animated cartoon The Hakkenden © AIC
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The Hakkenden

The Hakkenden is based on a huge Japanese epic, formally novelised in the 19th century but pre-dating this by many centuries in other forms. During the feudal wars in Japan the Awai clan face extinction from a rival clan backed by demonic forces. In despair, the head of the clan jokingly tells the family dog that he could have his daughter's hand in marriage if he brought him the head of his enemy. Which the dog does. This brings a curse upon the family, but the daughter honours the vow, and retreats into the wilderness with her husband. They are both murdered, but their unborn union reincarnate as eight pups who become Dog Warriors - The Hakkenden. The eight reincarnate souls travel their separate ways of violence and retribution, but slowly join together as a group representing the eight virtues of The Bushido, to slay the demon and redeem their clan. The resulting 13 episode OAV is filled with heavy visual symbolism.

Created by: AIC
Language: English dub / Japanese
Country of Origin: Japan
Alternate Titles: The Legend of the Dog Warriors, Hakkenden shin sho (Japan)
[ Japanese ] Featuring the voices of:
Shinobu Adachi ... Nabiki
Takeshi Aono ... Bansaku Inuzuka
Toshiko Asai ... Isanako
Masashi Ebara ... Daisuke Kanamari
Megumi Hayashibara ... Mouya Inusaka
Aya Hisakawa ... Hamaji 2
Chieko Honda ... Hamaji
Mitsuaki Hoshino . ... Shakuhachirou
Kikuko Inoue ... Hikute
Sukekiyo Kameyama ... Gobaiji Gunki
Miki Itô ... Princess Fuse
Masako Katsuki ... Tamazusa
Kaneta Kimotsuki ... Narrator
Kôichi Kitamura ... Arimura
Motomu Kiyokawa ... Mitsuhiro Jinyo
Hajime Koseki ... Kagetsura Anzai
Toshiyuki Morikawa ... Yoshinari Satomi
Shigeru Nakahara ... Shahei Higami
Tomohiro Nishimura ... Inukai Genpachi
Tomomichi Nishimura ... Daiki Makuwari
Masako Nozawa ... Kamezasa
Tamio Oki ... Toshizane Satomi
Ryûzaburô Ôtomo ... Awayuki
Akio Ôtsuka ... Inumura Daikaku, aka Kakutarou
Chikao Ôtsuka ... Akaiwa Ikkaku
Ritsuo Sawa ... Motofuji Hikita
Toshihiko Seki ... Shino Inuzuka
Shigeru Shiihashi ... Sesuke
Kiyonobu Suzuki ... Yoshirou Ubayaki
Hirotaka Suzuoki ... Samojiro Aboshi
Yoshino Takamori ... Nui
Junpei Takiguchi ... Hikiroku
Sakiko Tamagawa ... Hinaginu
Masato Tsujimura ... Yasuhei
Hidenari Ugaki ... Komiyama
Hideyuki Umezu ... Sabohei Kamado
Kumiko Watanabe ... Kurayago
Kôichi Yamadera ... Dosetsu Inuyama
Kappei Yamaguchi ... Sosuke Inukawa
Kunihiko Yasui ... Hattarou
[ English dub ] Featuring the voices of:
Ken Kramer ... Shino Inuzuka
Paul Dobson ... Samojiro Aboshi
Kelly Sheridan ... Hamaji
Matt Hill ... Sosuke Inukawa (Gakuzo)
Matthew Smith ... Yoshizane Satomi, Fusahachi
Doris Chillcott ... Tamazusa #1, Kamezasa
Lalainia Lindbjerg ... Princess Fuse
Cathy Weseluck ... Shibei Inue
Scott McNeil ... Tamazusa (2)
Janyse Jaud ... Keno Inuzaka
L. Harvey Gold ... Daikaku Inumura
David Kaye ... Sadamasa's Guard, Daikaku Inumura
Ward Perry ... Genpachi Inukai
Sarah Sawatsky ... Hinaginu
Myriam Sirois ... Hinaginu
French Tickner ... Ikkaku Akaiwa
Produced by: Yasuo Hasegawa and Toru Miura
Musical Score by: Takashi Kudo
Art Directors: Kenji Kamiyama, Tokuhiro Hiragi, Tatsuya Kushida, Yoichi Nango and Takeshi Waki
Supervising / Directing Animators: Masaaki Yuasa
Based on: 19th c novel by Kyokutei Bakin, based on feudal story.

animated cartoon The Hakkenden © AICAt 106 volumes, 'The Hakkenden' is the longest work of literature ever printed in Japan.

Some have complained about the differing art styles between episodes. It's unclear whether this is due to a low budget, or a more traditional Japanese tendency to allow free reign to individual animators (for example, hear commentry on FLCL.)

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Legend of the Dog Warriors -- Fan site with detailed background on traditional story, episode and character index, images, etc.
Buy The Hakkenden
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Complete (13 episodes)
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