* CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS*
I don't normally write reviews but i just finished this anime and now i only wish i could go back in time to warn myself to stay away from it. Let me say this, i don't doubt that many people enjoyed this very much and i am sure lots of people consider this to be a great anime. So i am writing this review for people like me, people that aren't soulless emotionless individuals who enjoy watching the suffering of others. After reading most of the reviews for this i was expecting to see an anime with a lot of good ninja
fights some tragedy and some romance. So i guess in that sense i was not disappointed. but there is a limit to how much tragedy i can see in an anime and still enjoy it. I guess i should have been tipped off when i read people comparing this to Romeo and Juliet, but i went ahead and watched it anyway, now i know better.
Story: There may be reasons i don't like this anime but i am not here to simply trash it. So i will try to be objective here. I give the story an 8, aside from being thoroughly depressing the story was pretty good. It wasn't entirely unique but all in all they did a good job telling it. There was the initial romance which i enjoyed, the fighting was always intense and since you didn't know what everyones abilities were right from the start it kept you guessing at what was going to happen in each fight, and there were also some twists in it that i didn't see coming initially.
Art: I gave the art an 8, it was good but like with the story not outstanding. My biggest problem here would have to with some of the character designs. The characters in this really varied in realism, almost like they took too different shows and combined them. One being more realistic and the other being more science fiction horror. A lot of the characters looked normal even more realist then other anime. But then you have characters that looked entirely inhuman, had grotesque deformities, or ridiculous abilities.
Sound: Again i gave this an 8, it wasn't cluttered with a lot of unnecessary background noise or random sound effects and it did a good job staying consistent with what was going on in the anime.
Character: The characters i gave a 6. this score is lower mainly because most of the characters die before you even really get to know them. Then they try to remedy this by having entire episodes devoted to these characters, in the form of flashbacks and such, after they have already died. I also would have liked more depth into Oboro and Gennosuke, but between all of the fighting and deception there isn't a lot of time for character growth.
Enjoyment: There isn't a lot i can say here without revealing any spoilers, but i basically gave this a 1 because i didn't enjoy watching it at all. The fights were interesting but tragic and aside from Tenzen, who i was happy to see bite the big one, i never felt good watching these people die sad and tragic deaths. Then to top it all off, i am just going to say it this anime does not have a happy ending, and i am sorry but after 24 depressing episodes i would have liked to at least be able to walk away a little happy, or at least to have been glad that i watched the anime. Instead i was left thinking wow that was a waist time, hell if all i wanted was to feel like crap i could of saved some time and watched the news or pulled my own finger nails out.
Overall: I gave this a 2 basically because for me what it all boils down to is wether or not i enjoyed the anime. I have watched a lot of anime that have been bad in one or more of these categories, and as long as i went away feeling glad that i spent the time to watch something, i considered it a good anime. This anime wasn't lacking in any particular category, but i thoroughly did not enjoy watching it so i consider this to be a failure of an anime.