Offical site: http://www.irohanihoheto.jp/
The end of the Edo era marked the last time men would live as samurai and fight entrusting their lives and beliefs to the sword. The peace of the Tokugawa Shogunate begins to crumble with the arrival of Western influence. Amidst this upheaval, the youth of the nation seek a new era, but something else will bring turmoil and chaos. It is called Hasha no Kubi; the Head of the Conqueror. It is said that he who can obtain the Head shall rule over the whole country. However, another shadow being called “Eternal Assassin” is destined to oppose Hasha no Kubi. These two beings have been in eternal conflict, affecting the course of history from the shadows, influencing those who craved power. Some want it for their own, some want it for revenge, and some want it to fulfill their own ideals…
The wills of men intersect over the Hasha no Kubi. They combine and move together like complicated gear wheels of an engine pushing events towards the future.[Source: Animenfo]
Anime started on: October 6, 2006 (As according to Wikipedia)
If you were hoping for romance in this anime, I suggest you not. However if you are just looking at the plot, this is one you can see.
To be honest about this anime, I really find it a lot like Samurai 7. I can't really understand a single thing. And a lot of things are left not answered. (Or maybe because it haven't ended? I will wait and see.)But other then that, this anime is very well written. Well... For me that is.
Let me introduce the main characters:
He is the main character of the story. Named The Eternal Killer [Eien no Shikaku, 永遠の刺客]. He was chosen to be the one to destroy the Head of the Conqueror[Hasha no Kubi, 覇者の首]. In his hand, he holds his weapon, Getsuruitō [月涙刀] (I can't literally translated this. It will sound a bit too off.), the sword that allows him to do so. Yōjirō used to be the bodyguard of the Sakamoto Ryōma. However, he wasn't able to protect him (And it still haunts Yōjirō now.)and also, he was suspended of killing Sakamoto Ryōma as well. While finding the Head of the Conqueror, Yōjirō met up with a Kabuki[歌舞伎] group, Yuyama troupe. He helped them for a while, since he sensed the Head of the Conqueror was closed by. But soon after, he left them and continued his journey to destory the Head of the Conqueror. (Well, only the leader fo the Kabuki group followed him.)
One sentence to summarize him: He pissed me off. Why?
Because he doesn't smile at all. Maybe it was because of his burden of carrying a fate that he can't change. But he should really smile. From as far as I see, I only see him smile once. Otherwise he is pretty much a good guy. His swordsmanship is not too bad. He can fight. He uses his brain very well, very observant.
And yes, she is the female main character. She plays a great impact on Yōjirō. She is the leader of the Yuyama troupe. She is good in her acting. However, she is actually finding her parents' murderer, Hario Genba (Who first actually holds the Head of the Conqueror). With her late father's acquaintance, Zagashira, and apprentice, Ebisu, she moved across the land in search of Hario Genba where she met up with Ibaragi Sōtetsu, an intelligent (plus dangerous I must add.) playwright, and later Shiranui Kozo and Kakashi no Keishin. She is attracted by Yōjirō while he was with them. To find out her true feeling, she decided to join him on his journey to destroy the Head of the Conqueror (Well, after she had her revenge. And a little sad on this part of the story.). But little did she knew that this journey will change her destiny as well.
She is a very gentle and kind girl. A little näive... No... It should be: She is VERY näive. But she did grew up a bit over the series because of a certain event. And that's about it.
Opening: Kouya Ruten [荒野流転] by FictionJunction YUUKA (Released on: 22 November 2006)
Ending: Ai no Tsurugi [愛の剣] by TAKAKO & THE CRAZY BOYS (Released on: 22 November 2006)
Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto Original Soundtrack 1 (Released on: 20 December 2006)
Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto Original Soundtrack 2 (Releasing soon... I hope...)
And no... I refuse to provide any download. However, what I can say is, try using baidu.com. You should be able to find good site that provides it. ^_^
Screencaps from Episode 1: