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Onihei Anime Episode 1 Review – Dark horse of Winter 2017??

Onihei Anime Episode 1 Review – Well well, today i stumbled upon a surprisingly good anime which i thought would suck! and that’s onihei. On watching the episode 01 of the anime series, i think that this anime would be the dark horse of winter 2017.  People are even calling it a look a like of Joker game Anime based on Tenmei era of Japan!

While its just the first episode of new released anime i think its well animated and well executed, and of course its strong enough to grab your attention. But according to me its not like Joker Game, well of course there are one or two similarities but its not completely similar to Joker game and here are my views which might tell you the reason about why i think like this.


The blade arts of the “Devil” tasked with striking down evils threatening a peaceful Edo! Heizou Hasegawa, upholding the role of chief officer protecting against crime and arson! In 1783, the heart of the Tenmei era, Hasegawa held the office of chief director of the department charged with sustaining safety in the region, suppressing the most vile of thieves and criminals, an individual largely feared, renowned as Devil Heizou…

[Source – MyAnimeList]

Onihei Anime Episode 1 Review

Onihei anime, is a story based on a police force, which deals with arson criminals & arson theft controls. Its still not revealed that what kind of police force it is but, the overall setting and the environment of the police force and the officers gives you shinsengumi kind of feel.  However more than the police force, the story focuses on one man whose name is Hasegawa Heizou, the chief of the police force, nicknamed as “Onihei.” And follows his daily life activities which includes professional and personal things.

The main character Heizou is portrayed as a chief officer who is devil to the criminals who are way beyond saving. But if the criminals are willing to change then he would be as gentle as he can, and he is willing to give the criminal a second chance. However he is more famous for his devil appearance. The way the episode is executed, it confirms that each episode will have a new story, involving the main character just like the detective animes.

Onihei anime episode 1 review - Kumehachi
Onihei anime episode 1 review – Kumehachi

Even though the story is set in the old Tenmei era, the overall anime itself gives you a modern feel like Samurai champloo. Its all thanks to the classic jazz background music that follows behind the episode, and because of that the characters, the set of Tenmei era and the overall story is fleshed out even more. The story is not dark as i expected it to be after i watched the starting of first episode, however we can expect something major will happen in the near future so i am really looking forward to the upcoming episodes.

Onihei Anime episode 1 review - Hasegawa Heizou
Onihei Anime episode 1 review – Hasegawa Heizou

There is one surprising element in the story which i guess was overlooked by lot of people today despite being clearly visible, and that is, this anime focuses on the main character Hasegawa Heizou, and the overall police force. But it also focuses on the criminals of that era which clearly showed that even the criminal who committed crimes followed some strict ethical rules. At the same time it tells you how criminals started to change with the time and how the strict ethical rules they followed started to disappear like it never existed.

Onihei Anime episode 1 review - Heizou and Kumehachi
Onihei Anime episode 1 review – Heizou and Kumehachi

For example in the first episode of the series, the police force catches the arson criminal who is later punished and tortured brutally, however as the time passes on we notice change in his behavior and he becomes friendly with the officers there and reveals about his past and how he became an arson criminal. During that time he over hears the officers talking about the gang leader of arson criminals who rapes women and kills children. And it turned out the leader of the gang was his old boss who taught him the three rules of being a true thieve, which are :-

  • Never steal from poor.
  • Never rape women
  • Never kill people and children

He was also the person who looked after him in his teenage days, so he really didn’t believed that the gang leader the police officers are talking about who is the old boss that looked after him and followed these above mentioned three ethical rules. So he himself volunteers to capture the imposer gang leader. However when he meets the leader he realizes that the leader is no imposer, and is deeply hurt by the fact that the leader who taught him those rules can change so much that he himself doesn’t follow the them anymore. Because of which, with a heavy heart, he assists Hasegawa Heizou and the officers to capture him. Heizou offers the arson criminal who assisted him to become a spy and work under him, when he is ready.

Onihei Anime episode 1 review - Kumehachi captures tanbei
Onihei Anime episode 1 review – Kumehachi captures tanbei

The overall scenarios clearly shows that criminals from the old time had some code of honor and ethical rule which they used to follow at any cost but as the time progressed that all changed. The work that criminals did became more inhuman which doesn’t need any mercy from the law .

Onihei Anime episode 1 review – High quality animation & execution

I did said that this anime is well animated and well executed. However out of all the Samurai anime series i have watched the animation for this anime is the best of all. If i were to describe the quality of the animation, then i would say that its similar to animation quality of K-Project Anime and Zankyou No Terror anime.

The overall execution of the episode and especially the fight scenes displayed in the anime are the best! However there is still room for improvement, even though the fight scenes and animation are the best at some point the animation look like gif animation, so they can improve on that and level up the quality even more. However its the first episode so we can expect improvements in the future episode.

Onihei Anime episode 1 review – Why Onihei is not like Joker Game?

I did said at the start of the “Onihei Anime episode 1 review,” that there are one or two similarities between Joker Game anime and Onihei Anime but they both are not completely similar. That’s because Joker Game is a spy anime and Onihei is not a spy anime, the first episode makes it very clear that the story focuses on Hasegawa Heizou who is the chief of the police force and is known as a devil and hence he is nicknamed as Onihei.

So unlike Joker Game who focuses on different characters in each episode Onihei focuses on only one character and then some of the focus is diverted to the secondary important character of the every new story that takes place in each episode and of course that secondary character is also the character who is related to Onihei. Another reason why Joker game and Onihei aren’t similar at all is the plot. The overall plot for Joker Game anime is defined but the overall plot for Onihei anime is not defined.

As i said earlier, it follows the professional and personal life of Hasegawa Heizou, and how he captures the criminals and so on.. so the basic plot on which the anime is based and progresses is not clear. Here in case of Onihei, the character is the catalyst of plot progression and in Joker game anime there is a basic plot on which the anime is based and it follows that plot-line. So in case of Joker game anime characters are not the catalyst for plot progression. Instead they support the overall plot progression and they doesn’t become the lead catalyst like the main character of Onihei.

Onihei Anime episode 1 review – What are the similarities?

If we’re talking about the similarities in Joker game anime and Onihei anime, then i would say the Jazz Music in the background and the feeling or the way characters in the anime are portrayed are the two biggest similarities between Joker game anime and Onihei anime.

Wrapping up

As i said earlier, i thought that this anime would suck but surprisingly it turned out to be a good one and moreover its something which i can look forward to every week. So of course i would definitely recommend you guys who are reading this review to try this anime!!

Overall anime episode rating – 4/5

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A professional blogger & Website Developer and EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker. Interested in Anime, Manga, Games, Japanese Movies and Drama and loves to write and share his view on it!.

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