Burai ( 無頼 ) and Burai: Moto Kakusei ( 無頼:魔都覚醒 ) are two series by Iwasaki Youko, first published in 1997. The story chronicles the early days of the Shinsengumi when they were known as the Miburoshi, and focuses on Saitou Hajime. Not only is he a samurai… but he also becomes entangled in a more mystical battle. Saitou is also caught in the middle of the fight between the two factions that are dividing the group.

The first series covers from the beginnings of the group through Serizawa’s assassination.

Burai, 1997
Vol. 1 ISBN 4049246937
Vol. 2 ISBN 4049247402
Vol. 3 ISBN 4049247682
Vol. 4 ISBN 4049247836
Vol. 5 ISBN 404924814X

This series was later re-collected in three bunko editions, which are in-print. The original run may not be, and it had better covers!.

The second series dates from 2000 and serves as a sequel to the first series. On her website, Iwasaki-sensei notes that the magazine that the second series ran in was canceled, so that no further volumes will be published, even though it had been planned for three volumes. The story culminates in the raid on the Ikeda-ya.

Burai: Moto Kakusei, 2000
Vol. 1 ISBN 4049248484
Vol. 2 ISBN 4049248786

Burai – Shinsengumi Members

-Saitou Hajime: An angsty, emotional lone swordsman who learns about friendship after meeting Okita and the rest of the Sheiken dojo group.

– Okita Souji: Easygoing and occasionally mischievous, he becomes a close friend of Saitou

– Harada Sanosuke: Hot-tempered, brash and a totally trustworthy friend.

– Kondou Isami: The honorable leader of the Shinsengumi.

– Hijikata Toshizo: A stern disciplinarian who actually cares for his friends and the welfare of his men.

– Serizawa Kamo: Arrogant and hot-tempered, and he turns to drinking when he becomes disillusioned with the group.

– Niimi Nishiki: Serizawa’s loyal aide, who is willing to die for his friend.

– Yamamato: A spy from Aizu with the aim of shutting down the group, later revealed to be a woman named Takagi Tokio.

– Other Shinsengumi members are in the series, including Nagakura, Toudou, Yamanami, Takeda, and Yamazaki Susumu.

We are deeply thankful to forum member Umeko for her help in this section. Thank you!! 😀