Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 26, 2010 to Dec 11, 2010
Duration: 50 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 8.521 (scored by 49107 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Oct 29, 2014
Katanagatari is one of those few shows that attempts this.
Katanagatari follows a man named Sichika Yasuri, a well trained martial artist who possesses a unique style of sword fighting in which he himself is the blade. He resides on an island with his sister who is equally well trained, until a mysterious woman named Togame appears before him asking for help in her quest to find the legendary final 12 swords crafted by the sword smith Kiki Shikizaki. On their journey they encounter many opponents and uncover their pasts in an attempt to prevent disaster for the future.
It’s probably obvious that 12 episodes for 12 swords is the way the show presents itself. Each episode is self-contained as the traveling couple discover whoever possesses the blade they want, strategize how to obtain it, expose a bit of the overall plot, eventually bringing the entire show to a conclusion in the final episode. It’s a format from the old days of Bebop, and the structure for each of the episodes is what works for the entire story.
The only real problem that Katanagatari has in this regard is the fact that 50 minutes is way too much time to present the content they have to tell. At the end of the day each episode feels drawn out and stalled to death to show something that can easily be shown in a normal 20 minute one-shot episode of anime. Katanagatari also has a lot of talking heads, which isn’t something that should be overly present in something that relies on visuals to tell what it has to say. In the span of a minute, the characters talk about their situation in the story and how to move forward, which is a good thing for any form of entertainment to do. However, everything in the plot and developments is basically hand-fed to the viewers. It’s straightforward talking about what’s going to happen, not showing what is happening at the moment, which is what a show is supposed to do. After half an hour of talking heads explaining the obvious to the audience, the finales of each episode go by in an extremely short amount of time and don’t always provide the most satisfying of endings. And when the episode draws to a close, the characters don’t feel developed or changed; it just feels like they’re emotionless pawns in the story for the most part.
The other main problem for the show is that the themes they try to show don’t always get the best treatments. Each episodic sword came with a new kind of philosophy that the show would try to flesh out and present to viewers, but too often was it tossed aside for more talking heads, oddly long bits of fanservice, and generic fights. When they do get the chance to talk about it in the short time they give to do so, it’s some of the stronger bits the show has to offer. But when the opportunity of different types of swords, fighting styles, and conflicting views results in the same lightning fast impossible duels that people can find anywhere in shounen, it seems like the meat of the themes in the show got completely shafted.
As far as characters go, at least the majority of them are very likable people. Infact, I couldn’t think of any specific character that I purely disliked. All of them are done well enough for what content the creators had to go with, and some were unique enough with their designs and different abilities to give a large aspect of enjoyment to an otherwise slow show. That being said, with the time given to the entirety of the show, the resulting fully developed characters are nowhere near what I could call ‘good’ for 10 hours of potential development. 40 minutes of exposition in Fate/Zero did much more than every episode of Katanagatari could do regarding the characterization. But to be fair, credit should be given that the people of the show aren’t completely copies of other anime tropes that have been done to death. These people at least felt original, and they were people who I at least liked traveling with. The episodic characters, while also not getting the amount of development they should be getting, are still done well enough in regards to the story presentation. The only time I saw characters being completely shafted was in the finale where the protagonist battles opponent after opponent, each with their own cool designs and battle styles, and the show decides to brush over them as quickly as they can. So overall, nothing special at all, but at least there was something original in the character department, even if it wasn’t fully rendered.
One glance at the style of Katanagatari proves that the visuals and the animation are a main focus in giving the show its own identity. The backgrounds are done in a unique visual depiction, and the designs and simplicity of the people give a fantastic charm to the world. After spending awhile in the world, however, a lot of those aspects begin to fade away as they become commonplace, and the show looses the flare that it started off so strong with. The animation itself was done by Whitefox, and while it certainly isn’t bad, it was never in an area that made it impressive or at least different. Much like the script itself, focus is still given to simple talking heads for the majority of the series, and again, during the climactic fight scenes the animation is very simplistic battle sequences that feel too shounen in comparison to the show’s focus on fighting styles and philosophy. It’s unfortunate that the animation (especially from a completely capable studio) wasn’t able to build on the themes that the show was trying to explore, or wasn’t able to push the stylized look to the absolute fullest it could be. But we got what we got, which is really nothing special when all is said and done.
Also unfortunately, the soundtrack was able to split me up in regards to quality. On one hand there were many great atmospheric tracks with nice orchestrations and gorgeous vocals, but on the other hand there were a few hip hop tracks that stuck out like a sore thumb. Sometimes it felt like it was trying to do what worked in a fuller effect in Samurai Champloo. Every time a hip hop song came up I cringed, and it was during some of those moments when the anime decided to diverge from the perfectly serious atmosphere it created in order to get in a few cheap comedic bits (some of which last for a grueling few minutes instead of the usual 20 seconds). I enjoyed the first OP, but the second and the ED didn’t do much for me.
By the end of the series, I’m glad to say there end up being a few good turns and twists. And during the time that the show actually focuses on the philosophy of the swords it ends up being very interesting to listen to. But again, by the finale it’s all lost to shounen nonsense, tedious repetition of battles and shafted opportunities, all resulting in a climax and resolution that aren’t even that good in the end.
Cutting the running time of the show in half would have been more than enough time to tell the story Katanagatari wanted to present. Because of this, the resulting series is made up of decent generic content half the time, and desperate filler and stalling for the other half. Add those two aspects up, and it should be clear why I didn’t really like this show a lot. However, when everything in this review is added up and accounted for, Katanagatari is still a well produced anime as a whole. While the pacing was painful for me and too much did it stray from the path it should have been taking in regards to its style and story, there are a select few times where they do get aspects right. Even though it’s only a couple, there were some episodic plots and characters that I highly enjoyed, which should give the show a lot more credit that I appear to be giving it. It’s safe to say there’s something in this show that everyone will like, it’s just that patience will probably be required when viewers try to find it.
I give this anime 2 stars and a Passive rating, meaning that you can watch it if you still want to, or skip it if it just doesn't interest you. read more
Apr 13, 2013
The soundtrack, composed by Iwasaki Taku (Soul Eater, Gurren Lagann) is matched to the actions in wonderful form, and his work is as excellent as ever. The pacing is fun, with a good balance of humor, drama, and tragedy. From beginning to end, the journey featuring the two main characters is something enjoyable. The art may be a hurdle, to begin with, but the show is definitely worth your while! Let's also not forget that this is brought to you by Nisio Isin, author of Bakemonogatari and Medaka Box, and while this piece certainly isn't as ridiculous as either of those, it's a brilliant display of his work in animated form. read more
Apr 6, 2013
The animation of the series were unique. Smooth during combat, The OP and ED were not that good in my view, but it certainly synced in with the feeling that the story gives. The environment music really matched the setting, making it sometimes unnoticed, which is good.
The Ups and Downs of this anime depends on the viewer. As mentioned by a lot of other reviewers, the anime is too wordy. Wordy in the sense that dialogues are long, but substantial, witty, and carefully planned. Usually a battle here wouldn't show the action because of the fast speed of swordslashes, Leaving the viewers to see only conversations in a lot of times. As per usual martial arts genre, a lot of unusual tactics, wits, and schemes are shown. Pointing out the weakness of one another, and yes, that adds up in the conversation.
The factor that i really liked about this anime is its uniqueness. The 12 perfected deviant swords were unique, the 12 Maniwa Head Corps were unique. Ichika's Sword style was unique, every perfected deviant sword owner was unique. Every Character backgrounds were unique in their own ways. Even the romance between Ichika and Togame was unique. I have to say, never seen anything quite like this.
Overall, Katanagatari reminds me of Inuyasha, collecting pieces of the shattered jewels. Instead of shattered jewel pieces, they are trying to collect the 12 perfected deviant swords of Shikizaki kiki. Of course, other factions are also searching for the 12 swords, one of those factions were the maniwani, and as the story passes, more factions will rise in collecting the swords.
The story and plot twists were awesome, which i find very outstanding. May i also say that on the some revelations of things made me cry. One advantage of this anime of being wordy is that it left no question unanswered. After finishing the 1 hour~ per episode of the series, it left me satisfied and happy that i watched katanagatari. Am actually considering to watch this again. Highly recommended for anyone. read more
Nov 30, 2014
first off i won't write any spoilers in this.
i could do a review about any other of the 500 shows (+/-) anime related things i saw but i decided to take katanagatari - BECAUSE it's one of the most unique and heart ripping shows i've ever seen in my entire life.
the story is not the really bad point about this show but its the only non-unique thing you can say about it. very simple: girl meets boy and they go on an adventure to collect "swords".
nothing much to discuss. some people love the comic-like and other people hate it. i had to get used to it myself, but i honestly fell in love with it after giving it a chance.
there is a fantastic mix between thrilling battle music and feel-good rap in perfect sync with the scenes, but there is also not much more to discuss about it. if u don't like rap but like the two main character you wouldn't even notice it in the background. for me it even turned my hate for that kind of music into love.
Togame and Shichika are just perfect. the Series overall is very slow in progress and the first 4-5 or even 5-6 episodes could be exhausting/boring -
but after that, and i can promise that, you start loving those 2. i almost never saw an unique and nice progress between 2 anime characters like this which could be the only reason i remember those two names even after 4 years. later there are a few heavy plot related things i can't spoil you right now, but the thing i can say is: i forced 4 people i know to watch this show after they said "it's too silly/stupid", "i dropped it after ep 3.. booring", and no one of them did regret it.
Feb 25, 2014
The defining strength of this anime is the relationship and romance between Togame and Shichika in particular the witty and masterfully scripted dialogue between the two MCs. But be prepared. There is a LOT of dialogue and it very rarely stops. But as I said, the dialogue is top-notch and what drives the character development. The banter between Togame and Shichika almost never gets old whether they are piling on jokes or delving into deep philosophies. And the action (when it finally does come around between all the talking) is excellently done although it can be short at times. Each episode is 45 mins in length and this is both good and bad in a sense. It's good in that each episode's story gets fully developed and it helps drive the character development. However, it makes each episode a bit more of a challenge and a chore to go through along with the simplicity and predictability of the story, amount of talking and overly episodic nature of the series.
Still, this is a unique gem that should be watched and appreciated by all anime lovers. Katanagatari may not be for everyone but if you liked Bakemonogatari or want to try something that is a bit different, definitely give it a shot. "Cheeeeeeerioooo!"
8.25/10 read more
Sep 23, 2014
If you'd like just stop here. You should really watch this show. I'm a little fan boy. Everything is pretty damn good.
However the determined/stubborn/time wasting reader may have proceeded further into this review and for those rare people I now review and stop wasting your time.
Katanagatari is a unique show written by Nisio Isin, one of my favorite writers, famous for shows such as the mess that is the Bakemonogatari franchise and the Medaka Box. If you've seen/read either of these works then you know what to expect, fascinating characters mixed in with an interesting plot and with healthy doses of comedy.
My poor knowledge of the Japanese language (mostly based off ramen and noodles) says that Katanagatari literally translates as "sword" and "story".
This is in short a story about collecting 12 magical swords forged by the great sword smith Shikizaki Kiki. The two leads Yasuri Shichika and Togame the Strategian must work to traverse Edo-era Japan to collect the swords on their way defeating traitorous ninjas, ex-bandits and the shades of their past (literally).
However this description does not truly do the show justice. On the surface the series appears as a fairly typical shounen-esque romp through a famous period in Japanese history. But the true meanings about legacy and duty are something that requires a good deal more thought and introspection.
Luckily the viewer will definitely have time for this as the 50 minute long episodes are extremely dialogue heavy (as expected from a show by the same writer as Bakemonogatari).
Without spoiling the show hits hard and is very, very clever.
The art style for the show is once again fairly unique being relatively simplistic but with a lot of attention to detail. Personally it is beautiful. Elements such as the symbolism in the clothes that each character wears, to the variation and scope of the background scenes as the characters travel the land, really brought me into the world they were depicting. The fight scenes are also for the most part fantastically choreographed and animated, which means the show still gets by as an action show to a degree.
My only criticisms would be episode 7 which animated in an entirely different (and personally much lower quality) style which did make a low point of an episode which would of otherwise have been the high point of the show.
Also the fight scenes do disappoint towards the end either due to lack of budget(?) or just as an attempt to how show increasing power. A little bit sad but not breaking in any way.
Once again they hit home and do it hard.
The OP and ED are both acceptable but after the first repetition I did just skip them as neither competed in any way to the glory that is the show. Shame.
However the music throughout the show is fantastic with the highlight being “Bahasa Palus” which I may have been playing on loop constantly while writing this. Music fits the tone of the scene perfectly in all scenes ranging between the epic fight scenes to the casual comedy. What more can you ask for?
Voice acting is also superb (from the point of view of someone who speaks no Japanese). Special props go to Yoshimasa Hosoya for his role is Shichika and my personal favourite Yukari Tamura as Togame who carries out the role of a fantastic character amazingly (also appears as Remon from Ano Natsu, Rika from Higurashi and Seppuku bunny from Kampfer (for you true artisans of taste)).
Where the show truly shines.
All of the leads are interesting, well developed characters, with driving motives behind their actions and decisions.
Our lead is Yasuri Shichika the orphaned son of the Kyoto Ryu family and current head. The strength in his character comes from his isolation from early childhood which leaves him with a unique world view and value system which places him many rungs above the shallow character he may initially appear as.
Next is Togame the self-appointed Strategian of the Shogunate who seeks the swords for her own goals and desire for power for reasons not entirely made clear *hint hint*. Togame plays the dual role of the fragile genius and the source of a good deal of the feels in this show, and my, there are a lot of feels.
The rest of the cast is extensive with a number of other main roles along with a large cast newly introduced each week in a cowboy beepbop-esque manner (Phrase stolen from a certain Demodeezy). New characters are seen each week and often discarded immediately afterwards but each is developed to an extent that few shows can match, and that in such a way that their effects on the characters are seen long afterwards. It is done extremely well with each one used to convey a small part of the overall message of the show.
Very much so.
In case my gushing has not conveyed this I really quite liked this show. It is filled with deep meaning, symbolism and thoughts that pull together to make a true gem of an experience.
The show does something which I always feel the best anime’s do and that is be fluid in how they present their world encompassing many emotions into each episode with action, comedy, romance and sadness all shown in equal measures. (though some hurt more). The 50 minute run time for each episode can make it daunting and less casual. The lack of a dub is also significant with the sheer volume of words often thrown at the screen being overwhelming at times. However the show is a true treat.
You won’t regret it.
Unless you get emotionally scarred easily.
Or if you have human emotions.
It’s sad okay!
Mar 10, 2012
Katanagatari has a simple structure. Each episode we are invited to watch our lovely couple trod to the next blade wielder, devise a strategy, and invariably defeat them before they grab the goods. If this encompassed all there was to the show though, it would be certainly not be worthy of the praise and admiration I am so aptly about to shower it with.
The simple minded Shichika begins the series as a… dull character. He replies blatantly to questions, and due to his ignorance of the world outside his island, these answers are often unexpectedly lacking in social understanding and convention. Ominously pointing towards a highly grating and redundant protagonist, these first impressions are dissipated rapidly as experience of the world refines Shichika’s internal ideology, without washing away his accustomed roots. His grasp of the world, while naïve, is nonetheless insightful and grounded in a sound logic that turns out quite wholesome and compassionate in its essence. A refreshing change from the often one-dimensional, “I’ll be the very best!” attitude the standard shonen lead possesses.
Without a doubt, the reason for Shichika’s remarkably enticing character stems directly from our oh so terribly clever female lead, Togame. Always prepared with meticulous counterarguments to all possible holes in her complex machinations, these become hilariously misplaced when used on our completely oblivious male lead; It’s a definite high point of the series. Togame’s labyrinthine thinking plays well off of Shichika’s simplistic personality, creating a combination far greater than the sum of its parts. As the unlikely duo encounter each blade wielder, it is consistently the coupling of Togame’s quick ingenuity with Shichika’s fighting prowess that makes the battles so enthralling. Neither alone has the capability to win each of the fights, quite a contrast to shows where one of the leads is delegated to the background, the mere caricature of an equal teammate. In Katanagatari, neither character jumps above the other, the radical equality a wholly satisfying change from the usual paradigm. As the show progresses, their chemistry shifts unnoticibly from a faint background atmosphere to a highly palpable ardor, each battle entangling them ever further into an altogether quite intensely gratifying relationship.
Using a simple animation style that mixes bold colors, bold calligraphic lines, and whimsical design, the animators created a one of a kind setting for the series, a creative blur between childish and mature, historic and fantastic. Add to that a grandmotherly narrator who introduces us into each week’s episode, her wise yet light hearted tone endearing us to watch the young couple more attentively, almost as if to say that we are becoming their hopelessly overbearing parents. Vibrant modern interpretations of Japanese folk music ties the whole package together, with a wide selection of tracks unobtrusively creating the well balanced ‘old meets new’, ‘simple meets complicated’ atmosphere of the series.
As a whole, Katanagatari comes together effortlessly. The viewer left feebly unable to explain its appeal precisely because it is so finely woven as to have its individual strengths rendered indiscernible. The backdrops of history, simplicity, and tradition interweave seamlessly with creative battles, intricate plots, well developed characters, and a myriad of fresh ideas. All this happening in progressively more and more captivating episodes, and then culminating in an exceptionally visceral, emotional ending that may leave you, as it did me, completely breathless. Highlights include scenes from the shocking and highly entertaining episode four, the tragic and tense episode seven, the mystically profound episode ten, and the entire final episode, which had me absolutely absorbed from the first scene to the wretchedly bittersweet finale. It is unlikely you’ll find a more unassumingly brilliant series than this one in any given year of watching anime, and I couldn’t recommend it more.
For such an inconspicuous series, it’s unlikely you could do much better. Katanagatari gets my highest recommendations due to its exceptional quality from start to end, perhaps even tantalizingly heightened with moments of true masterpiece. read more
Jul 1, 2013
The story which I have already discussed is extraordinary. But like many great stories it is something that needs to be experienced first hand, and no summary can give you the same feeling as watching it unfold in front of you. That being said the plot and all it's twist and turns will keep you at the edge of your seat, and the 50 minutes per episode will just fly by.
This is a hit or miss. You either fall in love with it or you hate it. The artwork is simple, yet to me its beautiful. The characters have such detail given to them, (especially in the fight scenes) that its hard to believe that its the same anime that you were watching before. The backgrounds, although looking plain are again simple. The aren't bad but they fit in perfectly with this type of anime.
The music and voice acting are great. The voices match the characters and their emotions quite well. Togame and Shichika can have almost their entire personality and development as characters be seen through the voice acting and tone. The playful and comedic parts, ranging to the intense fights is all very well done. The sound tracks, (the two openings and 12 endings) as well as the background music is all very nice. The only problem is that during the anime itself is that either the music is barely noticeable or its blaring ridiculously loudly.
I fell for the characters. I fell for Togame. I fell for Shichika. These two main characters were done extremely well. Their development, their personalities, their cons and their pros. All of it was done incredibly. Some of the other characters (especially the Maniwani) did have their problems. The majority of the supporting cast did not have their full characters developed. Normally this would warrant a lower score but the incredible detail that went into making the two main characters cancels out an faults that were left by any supporting cast.
As i have said before this has become my favorite anime of all time. The story, the art, the sound, the characters all led me to love this anime. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it, from the beginning to the very end. read more
Feb 11, 2014
As far as the story is concerned, a 10 is almost too understating. This is not to say that the story of Katanagatari is absolutely flawless or that there is no other anime that lives up to this story, there certainly are other anime that are just as good if not better in different respects (story-wise). Katanagatari runs the full gamete in terms of what it actually does. Not only is the writing top notch but the structure, themes and metaphors behind the story are very well crafted. This makes for a very unconventional anime that masks its self as a very conventional journey anime et la samurai champloo. Its almost as though Katanagatari is a deconstruction of this style of anime in the same way that puella magi madoka magica was a deconstruction of the magical girl anime or in the same way evangelion was for mecha. Of course though, this genera of anime isn't as well founded as magical girls or mecha anime but its still a similar style in the sense that it is a "realistic" interpretation at least as far as the plot and characters are conserned. Never did was I able to guess where the anime would go next when it threw a curve ball nor did I imagine that it would turn out so complex at the end, however, it is able to do this so very well all while balancing emotion/action and comedy.
The art direction is very akin to the afore mentioned Samurai Champloo with mixes of Monogatari as well as some of its own unique takes. Some portions look like they were taken from Visual novels while others look absolutely gorgeous. There is a very minimalist approach here that works to complement the more complex writing character art. The character art and animations are very fluid and well done as well as deceptive and serve to help each of the characters flesh out into their own unique personas. Overall the art is up there with other top notch shows produced by studio giants of the like of Kyoto Animation or Shaft while not being too avant garde to take away from its audience.
The sound track and sound samples are all amazing. They create great atmosphere and help complement the complex emotions that fit in the very long signature dialogue scenes and the very fast paced action sequences. The voice acting is extremely well done as well, with each character truly being fleshed out by all involved. Even the small side characters are very well received and can stand on their own with such great voice acting. Each voice actor delivers their lines with such gusto and such bravado as well as great timing. Again, though the real stand out here is the musical score, I really cant say that enough.
Each of the many characters are very fleshed out with complex yet some times simplistic motives. In particular, the two lead characters pull you in. They make you love and sometimes hate them. The character development is what makes all of this work so well. From the first episode to the last, each of the characters change in ways that are very realistic yet surprising at the same time. Everyone from the narrator who states the obvious to the side characters play their roles perfectly creating a very believable world even with all these "supernatural-type" powers. Each one has his or her own identity as well as own motive in the plot and each one is neither good nor bad when you really break things down.
One thing i would be remiss to not talk about is the dialogue and the overall writing. Japanese word play is different then English because of Kanji, with each character meaning more then one thing in most cases, we have times when the writing uses these multiple meanings to its advantage. And of course since this is a NisioisiN work, the dialogue is very very long winded but with good reason. His style of telling most of the story through a series of conversations works very well here as it serves to allow the audience to fully grasp the emotions of each of the characters as well as their motivations. Metaphor is scattered everywhere with tons and tons of very complex ideas that may not be very apparent from the get go view. After viewing this show a few times, i still find things that I missed out on, in previous occasions.
In the end, Katanagatari is a great anime for anyone who likes anime in general but also in specific for people who enjoy good writing, good action and stories that may or may not have a happy ending, aka realist stories. In my opinion it is an achievement in anime that reminds me that anime is also an art form that can be as serious as the most beautiful painting or piece of literature. I know i gave this entire thing a 10 out of 10 for everything, but honestly, it really resonated with me that much. You may not see it as a shining beacon of awesome like I do, but I guarantee you will enjoy your self even if you dont, However, by that point you'll have been torn to pieces. read more
Nov 24, 2011
One-liner: If you want an anime with amazing art, great character development, good romance and an ending which you cannot predict from episode 1, Katanagatari is for you.
[ Introduction ]
Katanagatari, or Sword Story, is about the Strategian Togame and her "sword", Yasuri Shichika. The story is about their journey to collect 12 legendary deviant swords made by master swordsmith Shikizaki Kiki.
[ Story = 9 ]
When I see animes about a journey to collect swords, I generally think: "Sword fights to be expected. Blood and gore. Severed limbs. Magical sword. Ooooh... Duh!". Katanagatari is about swords, of course, but not your run-of-the-mill sword anime.
So what will you find: sword fights! Duh no. Not many sword fights! But... but! It's a sword anime! Yes, but not so many sword fights. Interesting huh? Romance. Was kind of expected. Lots of lovey-dovey kissing? Nope. It's more of a... weird kind of... love. Comedy. Yes, fair share of good laughs. Plot twist. On the menu too. Main character gets beaten, levels up, gets beaten, levels up. NO! NO! No level up! AT ALL! So awesome.
I found the pacing a bit slow sometimes, with a bit too much dialogue between the characters. A few particular scenes were stretched the limits of my patience. However, one can argue that the slow-ish pace is used to build character. One would be right. Still feels a tad slow at the start.
Otherwise, the story is unpredictable. There are no cliff hangers! No cliff hangers! In a modern anime, can you imagine? All episodes are basically stand-alone except the last two. I really liked the story. It's simple, really. But it's so well narrated that it doesn't feel simple at all.
The story is unpredictable, but each episode follows a certain pattern. Tip: There are 12 Deviant Blades. There are 12 episodes. See a pattern?
[ Art = 9 ]
9.5 really. The art is not your classic anime art. It's hard to describe... Don't expect big anime eyes. Don't expect anime expressions. Ok maybe a few. Don't expect anime faded colors.
What you should expect are vibrant colors that look like pastel, well-designed character models and excellent backgrounds. It's one of the animes you can watch just for the characters and art. Definitely worth checking out.
The animation is smooth, well detailed - even fight scenes. Costume design is especially great. I liked how Katanagatari shifted from "known and tried" art to something interesting and beautiful.
For some people, the art and animation can feel slow and simplistic. Almost un-moving. For me, that's what makes the beauty of Katanagatari. Remember, it's a sword anime. It's supposed to have fast animation! Explosions! Clash! Not a relaxed animation!
[ Sound = 9 ]
Uhh.. if you read my reviews, you'd know am not really good at rating sound. For Katanagatari, I'd say the music really fits the situation, and the episode intro music (very Samurai-ish) was really nice and mood-setting. Haha... Sorry. Not very satisfying huh?
The anime is a bit wordy. I didn't mind. The background music helped with that.
[ Character = 9 ]
Ahhh the major attraction in Katanagatari: characters. It's one of the animes I've watched where I truly liked the character development. It's slow, methodical and done in great timing. Nothing is revealed too early. Some things are not revealed at all. No plot holes, I think.
Katanagatari is only 12 episodes, but it has a ton of characters. Thankfully, the two main characters: Togame and Shichika are explored in depth, their relationship getting major screen-time. Their journey together and interaction gets much attention.
The side characters are all unique, and I can't say I've found their similars in other animes. Like, Katanagatari features ninjas. You'd think, yeah, black-outfitted ladies and dudes with masks. HAH! Think colorful animal-themed clothes instead! Also, they all have their own stories and it's not just insignificant stories; sometimes their stories do play a major role in the episodes. They're all likable, even the bad guys.
The most interesting part? There are no bad guys! None of the characters are portrayed as "bad" or evil. There is no arch-enemy. Even the character you think are bad guys are only trying to get their share of the action. They have their own reasons and their own troubles. As another reviewer mentions, you may even come to like the "bad" guys...
Sadly, there is not enough character development. Some of the characters' stories are not explained at great length. The episodes are 50 minutes each but you'd still feel like the side characters are not explored in enough depth. Example? The Maniwa Corps. The background story of their members are hardly explored. Same for Shichika's sister. Shichika's mother is not mentioned at all. Togame's background story is breezed on, and I still don't completely get it.
Overall, good main character development, interesting character relationships, good character background-stories, likable and memorable characters but unfortunately, not enough in-depth exploration of each character's story.
[ Enjoyment = 9.5 ]
I really liked Katanagatari. It even made it to my Favourite Animes! So what did I enjoy?
- The art. I really liked the pastel-like colors, the feeling like everything is drawn on paper. Really changes from the "normal" animes out there with big sparkly eyes etc.
- The story is not what I'd expected. There are a few plot twists and "wtf" moments which spice up the plot. Good pacing. It never feels too rushed. Except maybe last episode which I think should have been a bit longer, say 20-25 minutes more than the other episodes to completely wrap up the story.
- The characters: A very nice, likable set of characters. I also enjoyed how each had an elaborate background-story.
- The relationship between the main characters. Not what I'd expect in an anime like that. It's just fun! I.e. the non-fighting parts of the anime didn't bore me. Also, I did say there are not that many extended fight scenes overall.
What I DIDN'T enjoy:
- Not much I should say. Am quite satisfied.
- I wanted some characters to be developed in greater depth. E.g. Shichika's sister who is just... unimaginable!
- The anime is a bit wordy. LOTS of talking. I didn't mind that, but you may so am listing it here since people complain about it.
[ Overall = 9.5 ]
Good anime. Very, very easy to overlook. One hell of a lost opportunity if you do miss it. If you are on the lookout for an anime with distinctive art, good character development, an interesting story, a good bit of romance and an ending which, in my opinion, fits the anime, then check Katanagatari.
Oh and... CHEERIO! read more
Dec 12, 2010
Katanagatari (directly translated to English as Swordstory), is from the same guy who wrote Bakemonogatari. As famous as that anime was, I wasn’t very thrilled with its episodic nature. The smart gags and the wordplays were all nice but all the rest felt like random psychedelic rambling with lots of otaku culture cliches. But it still had enough artistic expression and weirdness to be memorable in a way.
Katanagatari is practically reusing the same formula, only here it offers a better feeling of progress, focuses more on the main characters and less on most others who come and go in the same episode they appear. I for once welcome this change in a positive light. You can’t watch the episodes in random order and the characters don’t mysteriously disappear after their use in the story is over (even when killed they are still mentioned in passing).
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 8
The strongest feature that exists here is its style of conscious trolling, you literally know the scriptwriter is messing with your expectations but you actually like it. That means, things are made as to make you expect something that never happens and surprises you with its unexpected turn of events. In most other series, being trolled is a very negative feature, the cause to hate an anime and downvote it for disappointing you or ruining your expectations. Easy examples are the wars foreshadowed for dozens of chapters/episodes in famous fighting shounens such as Naruto and Bleach. We were promised a war of epic scale and were offered a lukewarm and poorly handled line of small spars that were hardly exiting.
Katanagatari managed to reverse the feeling with smart gags, wordplays, and using a famous literature devise of foreshadowing called “Chekhov’s Gun”. If you are given a detailed description of a gun, you are given the impression it will be useful in the plot later on; that is, someone will fire it or it will be a key element in revealing the mystery. Most authors are advised to hide their guns as best as possible with subtle hints and red herring (intentional misguide) in an attempt to make the revelation less expected. But not this author. No sir, he is firing his gun all the time and throws it at your face. You are of course expecting for this gun to be damn important later on. And no, that moment comes and goes as if the gun was just a cigarette lighter. Ooooh, you didn’t see that coming! How unexpected!
As I said, this works only because the show never tries to be too serious to anything other than the core reasons every character is fighting for. All your expectations from the plot, formed by decades of stereotypes and tropes are in this case working against you, being used by the author in a way to make YOU the reader/viewer the expected and the stereotype. The roles are in a way reversed and you become the kitsch factor; the joke is on you and in this case it is funny. It is a kind of humor that directs at you, making you part of the show. Just like when a magician makes a building disappear, you being present and gasping at the illusion is actually part of the act as well. You don’t know it but DAMN it works.
So yeah, I liked it how I was being trolled all the time with events I couldn’t predict. To the overcritical this will feel like the show is going through totally random events and stupid character reactions, which is true and made deliberately as such. It was funny, unlike those stupid wars in other shows that were supposed to have seriousness and consistency. The only reason I didn’t give a full mark is because I’m not fond of the long talking feature. I prefer more action and less blah-blah, which is a personal taste that can vary from one person to another.
ANIMATION SECTION: 9
First of all two warnings about what will follow. By any means, do not try to view this show as historically accurate. It has ninjas dressed more colorfully than circus clowns, while it features guns and robots centuries before they are even invented and introduced to Japan. Also, by any means do not try to view this anime as an action series. It has action alright but it is much undermined in favor of dialogue. Plus, most battles are made to last only a few seconds as part of being trolled again. You would expect them to last for entire episodes yet they end quite fast and anti-climactically. Sounds frustrating but it’s meant to be funny.
Now onwards with the rest of the animation.
A nice contrast of plain character designs next to a broad range of colors and patterns filling said designs; it creates a dreamy feeling, open to personal interpretation. I mean, how old is each character or how does he look in real life? The artwork does not help; you need to imagine all that; and this is what makes it great; making you imagine the scene despite it being shown to you. You are forming the details in your mind, practically embracing the characters. The environments are basically colorful cartoons so even when you don’t want to think, you are still taken in by the visuals, like reading a very well made picture book. Once again you are tricked to be part of the act, which is what I call genius.
But you don’t need to think so deep if you don’t want to; there still is a large amount of fan service present, as each scene with the main duo is basically passing like sexual foreplay. It is not original in any way but in this case the author once again manages to turn the joke on you. Because the stereotypical couple would be about a tsundere loosing her clothes all the time before the guy, who would immediately have a nosebleed, she will scream, call him a pervert and hit him a hundred times. Well, again this is not the case here. The lead guy has NO idea how to be ashamed of nude and the girl is NOT afraid to be naked. Heck, they spend a lot of time being naked or him smelling her hair and although it doesn’t feel sexy to them, we are completely taken in by the fact that for us it is. Ingenious!
I will still not give full points here. Although the cinematography part is brilliant, the characters remain terribly frozen for several minutes. It is supposed to be part of the whole picture book act but ten minutes of endless talking with the screen showing the same picture slowly scrolled sideways can get to your nerves. Not a tragic problem but I sure mind it a bit concerning animation... which means something moving.
SOUND SECTION: 9
Voice Acting is superb; although at first it will feel like amateurish or stereotypical, in reality it’s again just more trolling. Each character will have a very distinctive voice, accompanied with personal catchphrases and different pinch in voice. It may feel like a repetitive joke at first but in reality it is a basic way of character immersion. At some point all their reasons for talking like that are exposed. So yeah, voices are not random cartoony squeaks, they are part of one’s personality.
The dialogues are again great to listen too; I get easily tired if they are long but they are great nonetheless. After all, most of the series consists of talking rather than acting, so we are talking about a lot of speech here. In fact you can watch half the show without even staring at the screen but just listening to what they say. What makes it interesting is once again the trolling part as you are constantly fed with possible future actions that are proven fault or meaningless a few seconds later. Heck, the characters themselves are constantly fooling one another with misunderstandings and wordplays, so the feeling is mutual.
But jokes aside, the seemingly endless talking offers insight to each character’s personality. Ten minutes of a monologue and you know who someone is or what he/she wants. It will feel artificial or forced at times because of the long duration but it still helps you to get to know them. So yeah, great work here as well.
If I need to lower the score a bit, that will be the Music Themes. Nice pieces of pop with folklore and ambient overtones but not something to hum for life. Not a real minus but I only give full score to series with memorable songs. There are otherwise numerous and each episode even features a different ending.
STORY SECTION: 8
The core story is quite the simple one; one guy and one girl, stroll around Japan to find twelve magic swords. One each episode they face a villain of the month (well, it was a monthly series) and acquire a sword. This pattern does not change from beginning to end but what DOES make it feel better is the way each sword is acquired. The method used each time is different, the circumstances are different, heck, the whole aim of the episode is different. So don’t expect the lead to constantly use his signature move as panacea every time; each adversary needs a different approach. Another minor but nice detail is how the weather slowly changes per episode to signify the time of the year it takes place in.
So even in such a formulaic show there are plot twists. Some events occur in moments or in ways you were not expecting, thus being trolled once again in a good way. Even the ending is considered quite uncommon for such shows. Not only it is strong and solid but features events most would never expect the outcome despite the info being offered by previous events.
But as I said earlier most of the plot is talking rather than acting; the actual screen time of getting the sword lasts only around 5 minutes at each episode. The rest is getting to know the characters and fooling around; thus the core series is way too small next to the side stories of the characters they meet in each episode. Very good entreating-wise but rather poor story-wise. Most secondary characters are never shown for more than an episode so the feeling of expanding future possibilities as the episodes go by feels a bit off.
But other than that the pacing does not feel erratic at any point. Since each episode is pretty much self-contained in plot there is no room for fillers or staling. And no episode is really treated as unnecessary since there always is a sort of progress present; so it is not really bad. It’s just that powers and characters found on one episode would make an interesting event if they met powers and characters from following episodes. Sounds like poor excuse for needless crossovers but I still like the idea.
CHARACTER SECTION: 8
The prime thing any series needs to have is memorable characters. This show succeeds and wins by failing, thus performs a double victory. Sounds weird? Let me explain.
The main duo is definitely worth to remember. Although they initially feel like the usual tsundere and blockhead of so many anime out there, by the end of the show they are given so much color and insight that you have all the reason in the world to cherish them for life. That is something I can’t say for other shows with similar duos like Inu Yasha or Spice and Wolf. Their development and presence was a lot less bold, stretched amongst several episodes, most of which are fillers, while the ending was lukewarm at best. But here they did an excellent job at making them worthy. I mean, Shichika is a clueless to the world swordless swordsman; he fights better against swords when he is not holding one. Isn’t that weird enough? And here I though the three-sword style of Zorro from One Piece was too much. As for the lead girl, her title is Strategian (a fusion of tactician and strategist) Togame looking for 12 hentai swords, who keeps using the word “cheerio” with the wrong meaning. Isn’t that weird as heck? And it’s just the tip of the iceberg of what their personalities are like.
The secondary cast is also memorable for being… killed right away. Sounds weird but it’s the trolling effect again. Most adversaries will be presented as super powerful and will be handed a Chekhov’s gun. But when the action happens they will pretty much not use the gun and die fast and anti-climactically. What is funnier is how a simple handgun is far more powerful than elite ninjas, which is true but still not something you would expect to see in a show about superhumans. Trooolled!
But anyway, most characters will still be colorized enough before they kick the bucket on the same episode they appear in; it will frustrate you but you will probably like the feeling.
Besides that, all characters have a really strong presence on screen; they all have their set of catchphrases, unique uniforms, special attacks, demeanor, etc. For a cast where most are killed right away and the rest just talk to the end, they did a great job and I salute them for that.
And no, I still don’t give a full mark for a cast where most are rather stereotypical and die 20 minutes after they appear. This trolling trick still has its limitations.
I am not a fan of episodic plots or this trolling business. It worked on me all right but only this time. I am also not willing to sit down and relive all those long dialogues either. But heck, going though rough times in the anime industry I say this anime feels like an oasis in the desert. I mean, it is not devoid of moe, sex jokes, or meta-modern feeling but at the same time it is not aimless, carbon-copied, lukewarm adventure either. So ok, some say it pays tribute to Rurouni Kenshin, or Dragonball, or even Inu Yasha and Naruto. The similarities are still not clear enough to make it a retelling of those shows and to my knowledge it has a lot better directing and feeling than most of the above.
So yeah, it’s a good show… Even for MY strict tastes. read more
Jul 2, 2010
The story is actually quite simple. Overly simple even. But that isn't a bad thing. Basically, the two main characters are out to collect 12 legendary swords. Conveniently enough, there are 12 episodes. So I'm sure you can put it together that it's about 1 sword an episode, and it's completely episodic. Normally I hate episodic things, but Katanagatari makes up for it in enjoyment. I've only seen half of it so far, so there is plenty of room for the story to blossom for sure. I'm certain it will, but so far it is quite basic, so don't expect plot twists or anything complicated to think about.
The art is really unique. It doesn't follow many typical anime cliches, mainly the eyes. Also the character detail gives you a bit of a water colour feel to it, rather than anything detailed. At first I was really skeptical, but it grows on you and becomes very interesting and cool to watch. The fight scenes, few as they are, are really cool and done pretty well. Rather than just a still image of some sort of attack action, they are fully animated, although they are short. Art overall is one of the shows strong points.
There are only two characters that you should really worry about. Shichika and Togame. I, personally, love Togame. She cracks me up and her voice is cute. Also seeing her standing next to Shichika (who is like 3 feet taller than her) always amuses me to see. Apparently Togame is supposed to be a genius strategist (according to her xD) but her plans aren't really THAT intelligent. Perhaps next to her partner, she could be considered bright. That brings us to the main character, Shichika. At first, I didn't really like him too much. He seemed to be a typical main character who isn't very bright and only proves his worth with fighting. But as the series went on, I realized that he knew more about what was going on and had a deeper thought process than I had first imagined, making him a very good main character. The chemistry between him and Togame is golden, and yoiu better get used to it because 90% of the series is the two of them talking.
The series is very enjoyable, but not for the action. The fight scenes, as I said, are very short and far between. The best part of the show is the dialogue. Some may find it boring, but most of the show is just talking between the main characters. For example, they spent about 20 minutes talking about Shichika having a catch phrase (which is later referred to again in the episode and at that moment I knew this series would be great.) It's a lot of fun and even more, it comes out once a month so you tend to forget it exists and when it does come out it's a pleasant surprise :P
Overall this series is great so far and I can only seen good things ahead of it. Not perfect of course, but very enjoyable and can be kind of deep sometimes. The symbolism between Shichikia and Togame's sword is kind of genius and simple at the same time. The diaglogue between main characters is fantastic and really makes the series. So if you are looking for flashy action scenes and plot twists, look elsewhere, but if you're looking for something like spice and wolf, this is a good one to check out
Looking forward to more episodes. read more
Feb 22, 2011
Story- Great story, not the most original I've seen since there are many anime's out there based on sword fighting and the edo period but everything else makes up for the story's lack of originality. 7
Art- The art was gorgeous, I loved the traditional spin on the animation and it's consistency.9
Sound- I'm not one to pay too close attention to the sound but I liked the background music, nothing really to complain about. 8
Character- If this show has a strength, it's in its characters. Not a single one of them has a boring or stereotyped personality, it was especially enjoyable to watch Shichika and Togame's interactions and development. read more
Feb 10, 2013
This is where the Story takes a bit of a left turn. The show has a very loose definition of what a sword is, and as the episodes continue, the swords become increasingly bizarre and eventually impossible, hence the show existing as fantasy. There's also mentions of a prophesy, and the hint that the events of the series are being manipulated in some kind of grand scheme that reaches across time and space itself. To say more would be to spoil the plot entirely. What I can tell you is that while the plot is serviceable enough, that's what it is - a vehicle for everything else. 7/10.
The good news is, everything else is GREAT. The Art style is different, to say the least, and looks a bit like a fusion of Samurai Jack and Naruto. While you're getting your head around that bizarre visual, let me say that it's very pretty, though the minimalist method occasionally has you begging for more detail. 8/10.
The Sound design is pretty good, and let me say while the music itself does a great job of capturing the feeling behind the moment, the actual sound you're going to hear can get a bit annoying. Some of the twangyness from a few songs stuck with me like the auditory equivalent of gristle in my teeth - mildly unpleasant but not enough for me to reduce the volume. 7/10.
Characterization is the strongest aspect of this show by far. Shinchika and Togami have a wonderful dynamic that slowly progresses from episode to episode, and you can track specific qualities of their character growth with ease. Perhaps the best part of the characterization is how the protagonists always get to know the owner of the Deviant Blade before doing battle, and the human qualities we see in them create a subtle cognitive dissonance. Most of them are not using their weapons to do any harm, so are the protagonists the 'good guys'? The show never gives any easy answers, and at the very least the nature of the characters will stick with you long after the show is over and you've forgotten the plot.
One character in particular keeps this from a perfect score - Shinchika's sister. To explain the exact nature of her character would ruin the plot of at least two episodes, but in advance she's probably the greatest Mary Sue to ever exists. Episodes with her are entertaining, but her complete lack of meaningful flaws and poor character development make her a liability more than an asset. 9/10
I really enjoyed Katanagatari, far more than the studio's previous show Bakemonogatari. The relationship between characters feels natural, the fights are a fun mix of physical prowess and cerebral strategy and tactics, and the slower pacing of the show never felt like a hindrance, rather it gave the writers more time to explore the nature of the characters presented. 9/10
I give it a solid 8 out of ten. If you're looking to blow a full day (the episodes are 50 minutes each, not 22) and you're into historical fiction or martial arts, you'll have a good time. Just don't analyze the plot too much, and just roll with it.
As a final thought, I should mention that the final episode of the show is ALL payoff, and contains one of the most brutal, one-sided series of fights I have ever seen, culminating in an incredible final showdown that will leave you wanting to watch it all over again. read more
Jun 30, 2014
Oct 17, 2011
The pacing was far to slow! I mean it. i went for this anime because of the promise of action and decent martial arts fight scenes, well i got them, but usually they lasted little under a minute and all the other time was taken up with pointless chatter and conversations, carried out while the characters looked on emotionlessly, promising death or injury without even the minutest change in their expressions. Anyway the fighting, I usually skip forward when watching something that bores me and because of this I very often found I had to go back and find the fighting bit again because even if I skipped only a few seconds forward i would miss it, I actually skipped whole episodes threw sheer boredom.
Anyway thats what I think of it, I found that some people liked the dialogue and I found, when I could be bothered to actually watch those bits then it was quite good, but im personally an action girl and the sheer amount of dialogue just ruined it.
Also the voice of Nanami (shichika's sister) was so increadible annoying I very nearly gouged my ears out, just the pitch and the way she generally spoke was enough, in my opinion, to cause wide spread mass suicide if heard on speakers of any kind! :( read more
May 30, 2010
Now, let me start off by saying, if anime was judged on artistic style alone, Katanagatari would probably be one of the greatest of all time, as the artwork is beautiful. Scenic landscapes, great character design, and a whole lot else to create a beautiful vision before your eyes. The plot.. starts off on a rather simple footing, with Shichika and Togame beginning their journey, but begins to branch out wildly, creating quite a lot of sub plots. And to make things better, Katanagatari does a very nice job of keeping these plots understandable, and doesn't let itself get drowned in side stories. Every episode you can begin to enjoy the very layered plot, starting with what the sword of the day is, followed by what Togame and Shichika's topic of the day will be, and maybe even the back story of an enemy ninja or swordsman that they have to fight. Needless to say, the story is well layered and overall very interesting to follow along.
As for the characters, Katanagatari seems to do a pretty decent job with them as well. Both Shichika and Togame are rather interesting to watch, and have a strange chemistry that makes you laugh and genuinely bond with them as characters. Each has a back story that even now (5 episodes in) has been looked into a fair bit, but still left in enough mystery to keep the viewer immersed in the series. The series being episodic by nature, has many MANY characters that appear for maybe an episode or 2 before disappearing or being killed. Each usually don't have much of a back story, but often are acted on really well and make one wonder what their life must be like. Overall the cast holds together quite well, with no one being particularly memorable, but nobody being bad by any means.
Now every series has some flaws and katangatari is no exception. Each episode happens to be set for 45 minutes, which helps make the one month wait less painful, but generally leads to a lot of filler. The action scenes are usually pretty short for what they could be, and the characters quite often seem to get caught up in idle conversation... that can be funny at times, but you know its just padding out the episode. Another problem is the release schedule for this anime. Now releasing one hour long episode every month for a year is a pretty unique way of doing it, and sounds pretty cool when they do it, but it really does dowse the overall feel of the series a little bit. One can forget a lot in a month, and usually you don't go into the new episode with quite as much enthusiasum as you might of a month earlier.
But really, those are rather small complaints. The story is good, the characters interesting, and the show itself works quite well. I'm not exactly a huge fan of the action genre, but Katanagatari definitely got my attention, and I plan to see it all the way to the end, and I recommend you do to. read more
Jun 8, 2014
…people who like colorful and expressive art styles and lots of historical and pop-cultural references in their anime.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR…
…people with a short attention span, though even people with a normal attention span will be brought to their limits. It takes a lot of endurance to watch Katanagatari.
Katanagatari features an episodic adventure story about two people, the hillbilly Shichika and the shogunate member Togame, travelling around the country to collect twelve legendary swords by defeating their varied wielders. The show’s genre is a combination of adventure, martial arts, comedy, and historical and cultural references.
Katanagatari’s greatest asset is its expressive art style. It gives the show a fittingly eastern vibe and makes the character designs extremely expressive. It also merges perfectly with the show’s rather light-hearted tone and brings the adventure aspect to light with colorful and varied environments.
The show’s soundtrack also does a great job in creating the appropriate atmosphere. There are only very few truly outstanding tracks but the music fits well nonetheless.
The basic presentation and atmosphere of the show is very consistent and without a doubt the highlight of the show.
Another great thing about Katanagatari is its finality. Without giving too much away, the climax of the show is nothing short of amazing and contains one of the most fantastically executed pop-cultural references to be ever seen in anime.
Most of the other aspects of Katanagatari are at least decent, though they’re not without their faults.
Shichika is a decent main character whose personality develops gradually and in a relatively subtle manner as the story progresses. His development may not be the most original or in-depth one out there but it was done well enough to make him a convincing and worthwhile protagonist. Togame is also fine, though her role in the show leans more towards giving exposition and serving as fanservice than actual gradual change as it was with Shichika. The relationship between the two is acceptable as well, though hearing the same jokes and seeing the same slapstick and sexual inconveniences over and over can get quite repetitive if not annoying after a while.
What the cast of Katanagatari lacks are more main characters. Having only two consistent characters with barely any dynamicity in their development just isn’t enough for a show of this length. The side characters may be very colorful and their often extreme personalities might be enough to temporarely enhance the variety and liveliness of the show, but the depth of a consistently accompanying and eventually growing main cast is something that can’t be replaced by side characters alone, no matter how expressive they may be at first glance.
The story itself is told in an episodic fashion in which the main characters collect one of the twelve legendary swords in each episode. This structure makes a lot of sense for this type of story and helps the viewer to easily keep track, though it also makes the adventure very linear and predictable.
Everything so far would lead to the conclusion that Katanagatari is a very solid anime with an expressive art style, a strong soundtrack and an adventurous “journey to the west”-like feel to it. That would ultimately be the final verdict if there wasn’t that one problem that basically ruins everything.
The biggest, most jarring, and most inexcusable flaw that completely breaks this anime is the complete inability to utilize the most basic rule of visual storytelling known as “show don’t tell”. Katanagatari is comprised with so much senseless, pointless and downright mind-numbing exposition that it turns the show into an unwatchable mess. And it’s not even the experimental kind of exposition in which the dialogues and monologues become a stylistic part of the narrative. It’s just one or two characters standing there (or moving in a constantly repeating frame) while talking to each other about things that aren’t even necessary for the audience to know and doesn't enhance their understanding of the plot or the characters in the slightest. Combining this with the fact that each episode is more than twice as long as it is in regular shows, it’s not a rarity that the viewer has to endure 20 if not 30 minutes of nonstop exposition per episode. And combining this again with the linear and predictable nature of the plot, it becomes just tiresome and a chore to watch, which is exactly what this type of show shouldn’t be.
In short, Katanagatari has a fantastically expressive art style, but isn’t able to take advantage of it due to the overabundance of static exposition that kills every momentum and makes a seemingly expressive and lively presentation into a tiresome chore with barely any action or dynamicity to it.
It has a solid soundtrack, yet doesn’t leave any room for it to truly shine due to the absurd amounts of dialogue that usually takes over the sound volume. The only moments the show’s soundtrack has any chance to leave an impression on the viewer are the fight scenes, and like already mentioned those are very few and far between.
Katanagatari can be best described as a pile of wasted potential. And just like it is with most potentially great shows that promise an expressive world with tons of action, colorful characters and fun, it’s once again the pacing that has to be its ultimate demise.
It may seem like a breath of fresh air in the storm of uninspired mediocrity, but all it really has to offer is a wall of sleep-inducing exposition that nips every feel of excitement and adventure in the bud. And even a great finality cannot make up for a flaw that crucial, as fantastic as it may be. read more
Feb 13, 2013
Nov 13, 2012
this anime was one of the best short series anime out there. Although it's not as renowned, the qualities of story, characters, artwork, and overall content are simply marvelous and unprecedented.
There are many interesting points to elaborate on in this anime;
First of all, the story is quiet the surprise. Although the whole "quest for finding swords" seems rather cliche and (quite frankly) boring at first, this story takes on a whole new outlook that clearly distinguishes itself from other adventure stories out there. Because of the character development, interaction, and dialogues filled with philosophy and humor, each episode approaches with a completely different feel.
In terms of characters, I was a bit (really, just a teeny tiny bit!) disappointed. Not because of the fact that I don't like the characters--given that I'm in love with our dense and naive Shichika--but more because of the development of relationship between Togame (heroine) and Shichika (hero). Although Shichika was supposed to be in love with Togame, his naivete and failure to make any initiatives sorta kept me on my toes as a girl who would love to see a touch of romance here and there to a beautiful story of a couple.
Togame's personality irked me a little; I'm not a huge fan of Togame, who I can describe as selfish and spoiled. To completely stand back and look at the anime, she's not the pivotal character. No one is. Everyone has equal amount of contribution to her journey. It's her background that earned her the position as a heroine. My superficial complaint would be how her voice tone changes so drastically that it was a bit annoying to my ears.
Yasuri Shichika. Ahh, Shichika. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that Hosoya Yoshimasa was the voice actor. He did a great job of acting dense yet keeping keenness during battles as well as softness and unspoken love hinted when with Togame. He adjusted accordingly to Shichika's development and quite frankly, it wouldn't have been as good if it weren't for Hosoya Yoshimasa.
Other than the fact that it lacked the romance that should be developing between a couple (but then again--it enhanced the character of Shichika who was supposed to be the thickheaded, dense guy), the interactions between characters seemed a bit unnatural; heroine and hero, Maniwa Groups, the sword bearers, and Princess Hitei and her servant Emonzaemon were all involved in this journey yet there wasn't much significant of a substance when they actually met.
However, the specific interaction between the protagonists and the antagonists (for example, Princess Hitei) was confusing yet so obvious and realistic. Can't say much without spoiling, but the fact that both the heroes and the anti-heroes have equal footing was interesting--and realistic.
Artwork? No comment. Too good, must watch. Beautiful. Character drawings may be simple but simple doesn't mean boring. It turns out very elegant at the end. Blends in with the background which has subtle care in color, texture, and placement.
It confused me a little when in Edo era there'd be things like European style armors, guns, tux, and whatnot... and don't forget the costumes that resemble animals for Maniwa groups. It was a bit strange, but in a good way. Each characters were unique and I appreciate care put into every single character.
To those who don't appreciate dialogues, avoid this anime, or at least don't complain that it doesn't have a lengthy fighting scene. They talk a lot--but every sentence is nicely thought out that you'd be missing a big chunk without it.
The dialogues, although they may not seem much, are one of the most crucial elements to Katanagatari. You'd be surprised by how captivating the conversation is, as well as by such clever, witty remarks going back and forth when humor intended. No wonder it aired once a month; it would require that much time to come up with meaningful dialogues.
Overall story was good, but a bit of a shocking end to it; I have to admit, I almost threw my laptop because the ending angered me. But it all contributes to the story... just be prepared for the ending. Personally, I loved every second of this episode except the ending. Should I hint that I almost cried after finishing?
I definitely recommend this anime to those who like cynical, a bit explicit, and both light-and-dark stories. It's not your ordinary action, shounen, adventure-with-romance story. It's much deeper. But seriously, go watch it now I guarantee you it'll be worthwhile. read more