single thing at the start. It’s like the show cannot decide whether to concentrate on the eye candy portion of the show (showing bishies doing bishified things, like I care) or make it a very coherent story based on the Oni issue, or provide a somewhat chronological representation of the Shinsegumi. There are too many mixed messages in the anime, and perhaps that is why you cannot fully enjoy it.

  4. L-chan
    Posted May 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    I think a lot of people aren’t watching this because they see Chizuur as too much of a Mary Sue. Which I totally understand. I’m not watching it either.

    There’s also those of us who lean towards “Shinsengumi purist.” I’m not exactly a purist, but every time I see this Saitou I imagine the Rurouni Kenshin version kicking his emo ass six ways from Sunday. RK’s Saitou is always my Saitou of choice.

    • Impz
      Posted May 26, 2010 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Hahahaha. Well, I am no purist or like the Mary Sue-ish Chizuru. As noted by my comments, I really just enjoy the pretty interesting plot. I can see why you won’t watch it though. :>

  5. Posted May 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Impz, you’ve been mixing Hijikata for Saitou. she’s talking to Hijikata, not Saitou. and the girl that Harada saw wasn’t Sen-chan (not San), but someone else.

    being the main male lead, it’s no wonder that they are pairing Chizuru with Hijikata. personally, i do love the Okita-Chizuru pairing more. but the high probability of the animators killing him (from his tuberculosis) before the show ends is not helping make that come true.

    • Impz
      Posted May 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      Oh, HAHAHAH. I just made a comment on how good I am at mixing characters, and you just proved my point on how bad I am when it comes to name recognition. I better edit my writing later (still @ work). The Okita Chizuru pairing does have more depth imho, and it’s a pity they gonna kill him off soon enough. Sigh.

      • Hana
        Posted May 26, 2010 at 3:48 am | Permalink

        I didn’t even notice during that thread lol, I guess that just proves the point two-fold (not about Impz’s memory, but about about the muddy character distinctions). Re: Okita’s nasty cough, let’s hope they’ll use that medicine to sort it out, like they did with Sanan’s arm. If he doesn’t mind the dodgy-side effects of course.

        • L-chan
          Posted May 26, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          “Okita’s nasty cough” is actually something historically accurate, as the real Okita Souji died of tuberculosis. I don’t see them curing it in the near future. Unless this anime wants to REALLY veer away from historical accuracy.

  6. Posted May 25, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    “So, who do you want Chizuru to end up with?”

    You lost man points for asking that question.

    • Impz
      Posted May 25, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t really matter ^^. I do like shoujo and I still like my real life ladies (particularly my wife). If losing e-man points from that statement is the expected conclusion, so be it. :P

      • Posted May 26, 2010 at 12:28 am | Permalink

        To avoid losing points in the future, better choice of words could help. Like who deserves to end up with Chizuru. (you can view it as a positive thing or a negative thing it’s up to you)

        • Impz
          Posted May 26, 2010 at 12:59 am | Permalink

          Hahaha, maybe. :) No wonder my wife always mentions that I have a feminine style of writing. I guess I can take note of that. ^^

        • treizer
          Posted May 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          “Who do you want…” and “Who deserves” are two dinstinctly different questions. “Want” implies someone’s opinion based on personal preferences of the characters. But the word “deserves implies, still an opinion, but an opinion based on how the characters actually interact and finally click.

          Shipping does not have to be based on actually fact from the show as someone can want the girl to end up with the villian, regardless of previous interaction, but maybe she “deserves” to end up with her already close friend.

          • Impz
            Posted May 26, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

            O_O;;; And I learn new things everyday. I just like to ship characters together. Deserving is too affirmative imho :D However, man points can be important. Heh!

  7. ashuri
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Female here ^_^

    Chizuru and Okita, that’s all there is to it. Hijikata is way too old for her.
    Plus a dying lover would be perfectly tragic ending for this series and fitting too considering Chizuru is pretty much depressed 90% of the time already ..

    Maybe this anime will eventually shake off the reverse-harem disguise and shift into all out shinsengumi badassness, with all of them turning into vampires and Chizuru ending up with no one ..
    Can’t say i’d be disappointed, i’m in this mainly for the historical factor. I just love samurai action XD

    On a side note – Has anyone ever noticed that, when it comes to samurai in anime, all the main characters are always working sweet hair-dos and swishy ponytails while all the background filler underlings stick to the textbook samurai hairstyles? Hmm ..

    • Impz
      Posted May 26, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Do we now have to all label our gender when we are writing. commenting or blogging? Hahahah! I guess that is why my wife really thought I was a girl. And the fact I lost man points according to IamTN. :(

      I actually adore historical anime, be it historically accurate or not. I am not too much of a picky viewer at least when it comes to accuracies, because I can go watch a documentary or turn on the History channel if I care about that.

      Ash, you are pretty evil huh. You actually want the saddest and most emo scenario to happen in this show, but I don’t blame you. I will feel so weird if it ends up being like “you love me, I love you, we are one big family” type of ending. That will be horrendous because it will be such a cop-out. I want as many Shinsegumi to die off so that there can be a bit of drama and to feel the agony of losing a core character of the series. It’s more fun and dramatic for this sadistic anime blogger here :P

      Well, they do need to pander to bishie-loving fangirls :D

  8. Eva
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I have to agree that it does feel a little forceful pairing up Hijikata and Chizuru. I don’t feel the chemistry between them (yet). I’m just hoping soon enough, (if they do plan to making Hijikata and Chizuru official canon) they will have some sort of natural development in their relationship.
    Either way, I am quite shocked how old Hijikata turned out to be, so I’m shipping: Chizuru and Okita, not because of the age, but because it feels more natural.

    This show isn’t bad, but it isn’t the greatest either. However unlike most reverse harems this one has a mysterious and suspenseful plot that has most of us at the edge of our seats by the end of the episode. I am always excited for more, but I can’t help but wonder if they can really do this in 25 or whatever episodes with this extremely slow pace they are going at. It might be just me because I tend to end up watching animes where the plot ends up being rushed. ):

  9. gt
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    i’m holding off watching it because subs are slow to come by.

  10. Leah-san
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Wait, where can I watch this?

  11. Posted June 1, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Female reporting in. I rather Chizuru end up with Saito Hajime. XD He’s not an asshole and he can be dark and silent just like Hijikata. Chizuru has the least amount of interaction with Hijikata so it seems really forced to me. But since the cards have already been drawn Saito doesn’t really have a chance against the more aggressive men.

    Chizuru is pretty damn annoying. I feel as if the men are all in love with her simply because she is the only person with boobs nearby. But I guess she is a good listener…or something. Yeah she washes vegetables good and she is great at getting in trouble so the guys can look hot rescuing her?

    • Impz
      Posted June 2, 2010 at 12:24 am | Permalink

      Wait, she’s flat chested, you know. How can she have boobs? :o. Ok jokes aside, it did come from an otome game after all, so I guess these depraved men will latch on anything that smells remotely woman. It’s a tad amusing in a very weird kind of way. I particularly like your last statement.

      “Yeah she washes vegetables good and she is great at getting in trouble so the guys can look hot rescuing her?”

      Totally important traits in a stereotypical female lead for a shoujo series. ^_^

  12. ashuri
    Posted June 1, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    @ Impz: Isn’t it just the most frustrating thing when they resort to the “one big happy family” ending scenario .. i always feel ripped off .. it’s like, Suspense! Tension! Romance! then … nothing. >_<

    @ Christina: I don't think it's so much that the other shinsengumi are more aggressive in their Chizuru pursuits .. rather that Saito doesn't seem to be interested .. like, at all .. O_O
    I think he's pretty committed to the sword XD

    • Impz
      Posted June 2, 2010 at 12:22 am | Permalink

      Well, that will happen once again in episode 9, causing me rage all the way. I just get very turned off by cop-out conclusions, simply because Hakuouki actually has a decent story going for it. Then Studio DEEN manages to screw it up. Again. again and again in my favorite shoujo stuff. I swear Studio DEEN should just stop trying to do shoujo stuff and leave it to someone else.

      • Posted September 16, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        I am getting so sick and tired of you people who complain about shoujo heroines. Have all of you forgotten that anime is FICTIONAL, MADE UP, IMAGINATIVE. And in fiction no character should have any relatable or realistic quality to them for us to like them. If you guys want realistic go read bibliographies. I like the shoujo personality because i’d rather see a girl deal with her problems with a smile than be depressed about them for 600 chapters

  13. Posted September 24, 2010 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    hmm…I don`t agree that Hijikata is too old for Chizuru..well, just a little, but…who cares ^^{beside..how old is she??} the main thing is that Chizuru like Toshi…she didn`t show any sign, that she like Okita , Saito or other members[they are just freinds]…remember that moment when Sen-chan asked why she still decided to stay with shinsengumi?…Haven`t you noticed? she staied because of him…because of Toshi
    And the other thing, there is no meaning to make a pair from Chizuru and Okita, because Okita is ill and sooner or later he will die…why do she need this short love?
    I think that in Hakuouki Hekketsu-roku Chizuru will be with Hijikata
    Even though Hijikata have never showen any interest towards Chizuru, it`s just because of his personal touch[i belive that he is just hiding his feelings....like always]

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