The Hakkenden

The Hakkenden (THE八犬伝, THE Hakkenden) is an OVA series by AIC in two sequences, the second subtitled Shinshō (新章 lit. ‘new chapter’). A TV series sequel, Shin Hakkenden, aired in 1999. The anime is based on the epic novel Nansō Satomi Hakkenden written by Kyokutei Bakin during the latter half of the Edo Period. At 106 volumes, the novel bears the distinction of being the longest novel in classic Japanese literature. The Hakkenden is most known for its unique approach to animation, switching between several

distinct visual styles throughout the duration of the series (sometimes even several times within the same episode). In addition, the series is also noted for its heavy use of symbolic imagery and themes, allowing the series to straddle the line between animation and art. It is also known for introducing a modern perspective to a literary classic, since outdated, morally ambiguous concepts such as feudal loyalty and devotion are closely scrutinized and re-examined during many of the conflicts in the story. The “THE” at the front of the title is not, in fact, a formality of translation, but an actual part of the title written in English, perhaps chosen by the series’ writers to deliberately convey that sense of modernity. Story – Overview.: The story takes place during the beginning of the Sengoku Jidai in Awa, a tiny province that is currently a part of modern-day Chiba Prefecture. Fuse, princess of the Awa-based Satomi clan, spiritually gives birth to eight warriors who are scattered across different areas of the region. Because the spiritual father of these warriors was a demonically-possessed dog, these warriors came to be known as the Hakkenshi (八犬士), with hak (八), or hachi, meaning “eight”, the ken (犬) meaning “dog”, and the shi (士) meaning “warrior”. (The word “den” (伝) at the end of the title means “legend”, so the title of the series can be translated as “The Legend of the Eight Dogs”.) Throughout the series, each dog warrior recognizes the other through three distinguishing features: a last name starting with the word “inu” (meaning dog), a birthmark in the shape of a peony (the emblem of the Satomi clan) and a bead containing a kanji character that reflects eight of the fundamental virtues of Confucianism. They are: * kō (孝) – filial piety; devotion * gi (義) – duty and obligation, but it can also be translated as righteousness * chū (忠) – loyalty * shin (信) – faith * tei (悌) – brotherhood; brotherly affection * jin (仁) – sympathy and benevolence, but note that, according to Confucianism, “jin” is also the greatest and most perfect virtue of all. It should come as no surprise that the bearer of this bead also happens to be the most powerful warrior of the eight. * chi (知) – wisdom * rei (礼) – courtesy, but this can also be translated as proper form, i.e. an extensive knowledge and proper observation of tradition and manners Note that this is the order in which the beads appear in the story. The hierarchy of these virtues in order of importance to Confucian philosophy are: jin, gi, rei, chi, chū, shin, kō, tei. Plotwise, the series can be divided into three parts: the Prologue, the Search, and the Resolution. The Prologue presents events that occur before the birth of the dog warriors and encompasses the majority of episode 1, although numerous Prologue events are also shown throughout the series in flashback. The Search consists of the episodes prior to the warriors’ final assembly (episodes 2-11), and the Resolution shows the final climactic battle fought by the Hakkenshi in the name of the Satomi clan.

Episodi in lingua Italiana.

01 –  The Kaleidoscope – download

02 – Dark Music of the Gods – download

03 – The Futility Dance – download

04 – Horyu Tower – download

05 – Demon’s Melody – download

06 – The Cicada Spirit Cry – download

07 – Spirits – download

08 – Taigyuryo Hall – download

09 – The Legend of the Ghost Cat – download

10 – Hamaji’s Resurrection – download

11 – Dog Warriors in the Netherworld – download

12 – Aspirations of Paradise – download

13 – Taking Leave of a Sullied World – download

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