|The 43rd NHK Taiga Drama is Shinsengumi!. The arrival of Commodore Perry’s "Black Ships" rudely awakened Japan from 300 years of peaceful isolation from the world. Men set their eyes beyond Japan and began to demand change in society. Old clashed with the new, and thus began an age of turmoil. |
Amidst this confusion, one group remained true to the old ways and risked their lives to preserve the traditional shogunate system. Led by their charismatic captain, Kondo Isami, the Shinsengumi upheld the code of honor of the samurai. Tales abound of the feats of men like Kondo, Hijikata Toshizo, Saito Hajime, and Okita Soji. This NHK taiga drama brings to life the passion and glory of these men who lived during the most turbulent time in Japanese history. Full of pathos and action-packed, this is a series not to be missed by chambara fans.
|Drama Reviews (10)|
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!
|1. ||Supreme Sovereign Of Japanese Dramas [Rating: 10/10]|
Okay let me start off by saying I wish they were still showing that series over here in the States! I miss it EXTREMELY. You all don't know HOW MUCH I miss it! At the beginning I thought the Shinsengumi was a fictional militant group that was featured in the OVA series Samurai X. But until I saw a promotional commercial for the series 2 years ago which had the title "Shinsengumi", I said to myself "There was actually a historical group call the Shinsengumi?" Okay so I decided to check it but I missed a couple of the beginning episodes. I think it was Episode: 7 or 8 I started to watch it. After watching a couple minutes of it, soon thereafter I instantly fell in love with the series. I would wait every Saturday night at 9:00 PM (California) to watch it. Alas, once the last episode aired I was sad because it was the series finale. With only 49 episodes and a mini-movie after Kondo Isami's starring Kondo's righthand man, Hijikata Toshizo. What also sucks for me is that I reminisce about the series everyday and that I'm stuck with watching these corny Honky-Tonk/Crackerjack crap like the "Law & Order" franchise, the "Stargate" franchise, % Eye For The Straight Guy", "The Sopranos", "The Simpsons", "Desperate Housewives" and all that other Euro-American garbage. My only salvation is the Japanese channel on Cox Cable. I wish I had a cable company with nothing but Asian channels. But enough about that, let me tell you all the details why I liked the series. The actors and actresses portrayed their roles perfectly. Everyone fit the their parts exactly. Production quality was superb, such as the enviroments, the props--everthing was a great. Music is another thing that lured me into the show. The music was phenomenal, excellent, magnificent, fantastic, extraordinary and unparalleled. The music sounds so similar to Disney. Also, I can't forget to mention all the Beautiful, Gorgeous, Pretty, Cute, Hot, y, Delightful, Charming, Elegant and Exqusite s in Shinsengumi. I thought Tsune was Cute, Oume was Cute, Miyuki Dayuu and her longlost twin sister were Cute, Hide was Cute, Okoto was Cute, Akesato was Cute and--ah, hell all of them were Cute, except the elderly. The only problem is that they all had lovers, husbands and boyfriends. When the truth of the matter is that THEY ARE ALL MINE! MINE! No other man's. So screw the guys! But anyways, my favorite male characters are of course Hijikata Toshizo, Kondo Isami, Okita Souji, Serizawa Kamo, Sanosuke, Jinpachi, Saitou Hajime and Toudou Keisuke. I know I keep mentioning this, I don't know if anyone else has read my previous posts, but my favorite character off all time from that series is Koji Yamamoto as Hijikata. He makes the best Hijikata of all time. I know I've written this before too, but not to sound ish or anything but I he's a handsome dude. From a male perspective, of course! Secondly, if you read my profile, I put under Fav Artistes that he has a strong resemblance to Kenshin Himura from Samurai X and Ruroni Kenshin. If they were to film an adaptational movie about Samurai X, he would make a great Kenshin Himura. And if any of you agree with me, they should do it in English, since Koji spokes English (Don't know if he can speak fluently but I saw him in this Japanese show called, "Can you Speak English") When I saw him as a guest on the show, I was utterly surprise that he spoke it fluently, I don't know if he's a beginner or what, if he is, he's a damn good learner. Picking it up fast. I also think they should an American movie about the Shinsengumi. Just like what they did with Memoirs of A Geisha. 'Cause like I said earlier I'm not only tired of American TV shows, but American movies as well. Not to disrespect or take anything away from the Japanese audience or the actors and actresses native language but I wanna see more Asian actors and actresses, especially Japanese, speak English in an American-made Asian movie. Just like what they did with Memoirs Of A Geisha. Hollywood has a stereotypical view on a lot of Asians. They always portray Asians as being the Pidgeon English speaking F.O.B. Hollywood only believes in "White Power". If they did make an American version of Shinsengumi I would want to see the original cast or at least most of them from the TV series in the movie. So now you all know why I'm calling this review "Supreme Sovereing of Japanese Dramas". I'm doing everything in my power to obtain this drama on DVD w/ English Subtitles. I'm starting to get desperate, though. I'm thinking about buying a Region Free DVD player from YesAsia.com and just buying the Complete DVD boxsets. Unless anybody here on this website knows any other resources I can try on the internet. Please, tell me if you do. Well, I have nothing more to say, you all know how much I love the series. If I were to pick a rating from 1-10, I'd I give a 1,000,000,000,000. I'm out
|Reviewed by Pinoyboy on 11 August 2006|
|2. ||Liked it more than I thought I would! [Rating: 8/10]|
I have to admit that I knew nothing of the Shinsengumi when I first started watching this Taiga. I read bits of information online and in two particular books, and asked a bucket full of questions directed at me peers on this site (thanks for the help, boys!). Whether the drama was accurate to historical fact I don’t know, so I won’t touch upon that topic.
I really enjoyed Shinsengumi. It was long. Very long. But the characters kept me captivated. I have seen most of the actors in the drama in various other shows, but after Shinsengumi I think I will always know them for the roles they played here. Particular stand-out performances for me are those of Yamamoto Taro, who really convinced me that he carried around a terrible smell, and yet warmed my heart in all the right places; Nakamura Kantaro, who’s character (Heisuke) I rooted for in his rivalry with Okita; Tabata Tomoko, who’s portrayal of Tsune was good and honest; and Eguchi Yosuke, who, with his hair pulled back out of his face, truly shined.
I can’t say much for the plot, since it’s a historical drama, but I will say that I found its portrayal a little confusing. The Shinsengumi seemed a happy bunch of farmers bent on making a difference and protecting their country, but as the story progressed, a nastier side to them surfaced. The viewpoint/bias of the portrayal seemed to flip about, and so for me, coming with no knowledge of the historical time period, I found myself at times lost and confused. Was I seeing what I was supposed to be seeing? I was cheering for the right side? Was I experiencing an uncalled for hatred towards an otherwise uplifting character? I don’t know.
But no matter. I enjoyed the format of a Taiga and look forward to watching more. I can also now admit that I do enjoy historical dramas and hope to encourage this preference.
|Reviewed by Wynter on 1 January 2009|
|3. ||Best Taiga Dorama EVER!!!^o^ [Rating: 10/10]|
Fabulous script, great directing, excellent musics, superb casts!! This taiga dorama has EVERYTHING! I'm glad the script is written with comedy in it, instead of the usual heavy and serious taiga dorama^^ Shingo Katori done a superb acting job here, we can see the character Isami Kondou grows and matured from one season to another season NATURALLY!! Yamamoto Kouji is EXCELLENT, he can make the audience both love and hate his character! Tomoko Tabata acted an excellent Tsune, Kondou's wife. Sawa Suzuki is an amazing Akesato[Yamanami's lover], brilliant acting!! okay, im running out space here if i have to mention the great casts one by one.....lets make it short, ALL of the CASTS have done an excellent job portraying their characters!! Unbelivable!!! Really, one of the greatest series EVER! CLASSIC! You wont get bored even if you watch this over and over! oh...and dont worry abt the amount of eps....its 49 episodes, but it is in a PERFECT PACE! not draggy nor slow at all, neither rushed .....The Best Shinsengumi Adaptation, There Is!
I've seen quite a number of taiga dramas and movies...and so far, i can firmly say, none of them beats Shinsengumi...yet^^
|Reviewed by yanie_chan on 4 February 2005|
|4. ||Great Shinsengumi Information Getter [Rating: 10/10]|
The first and maybe the best taiga drama I've seen. Katori Shingo played excellently as Kondo Isami. And all other artists played their roles very well. I especially like Sakai Masato as Yamanami Keisuke.
Besides some books about, or that mentioned, the Shinsengumi, the drama is really a great source of information about them. It is sufficiently detailed and the screenplay writer made his own version of what and how the members of the Shinsengumi felt at that particular time.
All in all, funny, exciting, full of human drama and most of all, it makes history even more interesting.:P
|Reviewed by moeru_h on 28 May 2007|
|5. ||Shinsengumi [Rating: 8/10]|
I am a big fan of Taiga drama's. NHK always assembles a great cast and Shinsengumi was no exception. I had high expectations for the drama because it is one of the more famous stories in Japanese history. The acting was great as always but I found the pace of the show very unbalanced. They glossed over some of the most important moments and spent too much time on minor incidents. I still enjoyed the show a lot but I did not enjoy it as much as other Taiga dramas I have seen. Good but not great.
|Reviewed by MonsterZero-65 on 28 August 2006|
|6. ||Excellent [Rating: 10/10]|
Fantastic Taiga Drama! I think Katori Shingo was Excellent as Kondo, I also really enjoyed Sato Koichi as Serizawa, Yuka, Yamamoto Taro, and Tabata Tomoko among others in this great story. Some of the pacing was strange it seems the battles were only a side story or cliff note the main focus seemed to be the people and their intereaction with each other and the people of Kyoto. I still think I prefer Musashi but this is also very nice.
|Reviewed by Doramafan113 on 30 January 2005|
|7. ||Good story and taiga [Rating: 8/10]|
I have to say I found this to be good but not great. Though the acting was of course wonderful and the cast was talented the story was uneven and at times it dragged along. Most everyone knows of Shinsengumi and they did their best to show them in a new way I found it a little disappointing based on my expectations. If you watch it with lower expectations you may enjoy it more.
|Reviewed by MonsterZero65 on 18 August 2010|
|8. ||A great experience [Rating: 10/10]|
Excellent in every way. The roles of each actor fir the characters perfectly. I enjoyed watching how great everything came out. Katori Shingo and Yamamoto Taro are astounding actors. I saw Taro in battle royale,and his performance then and now is still great.If you're interested in japan's history or just for a great drama,watch shinsengumi.
|Reviewed by Gao on 29 January 2006|
|9. ||The best taiga drama [Rating: 10/10]|
I don't watch taiga drama, but this is the only one that I watch.. It's great!! Fabulous!! Shingo's acting is really really great~ Bring out the Kondo!! So do other artiste.. All of them is great!!! It's worth watching..
|Reviewed by jashingo on 3 February 2005|
|10. ||favorate [Rating: 10/10]|
one of my favorate drama! Shingo acted excellent! an other side of Shingo had been shown. other actors also played perfectly!
|Reviewed by sunnycleya on 19 February 2006|
|Comments From Users (51)|
This section may contain spoilers! Do not proceed if you
do not want to read about this drama's endings and plots!
|1. ||Comments by minochi99 [Rating: 9/10]|
The Lengendary Shinsengumi. Like most Taiga doramas, the characters are really fleshed out and you get to know each of the main characters pretty well. The story dragged a little bit towards the end. I wish they made the Shinsengumi a little tougher and maybe a few more battles would whet my appetite. I thought Katori Shingo was too wimpy as Kondo Isami. Hijikata was perfectly typecasted. Joe Odagari as Saito was badass, wish they showed him more. Koichi Sato really played a convincing Serizawa Kamo. If anyone who is a fan of the Anime/Manga Rurouni Kenshin, I would recommend you watch this. The author of the manga drew a lot of inspiration for his characters from the historical members of the Shinsengumi. Serizawa, for example, was an inspiration that led to Makoto Shishio. The female leads were a little weak I thought. Overall, a great Taiga dorama, but one I put below Toshiie to Matsu and Musashi.
|2. ||Comments by loveaomori [Rating: 10/10]|
My first taiga dorama and maybe the last. It was so wonderful that if I watch other taiga I will compare with shinsengumi and be subjective in my judgement. I'II be faithful to shinsengumi. Shinsengumi teaches you historical things but also everyday ones. Maybe two many seppuku at the end and a slow begining. It's true that the shinsengumi is only composed during the second part of the dorama. But anyway, I love you shinsengumi. Only good actors, and Katori may act a bit diffenrently than the other cast but as he's the leader no problem! I bought a samurai wig at Asakusa just in order to look like Kondo Isami! Kakkoiizo!
|3. ||Comments by MyDyingDoom [Rating: 10/10]|
Every day I stay up till 2 a.m. to watch this awesome drama. Now I'm watching Hijikata Toshizou Saigo no Ichinichi (2006/01/01). This's the RAW version, so I can't understand clearly, but through their eyes, their act, their voice, I know exactly what Shinsengumi and Hijikata want to do. And I'm reading Bushido - the soul of Japan, too, to understand more about Samurai's spirit. I don't know how to explain my feeling, but Shinsengumi Drama has made my tears fall down. I want to thank all, who has taken part in this drama, especially Yamamoto Koji, thanks for his Hijikata. And I want to see more of his works.
|4. ||Comments by ginger ale [Rating: 10/10]|
I'm a Shinsengumi fan, heck I've watched so many jidaigeki about Shinsengumi its coming out of my ears. But seriously this is a great historical drama and a great way to learn about that period in Japan's history. It helped that my favorite Shinsengumi personae were played by kakkoi actors Shingo Katori as Isami Kondo (SMAP forever) , Yoji Yamamoto was a totally gorgeous Hijikata Tsuyushi ( actually he my favorite strategist in the group), Fujiwara Tatsuya was absolutely kawaii as the youngest Okita and the mysterious Saito Hajime gave life to Joe Odagiri's emoless portrayal of this character.
|5. ||Comments by Lady Zhuge [Rating: 8/10]|
My first complete taiga drama. Loved the comradery and humor in here. I wasn't particularly impressed with Shingo's rather bland and flat portrayal of Kondo Isami, but the rest of the main cast did a great job of bringing the colorful, memorable and unique characters to life. Yamanami's idealism, Hijikata's complexity, Harada's lightheartedness, Nagakura's nobility, Gen-san's kindness, Saito's coolness, Todo's earnestness, Okita's longing...I could go on. One downside was the fighting scenes, which sometimes felt too choreographed and fake.
|6. ||Comments by ScrappedShinigami [Rating: 6/10]|
I've watched most of this show and there are times when I just can't turn it off and times when I just can't be bothered. The main characters are all really fantastic in their roles!
What really made me get this was that Odagiri Jo was in it, I love him and he did a fantastic job as Saito!!! Saito was my favourite character (not that I'm biased) I really liked Shingo as Isami I really felt for him and Koji made a fantastic Hijikata!
|7. ||Comments by KusMoG_X [Rating: 8/10]|
Great history drama, although the length caused me to lose interest at times. Wonderful cast that allowed a bit of humor but none too distracting. The story follows one interpretation of the Shinsengumi history, which just as well serves as a good history lesson of the times leading up to the Meiji Restoration, granted in a pro-Shinsengumi point of view. Nevertheless, a very entertaining drama!
|8. ||Comments by romi510 [Rating: 9/10]|
I was never really into Taiga dramas, until Shinsengumi. I started watching it cuz of Shingo. Awesome performance from him, and that kick start my Taiga drama rage. Watched about 5 since then. Recommended! Watch J-Doramas and learn about Japan's history at the same time!
|9. ||Comments by toyotaku [Rating: 8/10]|
Excellent and amazingly balanced portrayal of the Wolves of Mibu. Ito Kashitaro will forever bear the face of Tanihara Shosuke in my mind... best performance of Tanihara's career and I so wish producers would tap into that talent.
|10. ||Comments by arglborps [Rating: 8/10]|
Great drama. Great casting, although Shingo-kun can't really fully convince as Kondo Isami, he doesn't have enough impact.
Still this is worth watching and has a lot of ups and downs, which will keep you interested.
|11. ||Comments by gaijinmark [Rating: 7/10]|
Other than Shingo Katori totally wrong for the part of Kondo Isami, one of the better casts for a taiga. However, with one of the worst scripts to work with, it's a case of "what might have been".
|12. ||Comments by ogonbato [Rating: 10/10]|
a must watch drama for shinsengumi and samurai lovers!
and shows the difference between the "real" characters and the animes characters like hajime saito in rurouni kenshin and the others...
|13. ||Comments by williu [Rating: 10/10]|
Superb. A surprisingly historically accurate drama with great actors and very few dull moments. A must watch for anyone interested in the history of Japan, or just a good samurai drama.
|14. ||Comments by Geezer [Rating: 5/10]|
The writers and producers were so busy spinning history here, they sort of lost track of their subject material. One of the weakest Taiga Dramas I've ever seen.
|15. ||Comments by Szabotage [Rating: 10/10]|
Almost finished--brilliant work. Sakai Masato as Yamanami Keisuke was a real stand-out. Starts a bit slow, but keep watching--you WILL be hooked!
|16. ||Comments by cheetara56 [Rating: 9/10]|
Great cast and acting, I really enjoyed watching this even though it is historical- usually those dramas are boring but this one was great.
|17. ||Comments by aoi [Rating: 9/10]|
The best history drama I've seen so far. Great adaptation. It would've been perfect if the story was not too romantically modified.
|18. ||Comments by moeru_h [Rating: 10/10]|
Amazing Taiga drama! Among all Shinsengumi members, Yamanami really captured my heart. Sakai Masato was really for the role.
|19. ||Comments by jo [Rating: 4/10]|
Done...with this..will never watch taiga drama again. Good dorama though. But taiga drama just prove to be boring.
|20. ||Comments by kosmos7788 [Rating: 10/10]|
Really good drama!! The storyline is so intense, good character development, and a good Japanese History class.
|21. ||Comments by japinoy [Rating: 10/10]|
One of the best taiga dorama ever! Lots of eyecandy too: Shingo Katori, Fujiwara Tatsuya, Odagiri Joe... *sigh*
|22. ||Comments by Hontoni_Kawaii [Rating: 10/10]|
Just watched a few episodes though - but it's a GREAT series!
I just LOVE the story of the Shinsengumi!! ^^
|23. ||Comments by kitakaze [Rating: 7/10]|
Nice mix of fiction/historical fact and seriousness/humor. Ending could have been slightly better IMHO.
|24. ||Comments by Wynter [Rating: 8/10]|
My first Taiga! I thoroughly enjoyed this drama, although it took me a really long time to complete...
|25. ||Comments by nickylynn [Rating: 9/10]|
I enjoyed so many of the actors. The relationships between the characters were well done.
|26. ||Comments by i_heart_jrock [Rating: 9/10]|
heh i <3 my samurai dramas ::aka.... too lazy to write something about the show XD::
|27. ||Comments by Q-chan [Rating: 10/10]|
The best taiga dorama ever!!! Funny & sad! History of Japan... Love the cast...
|28. ||Comments by Pinoyboy [Rating: 10/10]|
I think everybody knows the whole story. If you haven't read my poast and review
|29. ||Comments by Toni kun [Rating: 10/10]|
I loved this one the best out of any thing that I'v seen on the Shinsengumi..
|30. ||Comments by Gao [Rating: 10/10]|
Also educational about one of japan's most important groups. The Shinsengumi.
Read all 51 comments from users
|Users who voted for this drama (25)|
Not as strong as the other Taiga doramas. But fun to watch nevertheless. Wish for more fighting and a darker look. The Shinsengumi were supposed to ruthless assassins. But the director fu*#@ up and made them look like hooligans sometimes. They're one of the most fascinating groups in Japanese history, but the drama just doesn't seem to do them enough justice. Katori Shingo as Kondo Isami was a mistake right off the bat. Horrible casting I have to say. The women in the story...hmmm.
2nd JDrama I've ever seen. I mainly wanted to see it because I love history, and the idea of a historical fiction based off the Shinsengumi was something I couldn't miss. And I'm really glad I didn't because it is a wonderful series with great actors and a great story, may be a bit slow for some people at times, political moments and such, but lots of great character development. Love this series. The Shinsengumi are so kick ass!
Kondo, Hijikata, Ryoma... They were so young. As young as Katory Shingo and Yamamoto Koji. Cool drama, very interesting, may be naive? Sato Koichi as Serizawa is very impressive.
The best taiga dorama ever!!! Funny & sad... History of Japan... Love the cast... Katori Shingo, Yamamoto Koji, Fujiwara Tatsuya, Odagiri Joe, Yamamoto Taro... KAKKOII!!!
shingo is so funny and cool, but it's good to see him in such a serious role. epic drama for people interested in samurai history
CLASSIC!! My first Taiga drama. very very funny and touching at every story. Mitani is surely a very talented script writer!
Good, but quite long... I like Jo Odagiri as Saitou Hajime... he looks really kakkoii ^^ and so does Hijikata ^^
Just watched a few episodes though - but it's a GREAT series!
I just LOVE the story of the Shinsengumi!! ^^
this drama won many awards...
congratulations NHK SHINSENGUMI!!!!!!!
my first taiga drama. and it made me to love taiga dramas so much. must see!
One of the top 5 j-drama I've seen in a long time. Highly recommend it.
Wonderful taiga drama, really well done. Well worth watching!
|13. ||Toni kun|
I Love it so much I get to see it again..
Supreme Sovereign Of All Asian Dramas.
hijikata-san cho Kakkoii~(*>v<*)
next to perfect!