English: Blade of the Immortal
Synonyms: Mugen no Juunin
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 14, 2008 to Dec 29, 2008
24 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.001 (scored by 12123 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action adventure historical
SynopsisManji is an amoral swordsman, who has been cursed with eternal life. He has grown tired of living with all the death he has created. He has no skills other then those of killing, thus he forms a plan to regain his mortality: he shall kill one hundred evil men for each good one he has killed. The old witch who afflicted Manji with immortality agrees to Manji's proposition and Manji is set on his path to kill one thousand evil men. On his journey he meets a young girl, Rin, who has her own vengeance to seek against the sword school whose members slaughtered Rin's family. Rin and Manji journey together, each hoping to find some kind of peace. In their way are many varied enemies. Rin and Manji are almost constantly under attack and must learn to live their lives, avoiding being consumed by revenge.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Blade of the Immortal
Characters & Voice Actors
There have long been mangakas who adamantly refused to consent to an adaptation of their precious works, and for various reasons. Sometimes, the differences between the two mediums leads to some things being left out such as nuances, subtleties, and the like which the mangaka clearly intended to be there. The meticulous amount of detail that the mangaka puts into the artwork may very well be lost when it gets adapted and of course, there's always the matter of censorship. From what I understand, Hiroaki Samura was adamantly opposed to adapting Blade of the Immortal into an anime for these very reasons. Why then he consented to an adaptation of Blade in 2008 is beyond anything I can comprehend, especially given that it turned out like... this.
My verdict: As a standalone show, Blade of the Immortal is rushed and confusing. As an adaptation, it tries to cram 20+ volumes of story into a 13-episode time slot. Do you honestly believe that this adaptation will be good? Read the manga if you want the story of Blade. Otherwise, just skip this altogether. As far as alternate recommendations go:
- Samurai Champloo
- Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan
- Hellsing Ultimate
- Samurai Jack
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Batman: The Animated Series
- Wolverine and the X-Men
STORY & CHARACTERS (4/10 each): Ordinarily, I wouldn't lump together two categories but it's different in the case of Blade. Why? Because their shortcomings inevitably boil down to the same basic problem: that 13-episode runtime. Now, I wouldn't really have a problem with a short season length, provided that the show makes up for it somehow. However, Blade of the Immortal tries to cram over 20+ volumes of story and character interactions into a 13-episode time slot. It's basically Gokukoku no Brynhildr all over again. Even if you ignore the source material entirely, the fact still remains that Blade of the Immortal doesn't take its time to let things sink in. Stuff happens in one episode, next episode covers another part of the manga with virtually no break in-between.
In regard to how it affects the characters and character growth/development, well again: 20+ volumes crammed into a 13 episode time slot. Character development is almost non-existent at this point. As for the characters themselves, the only character that will truly stick out is Manji since everyone else is boring as all fuck. But as much as I'd hate to say this... Manji is kind of boring too (blasphemy!), which is quite a shame given that Manji is quite a well-written character in the manga. However, all of his character development goes down the drain as the show glosses over events that took place in the manga which added quite a bit to his characterisation and made him more than just some angsty OP immortal ronin.
ART (7/10): Production I.G picking up the slack.
This anime's art/animation was done by a little company called Bee Train. If you've never heard of them, well... I'm not really all that surprised since the only noteworthy project of theirs that I can think of is Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom. As far as the animation itself goes... it's alright. However, what really irritates me is that the fight scenes are pretty damn shit half the time... like Ikkitousen bad (thankfully, Blade doesn't shoehorn in a bunch of panty shots every 0.4 of a nanosecond).
Sometimes, the fight scenes aren't even completely animated and all we ever really see is is Manji slashing once before it cuts to the opponent gushing blood or something like that. Now, thankfully the animation was also co-produced by Production I.G and it's kind of evident where they did pick up the slack... as in whenever a fight scene is actually animated properly and the guy(s) that Manji cuts up don't spew as much blood as any bystander in a Quinton Tarantino film.
Art-wise, it's a little hard to talk about. Blade of the Immortal's art style in the manga is drawn in a sketch-like fashion while the anime itself opts for a cleaner approach. However, that's pretty much my only gripe with it and given how much this anime fucks up other things... that's kind of a nit-pick at this point. Character designs, backgrounds, etc. all translate over from the manga fairly well and have a surprising amount of detail put into them. So if anything, it's at least pretty to look at.
SOUND (5/10): Average OST, average dub
The OST is nothing special. There wasn't any track in particular that stuck out even for a brief instant, and the OP/ED are quite... dull. That's kind of a shame, since at least Gantz's OP was fairly memorable (if only for the bad rapping set over cheesy guitar riffs). The English dub was produced by Media Blasters, and well... I can't say much about them other than the fact that they're bastards for never releasing Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei in the USA.
The dub itself is decent stuff, I suppose. All of the VAs fit the characters that they were voicing, however they never really went and sold the performance. Don't get me wrong, it's not like Elfen Lied's dub where the VAs put absolutely no emotion into anything they were saying and made the characters even more unlikeable than they were previously. But, at the same time, it's just so blah. If anything, it's kind of like Attack on Titan or Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom's dub in that regard.
ENJOYMENT (5/10): Every time I find something I like, it's taken away.
Overall, my enjoyment of the show was a pretty mixed bag. I can ignore the source material whenever I'm watching an adaptation, but overall... it was just a really boring experience. Going back to Elfen Lied and Gantz, those adaptations are HORRIBLE but at least they made up for it with sheer raunchiness and senseless amounts of (semi-realistic) blood, gore, and violence and if anything, made for decent popcorn material. But anything that I ever really enjoyed about Blade was taken away by something negative.
- I like the action, but half the time the action sequences are shit.
- It follows the manga story, but it glosses over so many things because it crams 20+ chapters into a 13-episode time slot.
- I was able to watch it for free (and in HD) on Hulu, but I had to sit through 5 advertisements every 6 minutes or so compared to the usual 3.
OVERALL (5/10): Don't bother
Blade of the Immortal is a typical bad adaptation of an otherwise amazing manga series. It really pisses me off whenever I see these bad adaptations on the market, since they don't do the source material any justice. Is it really that fucking hard to do a good adaptation? I mean... Blade of the Immortal is one of the most popular manga series out there alongside Vagabond, Gantz, and Rurouni Kenshin. You'd think that the mangaka would at least be on board to make sure that this would do the source material justice but no. Instead of making it a masterpiece (akin to Hellsing Ultimate), we get crap like this. read more
I will start by saying that, having read the manga, I was very excited when I heard that there was going to be an anime adaptation, and I had high hopes/expectations for it. It is possible that my review will be biased in that regard. That being said, I'll begin my review.
Art: The art was, in my opinion, not bad. The character designs were true to the manga, I didn't notice any particularly huge problems with inappropriate scenery or just general sloppiness. However, this anime was based on a very violent, sword-fight laden manga, but there were few fights scenes to get overly excited about. The fight scenes that were shown were brief and unsatisfying. For example, if Manji is fighting someone, the beginning of the fight will be shown, then they'll either switch to another character who is watching the battle or even to someone completed unrelated to the current battle. Then suddenly, oh! there's the end of the battle. It was completely unsatisfying. The gore was toned down tenfold.
Sound: This was by far the worst part of the anime. If you like the opening theme, you'll love the sound. But whoever sings this song, her voice just grinds the gears in my head. And you'll hear her pipe up at the most random and inappropriate times. Sad? You'll hear her. Happy? Sounds the same as sad.
Character: Overall character development, I'd say was average. Despite reading the manga, I didn't leave this show feeling super connected to any of the characters. There was room for improvement, but it really could have been worse too. I noticed a couple moments that were glaringly out of character from the manga, but I tried to give some leeway.
Enjoyment: It was slow. There were times when I could have easily fast-forwarded several parts and not have missed any plot. One would think that by the twelfth episode, the penultimate episode, some sense of suspense would be building, or at least some problem that could feasibly end the series and/or set up a second season. Nooooope. Episode twelve left me with little desire to see the last episode. The slowness combined with the hideously poor sound and mediocre characters left me with little satisfaction at the end of this series.
Overall: If you haven't read the manga, you may enjoy this series. It is my opinion that if you were a fan of the manga, you should avoid this entirely. Seriously, you won't laugh at how bad it is--it'll just make you sad. It made me sad. So very sad. read more
Immortal killers.... What more do I need to say?
Atmosphere gives the same gloomy feeling.. In both animes we can see an immortal guys with katanas.. xD
First let me make myself clear about one thing and that is: both anime's failed my expectation more or less.
Anyways in both anime there is an immortal samurai, that somehow finds himself in a need to aid a woman.
But i must admit that the animation and the figthing scenes are good, but the story is not in the best way transmited from the manga.
Also they lack a good ending.
Both feature immortal murders who kill without any objection.
If you like watching people getting repetitively impaled and then coming back from the dead than either of these animes are for you >.> At least Kurozuka holds a psychological twist to it.
These two anime have very similar action and the same setting. A lot of characters are similar too.
these two shows are similar in that they both deal with a woman, in the old days of the samurai, hiring 1 or 2 strong guys to help them pursue their goals. they both have comedy and a LOT of action
Samurai Champloo is a funnier and edgier but the stories are similar - samurai helping a young woman search for something in a semi historical setting, sword fights etc.
Both are samurai anime, full of action and both characters are strong n take care of girl.
Both series contain an action packed adventure that is memorable and not easy to forget.
Both series' main protagonists are also similar and acts as a "bodyguard" of sorts with the main girl. Both series contain drama, action, violence, and some comedy (more so in Samurai Champloo), in an unique story that defines the medieval era of the historical ages.
Opening Theme"Akai Usagi" by Makura no Sōshi
Ending Theme"Wants" by GRAPEVINE
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