The Legend of the Dog Warriors : The Hakkenden- Anime Review
Here is another Historical Japan anime I've had just sitting around until now. This is also another local find though I actually got this series because I have another anime series called Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East. It turns out both this series and The Eight Dogs of the East are based on the same novel series. This one came first in 1990.
During the Feudal Era, the Awa clan faced a certain death from a rival clan with demonic forces. The clan's salvation turns into a curse when the family dog brings the rival leader's head and requests to marry the clan leader's daughter. The union bore fruit, but all 8 pups were killed. They are reincarnated as the dog warriors aka The Hakkenden. They travel across the land and slowly come together representing the 8 virtues of Bushido to slay the demons and redeem their clan.
This anime was pretty weird as you'd expect with the premise, but was quite enjoyable with interesting characters. We don't learn tons about the 8 warriors, but for some reason it doesn't really matter. The world is full of evil demons, bloody wars, and while the Hakkenden may be cursed, they aren't evil, just trying to find their place and their destiny. I do like the old fashioned artwork and animation in this and while it can be ugly at times, it holds your attention. If you want an old fashioned samurai anime with demons, evil spirits and lost brothers then give The Hakkenden a slice of your time.