Noob Reviews: Blade of the Immortal (Season 01) | Continued
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
The review will be a continuation from the first review, which is available on the blog here.
What is Blade of the Immortal?
As to avoid a lot of repeat posting or copy and pasting, you can check out full details of Blade of the Immortal here.
Unfortunately, the review has been split into two parts as there were some delays in publishing quite a few of the episodes. And to be honest, this was one of my very first reviewed anime, and I may have jumped the gun a bit on something, that at the time was on a weekly release schedule.
In a nutshell, though, Blade of the Immortal follows Manji (The Slayer of Hundreds) who has sworn an oath to a young girl named Rin. To help her avenge the murder of her parents at the hands of the Ittou-Ryu. A rival group of swordmasters determined to display the dominance of their art above all others.
Luckily, and trust me it gets used a lot through their travels, Manji has a tough time dying and is imbued with the ability to heal himself of most wounds - even those that would prove fatal to others. However, to Manji, a warrior in pursuit of a perfect death. This ability is a curse. A curse which as the fates would have it can be cured if he performs acts of redemption such as helping those in need - which Rin is.
How many episodes are there?
In total, there are 24 episodes, each running for twenty-four minutes. You can see a full episode listing here.
Throughout the publication of Blade of the Immortal, there have been numerous delays which meant the original release schedule has been pushed back by several months.
What happened in the episodes you never reviewed last time?
When last reviewing Blade of the Immortal, we did so based on the first six episodes of season one and Renzou’s father had just been killed by Manji after he foiled an assassination plot by Rin and had turned the tables on her.
Continuing on directly from this episode, episode seven sees us back on the hunt of the Ittou-Ryu as Rin seeks their complete and utter destruction to avenge her fallen family. However, in doing so, they come across several new factions that all have their own interest and goals when it comes to the Ittou-Ryu.
First and foremost we have the fearsome Mugai-Ryu, a special operations team that has been dispatched to kill the Ittou-Ryu themselves. The Rokki-Dan, who disgraced in the eyes of the Shogunate. Have been given only a few weeks to seek the destruction of the Ittou-Ryu or will be put to the blade of the Shogun’s operatives. And Shira, a former member of the Mugai-Ryu who was revealed to be a bloodthirsty psychopath and sadistic butcher. Needless to say, there are a lot of subplots and clashing factions to kick the series into overdrive.
Some of the notable storylines were…
The continued hunt for the head of the Ittou-Ryu, Kagehisa. And the destruction of the Ittou-Ryu.
During their travels, Manji is lured to the estate of a Shogunate operative named Habaki who imprisons him and seeks to replicate the nature of his ‘abilities.’ Drafting in a doctor by the name of Burando Ayame, who practices the more forbidden medical forms, they begin to dissect, analyse and transfer Manji’s abilities onto the bodies of prisoners, local men and kidnapped travellers. Disturbingly though, to an extent, Burando is met with some success.
The formation of the Rokki-Dan and their nearly impossible task of destroying the Ittou-Ryu on a time frame or face destruction themselves by the Shogun and Shogunate operatives. This admittedly had to be one of my personal favourites as the final confrontation between the Rokki-Dan and Ittou-Ryu. Especially their leaders Habaki and Kagehisa, is spectacular.
What did you think of Blade of the Immortal (Season 01) now it has finished?
Compared to the initial review I did on Blade of the Immortal, I now see the anime in a much more favourable light, and as hoped, it really does come on in leaps and bounds. Both in the way, the stories play out and also how the pacing changes.
What started off as quite slow quickly ramps up and escalates each episode. When it comes to the story though, the actual depth and insight given to each of the characters are brilliant, and I found the descent into an obsession that Shira has for Manji both disturbing but intriguing. A cold-blooded murderer, psychopath and sadist but seeking ways with which he (Shira) can prolong his life and expand his own powers. That been said, I will just mention that as the story progresses, it does take on a rather violent and fierce twist for some episodes with some scenes viewers may find disturbing. Whether it be torture (which Shira carries out frequently) or just regular battles where combatants literally tear pieces off of each other.
As mentioned previously, I am a big fan of the art style for Blade of the Immortal, love the soundtrack and overall found season one to be a thoroughly enjoyable watch that I would recommend to anime fans and fans of the Blade of the Immortal franchise alike. Especially now the season is released, and there are no more delays!
What final rating would you give Blade of the Immortal (Season 01)?
I would give Blade of the Immortal (Season 01) a 4 out of 5 banana rating.
Although not a massive improvement from the previous three banana rating I initially gave Blade of the Immortal, it did have a very positive impact on me and I would highly recommend it.
Unfortunately, I found the anime to deviate quite a bit from the source material in the manga and found some of the rape and torture scenes to be unnecessarily prolonged and quite graphic. Although not personally bothered by these as I love horror films and have seen much worse in those, for new entrants coming into anime or even Blade of the Immortal - these might put a few people off and are the only reasons I don’t give the full five out of five bananas.
Thank you very much for checking out the review, and if you are interested in Blade of the Immortal (Season 01) and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out here.
If you also missed it, check out the first part of the review here.