At first glance, I thought I randomly grouped this three together because there’s no other grouping for them lol. But in a closer look, these three are somewhat similar to each other. They all have this difficult to approach aura. Yes. Even the seemingly kind Sanan. So let’s start with him!
May contain spoilers so proceed with caution!
I dreaded playing his route. Not only did I find Sanan creepy at first, but he is extra creepy in Heisuke’s route.
Sanan is the scholarly type among the Shinsengumi. Yet even if he is Mr. Brainy, he is also skilled with swords and takes pride in being a warrior.
While he appears as someone who is a pacifist, I still see him as someone dangerous. Among the Shinsengumi, Sanan is the only one who could say snide remarks while smiling. Or he might look okay, but his tongue-lashing is to the extreme.
Now imagine a Sanan with his ego shattered. It’s the worst like he is a walking shroud of dark clouds. He dampens the mood anywhere he goes. That’s what happens after he got injured and couldn’t use his left hand anymore. He falls to a spiral of self-loathing and depression that no words got through him.
The dark Sanan soon turns to the worst and creepiest version of himself. He is a little unstable and unpredictable.
Rasetsu have a negative image on the Shinsengumi but Sanan wears it with pride. If the idea of being a Rasetsu doesn’t sit well with most of the captains, Sanan sees it as an opportunity to serve the Shinsengumi well.
Chizuru decides to spend some time with Sanan. During those times, he shows his pensive side. In those small scenes, I see the Sanan who may be difficult to deal with but is actually someone who only wants to be helpful to Shinsengumi. He takes pride in being a warrior and if being a Rasetsu helps him fulfill that then he’s willing to endure everything.
But even with those moments when Sanan shows his vulnerable side, there are some scenes in the common route that just doesn’t sit well with his relationship with Chizuru. For instance, he tries to draw blood from Chizuru after knowing her lineage. Wow after having a pretty sweet moment, this is what you do?
Yamazaki is somehow similar to Saito in a sense that they are more mission-oriented and gives off a do-not-approach-me aura. But unlike Saito, Yamazaki is actually talkative once Chizuru spends some time with him.
Born from the family of acupuncturists, he has some knowledge of medicine. I was surprised to learn that. While being the ninja/messenger/spy for the Shinsengumi, Yamazaki also acts as their first-aid officer. He notes everyone’s condition and shops for their medical supplies. He cares for the other members in his own way.
His dedication towards the Shinsengumi never wavered even in other routes especially in Hijikata’s. He’d give his everything to help their group. That’s good and all but what I love about him is how sweet he can be with Chizuru. Like he looks all serious and aloof but his expression crumbles down when it comes to her. It’s cute! They look super cute together. I need more tokidoki moments with Yamazaki!
It’s all about swords for Saito. He fanboys about swords, studies a person’s resolve, even identifying Chizuru’s feelings through a sword. If you want to see him talk a lot, ask him about swords.
Well, Saito is a man of few words. He doesn’t say much and when he does, it’s always short. Still, he is good at speaking the right things at the right time. If there’s someone who could hide a secret well without outright lying, that would be Saito.
While it takes him a lot longer to warm up to Chizuru, once he turned into a rasetsu, everything crumbles down to zero. It kills all my hope for a somehow sweet if not romantic ending. It feels as though there’s nothing changed in their relationship other than elevating Chizuru from a guest to member of Shinsengumi (not officially but at least in Saito’s eyes).
For these three, Yamazaki is definitely my fave! Such an adorable babbuuu.
Next Hakuoki post will be the top 3 characters that I’m most excited to play – Okita, Hijikata, and Kazama.