Peacemaker: Complete Series ReviewHaley Nicks
Peace Maker follows the story of Tetsunosuke Ichimura, a very short and hyperactive 15 year old. After witnessing the terrible murder of his parents, he and his older brother Tatsunosuke are left on their own to try and survive in the world. After two years of scrounging, Tatsunosuke gets a job as a book keeper with the Shinsengumi, a type of police force for the village that they live in. Tetsunosuke sees this as a perfect opportunity to try and join as well. His reasoning for joining is not the same as his brother's though, for while Tatsunosuke just wants to find a way to earn food for tomorrow, Tetsunosuke wants to become a soldier of the Shinsengumi to get stronger and hunt down those who murdered his parents.
Unfortunately for Tetsunosuke, he winds up as the Vice President's page boy. His duties include serving tea when summoned, cleaning the training rooms, doing the laundry of all the other soldiers, and taking care of the small pigs that inhabit the facility. One of the pigs, Sazio, is especially feisty and likes to chase Tetsunosuke all over. Through his efforts to prove himself as a capable member of the Shinsengumi, he makes friends with a variety of characters. Some include his comrades like Soji Okita, a playful man who uses his seemingly delicate nature to hide his deadly skills with the sword. He spares often with Tetsunosuke and encourages him to do his best. Other comrades include Sanosuke Harada, Shinpachi Nagakura, and Heisuke Todo who are affectionately called The Three Comedians due to their amusing and raucous nature around the buildings. They seem to have taken it upon themselves to annoy Tetsunosuke and give him the name Puppy Boy.
Other characters who are not comrades but cross paths with Tetsunosuke include Saya a small girl around Tetsunosuke's age who he befriends and eventually develops feelings for as the series progresses. She is mute and has also lost her family. Understanding Tetsunosuke's hardships and his desire to be strong, she nevertheless doesn't want him to use a sword as his means of obtaining that strength. Suzu Kitamura is another 15 year old who initially doesn't like Tetsunosuke, but once the two talk to each other, they find out they have a lot more in common then they thought. Their friendship is not to end well though. Suzu wants revenge against the Shinsengumi for killing his older brother and has become the page boy of the leader of the Chosu clan, the enemy of the Shinsengumi.
Throughout the series the Shinsengumi are at odds with the Chosu clan who are attempting to make war and take over the empire. Many episodes revolve around Tetsunosuke learning what it means to be a Shinsengumi and to discover just what he really wants to make of himself by joining. During the final episodes the two powers finally clash and as his comrades fight hard through the bloody battle, Tetsunosuke finally realizes what he has wanted all this time. To destroy the shadow that has been haunting him ever since seeing his parents die and to move on with life. After the battle, Tetsunosuke has a new look on life and vows to Saya that even though he may pick up a sword, he will not kill anyone with it. He wants to follow in his father's footsteps as a Peace Maker, someone who brings harmony to the world.
And that is what I was able to follow from my view of the series. In all honesty, I had a really hard time understanding what was going on in this anime. I was left with a lot of unanswered questions as many character issues were never resolved. There also seemed to be too many characters introduced that didn't have a point in being in the series. They were there for an episode or two and then were never seen again. For example, there was an insane prince character that I never could understand if he stood with the Chosu clan or not but wanted to see the empire burn. He was clearly another enemy that sent his mystic minions after the Shinsengumi, but only for like four episodes. Tetsunosuke never even hears about this character or sees him. He is defeated rather easily by other members from the Shinsengumi and then never mentioned again.
The anime does offer a lot of action though and stars some very well known English voice actors like Vic Mignogna, the voice of Edward in Fullmetal Alchemist and Luci Christian, the voice of Risa Harada in D.N Angel. Overall, the anime did sit well with me. Even if I did have a hard time trying to understand what was going on, Tetsunosuke's trials were amusing and endearing to watch. The series deserves a once through and those looking for lots of action would certainly enjoy themselves.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.