Anime Taste Testing: Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys! and Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer

I’d say I was disappointed, but that would imply I had high hopes to begin with.

Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys!

I’ll preface my rambling by pointing out that between the two anime I’m talking about in this post, Bakamatsu Bad Boys (Bucchigire!) was the better of the pair. That may not be saying too much, but at least this wasn’t a total loss – mostly because I thought it looked pretty good. Some of the character designs I liked, some of them I didn’t, but either way, the distinct visual style of this show stuck out to me in a good way, especially the opening scene. It won’t be for everyone, but there’s always something to be said for unique artwork and solid background detail.

Unfortunately, that’s about where my praise ends for Bakamatsu Bad Boys. Between nearly all the characters being reduced to one specific physical trope or personality stereotype and the main character being the annoying “brash kid gets sword and yells a bunch about revenge” type, there wasn’t a whole lot for me to love here. That’s a shame, because the core plot would’ve had a lot of potential if only it had been executed better or the cast were more complex. As it stands though, despite being an anime original, this has an extremely standard shonen manga-type feel to it that may well appeal to other viewers but instinctively turns me off.

Score: 5/10

Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer

No, I haven’t read the manga, so no, there’s nothing for me to feel particularly disappointed about. As for the premiere episode itself, this just felt weirdly outdated to me. From the extremely flat colour palette and total lack of movement in animation to the poorly-timed panty shot joke, I found myself mostly bored and unsure whether this was supposed to be a comedy, an action/adventure piece, or something else I couldn’t quite grasp. I think I chuckled weakly once somewhere in the first couple of minutes – after that, I sat through the rest of the episode wondering what all the fuss was about. Don’t get me wrong, I do like that this thing seems to be set in college as opposed to middle or high school for a change, but tonally, Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer seems all over the place, with nothing in particular anchoring me to the characters or the situation they find themselves in even if – once again – the concept itself isn’t bad.

If you’re one of those cool kids who really liked the manga, it sounds like you’re in for a frustratingly bad adaptation. If you’re going in blind like me, you may well also wonder why this anime feels like it was both written and produced sometime in the mid-90s.

Score: 4/10

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3 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Shine On! Bakumatsu Bad Boys! and Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer

  1. I know very little about the Biscuithammer manga; but this is the new show I’ve been looking forward to most. I’ve seen the trailer, so I didn’t have high expectations for the production. It was never going to be a great anime, but it’s servicable and good enough for me. I had fun enough with it (but fans of the manga do deserve a better adaption). It’s probably still going to be one of my favourite new shows this season. Also, no, teacher humour isn’t funny.

    The Bakumatsu anime was also fun enough; also one of the better new shows this season. It’s completely by the book, but I like the visuals. There’s an easy chemistry among the characters, and the designs are distinctive and tell you exactly what type to expect (so far no surprises). I like the style, and the story’s pretty inoffensively competent so far. My only problem is that I find the main character annoying, but that’s really not all that rare in this type of show.

    I definitely like Biscuithammer more of the two, and I’m hoping that Biscuithammer has an upward vector as new characters get introduced, while I’m fearing that Bakumatsu is on a slight downward vector, as usually when style is what mostly grabs me, the show loses appeal as I get used to the style as a baseline. In any case, I’m getting roughly the same amounts of enjoyment out of both shows, but the season’s going to be firmly in the hands of returning shows, most notable Made in Abyss (but also Jasshin-chan Dropkick, Shadows House, Hataraku Maou sama, and Utawarerumono – The Mask of Truth).

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    1. I do definitely feel for the manga fans going into Biscuit Hammer. I never bothered watching the trailer or even reading the premise, I wanted to go in basically blind, but honestly, even that didn’t help much.

      Yes, I’ll likewise be watching some returning shows, including Made in Abyss and Hataraku Maou-sama. There’s also that Kakegurui prequel/spinoff still to come.

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