While everyone else might be singing about their favorite time of the year, I’m too busy being enamored by my favorite time in Japanese history to notice much of the holiday festivities. Everyone else can go crazy over shopping until they drop, and decking every hall with lights, I’ll be kicking up my flappy-boot heels and enjoying the jazzy big band music of the Taisho! The Taisho era is one of the shorter Japanese imperial reins lasting only from 1912 to 1926.
It was a boom era of education, democracy, and international influences. And it also had some of the catchiest music and the cutest style clothes! This style is a little bit of Japanese old world with a little bit of European frills, and add in some American flapper sparkles just for fun! It’s this meeting of the old world with the new that really is the key element of Taisho and it shines through in the anime set in this lively era.
Otome Yokai Zakura
Otome Yokai Zakura is an anime about young military officers during the Taisho era that are assigned to work with yokai to solve paranormal crimes. Though the lead officer is definitely not a fan of yokai or anything paranormal, the “monsters” he is supposed to supervise are not what he was expecting.
Cute ladies with fox ears aren’t exactly terrifying, and Zakura (the female lead) with her equally cute friends are not exactly unfriendly. It doesn’t take long before the officers hearts are warming up to the sweet and cheerful yokai ladies and being thoroughly impressed by their swift fighting skills. Much like the Taisho era, this anime is a fun blend of comedy and fighting action, romance and drama, the rule driven military men and the fluffy traditional maidens, the old and the new.
Otome Taisho Fairy Tale
Otome Taisho Fairy Tale is an adorable rom-com set in the Taisho era, about the teen-aged son of a wealthy and powerful family, Takahiko Shima. Unfortunately Takahiko was in a car accident which permanently injured his arm and killed his mother. His father, deciding that Takahiko was “useless” banished him to a distant mountain villa to live out the rest of his life alone. Not surprisingly, still grieving for his recently deceased mother, reeling from his injury, and banishment from the family, Takahiko was a bit depressed.
And then Yuzuki knocked on his door one snowy night. Yuzuki’s family was in debt, and Takahiko’s father agreed to pay off this debt if Yuzuki’s family would “sell” their daughter to take care of Takahiko and to be his bride. Though Yuzuki didn’t have any choice in the situation, she tries to be the best waifu she can be. Yuzuki is like a blindingly bright ray of sunshine in Takahiko’s dark dismal life. And whether he likes it of not, she is there to make his life one worth living!
Libra of Nil Admirari
Libra of Nil Admirari is an unusual anime about cursed books. In the last years of the Taisho era there was a great deal of political unrest, and that is the setting of this paranormal anime. The main character Tsugumi was planning to marry into money to save her failing aristocratic family, but then her normally cheerful little brother suddenly committed suicide. He was found clutching a strange old book, and Tsugumi was left with a lot of questions.
Not long after the sad incident, the family is contacted by the Imperial Library Intelligence Asset Management Bureau, and that’s when Tsugumi is pulled into the world of cursed books and the government agency that is in charge of tracking them down. The Imperial Library Bureau is very interested in recruiting Tsugumi because she can see auras, which would be very handy in finding these cursed books that are causing trouble and killing people across Japan. Tsugumi wants to join because she might find some answers around her little brother’s death.
Tactics has an old world folksy feel , but with a Taisho twist. It’s a fun blend of the ancient meeting the modern, with some traditional Japanese folktales matched with some Western occult stuff. Not surprising, for a anime set in the Taisho era. The main character of Tactics is Kantaro Ichinomiya, a young “folklorist” author that researches Japanese ledgends and writes about his findings. Kantaro has been able to see monsters and ghosts since he was a child, which makes the research of folk lore much easier for him, but also means that Kantaro has been treated pretty badly by humans. So instead of trying to fit in, he just made friends with the monsters he can see. With the help of his yokai friends, like Yoko the fox yokai and Haruka the tengu, Kantaro travels Japan solving mysterious events, saving yokai, and trying to make a buck on the side.
Do you have any favorite anime that are made better by the era they are set in? Leave a comment below!
Check out my Podcast!
This week’s anime exclamation is: Abunai! meaning Danger!
I’m currently watching:
- Banished from the Heroes Party
- Sailor Moon Crystal
- Click Link
- Visual Prison
- Taisho Otome Fairy Tale
- Mars Red
- Inari Kon Kon
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- The Great Jahy will Not Be Defeated!
- Detective Conan
- The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window
- Revolutionary Girl Utena
- Neo Angelique Abyss
- Hanasakeru Seishonen
- Takt Op. Destiny
- Zombie Loan
- Over Lord
- Bung Stray Dogs
- Cardfight Vanguard Overdress