Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 26, 2010 to Dec 11, 2010
50 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.491 (scored by 37191 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' ('Tale of Swords') is about Togame, a self-claimed "General Director of Military and Offering Affairs serving under Yanari Shogun Family of Owari Shogunate", and Yasuri Shichika, the last inheritor of swordless swordsmanship "Kyotouryuu", and their adventure to collect 12 legendary swords.
Original work written by the same author as 'Bakemonogatari', this is a dialogue-based series that I cannot recommend to Shounen and other viewers who seek mindless battle scenes, you can ignore my warnings... "but by that time, you'd be slashed into pieces."
The story of 'Katanagatari' is driven by the characters who stand in the way of the sword gathering. New characters and weapon of the month are introduced in every episode. Through negotiation and battles with Togame and Shichika, we learn about their opponents' backgrounds and purpose to fight. It can be said that the story progresses by disposing expendable side characters. The story may be about the main couple gathering the 12 swords, but the show is really all about why people fight.
The humor in this series heavily relies on 「すべり芸」, the comedy through deliberately failed attempts to be funny, which in turn creates a humorous atmosphere for its sheer lameness. The frantic pace of conversation was the key to making this comedy style work, as well as the persistence (such as catchphrases, Togame missing the battle, sexual implication etc) in every episode.
The episodic nature of the series makes character development difficult, but it was made possible by dedicating each episode to a theme or lesson for Shichika, and sometimes Togame.
2: What to protect
8: Human Will
Shichika started out as an emotionless weapon that blindly follows Togame's orders, acting as her sword. By facing the variety of opponents in their journey and influence of Togame herself, Shichika gradually grow up as a human being, learning ways of the society and new emotions with each encounter. Character development was excellent. By end of the show, Shichika was no longer a brutal killing machine; he had his own purposes and opinions. Character design was fantastic in this series. Everyone was easily distinguishable. Even those who died quickly had very distinct personalities and features that left lasting impressions.
Character naming was pretty interesting in kanji, such as Shichika --> "Seven Flowers", Togame --> wordplay of 「十が目」(Eye is a Cross) and "Blame", Hitei-hime --> "Princess Denial". Every name basically describes the person.
My only complaint with the characters is that every adversary in this show had a sympathetic or honorable reason to fight. They were too lovable. I believe there should be at least one character for everyone to hate in this type of action/adventure series. There should've been an enemy who was simply a serial killer who loved taking life, or a corrupt leader oppressing the innocent civilians. I also felt sorry for Maniwani, for being defeated (often easily) in every single battle against Shichika or Sword-holders.
The final episode summarizes and concludes the series well, lots of cool action, and the funniest scene occurred in stage 10 of dojo-yaburi, with Hakari the Scale. I also liked how in the end, it showed that possession of powerful weapon is pointless unless the wielder has the skill and knowledge to make full use of it.
I still consider 'Bakemonogatari' voice acting to be the best ever, but 'Katanagatari' is a close second. Togame (Tamura Yukari)'s voice takes a while to get used to, but it grew on me in time. Shichika (Hosoya Yoshimasa)'s voice sounds like reading the script at first, but not really; quite humorous and emotional when needed to be. Other than that, everyone else's voice was an instant hit (this is important because some of the characters were dead within minutes of appearance), which is quite a feat because there are over 30 major characters in this series. This is another series that made me think "Seiyuu sure are amazing".
BGM, on the other hand, makes a strong case for a new benchmark. It should be noted that at least one new piece of BGM is played in every episode, but all pieces flows so well that it doesn't sound like deliberate theme music for each villain. Most pieces are fully orchestrated in Western or Japanese traditional instruments, charged with the grandeur of the adventure. Others are jovial Japanese rap that serves its purpose by being so bad that it's funny. However, it's not the quality of individual number that makes the background music of 'Katanagatari' remarkable, rather its application. Every number is used in exactly the right places. The most distinguishable characteristic of the implementation is that the music start well before each significant scene to build up the tension, harmonizing with the story to enhance the drama as they climax with absolute precision.
OP1 was very catchy with good balance of anime beats and traditional Japanese atmosphere, but OP2 was average. EDs are different for every episode. Ep4, 8, 12 were particularly strong songs, but all were shared by outstanding vocals.
Character in this series had extremely crude designs, with background detail of varying degree. However, the artwork has a very unique style that creates a Japanese fairytale, picturebook-like atmosphere that suits this series well. One can tell the animation director and staff went lengths to visually compliment the story with wonderful "camera work", composition, and fabulous fight scenes.
I want to believe that the character designs are simplified so that they (especially the protagonist) begin as blank canvases, and their impressions and details painted in viewer's minds as the show progress through words.
The art quality in this series is technically inferior compared to most shows airing this year, but in my opinion had one of the best presentation and style. Probably hit or miss depending on tastes.
Although there are limits to episodic storytelling, the show had great character development and interesting story. The story was full of surprises and unpredictable turn of events despite it being a simple tale of sword gathering. Quite innovative and bold in style with both artwork and plot development. There were many great episodes in this series, I hereby declare episode 2, 4, 10, 12 「神回」 (godly epic episodes). Episode 7 was one too, though it probably had been possessed by a demon than god in many ways.
Perhaps it's a result of loose deadline due to monthly episode, but you can tell the staff paid close attention to perfect everything, from animation to sound to story structure.
It was one hell of an adventure around Japan. In spite of all the flaws mentioned above, 'Katanagatari' is a series that I enjoyed tremendously. This series was filled with so many interesting quirks, and I will definitely remember it for a long time.
Cheerio! Let's all hype up this word with the wrong meaning. 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.
After reading 10 Spice and Wolf novels and watching the series multiple times, I believe Katanagatari to be the most similar show to Spice and Wolf even if the settings are different. They share the same aesthetic sensibilities of witty dialogue and presenting the viewer with a set of tools to solve a puzzling situation the characters get placed in. Spice and Wolf has playful banter between Holo and Lawrence and uses suspenseful economic struggles and trading dilemmas to force the viewer to also come up with a solution. Katanagatari matches the atmosphere with witty dialogue between its main characters and provides the same challenge to the viewer with battles instead of economics.
Maoyu Mayuu Yusha is thought to be the closest recommendation for Spice and Wolf. But I would like to disagree on this account. The dynamic of the relationship is quite different; instead of two characters teasing each other and more subtle romantic goals, Maoyu Mayuu has two awkward characters that both seem like high school students trying to flirt with each other and have overt romantic intent. It is not two people with different goals in mind that seemingly grow close after arguing, teasing, and laughing like inf Spice and Wolf. Instead, Maoyu presents a love at first site of two characters with the same goal but are awkwardly hesitant to advance the relationship. This show also presents economics but not in a riddling manner that requires thinking. Solutions are just flatly presented to problems whose context is not fully given. The viewer is not presented with a problem and given the ability or tools to reason a solution like in Spice and Wolf. Instead a solution just appears from the Crimson Scholar for a problem the viewer is not entirely aware even exists or to what degree. In essence, it is similar in a shallow manner that there are economics and somewhat romantic interpersonal relationships, but the dynamic of the relationship is vastly different and there is no well developed scenarios to challenge the viewer.
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.
Watch these if you like anime which consist of mainly comedic conversations in between key events. I enjoyed both of these anime because they were almost like reading books but with action sequences here-and-there. Also, both have very unique art styles, so even if you don't like long, funny dialogues, it's worth the experience.
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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