Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blade of the Immortal

Genre: Martial Arts/Jidai Geki
Parental Guidance Recommended
2008 Hiroaki Samura (author), Koichi Mashimo (director), Asano Dojo Fukkokai, Bee Train, Production I.G

Blade of the Immortal DVDs
Blade of the Immortal Books
Blade of the Immortal Music
Blade of the Immortal Toys
Blade of the Immortal Posters
Everything Else

Edited Manga Cover Description:
Manji was a master swordsman who assassinated his own corrupted lord. Granted immortality by the 800-year old traveler Yaobikuni, Manji made a deal: he will slay one thousand evil men in exchange for the release of death...

He stumbles upon Rin, the daughter of Asano, head of the Mutenichi-ryu dojo. Both of her parents were murdered by Anotsu and his followers. Now Rin has enlisted Manji's aid to avenge her parents' death...

(13 episodes)

Assassin of the Day. >>> by skysenshi
I have never read the manga, but my siblings -- both Thundersenshi and Darth Paul -- gave it rave reviews. I can imagine that translating it from one medium to another, considering the differences in both the conceptual and design process involved, would entail a lot of modifications. But I'm not going to delve too deeply into that since I haven't encountered it in its original form.

Blade of the Immortal is very violent. As in, blood-out-of-everyone's-guts-and-brains kind of violent. Nevertheless, like many interesting samurai tales out there, the telling is very rich in history. The kind that would keep you watching because you want to find out more about the characters' backgrounds. That's the thing. The manga version is more intricate, more detailed, and obviously more substantial. How they managed to slap all that into a 13-episode series brought up a lot of questions in my head. True enough, my sister confirmed that they cut off many of the interesting subplots.

All these resulted in an anime that featured monster-of-the-day themes. In this case, it's assassin-of-the-day. Manji deals with one killer after another in an almost random fashion even though his only purpose for the entire run is helping Rin get her hands on her parents' murderer. I don't necessarily get why Anotsu's followers keep wanting the duo's heads when Anotsu himself appears to be apathetic. The ending also doesn't seem to be able to bring any closure, though strangely enough, I felt that it was apt. The only thing missing is closure for Manji himself.

I had just read my sister's old review of the manga and it seems like her complaint about the women looking too much alike has been solved. The women in this anime are very distinct. The artwork and animation are likewise still beautifully done.

The Blade of the Immortal series is not so bad but I'm guessing many of the die-hard manga fans might not be too happy about this.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 10; Story 7; Characters 8; Sounds 9

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