Reviewed by: Azure
Released by: ADV Films UK
Age Rating: 15
Region: 2 - UK
Volume 7 of 7
Length: 75 minutes
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese 4.0 Surround
In this final volume of Peacemaker it’s crunch time, as the violence escalates it’s do or die for both the Choshu and the Shinsengumi. Susumaru once again finds himself in a rooftop battle; can he really fulfil his promise to Saya?
At the start of the volume we find Tetsu still curled up and hiding in the closet, surprisingly he’s not the only one who’s afraid to fight. The situation is an excellent way to get into the psychology of the characters as they visit him, and in their own ways try to help him. Ninja fans will no doubt enjoy the excellent rooftop battle, which displays some of the best use of 3D CG in the series. There are also some beautiful shots of the simple yet moody night sky.
Not surprisingly this volume is pretty violent, the true horrors of civil war make themselves shown. It’s still a bit of a shock to see even the Shinsengumi dashing through the city cutting their enemies down like avenging angels. What this volume does so well is highlight the humanity of the Choshu, who up until now have largely been depicted as monsters; as the Shinsengumi cut their way through their ranks it’s heart wrenching material as their members demonstrate some surprising loyalty to each other. The pacing this volume is extremely fast as it races towards the exciting bittersweet climax. The animation is also top notch as Gonzo seek to go out with a bang, all the fights on this DVD are executed superbly and are thankfully brief.
The final episode of the series takes time to examine the aftermath of the battles and to resolve some of the more personal plot threads that have been spun out through the rest of the volume. Compared to recent episodes though it’s a little unusual, focusing more on spiritual and emotional goals rather than political or military ones, finally returning to discuss the true meaning of the title ‘peacemaker’.
The extras remain strong with the final two ‘character collections’, there’s also a monologue accompanied by a series of stills that provides an excellent epilogue to the anime. There are also the usual production sketches; clean opening/ending as well as short music video accompanied by video from the final few episodes.
Peacemaker is a hugely enjoyable and dramatic anime, full of well rounded characters and superbly directed fights it’s recommended viewing for fans of serious samurai anime. There are no multi episode fights or super moves, just solid action despite the hint of magic in previous volumes; it remains just that as most of the show is pretty grounded.