Reviewed by: Azure
Released by: ADV Films UK
Age Rating: 15
Region: 2 - UK
Volume 6 of 7
Length: 75 minutes
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
The shisengumi prepare to take the offensive and wipe out their enemies. The conflict is predictably bloody, and nor everyone can face it. For Tetsu the violence brings back the demons from his past making him revert once drive him into a cupboard. It’s time for the bad guys to get what they deserve.
This volume of Peacemaker is where the story really kicks into high gear. Throughout the series Tetsu has battled with his brother, over his decision to take up the sword, now he finally gets to see the dark side of his choice and predictably things aren't as easy as he at first thought. This leads Tetsu into some reckless behaviour that evokes his inner demons. Much of the volume then intercuts with Tetsu's inner battle and the literal battle outside. Tatsu also takes the backseat in this volume; his clear decision to shrink back from the violence is evident and an ominous omen for the final volume.
The fallout from Ayu's failure also provides a large part of the three episodes of this disk as the shinsengumi must deal with the loss of yet another important ally and friend . Its effects are pretty predictable, but none the less welcome as relationships shift ready for the climax next volume.
There's a strong feeling of tension throughout the DVD as to be expected from the penultimate disc. Though, thankfully there is plot development and a fairly fast pace. The animation is also pretty solid throughout, reflecting the strong quality of the series.
The extras are also pretty enjoyable this time, especially Tatsu's 'character collection' which features the Japanese voice actor performing a monologue to a montage of scenes from the anime. The character collections may be short but are great for providing insight into the character at a time when the main anime is turning away from Tatsu towards his brother. Though I would suggest that the character collections only be viewed after watching the anime since they contain a few spoilers. An insert booklet provides interviews with the Japanese staff.
After following this series it's nice to finally see some pay off in terms of character development and action though there's a strong sense that Gonzo were holding off this volume, this volume's title 'Prelude to Battle' sums it up perfectly. Thankfully though a number of plot strands set up earlier in the series begin to get tied off making it a satisfying watch.