"Zoku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru" got off on a lighthearted start that re-introduced its characters and caused a surge of nostalgia to the franchise's fans.
The series, which is based on the free-to-lay collectible card browser video game developed by Nitroplus and produced by DMM Games, released its 12-episode first season in 2016. And unlike last year's "Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu," which is set in the same world and timeline, "Hanamaru" focuses more on the Touken Danshi's cheerful lives on the training grounds of a certain Citadel.
The pilot episode opens with the Touken Danshi's attempt at a human-like New Year's Eve celebration following the departure of Yamatonokami Yasusada. Brothers, Higekiri and Hizamaru, who have been manifested from the treasured swords of the Minamoto Clan, have also arrived at the Citadel.
But while Kashuu Kiyomitsu was showing the newcomers around, they received a call to arms and were soon engaged in battle, before finally getting the chance to properly celebrate the New Year.
The synopsis for the upcoming episode 2 teases the first challenge that will befall the swordsmen in the New Year. It seems that the Citadel will fall into some financial crisis. However, some of the swordsmen will also be able to find what looks to be reserved fund in the basement of the Osaka Castle.
The series is being directed by Tomoaki Koshida, taking over for Takashi Naoya who directed the first season. Junichiro Taniguchi is in charge of the character designs, while Keni Kawai takes care of music composition.
The opening theme titled "Hanamaru in no Hi no Moto de" is performed by Mitsuhiro Ichiki and Toshiki Masuda, who also provide the voices for Yamatonokami and Kashuu, respectively.
"Zoku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru" airs on Sundays at midnight JST on Tokyo MX and BS11. Information on other broadcast schedules and online resources can be found on the series' official site. Episodes will also be available in select regions outside Japan with English subtitles on Crunchyroll, and in English simuldub on the Funimation premium subscription soon.