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Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru Movie Trilogy - What We Know So Far

"Touken Ranbu" is a series of Japanese browser games developed by Nitroplus and published by DMM Games in 2015. It is a collection-based, stat-building game wherein players collect and train a variety of characters based on historical Japanese swords (known as sword-warriors) in order to use them in battle against computer-controlled opponents. It turns out that anime fans are extremely interested in feudal samurai weapons transformed cute sword-warriors. Since the game's initial release, the franchise has risen in popularity, sparking the development of two anime series, "Touken Ranbu Katsugeki" and "Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru."

Most recently, the creators of "Hanamaru" announced a movie trilogy based on the original anime, which wrapped up its second season in 2018. There's still plenty of time before the films' release. In fact, information about the trilogy is sparse. Even so, there's much to say about this trilogy's potential release date, cast, and plot. Here is what we know so far.

When will the Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru trilogy release?

According to Anime News Network, the minds behind "Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru" announced the existence of the upcoming film trilogy during the series' "Hanamaru Haru Ichiban!" event in February. Along with the trilogy's existence, the event revealed that the first of the films (likely animated by Doga Kobo, who also handled the anime) will release sometime within 2022.

So far, Doga Kobo hasn't released any further information on the project. At this moment, fans can only count on this especially wide release window. Furthermore, it's not clear when the second and third entries in this trilogy will be released. It seems that, at least for the moment, fans will have to be patient before they learn anything else about the "Touken Ranbu" films.

On the bright side, the relatively nearby release window of 2022 does imply that fans will get more information sooner, rather than later. Even if the film comes out on the back end of the year, trailers and other promotional materials will likely precede it. This may not be as exciting as actually getting to watch the movies, but it will be an indication of promising progress.

Who are the characters in the Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru trilogy?

Given the franchise's history as a collectible-based mobile game, there are almost too many "Touken Ranbu" characters to count. However, the trilogy's creators have announced the inclusion of one new character who originally appeared in the games: Yamanbagiri Chōgi. A light-haired gentleman with blue eyes and garbed in a tracksuit, it is uncertain what role Yamanbagiri Chōgi has to play in this upcoming film trilogy. He will be voiced by voice actor Kengo Takanashi, known for his roles in shows like "High Score Girl" and "Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V."

Simply because "Touken Ranbu" has as many characters as "One Piece" has episodes, doesn't mean that there aren't some familiar faces that fans are sure to see in the upcoming trilogy. In fact, it assures it. For instance, one of the series' most prominent characters, Kashuu Kiyomitsu (voiced by Toshiki Masuda/Garret Storms) is ostensibly a shoo-in — as is the game's other frequent face, Yasusada Yamatonokami (Mitsuhiro Ichiki/Dallas Reid).

Which other "Touken Ranbu" characters are set to appear in the "Hanamaru" trilogy are, as far as fans know, still up to the fates to decide upon. It would likely be impossible to include all the game's characters in the films, and while it might be possible that all of them make some sort of visual appearance throughout the trilogy, they may not all get a speaking role.

What is the plot of the Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru trilogy?

A bigger mystery than which characters are showing up in the "Touken Ranbu" trilogy is what the actual story will focus on. The original "Hanamaru" anime fell within the slice-of-life genre more so than serious action, and didn't necessarily focus on one interconnected plotline. So, aside from the series' basic premise of time travelling sword-warriors fighting against a legion of past-altering evil spirits, the plot of "Touken Ranbu" trilogy might not have very much to do with the events of the anime or game.

However, the fact that it is a series of three feature-length anime films does necessitate that the plot be a bit more substantial than the average 30 minute slice-of-life episode. What exact conflicts our sword-warrior protagonists will face is yet to be revealed, but they will no doubt be on their most intense adventures yet. Time will tell for certain when the first of the "Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru" films begin releasing in 2022.