Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto (幕末機関説 いろはにほへと, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto) is an anime series by Ryōsuke Takahashi. The series is a chambara (swordplay; チャンバラ) drama with elements of paranormal fantasy set in Japan’s Bakamatsu (Late Tokugawa Shogunate) period, or the final years of the Edo period when the Tokugawa shogunate came to an end and Japan ended its isolationism, opening itself up to foreigners, mainly the British. It follows the samurai Akizuki Yōjirō tasked with finding the legendary artifact known as “The Head of the Conqueror,” as the nation stands at the brink of war, and an acting troupe seeking revenge on the man who killed their families. The troupe use their plays as a rouse to expose to the public the corruption of government officials and draw out all the players in the vast conspiracy connected to the slaughter of their families. They won’t stop until they get their own revenge through blood. They cross paths with Akizuki, and their agendas seem to mesh – is it fate, or another part of the conspiracy?