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Video clip.

On 9/16, Serizawa was invited to a banquet in Shimabara, held by Kondou and Hijikata.
In the banquet, a tense atmosphere filled the room. Hijikata and Souji were being unusually courteous, while Kondou seemed to be in deep thought. But Serizawa didn't seem to mind.
When everyone drank to an extent, the head servant of the restaurant brought a letter for Serizawa, sent from Yagi House.
After reading it, Serizawa suddenly stood up and told Ryu he's going back.
Hijikata: Wait. You're quite drunk, and Ibuki isn't enough as a bodyguard. I'll go back with you. I have some work to tend to anyway.
Souji: I'm going too. Surely I'm more reliable than Ibuki-kun.



BAD END (When friendship isn't high enough.)

Ryu: Well then. Kondou-san, Nagakura, Saitou, I gotta go now.
Saitou: Ibuki!
Saitou suddenly stood up.
Ryu: What is it? Is anything wrong?
Saitou bit his lip, like he wanted to say something. But he shook his head quietly.
Saitou: ... Nothing. It's raining outside. Be careful on your way back.
Ryu: Um... okay.
Hijikata: Saitou, sorry to trouble you, but do look after Shinpachi and Kondou-san.
Saitou nodded in a stiffened expression.

Back in Yagi House, Serizawa and Oume talked for a long time. Then Serizawa told Ryu to get him some water.
The water bottle in the kitchen was empty, so Ryu went to the well to fill it. On his way out, he saw shadows moving. He thought those were burglars, and rushed to Serizawa's room.
He slipped when entering the room. At first he thought somebody spilled oil. But it smelled like rust.
When an lightning lit up the room, he saw he's sitting in a pool of blood.
??????: You came back, Ibuki-kun.
One of the "burglars" mumbled. Before Ryu could get a good look, a sword pierced into his body.



GOOD END

**I'm using Ryunosuke's first-person narrative in this section.**

Why were they so considerate of Serizawa-san all of a sudden? My heart was beating so fast I can barely breathe.
Ryu: Say... say, Serizawa-san... Why not stay here for the night?
It's difficult to speak since my throat was so tight.
Serizawa: I'm on urgent business. If you don't want to go back, you can stay.
Hijikata: Yes. Saitou will pay the bill. Just relax and enjoy yourself.
Souji: Isn't this great? They serve great meals here. You haven't had anything delicious for a long time.
Nagakura: Huh? You're all leaving? Then I should also...
Nagakura got up, but Saitou stopped him.
Saitou: Wait, Shinpachi. You barely drank any.
Nagakura: Yeah. But I don't feel right enjoying myself here when everyone's going back to work.
Hijikata: No need to be so modest. You don't get to come here everyday. Don't waste the chance. There's no curfew for tonight, so take your time.
Okita: See you later.

The three of them left the room. What's this uneasy feeling in me?
Nagakura: Kondou-san, you don't look well today. Is there something on your mind?
Kondou: No... Nothing in particular.
It's not like him to give such unclear answer.
Saitou: Shinpachi, have some more. It's been a while since we drink face to face like this.
Nagakura: That's rare for you to say. You're always strict and kept telling me not to drink too much.
Saitou: I don't feel like it today.
Saitou poured more sake into Nagakura's cup. Kondou poured more into his, and chugged.
Nagakura: Whoa... Hey! Kondou-san!
Kondou-san's face turned really red, and he started coughing.
Nagakura: Are you alright? What is it? You know you can't drink that fast.
He patted Kondou-san's back and asked.
Nagakura: Is something bothering you? You got a listener here, if you wanna talk about it.
Saitou: The commander is tired, that's all. Recently he had more meetings with the high executives of Aizu.
Nagakura: Nah, that's no reason to drink so recklessly. And it's not like those tasks just started today. If he keeps drinking this way, he won't be able to work tomorrow. I say we take him back to the quarters...
Saitou: No!

Saitou replied with an overbearing demeanour. Surprised at his reaction, Nagakura frowned.
Nagakura: What's that for? It seems that you don't want me to go back to the quarters.
Saitou didn't reply, but only looked back at him, with eyes as calm as a rippleless lake.
Nagakura grew impatient at his reaction.
Nagakura: Something is happening there. Am I right?
Saitou still didn't reply. But Nagakura felt something from his unusual reactions.
Nagakura: By any chance, are you planning something against Serizawa-san? Are you killing him, like what you did to Niimi-san? ARE YOU?
Nagakura raised his voice in anger, but Saitou was composed as always.
Saitou: What if I say "yes"?
Nagakura's eyes widened in fury.
Nagakura: No way can I accept such cowardly means!!
He's out the door before he finished speaking.
Saitou: Wait!
Saitou chased after him. I wondered if it's alright to leave Kondou-san here alone. But I'm more worried about them, so I ran out too.

It was pouring outside. In this storm, Nagakura and Saitou ran on the muddy road toward the quarters, regardless of the mud splashing on them. The rain didn't slow them down a bit.
If I don't pay attention, I'd lose them right away. The road was slippery, and my kimono became heavy after absorbing water. I kept running and running, lest I should lose sight of them.

When I made a turn into an alley, Saitou finally caught up with Nagakura and grabbed his arm.
Saitou: I said stop already!
Nagakura made a tsk, and turned to face Saitou.
Nagakura: You're not letting me back to the quarters no matter what, are you?
The usual brightness and cheerfulness in his voice was no where to be found. But that didn't scare Saitou.
Saitou: Like you expected, I was ordered to stop you from going back, at any cost.
Nagakura: Ordered by Hijikata-san, I suppose? We've been comrades since Edo, yet he's killing off Serizawa-san without a word to me?
Saitou: Hijikata-san was being considerate of you.
Nagakura: Don't talk like you know everything! Had I not noticed earlier, wouldn't I be kept in the dark until Serizawa-san was killed?! Isn't this foul play?! If you can't accept how Serizawa-san does things, challenge him for a duel or something! Face him fair and square!
The rain became heavier. Raindrops hit hard on both of them.
Saitou: This decision was made in consideration of Shinsengumi's future, as well as every member's issues. Serizawa-san's behaviors can no longer be tolerated. This is also Aizu's intention.
Nagakura: Shut up!! Whatever Shinsengumi, Hijikata-san, Sannan-san, or Aizu thinks...
Nagakura: I DON'T GIVE A DAMN!! I simply draw my sword at who I think is unforgivable!!



Nagakura unsheathed his sword and took battle stance.

Unlike in the martial art demonstration before, the expression on his face showed he's seriously ready to kill his opponent.
Seeing him like this, Saitou warned with a cold voice.
Saitou: The penalty for engaging in private fights is seppuku. By drawing your sword, I take it you're ready to die for it, Shinpachi.
Nagakura: What are you talking about? With this standard, you all are "breaching bushido" for murdering your own commander! If I have to walk the path which I believe is wrong, I'd rather die!
At these words, Saitou placed his hand on the hilt. A vicious current of tension came out of him.
Saitou: Very well. It is appropriate manner to use full strength against an opponent who's serious. I had hoped to have a re-match with you in some other form.
Nagakura: Enough!
Nagakura stepped on the ground firmly, and swang his sword with full strength. Saitou instantly drew his sword and stopped the blow. He pushed Nagakura's sword back firmly, brushed it aside, and took a big step back.
They crossed swords again. Other than the sound of rain, there were only footsteps and swords clashing.
Both sides were seriously trying to kill each other, while in their hearts they never wanted to.
I can relate to what "hoped to have a re-match in some other form" means.

Nagakura: Geez. You're really coming at me, aiming to kill.
After crossing swords a few times, Nagakura spoke in a worked up tone.
Nagakura: What made you come this far? The order from Hijikata-san? Or loyalty towards Aizu Clan?
Saitou: Neither.
Nagakura: What do you mean "neither"? Is there any other reason? If there's a reason good enough to make you kill me, a comrade since Edo, I'd like to hear it.
Saitou closed his eyes for a moment, and then stared straight at Nagakura again.
Saitou: ... To stop you from going back to the quarters, to continue fighting side-by-side with you as a comrade in the future, and above all -- so you could live.
Nagakura's shoulders shivered in laughter.
Nagakura: I see. I understand now. Then...
He took a short breath, and held his sword in middle stance.
Nagakura: To correct my comrade's wrongdoing, and to walk the path I believe in, I must defeat you!

He charged with terrific velocity, and swang down his sword dynamically.
But Saitou didn't try to block that. Instead, his sword sliced horizontally, and hit Nagakura's body first.




That's what I call an attack and defense in a blink of an eye.
What followed was a long silence, with only the sound of rain pouring.

After a painful moan, Nagakura looked at Saitou, and spoke with regret.
Nagakura: ... What? The back of the blade? And here I am, seriously trying to kill you.
Saitou, still in composed expression, replied softly.
Saitou: ... I told you I fight so you could live.
At his simple reply, Nagakura laughed dryly, like feeling totally defeated.
Nagakura: The back of the blade... On top of that, I didn't notice a thing... The result was decided even before we started.
After a cynical smile, Nagakura fell to the ground silently. Saitou looked at him, like trying to say something.
The way Saitou stood there with a bare blade in hand was simply beautiful.
At the black attire that blended into the dark night, the atmosphere of menace that wrapped around him, and his extremely refined and precise sword skill, I gazed in fascination, even forgetting to breathe.



Two days later, a solemn funeral for Serizawa-san was held at Yagi House.
The reason for his death was said to be "Sonno Joi ronin sneaked in and killed him in his sleep."
But I knew that's not true. And for knowing this truth, I knew I don't have much longer to live.

I drew intently in my room. With no one of Serizawa Faction remaining, Maekawa House was awfully quiet.
I wanted to draw Saitou on the night he faced Nagakura. My right hand kept moving, trying to depict the image burned in my mind.
Ryu: Damn! Not like this!
I was annoyed at the difference between the image in mind and what I can draw.
Not enough.
He's of quiet demeanor. Yet the tension coming from him was as sharp as blade.
His movements were purely beautiful, yet ominous, and without any unnecessary move.
Even if I can capture that image, Serizawa-san, who would acknowledge it and free me, was no longer here. However, I still can't stop drawing.

I kept grinding ink, drawing, and throwing paper away. Before I knew it, it's nightfall, and then daybreak again.
My stomach ached. I barely ate anything since that day. After all, I was picked up by Serizawa-san, and I knew the truth of Serizawa-san's death. No way would Hijikata-san and Sannan-san let me live.
I know I should run and hide as far as I can. But my right hand kept moving. I can't hold back the urge raging inside of me. I was overflowed with strength. This feeling was irreplaceable. This must be what Saitou meant about "gift".
I didn't just understand it with my head; I felt it with every part of my body.

At last, one day at dawn, with hands smudged with ink, I held up one painting. It's a portrait of a true samurai, from the depth of my heart. A figure of noble demeanor that shakes the soul, yet ominous at the same time.
Ryu: I did it...
My body was exhausted, but my mind was tranquil. After calming down from the excitement before, I felt joy.
Finally I've found my path, and something I have faith in.



9/25. Shinsengumi received reward from Imperial Court for their distinguished services in the Rebellion of 8/18. They no longer have to strive to get themselves fed. It had been a long way.
On that night, Hijikata called me to his room.
It's about time. Since I had been like a culprit waiting to be sentenced, I was surprisingly calm.
I'd be lying if I say I wasn't afraid. Death is fearsome, after all.
But when I drew that painting, in that rapture I felt I had truely lived, even for a short time. My soul resided on that painting. I have left the world a piece of evidence that I was alive. This thought relieved my uneasiness a bit.
Ryu: Hijikata-san, it's me, Ibuki. May I come in?
Hijikata: Ibuki? Come in.
I opened the door and stepped in. Hijikata-san and Sannan-san greeted me side by side. I knew what I'm about to hear. Soon Hijikata-san started speaking, slowly and clearly.
Hijikata: Tomorrow, several spies from Choshu Clan will commit seppuku.
Hijikata-san's words stabbed into my stomach like a blade.
Hijikata: Since they're common soldiers, they'll be given the choices of committing seppuku or taking Ochimizu.
Even without Serizawa-san or Niimi-san, Shinsengumi will continue using it. It had deeply rooted here.
Ryu: I'm prepared. Let's get to the point. I'll be given the same choices, right?
Hijikata-san and Sannan-san looked at me coldly. That confirmed my guess. I knew it. There was no other way.
How silly I was, thinking "I have no regrets" on my way here. Now that I was told I have no future, I recalled so many things I wanted to draw. I wanted more time to draw, even if just a little more. Suddenly...

Saitou: Hijikata-san, there's something urgent I want to discuss. May I come in?
I heard Saitou's voice across the door.
Hijikata: What is it? We're in the middle of something. Come back later.
But Saitou didn't follow Hijikata-san's order. He opened the door and came in.
Hijikata: What's that? I said later!
To Hijikata-san, who raised his voice, Saitou handed him a piece of paper.
Ryu: Ah!
I couldn't have mistaken. That's my painting! The painting of Saitou on the night he fought Nagakura, which I spent days and nights drawing without eating or resting.
Hijikata-san's and Sannan-san's eyes glowed when they saw the painting. They forgot to blink, or even breathe. After being captured by it for quite a while, they looked up.
Hijikata: What's this for? It's Ibuki's painting, right?
Then Saitou looked straight into Hijikata-san's eyes, and started his negotiation.

Saitou: When Serizawa-san was alive, he made a promise to Ibuki.
Sannan: A promise?
Sannan-san asked in surprise. Saitou nodded.
Saitou: Yes. He promised that if Ibuki can draw something that satisfies him, he will set Ibuki free. Were Commander Serizawa alive, wouldn't he be satisfied with this painting?
For a moment, Hijikata-san and Sannan-san both remained silent. I can relate to how they feel. They understood what Saitou was trying to say, but they can't accept it.
Sannan: Even if they had such promise, Serizawa-san is no longer here. Clearly, the situation is different from when they made that promise. Ibuki-kun knew too many secrets inside Shinsengumi. We can't let him leave.
Sannan-san spoke in an indifferent tone, but was driving Saitou into a corner. Upon this, Saitou looked toward Sannan-san and replied.
Saitou: However, it is us who killed Commander Serizawa. Therefore, as to who should be responsible for this promise not being kept, I think the answer is clear.
Hijikata-san's and Sannan-san's face winced. This is futile. They can't let me go, since I've witnessed the truth.
Hijikata: Saitou! The nerve of you!
Hijikata-san raised his voice in anger, but Saitou still made another attempt.
Saitou: A promised is meant to be kept, even after one of the sides has deceased. Not to mention this is one promise which Commander Serizawa would have kept, had he been alive. It is us who deprived him of this chance. With all due respect, do you think there's no need to keep a promise after the opponent is dead?
I'm puzzled. How can Saitou keep expressing his opinion, against Hijikata-san and Sannan-san, without flinching?
He's making an argument against both of them, without taking one step back.
Sannan: You're using sophistry, Saitou-kun.
Sannan-san sighed.
Hijikata: Geez. When Saitou gets this stubborn, there's no chance in winning. Once you're decided, you don't budge an inch.
Hijikata-san smiled in amusement, and spoke convinced.
Hijikata: Alright. Have it your way. Keep the promise between Serizawa-san and him. Ibuki, from now on, you're free to go.
The moment he heard this, Saitou smiled joyfully and bowed, so deeply that his forehead touched the tatami.
Saitou: ...... Thank you very much.
There were so many feelings mixed in this short line. That must be what "commingling of emotions" means.



The next morning, I was ready to leave the quarters, with Saitou seeing me off.
Saitou: Finally.
Ryu: Yep. Finally.
Neither Saitou or I were good at speech. So when we part, we couldn't come up with the right words to say.
"Take care" didn't feel right. We weren't that intimate. Not "thank you" either. Of course I'm grateful, but no words would be enough to express it. Not "see you", since it'll get really complicated if we meet again. Are there no words appropriate for this occasion?
Saitou: What are you planning to do from now on? Do you have a place to stay?
Ryu: I haven't thought about it until now. Well, I'll come up with something.
If I have to live by myself all of a sudden, without any support, doubtlessly I'll panic. But now I have my paintings. With a pen, paper, and things I want to draw, I can live happily anywhere.
Ryu: I should be leaving. If we keep standing here, the other soldiers will become curious.
I turned and started to walk away, but...
Saitou: Wait.
I felt the chill of a bare blade against my neck. If he pressed harder, there'll be my blood all over the place. There's no need to ask "what are you thinking?" Because that's Saitou.
With the sword on my neck, Saitou warned.
Saitou: You were allowed to leave without any punishments, but do not leak anything you know here. If you sell information to lawless ronin, or leak any of our secrets, I will find you wherever you are, and kill you with this sword.
Very threatening words. Is that the last thing you want to say to me? I smiled bitterly.
Ryu: If you want to, you could really go to extremes. Don't worry. I won't let anyone know what I knew here. I want to live long, and keep drawing until I'm too old to hold a pen.

I felt Saitou smiling behind me. I can't see his face to make sure... but it must be a smile in content. If I can start drawing right now, I'm confident that I can draw a more Saitou-like expression than Saitou can be.
Then after a little hesitation, Saitou spoke.
Saitou: ... Live to your fullest.
Simple and clear. It's very much Saitou's style for him to send me off with these words.
I started walking.
There's no need to look back.
There's no more need to accuse anyone for the misfortune brought upon me. I have found my path.
It's what I finally got hold of, after ceasing, being worried, and bewildered.
With this new determination, I will live my way. Even if it's a different path from Saitou and everyone in Shinsengumi.



Very long personal comments
[Personal comments (click to open)]
1. How could this not be the perfect ending for an anime! The showdown between two of the top swordmen in Shinsengumi, the debate between Saitou and two vice commanders, and Ryunosuke marching toward a bright future, leaving his grim past behind. This is an otome game, yet this ending is more heated than Naruto! XD

2. About the bad end. When Saitou called Ryu, I bet Hijikata gave him a "mind your own business" stare right away. Oh boy. He's gonna be scarred for life, for letting go of Ryu at the last minute.

3. Shinpachi is really caring, ne? And although he loves to drink, he doesn't want to do that without the others, and he's careful not to let alcohol affect their duty.
Kondou-san was so... XD
Hijikata and Sannan must've told him to just sit there and look pretty, and let Saitou take care of everything.
In history, among the Shieikan Nine, only Nagakura, Saitou, and Kondou had alibi during Serizawa's assassination. (The other six were either confirmed or suspected to be on the scene.) Nagakura & Saitou were because they're closer to Serizawa. Kondou was because he's the leader and must stay absolutely clean.

4. It turned out that "when justice and justice collide" line Saitou mentioned before wasn't only referring to Serizawa and Hijikata, but Shinpachi and him as well. I think "choices without incorrect answer" is also an element in Saitou route. In Hakuoki, he had to choose between staying in Aizu or leaving with Hijikata. In Reimeiroku it's stopping Shinpachi here. Shinpachi got a point. It's just that they chose different sides.

5. I highly recommand listening to the deathmatch in the rain. (Thanks to the kind soul who uploaded this!) Ryu said Shinpachi's attitude didn't scare Saitou... but he scared me! Q_Q Especially how he questioned Saitou (starting 8:40 here). ...The first time I played, Ch6 was so good that I can't stop. It's 3am when I came near the end. When Shinpachi drew his sword, I actually jumped out of the bed saying "holy ****! Wait wait wait, you don't want to do this! Ah Saitou, don't provoke him more!" (The dramatic BGM helped a lot too.) The excitement of this battle, and the argument later, made me unable to sleep until noon. Thank goodness I did it on Saturday.

6. When there's difference in strength, it's easy to end a battle without killing. But when on par, it's much harder to keep your opponent alive than to kill him, since you might get killed while trying not to hurt your opponent.
I guess that's what Shinpachi meant by "the result was decided before the battle began" - Saitou was fighting at a disadvantage without letting him know it.
BTW there are 6 routes for the martial art demonstration in chapter 2. Saitou wins in 3 routes and Shinpachi wins in the other 3. In history, Hijikata Toshizou didn't record the result of their match either.

7. I love it when Saitou gave his three reasons. But I wonder if Shinpachi was actually paying attention. XD And umm... Didn't Saitou openly implied that if Shinpachi goes back, Souji will kill him? (It's possible, judging from Okita route. Hijikata may hesitate, but Souji won't. Especially not in Shieikan Faction's life-and-death situation.) But Shinpachi didn't seem to mind.

8. About the battle between Shinpachi and Saitou. I've been thinking, is there a way to settle it without violence? But I think this is the best way. Shinpachi was furious because of Hijikata's foul play. If Saitou tries anything like throwing sleep pills in his cup, he's seriously gonna hate Saitou forever. Now, Saitou fought him fair and square. Shinpachi's will to stop Hijikata couldn't win against Saitou's will to save his life. What more can he complain? ;)

9. Did Sannan-san agree? Or is it because Hijikata stole the show and he didn't have the chance to object? XD
(*Imagines* After Saitou and Ryu left the room...
 Sannan: Hi-ji-ka-ta-kun! Do you realize what you have done?
 Hijikata: What do you expect? I don't see you convincing him!)

Okay seriously, Saitou put up a great argument.
Promise, responsiblity, and honor are part of the samurai virtues they pursue. Saitou even summerized it into a simple yes/no question, which is very hard to answer. "No" would mean releasing Ryu, while "yes" would seriously waver Saitou's belief. Sannan must be evaluating if it's worth it to kill Ryu and risk dropping Saitou's loyality status by 30 points lowering Saitou's respect toward them. ...But Hijikata didn't need to evaluate. XD

BTW, Saitou rarely gets scolded by Hijikata-san. Ryunosuke, you owe him big time! XD


Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
kanou
Jun. 7th, 2012 10:45 am (UTC)
Thank you again so much for your real hard work and devotion!

But most of all 'Happy Birthday' *throws confetti* ^___^
I hope you'll celebrate this special day with lots of fun & love!
tokio_fujita
Jun. 16th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you~ *^^*
manaika
Jun. 7th, 2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
Oh my oh my oh dear!

God knows I've been waiting for t his part of Saitou route so eagerly. I wanted to see their fight so badly it hurt. Boargh. I have so much I want to say right now, but first of all: Happy birthday! ^^ *hugs* I wanted to surprise you with a present, but I didn't get it ready on time, forgive me.

However, as it seems, you gave yourself a very nice present, so... ^^

Anyway, this part of Saito route is...well, I was sitting on hot coals.

And a pissed-off Shinpachi is SCARY. Damn scary. I think my respect for Saito's composure just tripled. I almost pissed my pants. And God, their converstaion
Shinpachi: "I'll kill you!"
Saito: "I will make you live!"
And the end of the fight was so...so...hah. I liked how Shinpachi accepted his defeat. His head cooled off immediately. What a man! (He rose onto the same level as Sano, with this fight. Now, I probably couldn't chose between them anymore. Gawd, he's so...so...awesome!)
It felt so much like a best friends fight. I think I seriously ship them now.

And Hijikata-san! xD I almost died laughing as Saito marched in, showed the paper under Hijikata's nose and beat all of his arguments in one go. Hijikata was powerless. (What's more, I think he knows how powerles he is against Saito - talk about love - that's half of the reason why he was so angry. xD) I swear I called "Uke rebellion!"
Saito has got some balls, I give it to him!

So moe.

ANd the scene with Ibuki!
Hah.
I have no words. (And you're totally right. I second that with the "good anime ending". It'd be great if they did Saito's route. So. GREAT. - Maybe otomate reads this an dthe'll get a hint ~_^)
It was so...*content sigh*
Wonderfull. Marvelous. Wonderfull.

I'm telling, if it was my birthday, this would be the best present ever. ^^

So happy birthday again and thank you for this great translation!
I'll go, enjoy the afterglow now.

Edited at 2012-06-07 03:14 pm (UTC)
tokio_fujita
Jun. 15th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you. *^^* It's alright. My birthday in lunar calendar will be on July 1st this year. XD

The CG of the battle between Shinpachi and Saitou sure is intriguing, ne? Sorry for taking so long. ^^; This part is the motive for me to start a detailed review for Reimeiroku (which turned into translation somehow). I've been wondering how they'll settle this, ever since seeing the promo art of Shinpachi yelling at Saitou's face and Saitou wasn't even trying to resist. (feeling indebted?) I had guessed it's about the assassination, but didn't expect it to be this good.
How Shinpachi accepted his defeat was so cool. He's actually a mature big brother type. He just doesn't get enough screentime. ><
I kept thinking if Shinpachi is more of a bishi, there will be so much more fanart about them. XD

Ah the debate. If it's Souji or baka trio step in and argue like this, Hijikata would probably kick them out. XD I guess it's because Saitou has always been a good boy. Unlike others, he never complained or argued, so they didn't feel right brushing him off. And yep Hijikata's just so powerless against Saitou. Technically Saitou only need to defeat Sannan with speech and then conquer Hijikata with moeness. XD
Oh and when Saitou smiled, I bet Hijikata's thinking this smile made it all worthwhile. (Sannan: Hijikata-kun, we need to talk.)

I'll continue with Serizawa route next. Plz look forward to it. ;)

Edited at 2012-06-16 01:13 pm (UTC)
manaika
Jun. 17th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, ok! I'll try to get it done till then. ^^ In time with the special Reimeroku episode. I envy you. You always get such great presents...xD

Absolutely! As I saw the PG, my eyes grew to the size of two plates. The promo art and the CGs, both are so beautiful and intriguing...It's like they're alive. They're wonderfull. And the rain in the background just gives it such gloomy atmosphere...
And the coolest mean in Hakuoki fighting each other is simply...WOW.
Shinpachi IS a bishi. In his own, manly way. He just has too little screentime.

Right? Saito is enprivileged. Hijikata, you favoritist! Saito, go and conquer the world! xD
Sannan-san is so over-powered...But what can you do, when Hijikata is so enamoured with a certain blue-eyed, silent swordsman?

Oh, I will! Yay for Serizawa!
haruka_hikawa
Jun. 7th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
Wow... I can't find the words to express how beautiful this was. I was feeling goosebumps since Shinpachi started suspecting what was about to happen.

I loved seeing Saitou's resolution first when facing Shinpachi, then convincing Hijikata to free Ryu. Shinpachi was scary, but Hijikata was right: he's so stubborn. xD It surprised me to see him argue with Hijikata and Sannan with such strength. It really goes to show that there's no way he would change his opinion once he made up his mind. Ryu should feel very lucky. The farewell was so fitting for both of them too, with Ryu not saying "thank you" because it wouldn't convey all that it meant, and Saitou telling him to live a happy life.

Thank you so much for all your hard work, and happy birthday! ^^
tokio_fujita
Jun. 16th, 2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you. *^^*

When Saitou began his argument, I was suprised that I read a spoiler without knowing it - the short novel which Saitou defends Ryu. But this time it's much more difficult. Shinpachi and Ryu are lucky that Saitou's so persistent.

The part that got me stuck longest was actually Saitou's farewell line. Glad you like it. :D
xsAlisxs
Jun. 8th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
This ending was just incredibly beautiful *.*
Saitou was so awesome, he'll always keep impressing me !!!
He's my favourite character from the beginning so this chapter has completely blown me away =D
Thank you so much for this wonderful gift and I wish you a very happy birthday ! ^^
tokio_fujita
Jun. 16th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
You're welcome~♪
Welcome to Saitou fanclub! ;)
elflady_2001
Jun. 12th, 2012 05:31 am (UTC)
First, a very Happy Belated Birthday!

OMG I agree the good ending would be a perfect anime ending. I was seriously bummed when I read your summary of how Ibuki died in the route where not enough friendship was chosen.

But OH! The good ending is just GOLD! So much Saitou moe. He is the most awesome swordsman and man, facing Shinpachi with such a serious handicap because he didn't want to kill him. And Shinpachi not realizing that until the end when he was defeated yet still alive. ♥ Then to see Ibuki struggle and finally find his path with art and expressing a figure of noble demeanor that shakes the soul, yet ominous at the same time as epitomized by Saitou. ♥ ♥ ♥

And to top it off, Saitou presenting those three valid arguments to release Ibuki to Hijikata and Sannan and so forcefully too! Hijikata never stood a chance against his beloved Saitou! ♥

Thank you for sharing!

Edited to correct...ack again! That will teach me to post when I'm confused! Confusing Shinpachi with Harada Sanosuke in my mind. -_-

Edited at 2012-06-12 05:42 am (UTC)
tokio_fujita
Jun. 16th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you. *^^*

Desho~ There's so much character development and Saitou moe in the ending! I actually replayed this part so much that I memorized most of it. XD
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