(Anime Review) Buso Renkin

In my head, I’m still trying to debate where I stand with this show. This is something that I will be debating amongst myself for a while. (I’m not crazy or have multiple personalities, okay?) There are some strong aspects to it that I like, but it felt like Buso Renkin tries to sabotage itself at the same time. It felt like a perfectly cooked steak dinner laid out in front of you, but the waiter says you have to eat it all in two minutes or else something bad will happen that will ruin your life. You can tell that there is high quality stuff there, but is all muddled because you are eating it too fast. Okay, maybe I do know where I stand with this show. Now for an expansion of this explanation.

Buso Renkin’s story set up is pretty simple. One hundred years ago, a secret society tried to create the philosopher’s stone. They used this experimental metal to wield extraordinary and unique powers called Buso Renkin. The metal is called a kakugune. The down side is that these experiments lead to the creation of homunculi. Stop me if you might have heard this one before. Alchemist warriors fight off the homunculi to stop them from eating humans. The story of Buso Renkin starts as a microcosm of this plot involving our battle heroine Tokiko and our main hero Kazuki, who is throw into this situation from an accident. It goes into hyper drive from there on out.

Our two main characters are Tokiko, the mysterious alchemist warrior, and Kazuki, the average high school kid. About as average of a shonen set up as you can get. The anime never really goes beyond these traits from them.  Sure, they develop, but they don’t develop in any unique sort of way. It’s like train tracks. You are stuck on this pack until the end. I can feel the anime wants us to feel something unique about them, but it never does. I can say the same for all of the side characters or the rival. Kazuki’s friends and sister seem like interesting people, but we never got to know them. They barely get any development at all, but I feel like Buso Renkin wants to make think that I know them. Unfortunately, they came off more as gag characters than anything else. The most interesting character in the show was the rival Papilion because he gets the most development throughout the entire series.

The art and animation of Buso Renkin is about average for a mid 2000’s show. The art style is like Code Geass. Especially a lot of the facial expressions, character designs, how the camera focuses on certain people, and a lot of other ideas. The backgrounds were extremely average. While there is a wide variety of them like bath houses, ware houses, general Japanese high school places, and many others, there is almost nothing that stands out about them. It’s the same way for the animation as well. There are times when the animation is extremely fluid during action scenes, but there are also a lot of still frames and cut aways from them as well. It seems like there is nothing special about the show.

This is where my main problem sets in. The show is too fast. The pace damages almost every good aspect that Buso Renkin has going for it. There are interesting characters, but we never get to know them because the show speeds through them. There is an interesting plot going on, but we never know about it because the show ends it extremely quickly. Buso Renkin should have been fifty episodes. That way, everything would be given enough time to develop fully and bloom. Unfortuately, Buso Renkin tries to do so much in a short span of time and just can’t accomplish everything it wants to do.

Would I give this show a recommendation? Maybe if you are a big shonen fan and want to see something else, here you go. Possibly also if you want to see what else the creator behind Rurouni Kenshin has made or written. Otherwise, it’s not something that I would call stand out or even required watching. It’s average at best. I know that I’ve been extremely negative with this show and all, but I can’t help it. I wanted to like it, but I couldn’t help but be disappointed. I’m serious. I really don’t like being negative toward shows, but it’s the truth this time. In the end, this was my two minute steak dinner and I didn’t get to enjoy it the way I liked it. I wanted to savor the time I had with this show, but I couldn’t because of the way it was built.


  1. I always find myself comparing Busou Renkin to Rurouni Kenshin. I love both shows, but I find myself watching Busou more often than Kenshin. I believe the reason is that I really enjoyed Kazuki and Tokiko’s relationship, and I loved all of Kazuki’s friends. I felt like Kazuki and Tokiko loved each other, whereas Kaoru’s love for Kenshin seemed one-sided to me. I like Busou because it’s romantic, but the villains were extremely lame.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see your point about romance, but I think Rurouni Kenshin develops it more slowly over time. I’m sad that the anime never is officially completed, because the manga fulfills the Kenshin and Kaoru relationship in a very nuanced way in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re correct. The final season of the Rurouni Kenshin anime was a filler arc. Kenshin’s battle with Enishi would’ve have been preferable, and that arc would’ve have shown Kenshin’s love for Kaoru. The anime made me feel like Kenshin was more Kaoru’s freeloader. 😏

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I started this but got distracted with other shows and n ever went back, which probably means I wasn’t exactly interested. I didn’t have any specific problem with the first few episodes but ultimately it was pretty forgettable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t even remember much of this show or what I thought about it after finishing. I’m sure I found it interesting enough to watch but considering that I remember little now, it must not have made much of an impression. I did like Tokiko’s Valkyrie Skirt (?) as a weapon though. It seemed reasonably innovative..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve seen parts of this show a long time ago and I thought it was just another average shonen series. Of course, given what Watsuki did not that many years ago, I certainly won’t be revisiting this or any of his other works.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The timing of the article does makes sense and it’s not your fault. I certainly don’t blame you for not wanting to come back because of the Watsuki crime controversy. It still baffles me that he never got jail time for what he did and how his newest Kenshin manga got back into serialization in Shonen Jump. SMH.


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