What’s it about ?
Adaptation of a shoujo manga series. Several sources claim it belongs to the “supernatural” category, but that’s not really apparent from the first episode.
We’re in the early Meiji period, and it’s now illegal to carry a sword. Lawbreakers are sent to an infamous lake prison, with a trio of brothers manning the ferry (and troubleshooting any escapees) :
– Tenka, the eldest, is the one who actually deals with the escapees. Very good in a fight, and obnoxiously so.
– Soramaru, his junior, heavily resents this, and often rushes in foolishly to “help out”. Except he’s quite sloppy (tie those bastards up, darn it !) and not good enough.
– Chutaro, the youngest, is annoyingly enthusiastic all the time.
Now, there’s obviously something screwy with the setup. Chutato’s schoolteacher hides secrets behind her nice surface. The keystone kops escorting the prisoners and always letting them escape can’t really be THAT incompetent. And there’s whatever happens behind the prison’s closed doors.
Bright and shiny (you can tell it’s based on a shoujo series thanks to the distinctively pretty character designs for the brothers), which kinda works against the atmosphere : shouldn’t the weather be more cloudy than this, after all ?
On the one hand, it’s quite good at setting up the mystery and making the creepy elements pile up… On the other hand, the three brothers are all very annoying indeed. To the points that I stop wondering what the heck is really going on, and just lose interest.
Maybe they get better rounded later on, but I just don’t have time for them.