“Before last year, I had never even heard of the mobile game that kickstarted the Touken Ranbu franchise; my introduction to it was in covering the premiere of ufotable‘s take on the series, Katsugeki! Tōken Ranbu, which I found to be an enjoyable bit of sword-fighting spectacle in keeping with the work of the studio responsible for the best Fate adaptations. I expected something in a similar vein going in to Touken Ranbu Hanmaru, despite being produced under a different studio (Doga Kobo), with an entirely new creative team at the helm.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that when you compare Touken Ranbu Hanmaru to its sister series from 2017, the former is an entirely different beast, mostly in that there isn’t anything beastly about it. Where ufotable‘s series put the focus on the hacking and the slashing, where the action here is tossed about only occasionally. Outside of one surprisingly dramatic virtuoso sequence from the season’s last episode, most of this series’ fight scenes are inconsistent and largely inconsequential. In reality, Touken Ranbu Hanmaru is much more of a slice of life series, with each of its twelve episodes devoted mostly to giving the cast of manypretty sword-boys time to play off of one another and generally be cute.”
You can find the rest of my review on Anime News Network.