After wandering through the desert for days, a bitter warrior named Munsu is lost and unable to continue. His life is unexpectedly saved by Mon-ryon, a young man who dreams of becoming a secret agent for Jushin, a once-great country that was recently destroyed. Mon-ryon's goal is to save his girlfriend, Chunhyan, a born fighter who is held captive by the evil Lord Byonand. Then, from out of nowhere, blood begins trickling from his chest. He has been fatally wounded by the Sarinjas, a cannibalistic breed of desert goblin. The quick-thinking Munsu convinces these beasts to spare his life, in exchange for the peaceful handover of Mon-ryon's appetizing corpse. Although skeptical of Mon-ryon's motives, Munsu sets out to continue the mission that the young idealist described. Accompanied by an army of ghost troops, unleashed using the powers of Angyo Onshi, Munsu liberates Chunhyan. After visiting her boyfriend's final resting place, she declares herself Munsu's bodyguard and, together, they set out on a mission to punish those who stripped Jushin of its original glory.
What can I say.. the animation is very nice. Though this anime does surpise you at times. It has random moments like when certain characters die. Although the anime balances itself out nicely. Out of 1 through 5 I give this anime a 3/5 . Its not for everone. All I can say if you seem interested in it.. then give it a watch. You should be pretty pleased. Thanks for reading my review.
In Jushin, there once lived secret government agents called Angyo Onshi who traveled the countryside in disguise. They were charged by the king with finding and punishing corrupt government officials and bringing justice. Munsu is an Angyo Onshi who possesses the power to summon a ghost army. He happens upon a young man, Mon-ryon, who aspires to be an Angyo Onshi in order to save his girlfriend from the clutches of an evil Lord. Mon-ryon meets his demise and Junshin has fallen but Munsu still travels to continue the king's quest for justice. Munsu releases the people and Mon-ryon's, Chun Hyang from the
Lord's tyrannical rule. Chun Hyang is revealed to be an accomplished fighter and pledges herself to be Munsu's "Sando" or bodyguard in honor of her lost love.
Pay attention to the above summary (pieced together through 2 anime sources, a manga entry and my own inference), because that is the most explanation you will get about this movie. The viewer is dropped into the middle of an ongoing story and expected to understand the past and present. This formula may work with a well written script, but unfortunately this is not one of them.
This movie severely suffers character development. Munsu is unlikable, sardonic and apathetic. There is absolutely no back story given to explain his behavior or motivations. I believe Chun Hyang's only purpose in the anime is to act as fanservice in her leather fetish strap costume. She is timid and rarely speaks except to apologize for her actions. She is more like a puppet than an actual character.
The music features some orchestral pieces that are reminiscent of the samisen and lute of feudal Japan. This same piece was played twice, both when examining sweeping backdrops of scenery, and was honestly the best part of the movie. The animation used both hand drawn cells and CGI. The CGI was pretty obvious and didn't blend well.
The movie features some action scenes and plenty of head shots, but fails to give the viewer a story.
The concept of BLADE OF THE PHANTOM MASTER really interested me, and the outcome surprised me. The film reminded me of an 80's anime, dealing with magic, goblins, devils and whatnot. However, as a film, it has a few flaws. Basically there these people called Angyo Onshi they are warriors with mystical powers. The main character is one of these Angyo Onshi. He travels around, killing corrupt kings and other villains. But when a man who saves him is killed in the desert, this warrior sets out to find his fiance and free her from a mad king, and the two form an unlikely alliance.
OF THE PHANTOM MASTER moves at a good pace, once the right characters are lined up to complete its entire story. But there are problems. This is a film, so you need good character development and this film heavily lacks that. The main character has no real background, other than we know he's an Angyo Onshi and we don't know a lot about the female character and how she got her ability's. The film, although places its characters in this universe nicely, there is no real storyline for them to follow. Instead, it plays out like a few stand alone shorts that have no real conclusion. But the film is very brutal and the main character, although extremely unlikeable, is very good at what he does. His attitude reminds me of Wolverine or Mad Max. He only cares about himself, his desires and he does some really surprising things to save his own neck.
Aside from the violence, the art work and special effects are great. I like the atmosphere and this world too. Mixed with that and its lack of characters that offer little to no flavor in the story and its episodic nature that would of worked better as an OVA or an actual show, the film is fun as hell. A perfect two-hour killer that will keep you interested with some pretty bold moves that you wont see coming. I liked it, I just wish they could of expanded it. Is there a sequel? If there is, I would love to get my hands on it.
So besides the title not making any sense, the story is alright. Sadly, it feels like an episode instead of an actual movie. I felt I was watching a couple of anime TV shows. There were about 2 or three stories that were there about how Munsu ends up getting a Sando, a servant, and then ends up going to an Island for the rest of the show. It didn’t stand out next to any other anime show that came out in 2004. It felt lack luster as a movie but as a TV show, it would have done much better.
The storyline was basic to
many shows where we have a wonderer who is alone and ends up getting a companion… might I add female companion… who follows him around all the time. Only real difference is that she can actually fight but she doesn’t listen to his every word at times. They never explain if Munsu has something wrong with him and that’s why he has a inhaler or if it’s something to do with the power he bears. There are a lot of open endings that they really should have filled in if this was going to be its own movie.
The animation has a slightly interesting mix of CG and animation. It isn’t that it doesn’t fit right; it just is a bit easy to see that this is CG and this is not. There are still images mixed with the CG that just looks a little off in the beginning. As the show goes on, the only real thing that shows up CG is the dark soldiers he summons. Half the time, the background would look very detailed and the only time when it doesn’t fit with the characters is when they are in the desert because the color of the characters really threw me off. There is a headband that Munsu wears is actually supposed to be left on a cross but he wears it throughout the whole show.
The voices and music are what I would expect for the time it was made. There is nothing that seriously stands out for the voices although I do sort of like Munsu’s more then any other. Other then that, not much else.