Abarenbo Shogun

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Abarenbo Shogun, with a much older Tokugawa Yoshimune on his horse (2003)

Contents

Details

  • Title: 暴れん坊将軍 (あばれんぼうしょうぐん)
  • Title (romaji): Abarenbo Shogun
  • Also known as: Unruly Shogun
  • Genre: Jidaigeki renzoku drama
  • Episodes: 832
  • Broadcast network: TOEI (now TV Asahi)
  • Broadcast period: 1978 thru 2004
  • Air time: Varies
  • Opening theme song: Abarenbo Shogun Theme
  • Ending theme songs:
Season 1-2: Hono'o no Otoko, by Kitajima Saburo
Season 3-4: Gamanzaka, by Kitajima Saburo
Season 5-7: Otoko Do, by Kitajima Saburo
Season 8: Hidamari Ninjo, by Kitajima Saburo
Season 9: No ending theme used
Season 10 & 800th episode: Mirai, by Kitajima Saburo
Season 11-12: No ending theme used
Final and Spring SPs: Teru, by Kitajima Saburo

Synopsis

Tokugawa Yoshimune is the 8th Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate. He continues to have bad people creating havoc within his city of Megumi. With the help of his close associates, Lord Tokugawa is allowed to roam throughout his city, disguised as Tokuda Shinnosuke, an average Joe living within Megumi. By mixing in with the population, Shin-san (as everyone in the city calls him) is able to research issues first-hand. His help include oniwaban (ninjas) and the captain of the Megumi fire company. Yoshimune uses the fire company as his base while he's away from Himeji Castle. The captain of the company, and the oniwaban know his identity, but everyone else in the city are unaware that he is the Shogun. Once Yoshimune solves the crimes, he confronts them. Just about every time, the bad people whip our their samurai swords in an attempt to kill Yoshimune, although most of the time they still don't know who he REALLY is. Most of the time, Yoshimume flips his samurai sword so that the dull side is out. This way, he can still take his opponents down without making sashimi out of them. Very rarely will he actually hit people with the sharp part of the blade... They have to be some really mean guys for Yoshimune to go that far!

The show was frequently topical, and touched on many themes of present-day life. The most common subject was political corruption. Drugs, unequal power relationships, poverty, urbanization, the generation gap, inflation, and the tension between Japanese and foreign knowledge were recurring themes.

Abarenbo Shogun aired from 1978 thru 2002. In 2003, TV Asahi aired a final episode, ending Matsudaira Ken's 25-year reign. --- written by Groink 20:56, 24 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Season-by-season Schedule

  • Season 01: 1978-Jan-01 to 1982-May-01 (207 eps)
    • Season 1 was called Yoshimune Hyobanki: Abarenbo Shogun
  • Season 02: 1983-Mar-05 to 1987-Mar-07 (191 eps)
  • Season 03: 1988-Jan-09 to 1990-Sep-29 (129 eps)
  • Season 04: 1991-Apr-06 to 1992-Sep-26 (74 eps)
  • Season 05: 1993-Apr-03 to 1994-Mar-26 (44 eps)
  • Season 06: 1994-Oct-08 to 1996-Jan-20 (51 eps)
  • Season 07: 1996-Jul-13 to 1997-Jan-25 (18 eps)
  • Season 08: 1997-Jul-22 to 1998-Mar-07 (22 eps)
  • Season 09: 1998-Nov-07 to 1999-Sep-30 (38 eps)
  • Season 10: 2000-Mar-30 to 2000-Sep-14 (25 eps) (799 eps seasons 1 thru 10)
    • Season 10 Special aired on 2001-Jan-11, marking 800th episode overall
  • Season 11: 2001-Jul-15 to 2001-Dec-10 (19 eps)
  • Season 12: 2002-Jul-08 to 2002-Sep-09 (10 eps)
  • Final Special: 2003-Apr-7
  • Spring Special: 2004-Mar-29
  • General Special: 2008-Dec-29

Cast

NOTE: The episodes weren't numbered. Fans attempted to number the episodes, including KIKU-TV, but the numbers differ between collections. Therefore, it is impossible to indicate which episode a particular cast member made an appearance. Also, there were literally over 1,000 guests appearing throughout the years. As a result, the cast listing consists of artistes who appeared in the show either on a regular or semi-regular basis.

Production Credits

Review

When I first watched Aberenbo Shogun, two other shows came to mind. The first one is the tokusatsu Japanese TV series Kamen Rider V3 (TOEI, 1973). Both Abarenbo Shogun and V3 are quite similar in the way the formatting flow. Both series have incredible theme music. Second, the opening credits portion are very similar... Yoshimune is stampeeding on a horse, while Kamen Rider V3 is riding along on his motorcycle with bombs blowing up around him. And, the fighting scenes have some really cheezy sound effects (well, Abarenbo Shogun has a lot less).

The second show is the 1957 movie Toyama no Kinsan Hayabusa Bugyo (TOEI, 1957). Kataoka Chiezo plays the character of Toyama Kinshiro, a commissioner from northern Edo. He goes undercover as a commoner to unravel the mystery behind a series of murders committed within the city. Kinshiro and Yoshimune are almost identical in that they detect trouble within the city, they disguise themselves so that they blend in, they find out who the bad guys are, and then they kick butt! The only difference is that Kinshiro has his shoulders covered with Sakura tattoos, which he displays when confronting the bad guys. All Yoshimune does is say, "I know who you are! Drop that sword and put your hands up!!!!"

With all three of these shows made by TOEI, maybe that's why they all feel similar. As for Abarenbo Shogun itself, I'd score a 5 out of 5. That's because the show has a lot of action, heart, and great storylines. --- written by Groink 20:56, 24 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Trivia

  • Tokugawa Yoshimune lives in Edo Castle. However, in the episodes, TOEI chose to use images of Himeji Castle.

External Links

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