Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 26, 2010 to Dec 11, 2010
50 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.481 (scored by 34200 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisYasuri Shichika, seventh successor of the Kyoto Ryu (bladeless) sword art, lives on an isolated island with his older sister, Nanami.
One day Shichika is visited by a woman named Togame, who requests his aid in her quest to find and collect the final twelve swords forged by the legendary master swordsmith, Shikizaki Kiki. Shichika and Togame begin their odyssey by leaving the island he called home for over 20 years. They will face twelve individuals who possess and protect Shikizaki's legendary swords.
Join Shichika and Togame on an exciting, epic adventure that defies reality as they discover the true potential of the Kyoutoryuu sword style!
(Source: NIS America)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Katanagatari
Characters & Voice Actors
Since 2006, light novel adaptations have gradually become a regular feature in anime as producers in the industry scrabble around in their attempts to find the biggest cash cow since the advent of Suzumiya Haruhi. The surprising thing is that the fallout from this has actually been a lot better for fans than one might expect, and while titles like Guin Saga, Kemono no Souja Erin, Ghost Hunt, Baccano!, Kure-nai, Rental Magica, Spice & Wolf, and NHK ni Youkoso! may not be as commercially successful as KyoAni's behemoth, they do represent a gradual shift in the industry towards creativity and originality.
Which is where Katanagatari comes in to the picture.
Written by Nisio Isin (although he usually writes it as NisiOisiN since his name is a palindrome), the twelve volumes of the original light novel series were published as part of the Kodansha Box line. Strangely, all of the books were released at a rate of one per month from January to December 2007, with a spin off novel published in February 2008. Now while this is clearly a phenomenal feat, one does have to wonder if a few corners were cut for the sake of expediency and to meet deadlines, and also if the adaptation can stand up to scrutiny.
Katanagatari is basically what the title suggests - a story about swords. It begins with fire and death as a rebellion against the Owari shogunate meets a bloody end. Twenty years later, a small boat makes its way across the sea to a deserted island where the passenger, Togame, hopes to enlist the aid of Yasuri Mutsue, the 6th generation head of the Kyoutouryuu sword style and the hero of the rebellion.
Instead she finds Yasuri Shichika, who is more bumpkin than the term allows for, and is also as hard as nails.
One of the things that really stands out about the series (aside from the visuals, but we'll get to that in a bit), is the dialogue. The show is very well scripted with some very good conversations and witty repartee, and the explanations are usually clear and concise enough for the viewer to follow. There are also numerous verbal nods in the direction of modern popular culture, which makes a nice change of pace as one might normally expect lots of serious conversations about honour, loyalty, duty, revenge, or other concepts that are usually found in these types of story.
The problem though, is that the dialogue can also be off putting for viewers who want a little less conversation, a little more action (sing along if you know the words), especially as the fights are over in a very short space of time. In addition to this the story can sometimes err on the side of predictable, especially with the number of plot coupons that drive the whole show (in this case the "cursed" swords), and the series can sometimes become nothing more than a repetition of talk, talk, talk, fight, talk, end. The biggest criticism about Katanagatari though, is that it's nothing more than a very nice looking "fetch quest", and while the dialogue really does pull the whole show together, the storyline can sometimes feel derived or contrived.
What really makes the series stand out are the rather stylized visuals. The design principle attempts to merge several themes ranging from traditional Japanese art to modern fighting games, and while there are some flaws here and there, the overall effect is ... something else. The scenery is surprising to say the least, and almost every frame is literally filled with little details that will often go unnoticed by the viewer, from the grain and different tones found in wood, to the multiple hues and fractures of stone.
In contrast to this the characters are simplistic yet colourfully flamboyant. The costumes vary from the utilitarian to the nonsensical (especially those of the Maniwa ninja corps), while the characters themselves have exaggeratedly simple, almost cartoon-like, facial features. Oddly enough, whilst one might expect this sort of design to lack in terms of expression, the opposite is true for Katanagatari.
White Fox, who produced Tears to Tiara and are currently working on Stein's Gate, have done a tremendous job with the design and animation of this series. The characters have a certain grace about their movements that belies their simplistic appearance and sometimes clunky costumes, while actual combat scenes are extremely well choreographed and animated, so much so that the individual moves of Shichika Hachiretsu (Seven hits, Eight Pieces), are clearly defined.
That said, the art style may not be everybody's cup of tea, but if you can handle it then there's a pretty good story here.
One of the defining aspects of a good narrative is the strength of the scriptwriting, and because of the extremely strong dialogue in this anime, it's often easy to overlook how good the actors actually are. Hosoya Yoshimasa's role as the über country bumpkin Yasuri Shichika may have caused him some consternation as the character is effectively emotionless for a good portion of the series. That said, his deadpan delivery works very well, and can often make the viewer stop and try to work out if what he says is meant to be a joke. On the other hand, Tamura Yukari's not-quite-tsundere Togame is sometimes a joy to watch, with the character's many mood swings and emotional changes handled with aplomb. But then again, what else would one expect from an actress who's also played Takamichi Nanoha, Kawasumi Mai (Kanon), Furude Rika (Higurashi), and a horde of other lead and supporting roles.
To be honest, given that Hosoya only has a handful of shows under his belt it's amazing he managed to keep his head working alongside such an experienced seiyuu.
Katanagatari features quite a lot of music in the form of two opening themes, twelve ending themes, and a plethora of background tracks. The OPs and EDs are handled well, but given the number of songs on offer, deciding what works and what doesn't is very much a matter of personal taste. The incidental music is another matter, as while there are scenes where the music dominates proceedings, the majority of the series features either very subtle tunes that are almost unnoticeable, or no music whatsoever.
The nice thing about this approach is that the dialogue doesn't have to fight to lead a particular scene, and while the more subtle background music is pleasant enough, this is ultimately a "wordy" anime.
The biggest weakness of shows like Katanagatari is that they have too many characters for their own good. While Shichika and Togame are played confidently, have some well though out dialogue, and generally bounce off each other like peas on a drum, the same cannot be said of the supporting characters, in particular the Maniwa Corps who seem to be nothing more than a collective of whipping boys whose only role in life is to prove just how strong Shichika and his sister are.
That doesn't mean the characters are bad though. Both Shichika and Togame's emotional development is handled in a very competent manner, and as their relationship slowly becomes more defined, so too do their actions change towards each other and the world around them. Unfortunately, while a lot of attention is lavished on the two leads, there is very little left over for the supporting cast, which is a shame as there are some great performances in this anime.
Now while the series has a lot to recommend it there are some valid criticisms that can be levelled at it, the main one being that Katanagatari is far too "wordy". See, the problem is that since the dialogue is very good, someone has decided that the series should have more of it than it actually needs, and the upshot of this is that there are occasions when the characters just go on and on. Now it should be pointed out that a part of this is because the series parodies certain stereotypical behaviours found in shounen anime and manga (and James Bond stories I might add), which is nice, but ultimately unnecessary.
Katanagatari is a strange anime that's part "fetch quest", part wuxia tale, and strangely enough, part Seinfeld (i.e lots of people being dryly humourous, deadpan or witty), which isn't a normal combination by any measure. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this anime for its originality and innovation, as it would have been all too easy for White Fox to follow the tried and tested route for samurai anime, so the fact that they decided to stick with Isin's concept of how the characters should look is laudable.
Now if only the other studios would start broadening their horizons ... read more
Katanagatari is interesting because it's one of the better anime in recent time (that I have seen), one of the best anime from 2010 (that I have seen) and arguably the best work of NisiOisiN (that I have seen, even though this only includes two titles).
Now, Katanagatari is great, it's absolutely wonderful, but depending on your ability to immerse yourself in a story so much that you forget time this may or may not be for you. If you are like me with the attention span of a goldfish, initially the 50-minute long episodes might scare you off. If you are able to put up with it, however, you are in for a treat.
I will not summarise the series because frankly you can look at the anime description for that, that and I doubt I will make it that much more interesting. I will just go through why I like it.
First of all there are the characters, which I think are the main driving force behind this anime. They bounce off each other really well, providing good (but not ROFLOL hilarious) comedy and creating an overall likable character dynamic. The side characters are also fairly good, they do their thing, but for the most part you will not see them for more than one episode, so they do not matter too much. I will also give points to the incredibly forced romance. I like that Katanagatari doesn't even try to build it up naturally but instead approaches it like "Yeah, we're in love even though we've shared a whole of five miniutes of screen time. Deal with it."
The action scenes are short but very energetic and well directed. While they are very good, be warned if you are going into Katana thinking it wll be 90% action; it will not. In fact, much of the anime is spent on dialogue. Think Bakemonogatari, just not quite the same bullet pace.
The sound track is excellent, and while I do not think it stands out per se the music tracks are used very efficiently, creating just the right mood every single time.
The art can be descriped as fairly minimalistic - it certainly does not stand out in terms of production values - but it gets its job done and does it well.
Overall, Katanagatari is gud, you should definitely check it out if you like dialogue and good action scenes, but due to the length of the episodes you may or may not be able to marathon through it. Also: dat last episode. read more
They talk a lot and I mean A LOT in both. The chit-chat is funny, sometimes deep, and also very absorbing. Both have fantasy style setup. And of course brilliant couples :)
There's something special about the way the two main characters grow with one another in both series that just makes you fall in love with them as a couple. So much character in each Anime's main cast too. The soundtracks are great and would be pretty entertaining to see them swapped with each other. If you want a good adventure, both of these shows are especially perfect for the craving. <3
I found both Spice and Wolf and Katanagatari left me with the same feeling of depression after I finished them too. haha
The dialogues structure-script feel similar, as exposing facts or historical events. These are long and become tedious after a while, but there is always a catch phrase, a distintive action or a particular event in or related to the dialogue that keeps the viewer enjoying the conversation while it lasts.
Both series deal with the relationship between two protagonists of the opposite sex who - more or less - meet by chance and join each other to go on an epic journey in a beautiful, somewhat medieval, fantasy setting. Their, kind of vague, purposes may differ (in Katanagatari it's some kind of treasure hunt, in Spice and Wolf it's the desire to explore the world) and while Katanagatari involves some politics and battles, whereas Spice and Wolf deals with trading and bargaining, both heavily rely on dialogues and the characters' interactions along the way, which have a lot in common as well. Both females, for instance, are cunning little creatures who not only like to tease their respective partner with cutting remarks, but also know how to manipulate the people around them, which often comes in handy for getting what they want.
If you enjoyed the development of a mature romantic relationship during their journey through a fantastic world as well as the humorous dialogues, cunning and pure, and the overall well-rounded characters in one of these shows, chances are you'll enjoy the other.
Katanagatari is spice and wolf - the hot wolf girl and + some actually quirky and interesting characters who most often have lots of witty banter and with some entertaining fight sequences too
both are heavily focused on both MC's and their interactions with each other. the interactions are actually the best part, because they usually have full conversations and its nice seeing them interact and react.
one is straightforward while the other is very mischievous. kinda like the whole manzai routine.
both couples are traveling
both girls have mysterious pasts
both have nice ratings and are fairly popular
Katanagatari and Spice and Wolf have similar pacing, and are both extremely dialogue-heavy, especially between the two main characters. Both have a fantasy-type setting, but Katanagatari also has some action scenes, while Spice and Wolf revolves around merchants and trading. If you enjoyed the character interaction between the characters of one of these shows, you will probably like the other as well.
In a lot of ways, these two series reminds me of one and the other.
Both series features a lot of interactions between the main male and female protagonist through their journey after their fated encounter. Speaking of which, these two series has an adventure like theme in a fantasy setting. Through their journey, they explore various places and learn new ideas as well as about one and the other.
Both series' main female protagonist views herself as wise but at times becomes frustrated at various events especially regarding the main male protagonist with his actions. They also have mysterious pasts.
Throughout the journey, the duo encounters other characters and conflicts but grows closer after each episode. Eventually, there is themes of romance but also at times emotions.
Highly recommended for a watch~
First of all the main characters - they are completely the same (saying more would be a spoiler).
In the second place a deep sense of an epic journey, though different in ways, they both have it at the highest quality level.
Notes for readers:
1: there's close to zero fighting scenes in Spice and Wolf
2: there's nothing about trading/economy in Katanagatari.
Katanagatari and Spice And Wolf are the same kind of romance adventure anime shows. Katanagatari's plot is more samurai action based in Japan Edo period while Spice And Wolf's plot is about merchants in medieval Europe, in both series the main idea in the story is the developing relationship and romance between the two, one male, one female, main characters which is what I mainly liked about both shows.
Both anime have great stories and artwork. But the best part about it is the way the stories are told. Both anime have kinda the same level of comedy and are both amazing watches. It wasn't until recently that I found out that the author was the same person but I would make the recommendation regardless.
Katanagatari reminds you of Bakemonogatari in many ways, it has the same use of camera angles and the hectic dialogs. And offers pretty much the same characters in a different setting (Boy meets Girl). Both shows are also based on light novels written by the same author, Nisio Isin.
Plenty of dialog and witty jokes and remarks here and there. Level of humor used in both shows are quite similar, including the casual use of some innuendo to brighten the mood. Artwork and visuals are superb in both.
Both are from the same author and as expected, characters are developed nicely with a quirky sense of humour. Both are animes featuring surrealist drawing style, little actual plot, curious characters, and random discussions about life the universe and everyting.
Both are adaptations of light novels written by Isin Nisio, and both are extremely heavy on dialogue. The style of humour employed in both Bakemono and Katana is very similar, so if you like one you're sure to enjoy the other. Also, though Bakemonogatari and Katanagatari seem like the typical harem and shonen series,both quickly break the confines of their respective genres.
To begin with, both animes are great and of high quality. They were both also made by Nisio isin. They both have a lot of similar core features, such as, romance and humor, while also being able to offer up a serious yet basic plot. They are both episodic while katanagatari is longer at 50 minute episodes. I highly recommend watching one if you have seen the other!
Both series has a similar animation style that incorporates the usage of heavy dialogue usage by the main characters. The light novels are also written by the same author (Nisio Isin) hence reflects upon a similar style of story telling.
Both series' humor is presented very well and considered entertaining and amusing with the dialogue, action, drama, and interactions between the main protagonists with other characters.
Both series features some supernatural themes and later on some romance.
Written by the same author. Each show is filled with entertaining dialogue and character interactions are a central focus.
There are similarities between Katanagatari and Bakemonogatari. For example, both are episodic anime. Not to mention the very long and witty dialogues between characters, slapstick jokes and the artwork. However, Katanagatari has more actions in it.
Opening Theme#01: "Meiya Kadenrou (冥夜花伝廊)" by Minami Kuribayashi (eps 1-7)
#02: "Katana to Saya (刀と鞘)" by ALI PROJECT (eps 8-12)
#R1: "Hakushi Kassai Uta Awase (拍手喝采歌合)" by supercell (noitaminA rebroadcast)
Ending Theme#01: "Tasogare no Gekka (誰そ彼の月華)" by Yousei Teikoku
#02: "Refulgence" by Shoujobyo
#03: "Senbonsenyo no Hamariuta" (千本千女の刃毬唄) by Hata Aki
#04: "Kyomu no Hana" (虚無の華) by kukui
#05: "Ai to Makoto" (愛と誠) by Tamura Yukari
#06: "Yuki no Onna" (雪ノ女) by ALI PROJECTmore
#07: "Mayoigo Sagashi" (迷い子さがし) by Nakahara Mai
#08: "Karakuri Nemuri Dan" (からくり眠り談) by Nomiko
#09: "Akashi (証)" by Annabel
#10: "Ina, to Hime wa Subete wo Katarazu (否、と姫は全てを語らず)" by Tomatsu Haruka
#11: "Bourei-tachi yo Yabou no Hate ni Nemure (亡霊達よ野望の果てに眠れ)" by Faylan
#12: "Toki Sude ni Hajimari wo Kizamu (時すでに始まりを刻む)" by Kuribayashi Minami
#R1: "Koto no Ha (言ノ葉)" by Piko (noitaminA rebroadcast)
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