In the 19th century a brother & sister stole massive amounts of gold from the magistrate. This pair promptly escaped from the magistrate’s palace to the Edo underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as an oddjob man and ornate chopsticks crafter. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, drop five coins in the shrine and make a wish and you can hire the EDO-Team.
On first impressions Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman is not the poor man’s Lupin III. It is the rich man’s A-Team.
In recent years we’ve seen a return of shows with the A-Team‘s model of a team of specialists engaging in less than legal activities to help the downtrodden or defeat the powerful. Shows like Burn Notice and Leverage for example. From its first episode Bakumatsu Gjinden Roman seems to fall into that niche more than steal/double cross/arrest/escape antics of Lupin and the gang.
Roman’s gang isn’t a clone of Lupin’s gang either. Lupin is distinctly lacking in the areas of masked dog, old man inventor or German doctor who has invented zombies.
The show even has the secret conspiracy back plot of a Burn Notice going on. Presumably this will draw heavily on the historical setting as it goes along. Or maybe not, given the crazily anachronistic dream sequence Roman has. And the fact that he turns into a superhero at the end…
It’s not the most fun you can have with an Edo period anime (a personal favourite is Oh Edo Rocket), but it’s got some solid TMS animation, Monkey Punch designs and a decent gimmick. For me that’s enough for now.