The Shackles of Pandemonium

Key Events

They stick a rogue samurai’s head on a stick as an example to others.

Snippets from Hajime’s past is revealed and he insists to train Ibuki.

After days of training and work for Serizawa, Ibuki’s hands are dead. So Harada takes him on patrol to give him a break from Hajime.

We find out that Shinpachi and Serizawa were from the same school, and Shinpachi admires Serizawa for doing what needs to be done.

A woman from the tailors want payment for the Roshigumi uniforms but Serizawa refuses.

Whilst on patrol Sannan and Hijikata is ganged up on by a large group of rogue samurai using the Roshigumi’s name and let them escape. As this goes on, the Roshigumi’s name is constantly dragged through the mud.


Hard times for the Roshigumi, under Aizu as volunteers, asked to be test subjects, playing the villain and feared and hated, lack of funds and Serizawa causing problems. Although I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people fearing them. Inducing fear is simply another way to uphold the law. If people fear the ‘police’ then they’ll rethink about committing crimes. If they make an example of what will happen with a head on a stick, then anyone will take a hint. I don’t expect this fear to stop the more structured criminal groups like the rogue samurai groups who seem to be well organised. But it might throw them off. I don’t think they expected the Roshigumi to do something so barbaric, so could also leave a slight fear in them which may be crucial when fighting. If being nice doesn’t work, then try nasty.

Big development this episode, at least for me, was that Ibuki’s finally learning some swordsmanship. I never understood why he was so against it. He ended up in this mess because he was clueless. It’s about time he decided to change. And it took Hajime’s seriousness to do it. I’m still sticking with my prediction of Ibuki drinking Ochimizu though.

Speaking of Hajime, I got my wish and saw a small part of Hajime’s history. Although it was a very small scene, I want more and hopefully there will be more. Some other tiny bits of history, but wasn’t anything particularly interesting.

Serizawa looks like he’s going to get a scolding from Hijikata again for whatever he’s about to do. The rogue samurai seem to be organising themselves more to fight the Roshigumi. I don’t know if using the Roshigumi’s name is an organised thing or not, but if it is it’s quite clever, and if it isn’t, it’ll be interesting to see what they do. Episode 9 next, yet I don’t foresee any massive events to move them forwards, no indication that something big is about to happen. The only thing, in my opinion, that suggests something is Ibuki starting his training, but what can that lead to? Well either way, I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.